5. The Largest Stones at Giza
A knowledge of the construction features of the Giza Plateau will concede the use of stones cut to tremendous size. How they were cut and moved defies the imagination though for many the simple answer lies in the truism “where there’s a will there’s a way.” This would imply one need not think about it; though the builders supposedly only had primitive means they were just a lot more determined then we would be if faced with the same challenges. This attitude is really jusk asking everyone to bury their heads in the sand.
If asked what were the largest, heaviest, and therefore most difficult stones to have been cut, moved and precisely fitted on the Giza Plateau, I would have initially said the granite ceiling stones over the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid. Some of these weigh as much as 50 – 80 tons. However, since then, and having observed some of the massive stones used in the Sphinx and Valley temples, and or the so called “mortuary” or more accurately in my view, causeway temples of the Chephren and Mycerinus pyramids, I would have laid my bets on one among them.
Above in the front wall of the Valley Temple one can observe eight massive stones the largest of which are roughly 3 x 3 x 6 meters in size.
Above one finds similarly immense stones in the Chephren pyramid Causeway temple.
Above: And again in the Causeway Temple of the Mycerinus Pyramid one finds the same massive and highly eroded stones. Look to those in the wall to the right and compare the size of these stones to those used to build the bulk of the pyramid itself which rise up in behind.
Should we, however, imagine that any of these stones, difficult enough as they are to cut, move and place, are the height of such difficulties when it comes to the constructs of the plateau, think again. For I believe some of the very largest, if not the largest stones of the plateau are “hidden in plain sight” as foundation stones upon which much of the East side of the Chephren Pyramind were build. These stones are so massive and so prefectly dropped into their surrounding neighbors and bedrock that hundreds of thousands walk right over them yearly without realizing or being told that they are in fact separate stones and not the bedrock itself, which have been fitted perfectly into place level with their neighbors.
From this camera angle its hard to get an appreciation of just how massive this one foundation stone was. I estimated it to be roughly 8 x 6 x 2.5 meters, or 26 x 19 x 7.5 feet in size.
Whatever the precise dimensions one stands in awe of the feat of moving and placing such stones. Like so much else at Giza a human scale of accomplishment has been left far behind.
View of the Chephren Pyramid looking S.West at the N. East corner. The large stones which form an outcrop at the base of the pyramid were placed in position to create a level base for the structure where the plateau began to slope down towards the East. It is in this group of stones that one finds what I believe could be the very largest stones used in construction on the plateau.
The foundation stones outlined.
To really get an idea of the extent of these foundation stones it helps to look down at the pyramid from the air.
Chephren’s East Side as seen from the air.
A closer look at the base and one can begin to discern the rectangular scoring patterns of the foundation stones.
The foundation stones become clearly visible
Some of the foundation stones highlighted around the North East corner.