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Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau

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Josie Linde
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« on: January 23, 2008, 03:24:15 pm »

Egypt Feature Story

The Search for Hidden Chambers
On the Giza Plateau, Part III: The Hall of Records

by Alan Winston





>> Pyramid Index / Giza
If any one monument has garnered more attention in the last several decades than Egypt's Great Pyramid of Khufu, it is the Great Sphinx at Giza, probably built by his successor, Khafre, or possibly by Khufu himself. Interest in what lies beneath, within and around the Sphinx has captured the imagination of the public, researchers, writers, theorists, mystics and crazies alike. This frenzy can probably be pinpointed to the predictions by Edgar Cayce in the first half of the 20th Century that the Great Sphinx guarded the Hall of Records, or at least the entrance to it, which contained records of the lost civilization Atlantis brought to Egypt by its survivors. In more recent years, much debate led the Sphinx back into the mainstream media as its age came into question from various sources. 

Some of the earliest modern excavations of the Great Sphinx at Giza were conducted by Baraize on behalf of the Egyptian Antiquities Service between 1925 and 1936. He was responsible for  excavating the Sphinx enclosure and he also made repairs to the monument during that period. It was he who finally removed the sand from about the Sphinx in modern times, afterwards building a retaining wall to help keep the monument clear of the surrounding desert sand. After rescuing the monument from the surrounding sand, he found it to be in a dilapidated state, riddled with large cracks and with much of its pharaonic period repair blocks fallen away.

In the course of this work, he also discovered two entrances, one located on the rump just north of center, and the other on the left or northern side of the monument about halfway between the front and rear paws, that from ground level, led to dead end subterranean passageways. He recorded these finds, takings about 226 photos, and then sealed the entrances over with repair blocks and cement. Afterwards, these discoveries were mostly forgotten.


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Josie Linde
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« Reply #1 on: January 23, 2008, 03:24:35 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2008, 03:25:12 pm »



Not until the late 1970's would interest in these tunnels resurface, when the Egyptian Antiquities Organization (EAO) carried out a series of restoration work, along with some additional surveys in the area of the Sphinx. This work continued for some ten years, but during the early part of the projects, the overseer of workmen, Mohammed Abdelmawgud Fayed, reported the existence of the shaft in the rump to the antiquities officials. The shaft was later, in 1980, investigated by two of the most famous Giza Egyptologists, Mark Lehner, and now Chairman of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass. They reported that the passage went up and down, but led nowhere, and had nothing within it of much interest.

Having obtained information from Baraize's original investigation, Lehner and Hawass were also made aware of the second entrance on the northern flank. They investigated this shaft as well, but again found that it was a dead end passageway. This entrance was later sealed over.

There was also a third shaft found by Baraize on top o the Sphinx's body behind the head, which had been bored to a depth of 27 feet by Vyse and Perring, and this too was investigated with little results.

While the investigation of all of these tunnels resulted in no material discoveries, they nevertheless became a source of speculation for the alternative thinkers for years to come, again with conspiracy theories of government cover ups.

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« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2008, 03:25:57 pm »



The SRI International team also conducted research at the Great Sphinx in 1977, using resistivity technology in front of the Sphinx's paws, along its flanks and diagonally across the left-hand  rump. This resulted in their discovery of three small subterranean anomalies. Also on the southern flank near a Roman era alter, the team found indications of the presence of an anomaly which they identified as a possible vertical shaft.

It is very possible that the two minor cavities found by the team, found on the southern flank, could related to end of the known northern shaft, though Dolphin, one of the lead researchers from SRI, described them as only a "minor anomaly, nothing very big or very long".

However, given the readings of Cayce regarding the Atlantian "Hall of Records", the SRI's findings in front of the monument became a main focal point for many alternative thinkers, partly due to the inconclusive results reported by SRI:

"There are two anomalies in front of the front paws of the Sphinx. The bedrock in front of the Sphinx is covered with Roman-era paving stones - and poor electrical contact between the paving stones and bedrock gave somewhat noisy resistivity traverses. However one anomaly occurs on a large electrode spacing, suggesting a cavity or shaft as much as 10m deep. The cavity, if present, is probably filled with rubble.

The resistivity anomalies we found around the Sphinx are not defined sufficiently to allow us any absolutely certain conclusions, and we fell that a more detailed survey should be conducted."

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« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2008, 03:26:26 pm »

However, due to the rampant speculation of this discovery, there would be follow up work in 1978. Edger Cayce's son, Hugh Lynn Cayce, who was then president of ARE (Association for Research and Enlightenment, Inc.) had always sought to affirm his fathers predictions about the  Hall of Records. Therefore, he set about organizing a mission to Egypt, forming what became known as the Sphinx Exploration Project. Obviously, its mission was to further examine the findings of the earlier SRI work. Hugh Lynn Cayce even managed to enlist the cooperation of the SRI team, as well as the EAO.

Hence, SRI agreed to add the ARE sponsored project to their 1978 field season at Giza. Now it so happened that SRI had that year teamed up with a drilling company owned by Kent Wakefield of Westec Metals. Wakefield had met the Dolphin, the SRI project director and agreed to form a new company called Recovery Systems International (RSI), which brought drilling equipment, air compressors and optical instruments to Egypt. This equipment would allow the drilling and insertion of bore scope cameras to investigate any anomalies found by the SRI team.

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« Reply #5 on: January 23, 2008, 03:26:49 pm »

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« Reply #6 on: January 23, 2008, 03:27:16 pm »

On the EAO side of this project were Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner, who prior to his conversion to mainstream Egyptology had actually been an Edgar Cayce follower. However, even at this point, Lehner did not dismiss the Cayce readings out of hand and in any case, it was  an opportunity for him to repay the Edgar's son, who had assisted in his Egyptology education.

Again, the SRI team conducted a series of resistivity and acoustic surveys around the Sphinx and the Old Sphinx Temple, where they did find a number of anomalies. This time, of course, they were prepared to further investigate these findings. The RSI people were brought in to drill down them with bore scope cameras. They drilled five, four inch holes, including two in the floor of the temple. One of these looked promising, but when the bore scope camera was lowered, all they found was a natural cavern. The other three holes were drilled around the Sphinx where, one of the largest anomalies, as detected close to the Sphinx's right paw. However, when they investigated this, all they found was a small crack in the bedrock.

The investigations were a bust. Many stories by the alternative camp were put out about the SRI team being limited in their ability to drill wherever they wished, but this was not actually the case. They were in fact given wide latitude for their investigations. With nothing to show for their efforts, and investment, RSI was soon abandoned by its investors, and the project thus ran out of funds. With it, so died the hopes of Edger's son. Dolphin later summed up his views on the project as follows:

"My overall impression is that the entire Sphinx area had no significant anomalies other than minor cracks here and there.

At the time this work did not seem any more important than any of the other tasks we had in front of us, and the Cayce funding allowed only a limited amount of time and effort. Hugh Lynn and I talked after the work for him was over and I remember he felt quite satisfied with our work, and of the opinion that his father's best work was in healing people and not in archaeological predictions. I had the distinct feeling Hugh Lynn was quite satisfied there was no Hall of Records anywhere under the Sphinx."

While all of this work might seem to have produced nothing, in reality it was of considerable importance. Mostly, it put to rest more than a quarter of a century of speculation. Today, Dr. Hawass frequently invokes the SRI findings when challenged on the Hall of Records, and Mark Lehner has become a solid member of the traditional Egyptology camp.

Nevertheless, some people remain convinced that one day the mysterious chamber holding the records of the lost civilization of Atlantis will one day be found, perhaps in a deeper location (highly unlikely considering the high water table).

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« Reply #7 on: January 23, 2008, 03:28:05 pm »



See also:

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part I
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part II
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part III: In Search of the Hall of Records
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part IV: More Recent Investigations
See Also (Recent News Reports
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/secretchambers3.htm
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2008, 03:29:53 pm »

Egypt Feature Story

The Search for Hidden Chambers
On the Giza Plateau, Part I


by Alan Winston



>> Pyramid Index / Giza
Not infrequently, the term "Hidden or Secret Chamber" is invoked by someone referring to one monument or another on the Giza Plateau just outside of Cairo, Egypt.  This term of course implies something very mysterious and excites the general public's imagination which is, of course, the reason why more than a few wish to visit Egypt.
Actually, any chamber inside most Royal Egyptian tombs, whether with a pyramid superstructure or not, were meant to be hidden. Egyptian Kings learned very early on that there were always going to be unscrupulous people who were ready, willing and resourceful tomb robbers. After all, Pharaohs and other royalty usually took considerable wealth to their graves. Rarely have any royal tombs managed to hold their secrets from ancient robbers.

In fact, at one point or another, all the chambers of all the great pyramids at Giza were hidden to the general public and early explorers. These early explorers tunneled and sometimes even blasted their way into the pyramids in order to discover what lay within, and eventually discovered the inner structures we now ascribe to the Giza Pyramids.

Even though most of the chambers inside pyramids and tombs, and elsewhere on the Giza Plateau, have rarely given up great wealth, having been robbed in antiquity, there is also always the suggestion of great knowledge or riches. In the early part of the 20th Century, Edgar Cayce is well known for his reference to "The Hall of Records" of Atlantis, which was supposed to contain a library of mankind's early knowledge:



http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/secretchambers1.htm
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« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2008, 09:25:01 pm »



In position this lies - as the sun rises from the waters - as the line of the shadows (or light) falls between the paws of the Sphinx, that was set later as the sentinel or guard and which may not be entered from the connecting chambers from the Sphinx's right paw until the time has been fulfilled when the changes must be active in this sphere of man's experience. Then [it lies] between the Sphinx and the river.

Hence, all the New Age thinkers wanted to dig all about the Great Sphinx to find this prize. Now, in 2004, we have several French researchers who claim they have located the real, hidden burial chamber in the Great Pyramid of Khufu, which will hold all of his undisturbed burial equipment, if only they could drill a few holes to verify their claims. The search for hidden chambers continues, and will probably do so for some time in the future.

Eventually, the mystery in and around known monuments will almost certainly play out, particularly as non-intrusive investigation methods become more and more advanced. Prior to the mid-1960's it was impossible to mount a search for undiscovered chambers without physically assaulting a monument. In fact, the use of nondestructive techniques will and in fact is creating somewhat of a renaissance in archaeological investigation, even though this new science has yet to reach maturity.

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« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2008, 09:26:27 pm »

The Joint Pyramid Project



One of the earliest uses of nondestructive investigation was a joint US and Egyptian project to uncover chambers in the Second Pyramid at Giza belonging to Khafre. In 1965, a scientific proposal was  submitted to a group of Egyptian physicists and archaeologists using cosmic-ray detectors (nuons technology). The American team, led by Dr. Luis Alvarez, suggested that, since there were two chambers in the superstructure of Khufu's Great Pyramid, and also two in the pyramid of his father, Sneferu, there should also be chambers located in the superstructure of Khafre's pyramid, who was Khufu's son.

This experiment was no minor effort, nor was it the work of New Age thinkers. The Joint Pyramid Project was established on June 14, 1966 as a collaborative effort between physicists from the Ain Shams University of Cairo, the University of California and archaeologists from the Egyptian Antiquities Organization. Furthermore, it had the support of the US Atomic Energy Commission, who helped design the detection equipment, the Smithsonian Institute, the IBM corporation,  Hewlett-Packard, the National Geographic Society and the Egyptian Surveying Department. Finally, Dr. Alvarez himself was a giant of physics himself, who flew aboard the Enola Gay when it dropped the bomb on Hiroshima, but who was horrified at what he saw. Later, he helped developed the theory of a giant asteroid as the reason dinosaurs were killed of 65 million years ago, and he even worked with the Warren Commission that investigated the assassination of President Kennedy.

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« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2008, 09:28:01 pm »



Cosmic rays originate in space, and have the ability to penetrate dense materials such as rock, but along the way, they lose some of their energy. The denser the material they must pass through, the more energy they lose. The idea behind the project was to use cosmic-ray detectors in the known chamber of the pyramid to detect the density of the structure above it. The information collected from the detectors would be recorded on magnetic tapes and analyzed by computer.  These rays would pass through an average of about 100 meters of limestone blocks and, theoretically, should they pass through a void in the structure of the pyramid, the collection device would record a slightly larger energy value than would otherwise be indicated when passing through solid core construction. If such a reading was indicated, the researchers planned to drill a borehole through the limestone and use optical equipment to see what lay within.

The experiment actually had to be delayed because of the outbreak of the Six Day War, but by the end of September, 1968, enough data was collected to analyze on the Ain Shams university computer, while additional data was later examined by the Berkeley Laboratories.

At first, the experiment seems to have resulted a pyramid mystery. A report in the London Times, at least as quoted by Peter Tompkins, states that:

"As Dr. Lauren Yazolino, Alverez's assistant, returned to the United States to analyze the tapes ont he most up to date computer at Berkeley, a correspondent from the London Times visited Cairo to check on the results locally. At Ein [Ain] Shams University, John Tunstall found an up to date 1130 IBM computer surrounded by hundreds of tins of recordings.

'It defies all known laws of physics,' Tunstall quoted Dr. Amr Goneid, who had been left in charge of the pyramid project since the return to America of Dr. Yazolino. According to Tunstall's report, each time Dr. Goneid ran the tapes through the computer a different patter would appear and the salient points which should have been repeated on each tape were absent. 'This is scientifically impossible,' Tunstall quoted Goneid, explaining that the earlier recordings which had raised hopes of a great discovery were now found to be a jumbled mass of meaningless symbols with no guiding pattern whatever.

Tunstall asked Goneid; 'Has all this scientific know-how been rendered useless by some force beyond man's comprehension?' To which Goneid is reported to have answered: 'Either the geometry of the pyramid is in substantial error, which would affect our readings, or there is a mystery which is beyond explanation - call it what you will, occultism, the curse of the pharaohs, sorcery, or magic; there is some force that defies the laws of science at work in the pyramid.'"

Actually, the report was apparently accurate, though as it turns out, there was no mystery. The geometry was wrong. As the team members revealed in an article in Science magazine, the computer program relied upon extremely accurate measurements of the pyramid's geometry, as well as the exact positioning of the data collection devices. However, there were problems with some of these measurements which apparently resulted in anomalies. Later, when adjustments were made to the data, it revealed nothing but solid core material. However, because of the initial confusing results, the conspiracy theorists, who seem to believe that the scientific community is always hiding amazing finds, soon stepped in. Erich von Daniken in his Return of the Gods said of the experiment:

"The very expensive experiment, in which several American institutes, IBM and Cairo's Ain Shams University were involved, ended without any clear results. The head of the archaeological research at the time, Dr. Amr Gohed [Goneid], told journalists that the findings were 'scientifically impossible': he added that either the 'structure of the pyramids is chaotic' or there is 'some mystery here that we have not explained'. The archaeologists generally ignored these baffling results."

Of course, the information reported by von Daniken was inaccurate, but it is just this sort of thing that, ever since, causes the Egyptian Antiquities people to flinch whenever secret chambers are mentioned.

By 1970, the Joint Pyramid Project had explored only 19 percent of the total volume of the Second Pyramid, but this amounted to an area 35 degrees from the vertical. Hence, the team reported that:

"If the Second Pyramid architects had placed a Grand Gallery, King's Chamber and a Queen's Chamber in the same location as they did in Cheops' {Khufu's) Pyramid, the signals from each of these three cavities would have been enormous. We therefore conclude that no chambers of the size seen in the four large pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty are in our 'field of view' above the Belzoni Chamber.

We can say with confidence that no chambers with volumes similar to the four known chambers in Cheops' and Sneferu's pyramids exist in the mass of limestone investigated by cosmic ray absorption."

Thus, the first of many nondestructive investigations came to a close, and not to an unsuccessful conclusion as some might suppose. To professional Egyptologists, all information is important, including the lack of chambers in this pyramid. However, more such research would soon follow, and today, it is being used to make important new discoveries which will undoubtedly advance our knowledge of ancient Egypt. The science has moved on to new and improved technologies that, while not perhaps completely perfected, are today becoming a mainstream tool in many archaeological excavations inside and outside of Egypt.

See also:

The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part I
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part II
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part III: In Search of the Hall of Records
The Search for Hidden Chambers on the Giza Plateau, Part IV: More Recent Investigations
Pyramids of Ancient Egypt 
See Also (Recent News Reports)

Secret Chambers of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (08/31/2004)
New Robot to Explore Shafts in the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) (08/11/2004)
References:

Title Author Date Publisher Reference Number
Complete Pyramids, The (Solving the Ancient Mysteries) Lehner, Mark 1997 Thames and Hudson, Ltd ISBN 0-500-05084-8
Excavating in Egypt: The Egypt Exploration Society 1882-1982 James, T. G. H. 1982 University of Chicago Press, The ISBN 0-226-39192-2
Giza The Truth Lawton, Ian; Ogilvie-Herald, Chris 2000 Virgin Publishing Ltd. ISBN 0-7535-0412-x
Treasures of the Pyramids, The Hawass, Zahi 2003 American University in Cairo Press, The ISBN 977 424 798 1

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/secretchambers1.htm
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« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2008, 09:32:51 pm »

Is There a Chamber
Beneath the Sphinx?

The idea that there is a chamber beneath the Great Sphinx at Giza likely has its roots in antiquity. In his Natural History, Pliny wrote:

In front of them [i.e. The Giza Pyramids] is the Sphinx, which deserves to be described even more than they, and yet the Egyptians have passed it over in silence. The inhabitants of the region regard it as a deity. They are of the opinion that a King Harmais is buried inside it... [Book 36 XVII]


But it was Edgar Cayce, the "sleeping prophet," who popularized the idea of a secret chamber associated with the Sphinx. According to Cayce, there is a "Hall of Records" with an entrance to be found between the paws of the Sphinx. In answer to the request, "Give in detail what the sealed room contains," Cayce answered:


A record of Atlantis from the beginning of those periods when the Spirit took form, or began the encasements in that land; and the developments of the peoples throughout their sojourn; together with the record of the first destruction, and the changes that took place in the land; with the record of the sojournings of the peoples and their varied activities in other lands, and a record of the meetings of all the nations or lands, for the activities in the destruction of Atlantis; and the building of the pyramid of initiation, together with whom, what, and where the opening of the records would come, that are as copies from the sunken Atlantis. For with the change, it [Atlantis] must rise again. In position, this lies -- as the sun rises from the waters -- as the line of the shadows (or light) falls between the paws of the Sphinx; that was set later as the sentinel or guard and which may not be entered from the connecting chambers from the Sphinx's right paw until the time has been fulfilled when the changes must be active in this sphere of man's experience. Then [it lies] between the Sphinx and the river. [378-16; Oct 29, 1933]

In the years to come, Cayce would speak more on the subject of the so-called Hall of Records:

It would be well if this entity were to seek either of the three phases of the ways and means in which those records of the activities of individuals were preserved -- the one in the Atlantean land, that sank, which will rise and is rising again; another in the place of the records that leadeth from the Sphinx to the hall of records, in the Egyptian land; and another in the Aryan or Yucatan land, where the temple there is overshadowing same. [2012-1; Sep 25, 1939]

... the entity joined with those who were active in putting the records in forms that were partially of the old characters of the ancient or early Egyptian, and part in the newer form of the Atlanteans. These may be found, especially when the house or tomb of records is opened, in a few years from now. [2537-1; Jul 17, 1941]

... [the entity] was among the first to set the records that are yet to be discovered or yet to be had of those activities in the Atlantean land, and for the preservation of data that is yet to be found from the chambers of the way between the Sphinx and the pyramid of records. [3575-2; Jan 20, 1944. Excerpts from Cayce, Edgar. On Atlantis. New York: Warner Books, 1968.]

The Rosicrucians seized the idea of a secret chamber as a place of initiation. (For more information and diagrams of their "Subterranean Hall," see The Rosicrucian View.) In more recent years, the theory of yet undiscovered chambers in the area of the Sphinx has been popularized by authors quick to criticize "mainstream" Egyptologists. In their book The Message of the Sphinx, Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval report on the use of modern technology to investigate the ground surrounding the Sphinx:

In 1973-4 . . . the first in a series of serious pioneering projects was launched, using ground-penetrating radar and other high-tech remote sensing equipment to locate "anomalies" under the bedrock beneath the Sphinx. These projects were channeled through well-established academic institutions - the Ain Shams University in Cairo and the prestigious Stanford Research Institute (SRI) in the USA.

In 1977 the US National Science Foundation funded a project at Giza again involving the SRI. This time use was made of several new techniques such as resistivity measurements (from metal rods driven into the rock across which an electric current was passed), magnetometry, and also the latest aerial photography and thermal infrared image-enhancing techniques. According to the SRI team's official report: "Several anomalies were observed as a result of our resistivity survey at the Sphinx ... Behind the rear paws (north-west end) we ran two traverses. Both traverses indicate an anomaly that could possibly be due to a tunnel aligned north-west to south-east ..." Two other anomalies were noted, deep in the bedrock "in front of the paws of the Sphinx." [p. 90-91]

Hancock and Bauval quote SRI geophysicist Lambert Dolphin, who relayed to me a rather different conclusion in a personal correspondence (click here for the full text):

Next we drilled 4 inch bore holes on the anomalies and inspected the hole with downhole TV. Nothing was found except small cracks. We paid special attention to the front paws, and under the paws. No chambers!

I do not believe there are any chambers under the Sphinx at this point in time.

There are three known passageways leading into the Sphinx. One is on the back of the Sphinx near its head. This shaft is short and leads to a dead end. Another is at ground level on the north side of the Sphinx near its hip. This shaft has been explored and leads to a dead end below the water table.

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« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2008, 09:34:07 pm »

Passage entrance near left hip.



Photo copyright Larry Orcutt

The third tunnel is known only from an unpublished photo made in 1926. It is located on the north side near the middle and has been covered with brickwork in later restorations. For more on these tunnels, see Known Sphinx Passages and also Zahi Hawass' 1997 NOVA interview.

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« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2008, 09:35:31 pm »

Restoration work, 1997.



Photo copyright Larry Orcutt

Zahi Hawass earlier addressed the rumored chamber in his 1990 "Update" to The Pyramids and Temples of Gizah by Flinders Petrie (London: Histories & Mysteries of Man Ltd., 1990; p. 101-102):

The last site investigated by the Japanese [Waseda University in Japan] was the Sanctuary of the Sphinx. The three areas targeted were:

A. South of the Sphinx.
B. North of the Sphinx.
C. In front of the two paws of the Sphinx.

The results were:

A. South of the Sphinx. The Japanese indicated the existence of a hollow 2.5 m. to 3 m. underground. And, they found indications of a groove on the Sphinx body that extends beneath the Sphinx.
B. North of the Sphinx. The Japanese found another groove similar to the southern one which may indicate that maybe there is a tunnel underneath the Sphinx connecting the south and north grooves.
C. In front of the two paws of the Sphinx. The Japanese found another hollow space about 1 m. to 2 m. below surface. Again, they believe that it might extend underneath the Sphinx.

The conclusion of the Japanese work suggests that the sanctuary of the Sphinx contains more cavities below the Sphinx than were previously known.

The combined data collected by the recent research at Giza resulted in the indications that there is/are:

1. Hollows located under the Sphinx as yet, not identified.
2. Cavities running from north to south underneath the Sphinx.
3. A tunnel south of the pyramid of Khufu ...

For more details on the Japanese work cited above, see the Waseda Report highlights.

It appears that there may indeed be undiscovered chambers and/or passageways in the area of the Sphinx. Though the Giza Plateau has been well-excavated, new discoveries are made there each year. But the idea that there is an Atlantean "Hall of Records" hidden under the Sphinx is based solely on the visions of a so-called "prophet" who in 1941 claimed the chamber would be discovered in a "few years."

Catchpenny Mysteries copyright 2000 by Larry Orcutt.

 
http://www.catchpenny.org/chamber.html
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