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by : BTF

Dec 14, 2011

Earth Pyramid Launches on 11/11/11

While the Great Pyramid closes for the 11/11/11, the Earth Pyramid project launches.
The Earth Pyramid Project is a truly ambitious project with noble aims. The goal is to get the world thinking about the future of the planet and to bring together the different governments, schools and other groups to discuss these global issues.
The pyramid will function as a time capsule into which children from participating schools from around the world will be putting messages.
EarthPyramidDiagram500 Earth Pyramid Launches on 11/11/11
EarthPyramidCapsule240 Earth Pyramid Launches on 11/11/11
One of the time capsules
The building of the pyramid will be the perfect opportunity to try out some of the theories of how the pyramids were built. The leveling of the site and alignment of the foundations could be carried out using ancient methods such as sighting the stars, or the sun.
The construction itself could use clever techniques such as the Internal Ramp theory developed by Jean-Pierre Houdin. Thanks to Dassault Systèmes and their 3D software we’ve seen Jean-Pierre’s theory in full 3D using virtual reality. To see a pyramid actually being built from the inside out though would be truly spectacular and move the concept from theory to practice.
By incorporating and combining ancient methods with modern tools and materials perhaps we can learn from the ancients as we strive to educate the future generations.

Pyramids at Giza Close for 11/11/11

MasonicPyramid240 Pyramids at Giza Close for 11/11/11
The Masonic pyramid on the US $1 note
The pyramids at Giza will be closed today in order to avoid rituals that were planned to be carried out there on the 11/11/11. Atef Abu Zahab, head of the Department of Pharaonic Archaeology said that the decision to close the pyramids only came “after much pressure” from Egyptian Internet users. The “rituals” were referred to by Youm7 in connection to a “Masonic Concert”.
Ali al-Asfar, general manager of the Pyramids at Giza, confirmed the cancellation of the Masonic concert, “11/11,” scheduled for Friday at the Great Pyramid of Khufu. 

Asfar told Youm7 that the Supreme Council of Antiquities notified the Ministry of the Interior about the cancellation, and the ministry will cooperate with security forces.

He called on all Egyptians to visit the pyramids Friday to ensure no concert takes place.

He said the Supreme Council of Antiquities did not receive fees from the concert organizing company, and it would not retract its cancellation.
The Supreme Council of Antiquities has confirmed the closure of the the pyramids at Giza but made no mention of any planned rituals, instead referring to necessary maintenance after a busy period.
It seems the pressure came from more than just “Egyptian Internet users” with ten revolutionary coalitions calling for Friday prayers to be held on the Giza Plateau in protest on the officially approved Masonic ceremony:
The coalitions involved are the Revolution of Free Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood and Upper Egypt, who will coordinate with a number of public activists and figures.
Statements from the Supreme Council of Antiquities and Giza Governorate have both stated the Masonic ceremony has been completely cancelled.

The coalitions reported in a statement that Jews have some beliefs that the date, 11-11-2011, will never be repeated, and that some think the world will end on this day. It is also said to be a watershed day in the Masonic and Jews’ lives.

The coalitions also reported that the attendants of the ceremony will surround the pyramid in a Star of David shape and put a diamond of the same shape at the top of the pyramid.
Source: Youm7
Ahram reported the planned event at the pyramids was a meditation “ceremony of love” aimed at saving the earth from cosmic threats.
According to the president of DAR SWIATOWIDA, Andrzej Wojcikiewicz, the pyramid’s energy would be strengthened and through the installation of two interpenetrated pyramid-shaped crystals, produced in India out of mountain crystal, inside the granite sarcophagus found in the king’s burial chamber inside the pyramid.
The special day of 11-11-2011, Wojcikiewicz said, is a unique opportunity for people from all over the world to join in meditation in order to send the energy of love towards Egypt, towards the Great Pyramid, and towards earth.
“This will be a global meditation to help Mother Earth, to help in protecting the earth and its people against further escalation of violence and cataclysms as well as for spiritual awakening,” he explains.
According to DAR SWIATOWIDA’s event website, entitled Cheops Project, on 11 November there would be two ceremonies at Giza Plateau from 11:00am to midnight.
The morning ceremony will be inside the king’s chamber of the Great Pyramid where a man and a woman described as “Human Angels” will place the crystal pyramid in the sarcophagus on two golden bars supported by four granite cubes.
The golden bars are inscribed with a verse saying “Man doesn’t live by bread alone.”
When Egyptologists got to know about the ceremony, which got the SCA’s approval, they rose up in arms against the event.
Some Egyptologists see that it is a childish game that insults a distinguished symbol of Egyptian civilisation, while others feel it is an expression of Jewish masonic belief that they are the pyramids’ builders and not the ancient Egyptians, despite the fact that during the 1990s Hawass and his team stumbled upon the pyramid builders’ cemetery at the Giza Plateau.
Ali Radwan, head of the Arab Archaeologists Union, told Ahram Online that the SCA should refuse the event and not provide opportunity to all and sundry to practice rituals at the foot of the Great Pyramid.
“Similar events were rejected before by the SCA during previous tenures,” Radwan asserted.
The brouhaha created led SCA Secretary General Mostafa Amin to cancel the event, sending a press release late last night confirming the cancellation. In the release, Amin asserted that the event was not organised by a Jewish Masonic organisation but a Polish organisation that sent a request to the SCA to hold meditation event at the Giza pyramids. The request, the release said, was being studied by legal consultants as well as security authorities.
“Due to rumours spread and the brouhaha created, that the event has religious aspects, the whole event has been cancelled,” the release said.
This has surely got to put further strain on the already suffering tourism industry in Egypt with the sudden decision to cancel the private tours that had been previously given official permission a year ago. These people have already paid for flights, accommodation, etc and have travelled to Egypt from all over the world specifically for this event. Tour operators and agencies must be nervous about such a decision and the prospects of future tours being cancelled.
A short statement appeared today on the Projekt Cheops website:
The Ceremony planed for November 11, 2011 at Gizah Plateau is cancelled due to security concerns. All three Pyramids will be closed during that day in spite of the fact that about 2000 tourists from all over the world wanted to participate at the evening event.
Sources and further reading:
Projekt Cheops
Youm7: Masonic Gathering at the Pyramids Cancelled
Ahram: Meditation ceremony to save Planet Earth at Pyramids cancelled
Ahram: Khufu Pyramid closed tomorrow
Photo by CC By ND NC
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New Electronic Ticket System for Giza

A new electronic ticket system to enter the Giza Plateau was scheduled to begin operating Monday after a series of successful experiments in collaboration with the Ministry of Defense.

GizaTicket New Electronic Ticket System for Giza
The system mechanically automates ticket-selling to those visiting the Giza Plateau. It is hoped that the new system will make visitor entry more organised.
The new tickets have pictures of the Pyramids on them and come in two different colors: red for local Egyptian visitors and dark blue for foreign tourists, or “non-Arabs”. There was no indication whether these new tickets would come with an increase in the entry fee.
Al-Ahram added that the Mina House entrance will be restricted to large groups and families leaving the other entrance near the Sphinx for the bulk of visitors to enter the Giza plataue, home of the Great Pyramid.
Electronic ticketing system put in place at Pyramids
Entry to pyramids area to be mechanized
Starting tomorrow, entrance to pyramids using electronic tickets
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Illegal Road Built North of Abusir

I’ve received a report from Maryanne Stroud Gabbani, who lives in Egypt, of an illegal road being built through the desert north of Abu Sir. Maryanne included many photos of the new road as well as some sensitive areas that are being quarried.
Rubbish is also being dumped in the area. Trucks are dumping here illegally rather than pay the fee to use the Giza dump. The governorate has no one checking to ensure that trucks don’t do this.
Maryanne writes:
In 13 years the plateau at the top of the hill has been taken away for construction materials. The Army (and I also hear the Antiquities authorities) have been in the habit of taking enormous bribes (like hundreds of thousands of LE a week) from the miners to allow them to take the sand away without authorization or supervision.
Maryanne continues with some good news sent the next day:
I talked today to one of the members of the clan who run this area and there was a family council last night wherein the offending members were taken to task. I was told that they would probably be leaving the clay road in place but wouldn’t be quarrying or using it. The clay happens to be tofla which when mixed with vinegar makes an effective poultice for horse legs, so I expect it to be harvested in pretty short order.
Follow Maryanne’s blog where she posts daily photos of life in Egypt: Cairo/Giza Daily Photo

Grand Egyptian Museum Moves Into Third Phase

GEM240 Grand Egyptian Museum Moves Into Third Phase
The Grand Egyptian Museum
The third phase of the construction of the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM) is moving forward and the GEM Committee is preparing a shortlist of companies from Spain, Brussels, Italy and Egypt proposed in the bid.
The third phase of the build includes the construction of the museum’s main exhibition halls, which will display 100,000 ancient Egyptian artefacts.
Mohamed Abdel Maqsoud supervisor of the GEM pointed out that the first and second phases of the GEM project have been completed and included construction of the labs, storehouses, power station and fire fighting unite.
He told Al-Ahram Online that until now 10,000 objects were transferred to the GEM from archaeological galleries all over Egypt and before the opening of the museum set for March 2015, the other 80,000 objects will be transferred.
Among the objects on display are the unique funerary objects of Tutankhamun, Hetepheres, mother of the Pharaoh Khufu, Yuya and Thuya, the grandfathers of Pharaoh Akhenaten, Senedjem, the principal artist of Pharaoh Ramses II, the royal mummies and the treasures of Tanis.
Read the full story in Ahram Online (includes some pictures).
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State of (Dis)Repair of the Step Pyramid

Another update on the state of (dis)repair of the Step Pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara:
Mohammed Abdel Fattah, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities, inspected the ongoing renovations at the step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara with General Mohammed el-Sheikha, head of the developments unit of the council Monday.
Abdel Fattah said that the pyramid is stable and there is no need to be concerned. He went onto say that the renovation company is fulfilling it duties and there are no obstacles to completion or issues with the already-appropriated three million EGP (U.S. $503,000) budget.
Read the full article in Youm7

Restoration of Egypt’s Oldest Pyramid

Cintec240 1 Restoration of Egypts Oldest Pyramid
Cintec prepare to enter the pyramid
There has been another development in the controversy of the halt to the restoration efforts on Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara.
The restrictions to the Supreme Council of Antiquities’ budget have resulted in a cessation of payments to Cintec, the company carrying out these restorations to the inner chambers of the pyramid.
Labelled as “media rumours”, this news has recently been investigated by the SCA:
Media rumours too have taken their toll. It was claimed that delays in processing payment to companies carrying out restoration work on both projects had led to work being neglected. Blocks in inner chambers of Djoser’s Step Pyramid were falling, while some pieces in the collection of Alexandria’s Graeco-Roman Museum that had been moved further along the coast to the Marina archaeological galleries were deteriorating because of poor storage conditions.
To make sure of the credibility of these claims published in newspapers, Mohamed Abdel-Maqsoud, secretary-general of the SCA, sent two archaeological and technical committees to inspect the status of both monuments. The team sent to Saqqara was led by the restoration project’s engineering consultant. Hassan Fahmi, who checked the condition of the pyramid and saw that it was still in a consolidated condition, but concluded that the restoration work must be resumed immediately in order to protect the structure of the oldest pyramid in history.
The committee also decided to provide funds to resume the restoration work and to begin immediate payment by installment to the company in charge of the work, the first instalment of which would be LE3 million.
Abdel-Maqsoud told Al-Ahram Weekly that he would make the required funds available either from the small revenue of the SCA or from the government.
“This restoration phase is the most crucial for the fate of Djoser’s Step Pyramid,” he told the Weekly.
“The preservation of Egypt’s monuments is the SCA’s top priority. We will work hard to provide the financial resources, despite the economic circumstances we are facing,” he added. “We do not want the world and history one day to hold us to account for neglecting the ancient structure.”
Samir Abdel-Raouf, head of the restoration project, said that if the restoration work did not resume immediately then some blocks of the pyramid roof could become detached. “These stones were given a temporary fix by using a pillow of air, but this required an immediate follow- up to avoid any sudden and unexpected fall of a block. The pyramid was in a really dreadful state before restoration began.”
The deterioration of the pyramid was due to climatic effects, environmental erosion factors and the leakage of subterranean water, not to mention the 1992 earthquake. The restoration plan includes consolidating the pyramid’s underground tunnels, monitoring the cracks, restoring the wall decorations and inspecting the natural ventilation inside the pyramid and the southern tomb.
A year ago a structural repair and reinforcement system was put into practise. This involved a temporary structural support in preparation for more permanent reinforced steel rods to be inserted diagonally through the steps of the pyramid knitting together the six levels.
Read the full story in Al-Ahram.
Cintec500 2 Restoration of Egypts Oldest Pyramid
Cintec workers inside the pyramid of Djoser
Cintec500 3 Restoration of Egypts Oldest Pyramid
One of the pneumatic pumps used to prevent the collapse of the ceiling
Photos provided by Cintec and used with permission.
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