The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh by Sir Flinders Petrie - Courses of the Great Pyramid

COURSE LEVELS (according to Petrie)

Two entries given for the progressive top of each course, ie; from the N.E. and S.W. corners above base. Thicknesses have been added for each course also the difference between the N.E. and S.W. readings, both in thickness and in level. There is also a column illustrating the approximate variation between the 4 corner thicknesses (corresponding to the 4 horizontal thickness bars on the previous page).These entries are all either equal to, or greater than, the NE/SW data. It is hoped that these additional entries will give a much clearer picture of how the overseer kept to his levels as each course was laid one upon the other. Understandably, the data raises innumerable questions about method.


Some observations related to the chart appear at the bottom of the page.


To download this page with graphics select "file" and "save as" off your browser.


PAGE 2 of 4.

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

5451.8
5430.4
5407.9
5385.7
5362.9
5341.3
5319.2
5295.7
5271.8
5252.0
5231.3
5210.7
5190.6
5169.4
5149.0
5128.5
5107.6
5087.9
5066.8
5046.1
5023.9
5001.4
4978.1

21.4
22.5
22.2
22.8
21.6
22.1
23.5
23.9
19.8
20.7
20.6
20.1
21.2
20.4
20.5
20.9
19.7
21.1
20.7
22.2
22.5
23.3
24.7

-
-
5409.2
5386.8
5364.3
5342.9
5320.9
5298.2
5274.6
5253.8
5233.4
5212.8
5192.2
5171.7
5151.6
5131.0
5110.7
5089.9
5069.9
5048.5
5026.4
5003.5
4980.7

--
--
22.4
22.5
21.4
22.0
22.7
23.6
20.8
20.4
20.6
20.6
20.5
20.1
20.6
20.3
20.8
20.0
21.4
22.1
22.9
22.8
25.4

--
--
1.3
1.1
1.4
1.6
1.7
2.5
2.8
1.8
2.1
2.1
1.6
2.3
2.6
2.5
3.1
2.0
3.1
2.4
2.5
2.1
2.6

--
--
0.2
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.8
0.3
1.0
0.3
0
0.5
0.7
0.3
0.1
0.6
1.1
1.1
0.7
0.1
0.4
0.5
0.7

--
--
0.5
0.9
0.5
0.3
1.0
1.1
1.2
0.5
0.2
0.9
0.9
1.0
0.6
0.9
1.1
1.2
0.8
1.2
0.5
1.0
1.0

203
202
201
200
199
198
197
196
195
194
193
192
191
190
189
188
187
186
185
184
183
182
181

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

4953.4
4926.9
4906.3
4886.2
4865.9
4845.4
4825.1
4805.4
4784.6
4763.4
4743.7
4722.9
4702.4
4682.4
4661.8
4640.6
4619.2
4593.4
4571.3
4547.5
4526.8
4505.3
4484.7
4463.1
4441.9
4420.6
4400.1
4378.3
4356.1
4333.1

26.5
20.6
20.1
20.3
20.5
20.3
19.7
20.8
21.2
19.7
20.8
20.5
20.0
20.6
21.2
21.4
25.8
22.1
23.8
20.7
21.5
20.6
21.6
21.2
21.3
20.5
21.8
22.2
23.0
24.4

4955.3
4929.0
4909.2
4888.3
4868.5
4848.0
4827.9
4807.5
4787.1
4766.7
4746.0
4725.9
4705.6
4685.0
4664.7
4643.8
4621.9
4597.0
4574.0
4550.6
4529.6
4508.4
4487.1
4466.1
4444.7
4423.9
4402.6
4381.4
4358.8
4335.4

26.3
19.8
20.9
19.8
20.5
20.1
20.4
20.4
20.4
20.7
20.1
20.3
20.6
20.3
20.9
21.9
24.9
23.0
23.4
21.0
21.2
21.3
21.0
21.4
20.8
21.3
21.2
22.6
23.4
24.9

1.9
2.1
2.9
2.1
2.6
2.6
2.8
2.1
2.5
3.3
2.3
3.0
3.2
2.6
2.9
3.2
2.7
3.6
2.7
3.1
2.8
3.1
2.4
3.0
2.8
3.3
2.5
3.1
2.7
2.3

0.2
0.8
0.8
0.5
0
0.2
0.7
0.4
0.8
1.0
0.7
0.2
0.6
0.3
0.3
0.5
0,9
0.9
0.4
0.3
0.3
0.7
0.6
0.2
0.5
0.8
0.6
0.4
0.4
0.5

0.9
0.9
0.8
0.6
0.2
0.2
0.7
0.6
1.0
1.0
0.8
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.0
0.5
1.4
1.0
1.2
0.9
0.3
0.7
0.6
0.7
0.6
0.8
0.7
0.8
0.5
0.6

180
179
178
177
176
175
174
173
172
171
170
169
168
167
166
165
164
163
162
161
160
159
158
157
156
155
154
153
152
151

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

4308.7
4282.1
4260.4
4238.5
4216.4
4192.5
4168.3
4137.2
4116.3
4093.2
4072.2
4050.5
4025.0
3999.3
3977.0
3953.3
3932.1
3909.3
3887.8
3864.6
3839.7
3813.1
3791.0
3768.2
3745.6
3722.6
3697.8
3673.5
3647.1
3621.1

26.6
21.7
21.9
22.1
23.9
24.2
31.1
20.9
23.1
21.0
21.7
25.5
25.7
22.3
23.7
21.2
22.8
21.5
23.2
24.9
26.6
22.1
22.8
22.6
23.0
24.8
24.3
26.4
26.0
29.1

4310.5
4284.4
4262.2
4240.5
4217.7
4194.6
4168.4
4139,5
4117.6
4095.6
4074.1
4051.8
4027.2
4000.8
3977.1
3954.7
3932.9
3911.0
3888.9
3865.8
3841.0
3814.7
3791.3
3768.5
3745.6
3722.6
3698.6
3675.2
3648.0
3621.8

26.1
22.2
21.7
22.8
23.1
26.2
28.9
21.9
22.0
21.5
22.3
24.6
26.4
23.7
22.4
21.8
21.9
22.1
23.1
24.8
26.3
23.4
22.8
22.9
23.0
24.0
23.4
27.2
26.2
29.3

1.8
2.3
1.8
2.0
1.3
2.1
0.1
2.3
1.3
2.4
1.9
1.3
2.2
1.5
0.1
1.4
0.8
1.7
1.1
1.2
1.3
1.6
0.3
0.3
0
0
0.8
1.7
0.9
0.7

0.5
0.5
0.2
0.7
0.8
2.0
2.2
1.0
1.1
0.5
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.4
1.3
0.6
0,9
0.6
0.1
0.1
0.3
1.3
0
0.3
0
0.8
0.9
0.8
0.2
0.2

1.2
0.8
1.7
1.5
1.2
2.4
2.2
1.8
2.0
1.2
0.9
0.9
1.1
2.0
1.3
1.0
0.9
0.7
0.9
1.2
1.1
1.4
1.5
0.4
0.5
1.8
1.9
1.6
0.8
0.4

150
149
148
147
146
145
144
143
142
141
140
139
138
137
136
135
134
133
132
131
130
129
128
127
126
125
124
123
122
121

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

3592.0
3562.2
3530.4
3494.8
3472.4
3445.3
3423.2
3400.2
3377.0
3352.9
3330.0
3306.8
3280.2
3250.9
3226.1
3201.1
3174.7
3148.4
3119.1
3091.7
3058.2
3022.6
2984.3
2946.8
2920.8
2897.8
2872.2
2846.1
2816.7
2783.6

29.8
31.8
35.6
22.4
27.1
22.1
23.0
23.2
24.1
22.9
23.2
26.6
29.3
24.8
25.0
26.4
26.3
29.3
27.4
33.5
35.6
38.3
37.5
26.0
23.0
25.6
26.1
29.4
33.1
34.3

3592.5
3563.2
3530.9
3496.0
3472.8
3446.5
3423.8
3401.7
3377.8
3354.8
3331.2
3307.9
3281.3
3251.9
3227.1
3202.6
3176.0
3149.5
3120.6
3091.3
3058.9
3024.6
2985.6
2944.7
2922.0
2898.1
2872.8
2846.6
2817.3
2785.4

29.3
32.3
34.9
23.2
26.3
22.7
22.1
23.9
23.0
23.6
23.3
26.6
29.4
24.8
24.5
26.6
26.5
28.9
29.3
32.4
34.3
39.0
40.9
22.7
23.9
25.3
26.2
29.3
31.9
35.5

0.5
1.0
0.5
1.2
0.4
1.2
0.6
1.5
0.8
1.9
1.2
1.1
1.1
1.0
1.0
1.5
1.3
1.1
1.5
0.4
0.7
2.0
1.3
2.1
1.2
0.3
0.6
0.5
0.6
1.8

0.5
0.5
0.7
0.8
0.8
0.6
0.9
0.7
1.1
0.7
0.1
0
0.1
0
0.5
0.2
0,2
0.4
1.9
1.1
1.3
0.7
3.4
3.3
0.9
0.3
0.1
0.1
1.2
1.2

0.9
0.8
0.7
1.4
1.0
0.8
1.0
1.0
1.1
1.0
0.6
2.0
2.0
1.0
0.7
1.1
0.8
1.1
2.0
1.6
1.3
1.1
3.8
3.5
1.1
1.4
0.2
1.6
2.1
1.7

120
119
118
117
116
115
114
113
112
111
110
109
108
107
106
105
104
103
102
101
100
99
98
97
96
95
94
93
92
91

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

2749.3
2710.8
2688.1
2665.0
2643.1
2616.8
2593.9
2566.1
2543.5
2520.2
2497.0
2472.9
2449.8
2426.1
2400.6
2377.0
2348.0
2317.6
2292.3
2266.5
2237.7
2209.9
2177.5
2146.9
2111.9
2088.2
2062.0
2036.4
2010.4
1986.0

38.5
22.7
23.1
21.9
26.3
22.9
27.8
22.6
23.3
23.2
24.1
23.1
23.7
25.5
23.6
29.0
30.4
25.3
25.8
28.8
27.8
32.4
30.6
35.0
23.7
26.2
25.6
26.0
24.4
26.2

2749.9
2711.7
2688.5
2666.1
2643.4
2617.4
2594.6
2566.8
2544.1
2521.0
2497.5
2473.4
2449.9
2426.5
2402.6
2377.8
2348,5
2318.0
2292.1
2266.0
2237.9
2209.8
2178.6
2146.9
2112.9
2088.6
2063.1
2037.0
2010.8
1985.8

38.2
23.2
22.4
22.7
26.0
22.8
27.8
22.7
23.1
23.5
24.1
23.5
23.4
23.9
24.8
29.3
30.5
25.9
26.1
28.1
28.1
31.2
31.7
34.0
24.3
25.5
26.1
26.2
25.0
26.4

0.6
0.9
0.4
1.1
0.3
0.6
0.7
0.7
0.6
0.8
0.5
0.5
0.1
0.4
2.0
0.8
0,5
0.4
0.2
0.5
0.2
0.1
1.1
0
1.0
0.4
1.1
0.6
0.4
0.2

0.3
0.5
0.7
0.8
0.3
0.1
0
0.1
0.2
0.3
0
0.4
0.3
1.6
1.2
0.3
0.1
0.6
0.3
0.7
0.3
1.2
1.1
1.0
0.6
0.7
0.5
0.2
0.6
0.2

1.2
0.6
1.2
1.0
0.7
0.1
0.3
0.2
2.3
2.0
0.5
1.0
2.1
2.5
1.5
0.5
1.5
1.3
0.5
1.5
1.9
2.0
1.4
1.7
1.3
0.7
0.8
0.9
0.6
0.3

90
89
88
87
86
85
84
83
82
81
80
79
78
77
76
75
74
73
72
71
70
69
68
67
66
65
64
63
62
61

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

1959.8
1931.7
1903.0
1874.4
1851.9
1827.1
1801.8
1776.1
1750.5
1724.2
1697.6
1669.6
1638.4
1602.9
1567.3
1540.0
1502.1
1461.0
1427.7
1399.7
1368.8
1336.9
1303.0
1266.7
1228.5
1187.4
1137.6
1111.4
1085.1
1058.8

28.1
28.7
28.6
22.5
24.8
25.3
25.7
25.6
26.3
26.6
28.0
31.2
35.5
35.6
27.3
37.9
41.1
33.3
28.0
30.9
31.9
33.9
36.3
38.2
41.1
49.8
26.2
26.3
26.3
27.8

1959.4
1931.7
1902.1
1876.5
1851.5
1826.7
1801.6
1776.3
1750.7
1724.2
1697.7
1669.6
1638.2
1603.1
1568.2
1540.0
1501.9
1460.8
1428.7
1399.3
1368.6
1336.8
1303.0
1266.7
1228.7
1186.9
1137.7
1111.4
1085.2
1059.2

27.7
29.6
25.6
25.0
24.8
25.1
25.3
25.6
26.5
26.5
28.1
31.4
35.1
34.9
28.2
38.1
41.1
32.1
29.4
30.7
31.8
33.8
36.3
38.0
41.8
49.2
26.3
26.2
26.0
28.3

0.4
0
0.9
2.1
0.4
0.4
0.2
0.2
0.2
0
0.1
0
0.2
0.2
0.9
0
0.2
0.2
1.0
0.4
0.2
0.1
0
0
0.2
0.5
0.1
0
0.1
0.4

0.4
0.9
3.0
2.5
0
0.2
0.4
0
0.2
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.4
0.7
0.9
0.2
0
1.2
1.4
0.2
0.1
0.1
0
0.2
0.7
0.6
0.1
0.1
0.3
0.5

0.4
0.9
5.5
5.2
0.1
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.6
0.5
0.2
1.8
2.5
1.1
0.9
0.4
0.3
1.2
1.5
0.3
0.6
1.1
0.7
0.4
0.7
1.1
0.1
0.4
1.0
0.6

60
59
58
57
56
55
54
53
52
51
50
49
48
47
46
45
44
43
42
41
40
39
38
37
36
35
34
33
32
31

N.E.
level

thickness

S.W.
level

thickness

variation
level

variation
thickness

variation in
thickness
4 corners

course

1031.0
1002.8
974.7
945.5
915.8
885.0
852.7
820.3
787.3
752.8
729.0
705.5
667.4
636.3
608.3
579.4
550.1
520.7
490.9
461.2
427.5
391.5
355.1
317.3
278.1
240.1
199.9
155.9
107.7
58.6

28.2
28.1
29.2
29.7
30.8
32.3
32.4
33.0
34.5
23.8
23.5
38.1
31.1
28.0
28.9
29.3
29.4
29.8
29.7
33.7
36.0
36.4
37.8
39.2
38.0
40.2
44.0
48.2
49.1
58.6

1030.9
1003.1
975.1
945.9
916.3
885.1
852.7
820.4
787.3
752.2
729.7
705.6
666.5
635.4
607.1
579.0
550.8
521.6
495.9
461.9
429.3
391.6
357.4
322.5
278.4
238.8
199.9
155.4
110.1
57.6

27.8
28.0
29.2
29.6
31.2
32.4
32.3
33.1
35.1
22.5
24.1
39.1
31.1
28.3
28.1
28.2
29.2
25.7
34.0
32.6
37.7
34.2
34.9
44.1
39.6
38.9
44.5
45.3
52.5
57.6

0.1
0.3
0.4
0.4
0.5
0.1
0
0.1
0
0.6
0.7
0.1
0.9
0.9
1.2
0.4
0.7
0.9
5.0
0.7
1.8
0.1
2.3
5.2
0.3
1.3
0
0.5
2.4
1.0

0.4
0.1
0
0.1
0.4
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.6
1.3
0.6
1.0
0
0.3
0.8
1.1
0.2
4.1
4.3
1.1
1.7
2.2
2.9
4.9
1.6
1.3
0.5
2.9
3.4
1.0

1.5
0.4
0.8
0.8
0.5
0.2
0.3
0.7
0.8
1.3
1.0
1.5
0.6
0.6
0.8
1.4
2.9
4.4
6.6
1.1
3.4
3.2
5.2
5.3
2.0
2.2
0.8
5.1
4.9
2.4

30
29
28
27
26
25
24
23
22
21
20
19
18
17
16
15
14
13
12
11
10
9
8
7
6
5
4
3
2
1




NOTES :

A. Petrie gave two levels for course 2. on the S.W. ie, 110.0 and 110.2, One measure is for elevation above base, the other contains a total accumulated error of 0.2" when the elevations for the entire pyramid were re-checked. We really do not know which is which because Petrie doesn't tell us. The most probable value (the average) 110.1 has therefore been entered into the chart.

B. It was thought necessary to alter the S.W. level of course 132 from 3888.0 (as read by a number of investigators) to 3888.9 (illustrated below). The "level" data is for the top of each course. Petrie's thickness bars (to the left) for courses 132, 133 support the figure 3888.9, not 3888.0.

C. All of the horizontal thickness bars from the previous page have been re-measured and compared with Petrie' course levels, to see if, (1) they are correctly represented on the page, and, (2) to see if it can be found which bars relate to the NE and SW corners. As there is only one chance in six that Petrie's NE and SW data reflect the greatest thickness variation for each course most of the entries in the four corner column above will be greater than his. In some cases the total variation for individual courses far exceeds the data given by Petrie, courses 108 and 109 for example. In these two cases the NE and SW thicknesses have been identified as those represented by two bars very close together and greatly separated from at least one other.

After looking at all the courses and their horizontal thickness bars the following was also found :

1. Course 144 has 5 corner entries marked in. The top bar (far left) is consistent with Petrie's NE reading and the bar second from the bottom the SW reading. Taking the bottom bar to be a correct entry the variation in thickness seems a little excessive (2.7 inches and the largest of the top 100 courses) so we suspect that this might be the odd one out. If not, then the other two corners of the pyramid are represented by the bottom bar and one of the two bars (?) hugging the 30 inch level.
Don't forget that the figures to the right of the illustration relate to level at the top of each course. Variation in thickness has to extracted, first, one over the other, and then across.

2. The missing bar for course 127 (Petrie's NE reading) should have been entered about midway between the bars illustrated

3. All the bars for course 110 have been wrongly placed. Petrie must have misread the distances 23.2 and 23.3 or 3,2 and 3.3 respectively above the 20 inch level. Our best guess is that all should be raised (as a block) to the dotted lines illustrated. It is presumed that the NE and SW thickness readings represent the two half bars 1/10th of an inch apart.


4. Course 3 ---- The top bar (far left) agrees with Petrie's level for the NE corner but the next bar underneath is wrong for the SW reading and should be lower as illustrated by the dotted line. The large variation in level across the platform (course 2) was corrected with course 3 (almost). Note the huge improvement with thickness when course 4 was laid.

c3

The errors listed above are not the only ones. Minor bar placing discrepancies also occur for courses 124 and 125 and a number of other courses towards the base and it is here that we must realize the hazards of transforming columns and columns of data into illustrated bars.

Looking at Petrie's hand written figures an error for course 70 has been noticed.

A number of people have queried the figures, noticed the errors, and helped me to compile the chart.
To Leon and Marie in Montevideo, Uruguay, to Alex of Renfrewshire, Glasgow, UK , I thank you for your interest and I thank you for your suggestions.


Special acknowledgement must go to Ron Birdsall of Ventura, California, U.S.A., whose valuable contributions I could not have done without.