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Authors: Alexander Marmer

Four Ways to Pharaoh Khufu

BOOK: Four Ways to Pharaoh Khufu
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Four Ways to
Pharaoh Khufu

 

A Novel

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Marmer

 

 

Copyright
© 2015 by Alexander Marmer.

 

Library of Congress Control Number:   2015959283

ISBN:      Hardcover      978-1-4828-5498-5

                Softcover        978-1-4828-5497-8

                eBook             978-1-4828-5505-0

 

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic, or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the author except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews.

 

Because of the dynamic nature of the Internet, any web addresses or links contained in this book may have changed since publication and may no longer be valid. The views expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any responsibility for them.

 

 

www.partridgepublishing.com/singapore

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FOR
MY BELOVED CHILDREN

ANNA and DAVID

Acknowledgments

F
irst and foremost to
Anatoly Vasiliev
, the persona extraordinary, who devoted more than 40 years of his life to studying and virtually exploring the Great Pyramid of Giza. Although never himself has visited Egypt, Vasiliev developed one of the most astonishing theories about the creation and purpose of the Great Pyramid and whose zeal and persistence caused this book to be written. I personally met Anatoly back in 1996 in his Moscow apartment and that meeting cardinally changed my perspective about the Great Pyramid constructive methods and made me to look afresh at the “known facts” about the Great Pyramid. He was a proud veteran of World War II where he was wounded in the head. This book is dedicated to the blessed memory of Anatoly Vasiliev who untimely succumbed to his wounds.

I wish to thank
Saveliy Kashnitskiy
, a close friend of Anatoly Vasiliev who helped me to arrange my meeting with Mr. Vasiliev in Moscow in 1996 and his contributions to my inspiration and knowledge in creating this book. It was with great sadness that I learned of Saveliy’s sudden passing.

I cannot fully express my gratitude to
Katie Belle
, the dedicated momma of her homeschooled three children. Katie’s editing skills are superb, she really knows the way with words by dressing up a text, putting a little lipstick on it and delivering it ready to mesmerize.

The most sincere praise goes out to
Dan Brown
and his eminent “The Davinci Code,” which inspired me to write my own novel. Dan Brown’s widespread use of trivia facts throughout the entire novel made his book for me the most enjoyable piece of reading material I’ve ever read.

Words cannot express my gratitude to
Samantha Smith
, an American youngest Goodwill Ambassador from Manchester, Maine, for her desire to write and to show that even a ten-year-old can make a difference in the world. Her visit to the Soviet Union in 1983 created worldwide media attention and changed the way Americans viewed Russians and vice versa. Gone too soon but not forgotten.

I would like to extend the utmost gratitude to the most sincere, honest, helpful and hard-working Egyptian tour guide,
Ahmed Hamed Yousif
. His dedication to work is unparalleled. He always goes the “extra mile” to make his clients satisfied and beyond. The dangerous trip to the City of the Dead was the best example of the level of the dedication this devoted tour guide possesses.

Special thanks to
Mustafa Khaled
, the chauffer for Bravo tours in Cairo, Egypt. His masterful driving skills of navigating safely and with precision through the bustling streets of Cairo and Alexandria were truly splendid. His intimate knowledge of roads and dedication to safety were the ultimate factors that kept me and my wife safe and unharmed.

Many thanks to the fellow scribe
Sascha Zamani
whose keen eye and meticulous attention to the details helped me to avoid some embarrassing moments later. She did an extraordinary editing job on the big chunk of the chapters and I sure hope for the continued collaboration.

And last, but not least, special thanks to my wife
Cristina
. Her loving pessimism and skepticism in seeing this book ever completed, let alone published, was the driving force behind my augmented motivation and perseverance in getting this “seems never-ending” project finally complete.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let down from heaven, untouched by human hands

Strabo, the ancient Greek geographer and historian describing the Great Pyramid

 

 

What is history but a fable agreed upon

Napoleon Bonaparte

Fact:

The Great Pyramid,
the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis in Egypt. It is the only remaining monument of the engineered ingenuity of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

 

 

Pharaoh Khufu
, also known as
Cheops
, was the pharaoh of Ancient Egypt’s Old Kingdom and reigned from around 2589 to 2566 B.C. Khufu, the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, with the help of his architect HemIwno built the Great Pyramid of Giza. Khufu’s mummy and treasures were never found.

 

 

Medjay
, a group of desert tribesmen originated in Nubia, devoted to the perfection the art of war that served during Egypt’s Old Kingdom and guarded the temples of ancient Egypt.

Prologue

The Great Pyramid, Giza Plateau, Egypt

Monday, September 18

9:24 a.m.

 

G
erman design engineer Günther Schulze, a graying, heavyset man with wire-rimmed glasses, stood gazing up at the Great Pyramid. Even at this hour the top button of his fading khaki shirt was undone, exposing his white undershirt. A slight breeze lifted the edges of his safari vest, cooling the perspiration spots around his collar and under his arms. Slowly he began his ascent, hefting himself up the stone stairs until he arrived at the entrance. Stopping to catch his breath, he relished the fresh morning air before he had to enter the stuffy monolith. He looked down at a group of excited American tourists entering the Great Pyramid's other entrance—a secondary one that had been forced open in the early ninth century A.D. by a determined man named Al-Mamun. The pyramid itself had been closed to the public for the past year for restoration. And today was its long-awaited re-opening.

Schulze lingered, admiring the mesmerizing panoramic view of the Giza Plateau. As another group of tourists noisily approached the lower entrance, he turned his head to observe, listening carefully.
They must be Europeans, either Polish or Ukrainians,
he decided.

Carefully holding the handrail, he turned and stepped inside. This was the original entrance to the Great Pyramid, and it remained closed to tourists even after the Great Pyramid’s long-awaited re-opening.

Schulze was not a tourist. For the past five months, he had been involved in a project sponsored by the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, which was responsible for doing the restoration work inside the Great Pyramid. A French ventilation company, AirCo, had installed a new ventilation system in the pyramid’s inner chambers. AirCo had donated the aeration system to remove the buildup of humidity from the ancient structure, which was needed to preserve its integrity. The system was installed in one of the pyramid’s airshafts in order to increase the flow of fresh air. As a part of this process, Schulze had been brought into the project as a German subcontractor, helping to design and install a small vent unit on the top of the Great Pyramid’s ventilation channel.

Schulze strapped his headlamp onto his head and switched it on. Then he made his way slowly past a pivoted door into the most immense structure ever erected by humankind. He could hear the two tourist groups entering the secondary entrance located several feet below—their chatter drifting up the narrow passageways.

It was pure professionalism that brought Schulze back to the Great Pyramid today. He wanted to personally check the functionality of the air vents that he had installed inside the King’s Chamber. At this point he knew the inner pathways of the pyramid like the back of his own hand. This entrance was angled at 26 degrees alongside the Descending Passage, which led to the intersection just above the pyramid’s original bedrock foundation. From there, the Ascending Passage rose at the same angle to an intersection of three passages. Continuing up the Ascending Passage and going past the Horizontal Passage, he could enter the so-called Queens Chamber or continue toward the Grand Gallery. A corbelled passage then ascends the antechamber and leads straight into the third chamber: the King’s Chamber. It is in this final chamber that Pharaoh Khufu’s mummy was once entombed.

Schulze started down the Descending Passage. The air was already hot and humid. Thinking of his newly installed dehumidifier, this concerned him. Deep in thought, Schulze glanced up to see a man with bushy Afro-styled hair running up toward him. When the stranger pushed past him, Schulze was jarred from his thoughts.
Ouch!
He felt a sharp, penetrating pain in his left arm.
What was that?
Schulze turned around in slow motion just in time to watch the man disappear into the darkness of the tunnel.

“Excuse me?” Schulze asked the empty passage.
That’s unbelievably rude. He didn’t even apologize for running into me.
Schulze lifted his arm and tried to pinpoint the location of the pain. Despite the enormously painful throb, he could only find a tiny red dot seeping into his shirt fabric.

Maybe it had been a mosquito? Darn it, it hurt
! Schulze had never felt that kind of pain from a mosquito, but surprisingly, an Egyptian mosquito had never bitten him.

The intense pain began to fade away. Rubbing his arm, Schulze resumed walking down the rough-hewn stone passageway and soon fell in line behind the American tourists. When they reached the beginning of the Ascending Passage, he became aware of a growing, sharp pain in his stomach.
What is going on?
Schulze leaned against the wall for a few seconds until the pain seemed to evaporate.
Was it something I ate at breakfast?
He realized that he felt slightly dizzy as well. He decided to keep walking.

When he entered the Grand Gallery, Schulze suddenly felt short of breath. He stopped and tried to take a deep breath.
I need to catch my breath!
He watched the American tour group walk away from him. He bent over, trying to breathe deeply.
Why can’t I catch my breath?
It was painful to breathe
.
Sweating profusely, Schulze struggled to focus on his thoughts.
Wait! That wasn’t a mosquito. I suddenly felt pain and then…
His mind raced.

That man!
The sharp pain deep in his belly was getting more intense.
He must have pricked me with a needle! Have I been poisoned?
The humid, claustrophobic air was suffocating
. But
why?

Oh my God! They’ve finally caught up with me!
Schulze hazily tried to remember every single detail from the past week.
Who saw me carrying it away? So, that’s why they broke into my hotel room.
Realizing he was about to faint, he attempted to conserve the strength still left inside of him. He tried to stay on his feet by grasping the handrails and propping himself against the corbelled limestone walls of the Grand Gallery.
They’ll never find it!
Abruptly, he slumped to the floor while still desperately clinging to the handrail.

“Help! Help!” Schultz squeezed out as loudly as he could manage. But his strangled voice was quiet and quickly absorbed by the thick walls. The American group, led by one of the local guides, had already left the Queen’s Chamber and was at the far end of the Grand Gallery, moving toward the King’s Chamber. Below him, he could barely make out the voices of the European tourists as they took their turn entering the Ascending Passage.
I need to tell her! She needs to know!
His mind unnerved and his body weak, Schulze’s eyes swung desperately back and forth. But nobody was there.
I don’t want to die here, especially with nobody knowing.
Now slumped against the wall of the Grand Gallery, Schulze focused on opening his mouth to take in the thick air. His belly pain pulsed and screamed for relief. He was dying alone in the middle of the Grand Gallery. He shivered uncontrollably.

“Help!” He wrenched out a desperate cry, “Help!” His vision dimmed. A few moments, seemingly hours, passed by. Not a single soul appeared to be in sight.

“Sir, excuse me sir, are you OK?” Schulze heard a man’s voice; it sounded like it was coming through a cloud. He struggled to open his heavy eyelids. “Sir, are you feeling all right?” asked the same voice.

Schulze struggled to speak, but this was already an almost impossible task for him.

The man was bending down next to him, “Sir, are you OK?” Schulze felt the man’s hand on his shoulder.

“Can’t. Breathe.” Schulze choked out.

“Somebody, anybody speak English?” the man bellowed at the European tourists entering the Grand Gallery. Almost instantaneously, quite a few tourists replied, “Yes!”

The man spoke authoritatively, “This man is having trouble breathing. I need someone to run back to the entrance for help and to call an ambulance.” Several of the European tourists immediately turned and dashed back to the entrance.

“Sir, I need you to lie down and try to relax. You will be okay.” Schulze could hear the man fall to his knees. The man spoke calmly, “I know CPR and will try to help you restore your breathing. What’s your name, sir?”

Schulze relaxed his grip on the handrails and fell into the man’s arms. “Günther Schulze,” he whispered through barely moving dry lips. The stranger quickly rolled Schulze onto the stone floor, tilted his head back to open his airway and started performing CPR. Despite all of the man’s efforts, Schulze’s physical condition continued to deteriorate. The poison had reached his major organs and his body was shutting down.

Feeling his life slowly slipping away from him, Schulze fought to stay conscious.
I need to let her know what happened to me
. He opened his eyes and found kindness in the Good Samaritan’s eyes. He saw that the man could be trusted. Summoning every bit of his remaining senses and strength, Schulze reached inside his jacket pocket and removed a white business card. The man paused his CPR and leaned down, his ear to Schulze’s barely moving lips. “Promise… call her,” Schulze whispered. “I was … poisoned… Beware …dark man…Afro…” The man nodded and grabbed the card, stuffing it inside his jeans pocket and resuming his CPR.

Schulze’s thoughts were breaking up. He reached up and feebly patted his vest. The Good Samaritan stopped and pulled out the notebook for him. Schulze nodded weakly. “Find four ways…” Schulze’s lips contorted, but the rest of his speech was incomprehensible. As Schulze’s eyes rolled back into his head, his body finally went limp.

The Good Samaritan expertly felt Schulze’s pulse. There was no beating.

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