August, 2008. Work in progress.

Top of Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops)

218 completed courses?

How many present courses?

Petrie counted and measured 203 courses in 1882. Today, 201 are present.

How many completed courses?

- C.P. Smyth, 1880, p. 95: "Supposed completed number of courses, including the original
topmost corner-stone = 211.."
- Craig B. Smith, 2006, p. 102: "..hypothetical figure 218 courses."

How many courses did the Pyramid have, when it was completed at the time of Khufu?

First, how much is missing?
Estimated originally height is 146.71 m (Petrie: "5776.0").
201 cources is present with a height of 137.38 m.
Then, the top of the Pyramid is missing about 9.33 m (146.71 m - 137.38 m).

Second, how high is 1 course?
Suppose that the average height of the 10 topmost and remaining courses is the same as for
the missing courses, then we can get a good estimate about the number af missing courses.

Average of top of course 191 in NE- and SW corner is 5191.4" or 131.86 m over the pavement.
Height in total for the 10 topmost and remaining courses is (137.38 m - 131.86 m =) 5.52 m.
Height of 1 average course is 0.552 m.

17 courses missing?
If each missing course had the height 0.552 m, then the pyramid had further 16.9 courses
(9.33 m / 0.552 m per course).

The number of missing courses could be 17, and the completed pyramid had 201 + 17
courses. And the topstone as the 218th course.

Used dimensions, see Petrie The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh and go to Plate 8.

Course 201, top of, in NW-corner 5407.9" or 137.36 m.
Course 201, top of, in SW-corner 5409.2" or 137.39 m.
Course 201, top of, average 5408.55" or 137.38 m over pavement

Course 191, top of, in NE-corner 5190.6" or 131.84 m
Course 191, top of, in SW-corner 5192.2" or 131.88 m
Course 191, top of, average 5191.4" or 131,86 m over pavement

About uncertainty in estimation of the average height of the 10 topmost and present courses:
Course 196 in NE-corner is highest: 23.9" or 60.7 cm.
Course 195 in NE-corner is lowest.: 19.8" or 50.3 cm.

How big is the area on the top?

The area of the remaining coreblocks was 122 sq.m. in 1882, when Petrie measured-
the top of course 201. When alle blocks in layer 201 were present, both coreblocks and
casingblocks, the area was about 214.6 sq.m.

Calculation, when present height is 137,38 m and sideangle 51° 52':
137.38 m / 1.2738 = 107.85 m. And twice the distance is 215.70 m. When subtracted from
the baseline, the sidelenght of the area on top is: 230.35 m - 215.70 m = 14.65 m.
Then, the area is 214.6 sq.m.

The topstone - which material?

Topstone Red Pyramid The reconstructed topstone found
by Rainar Stadelmann at Sneferu's
Red Pyramid. Photo: