In an adventurous and decidedly tall tale swarming with giant bats and poison spiders and strewn with places called exotic things like The Well of the Soul and the Hidden Realm of Sokar (the words Jones, Indiana and too much spring to mind), British explorer Andrew Collins will next month tell the full story of what he claims to be his discovery of the long lost subterranean realm of the Egyptian pharaohs. How much hard fact will be contained in his new book Beneath the Pyramids: Egypts Great Secret Uncovered (due for release in September) seems dubious, but it should certainly make for amusing bedtime reading nonetheless.
Taking his lead from an obscure reference in the memoirs of 19th century Egyptologist and British Consul General in Egypt Henry Salt who apparently recounted investigating catacombs beneath the Giza plateau in 1817, together with maverick Italian explorer Giovanni Caviglia Collins claims to have found a hidden entrance to a network of subterranean caves, the same ones that are apparently alluded to in Egyptian funerary texts, and whispered about in Egyptian popular legend. Within these subterranean caverns, says Collins, may even be the mythical Hall of Records the great library full of all sorts of treasures which is said to be buried somewhere underneath the Sphinx.
There doesnt appear to be any disputing that Collins has located and entered some whopping big caves somewhere near Giza, but hard archaeological discoveries so far are scant; certainly he hasnt divulged much yet about what he found within them. We explored the caves before the air became too thin to continue, he told Discovery News, in one of his less Indiana Jones-like moments. They are highly dangerous, with unseen pits and hollows, colonies of bats and venomous spiders.
Collins credentials are in the realm of pseudo-science than hard academia his pet theory, divulged in his book The Cygnus Mystery, is that the Cygnus or Northern Cross star constellation is the key to understanding humanitys belief in the origin of life. He reckons this new find supports it too. Join me in experiencing, he booms on his website, in a statement that will make serious scholars wince, as we uncover the final truth behind the existence at Giza of an underground realm with a womb-like chamber of first creation reflecting the influence of Cygnus, the visible sign in the night sky of the celestial Shetayet, the womb of the cosmic mother personified as the Milky Way.
Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities Zahi Hawass hasnt minced his words in writing off Collins findings. There are no new discoveries to be made at Giza, he stated, quite bluntly, to Discovery News. We know everything about the plateau.
Collins hit back by challenging the world-renowned Egyptian archaeologist to present some evidence of these catacombs. To the best of our knowledge nothing has ever been written or recorded about these caves since Salts explorations. If Hawass does have any report related to these caves, we have yet to see it. Were yet to hear a retort from Zawass. We wont be too surprised if one isnt forthcoming.
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