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Originally posted by Freelancer
Source of explosions around the King's Chamber.
In the 1830's..
Colonel Vyse found a crack in the ceiling of Davison's chamber. He inserted a reed 3 feet long into the crack and it went through unimpeded. He suspected the presence of another chamber above. Unfortunately, the granite stone was too hard and the chisel's had little effect. He had special workman come in and try their hand but to no effect. Colonel Vyse than decided to use gunpowder. After blasting his way through, he discovered above Davison's chamber another relieving chamber which he named Wellington's chamber.
Colonel Vyse kept blasting away over a period of months and found the other chambers above. Three more were found above the two already discovered.
While the gun powder blasting over a period of months did not collapse the chambers above the King's Chamber, it would however, have been a contributing factor for the cause of the cracks in the King's Chamber below.
The crack across the Eastern roof–beam has been also daubed with cement, looking, therefore, as if it had cracked before the chamber was finished.
At the S.W corner, plaster is freely spread over the granite, covering about a square foot altogether. - W. F. Petrie - The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh
"Upon first entering the apartment, a black sediment was found, of the consistence of a hoar-frost, equally distributed over the floor, so that footsetps could be distinctly seen impressed on it, and it had accumulated to some depth in the interstices of the blocks. Some of the sediment, which was sent to the French establishment near Cairo, was said to contain igneous particles. When analysed in England, it was supposed to consist of the exuviae of insects; but as the seposition was equally diffused over the floor, and extremely like the substance on the 25th instant at the second pyramid, it was most probably composed of particles of decayed stone. If it had been the remains of rotten wood, or of a quantity of insects that had penetrated through the masonry, it would scarcely have beens so equally distributed; and, if caused by the latter, it is difficult to imagine why some of them should not have been found alive when the place was opened evidently for the first time since the pyramid was built." Col R. W. Howard-Vyse, Operations at Gizeh, p. 206-7
On the other hand, maybe the cracks were caused by something like... oh, I don't know... placing a million tons of rock on top of the chamber?