September 17, 2009 (Newswire.com) - Virginia Beach, Va. - Before it has even been released, the newest book by author and explorer Andrew Collins, Beneath the Pyramids, continues to be the source of a controversy amongst Egyptian scholars, including Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities. The subject of the debate is a subterranean network of chambers and passageways beneath the Giza plateau. Beneath the Pyramids recounts Collins work with Egyptology researcher Nigel Skinner-Simpson finding the entrance and exploring the massive caves.
The underground passages, discovered by Henry Salt, British Consul General in Egypt, and Italian explorer Giovanni Caviglia in 1817, included an underground tunnel of "several hundred yards" which opened to a spacious chamber that communicated with three others, from which went "labyrinthick" passages, one of which was later investigated by Caviglia for a distance of "300 feet further." Although of natural origin, there are hints that some parts of this subterranean network of chambers and tunnels are man-made, and stretch beneath the plateau on which the Pyramids are located.
The tomb in question was not connected with Salt and Caviglia's own exploration until Nigel Skinner-Simpson examined Salt's memoirs following their publication in 2007. Using Salt's plan of the plateau and the British diplomat's written account of his investigations on the plateau, Skinner-Simpson worked out the entrance to the lost catacombs. The editors of the newly-published memoir, Patricia Usick and Deborah Manley, had wrongly concluded that they were to be found in cemetery G1600, some distance away from the site identified by Skinner-Simpson as the Tomb of the Birds in the northern face of the plateau's Moqattam formation.
-Collins and his team re-discovered the entrance into what could only be Salt and Caviglia's cave tunnels. These were explored for an estimated distance of 90 meters (300 feet), before they were forced to give up due to bad air and a lack of proper breathing equipment.
In a blog posted on his Web site, Dr Hawass states that "there is no underground cave complex at this site" and that Collins simply got confused inside the maze-like tomb.
Yet Collins is adamant that his discoveries are real. "The tomb is relative simple in design. In addition to this, our library of pictures taken inside the caves makes it clear that they are natural in origin, and were carved out by the actions of water tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of years ago. Moreover, Salt's memoirs record that he and Caviglia traveled through these same caves for a distance of 'several hundred yards,' and never even reached the end."
In the light of all the recent publicity in the cave discoveries, Collins and Skinner-Simpson are now working with the Egyptological community in the hope of throwing further light on the tomb and caves, which continue to be a complete mystery.
Collins believes it possible that the passages form part of an interconnected cave system identified by ground-penetrating radar in the eastern part of the plateau. He further states, "It is my suspicion that the underlying northwest-southeast orientation of the plateau's Moqattam formation will have directed them into the vicinity of the Second Pyramid, where the four chambers Salt and Caviglia entered, along with the "labyrinthick" passages that continued into the darkness, might still await discovery."
Collins also hopes that his discovery can throw new light on a secret chamber said to exist at Giza in ancient Egyptian texts, and known as the "Tomb of God," or "Underworld of the Soul", a structure more popularly known today as the "Hall of Records." Collins tells the story of his discovery in a new book due out this fall titled Beneath the Pyramids and published by 4th Dimension Press (an imprint of A.R.E. Press). It reveals a personal journey of exploration and discovery that is breathtaking to read from start to finish, lavishly illustrated with full-color photos, and available for pre-order at ARECatalog.com.
Edgar Cayce founded the non-profit Association for Research and Enlightenment (A.R.E.) in 1931, to explore spirituality, holistic health, intuition, dream interpretation, psychic development, reincarnation, and ancient mysteries-all subjects that frequently came up in the more than 14,000 documented psychic readings given by Cayce, who died in 1945. Through its many programs, services, publications, and membership outreach, Edgar Cayce's A.R.E. provides individuals from all walks of life and a variety of religious backgrounds with tools for personal transformation and healing at all levels-body, mind, and spirit. A.R.E. Press has been publishing books since 1931 as well, with the mission of furthering the work of the A.R.E. by publishing books, DVDs, and CDs to support the organization's goal of helping people change their lives for the better. In 2009, A.R.E. Press launched its second imprint, 4th Dimension Press. While A.R.E. Press features topics related to the work of Edgar Cayce in the fields of spirituality, intuition, psychic abilities, ancient mysteries, philosophy, comparative religious studies, personal and spiritual development, and holistic health, 4th Dimension Press allows us to take our publishing efforts further with like-minded and expansive explorations into the mysteries and spirituality of our existence. For more information about Edgar Cayce's A.R.E., please visit EdgarCayce.org and ARECatalog.com.