The faked name

relieving chambers Egyptologists know for a long time, that the great pyramid was built by a king called "Cheops". Herodot, a Greek historian (often called "father of history") wrote this after a visit to Egypt around 470 BC. And the Egyptian high priest Manetho noted in the 3rd century BC, that it was built by Suphis who was called Cheops by Herodotus.
And in the tombs around the pyramid the first scientific diggers of the early 19th century found name cartouches (royal names enclosed in a rope oval) in abundance which could be read as "Suphis".
Inside the pyramid no inscriptions were found, because it was, like all other pyramids of its era, devoid of any decoration (why I will discuss later). So the ultimate evidence for Chufu building this pyramid had not been found yet.
But in the late 18th century a small chamber was found just about the ceiling of the king's chamber, which could be reached via a small tunnel. "Well, where's one there could be more" thought Colonel Howard Vyse, who later did excavations there in 1837, and blasted with black powder some holes into the pyramid. And he discovered this way four more small chambers, which he named from bottom to top Wellington, Davison, Lady Arbuthnot and Campbell (Z2-Z5 on the sketch beside)[1]). They were never meant to be entered by people, they had a technical function: They were used to lift the gabled load bearing roof of the chamber to a region, where the horizontal forces excerpted by the roof could not damage the "Great Gallery".
Therefore these chambers had no entrance, they were sealed since finishing the layers they were on. Without tearing down the upper half of the pyramid there had been no possibility to go into any of these chambers. Everything in these chambers must have been there since its building time.
And Vyse found inscriptions in these chambers, and at least one was the name of Cheops himself, Chufu, as the Egyptians wrote him. The ultimate evidence. But too good to be true, some authors think. Because this "evidence" is nothing more than a simple fake.

"Re" instead of "Kh"?

Khufu-Names This is what author Zecharia Sitchin claims. Because the only cartouche found in the pyramid spelling Chufu's name is a fake, recognizable through a spelling mistake. The name, so Sitchin, was not written with the correct signs "Sieve, Quail, Viper, Quail" (which are representing the consonants "Kh-Wu-F-Wu"), it had a solar disk, a "Re" at the beginning instead the "Sieve"-Kh. Instead of the sieve, a circle with several horizontal lines, a circle with single dot in the middle was written there. The name in the pyramid thus is spoken "Re-ufu".
This mistake, unthinkable for ancient Egyptian writers, is explainable on the background of 1837. Sitchin explains, that in this year an academic book about hieroglyphics had been published, Materia Hieroglyphica, in which the name of Chufu was written with a mistake: the lines of the sieve were so close together, that they appeared in the print like a massive disc, another way of writing "Re". And it is known, that Vyse had this book with him on his excavation.
Now it happened, according to Sitchin, that the whole expedition stood under a bad sign. The money had run out, and nothing what had been hoped for had been achieved. So a member of the expedition planned to "spice up" the results, and he went into the new discovered chambers the moment the blast fumes had vanished, and he painted, equipped with the fatal misprint from the book, some texts to the walls. And there he painted the name "Chufu" as he found it in the book: with a solar disk, and not with a sieve. The faker, J.R.Hill, also made another mistake: instead of hieroglyphics he used a letter system only used for papyri, a hand writing called "hieratics".[2]

Well, if there is really such a mistake in the cartouche, this inscription is without doubt a fake. And then the whole link of this pyramid to Chufu is broken. And archaeology had a big scandal at hand.
Sitchin documents his claim with some drawings. In Stufen zum Kosmos, the German edition of Stairway to Heaven, he shows some pictures[3]. And on these pictures the mistake can clearly be seen. Unfortunately Sitchin gives no source for these drawings. Unfortunately, because they are wrong!!!

Chufu in StadelmannI could see this in an 1985 episode of "Arthur C. Clarkes Mysterious World" on the Discovery-Channel, and in the mean time several books containing photos of the cartouche in question have been published, like this picture from Rainer Stadelmann[4]. On all pictures the first sign looks like it should look: a circle with several horizontal lines in it. It is no "Re" at all! Sitchins main evidence for a fake is a fake itself!

The source

That's a big surprise. Sitchins main evidence for the fake does not does not exist. At that time we could stop examining the idea, leaving the question how an acclaimed historian like Sitchin could make such a mistake.

When Sitchin published Stairway to Heaven, the books I listed above had not yet been published. All documentation and reports published so far were drawings, even today a good drawing is often better than a photo.
This leaves us one possibility: Maybe these DRAWINGS were wrong. Maybe the excavators found a "Kh", but expected a "Re" (since it was written this way in the standard book), and drew therefore a "Re" in their reports. And Sitchin stumbled innocently over these mistakes.

No. The sketch appears for the first time 1839 in a book by Perring, an engineer who helped Vyse with his excavations[5], and some years later in the book of the alleged faker himself, published in 1842[6]. Sitchin himself gives no source, but he lists Perring in his bibliography, so we would expect Perring as his source. Perring has the cartouche in question on table VII, Sitchin shows the drawing in Stairway to heaven in a small and an enlarged version:

CHUFU bei Sitchin
Chufu in Sitchin[7]

Look at the small sketch on the left side. Inside the circle you can see a small structure, which condenses in the larger picture on the right to a dot. Let's compare this to the pictures in the original reports, Perring Plate VII South, right side, and Vyse (both pictures are clickable links to large versions of the source tables!):

'CHUFU' in Perring
Chufu in Perring
Chufu in Vyse
Chufu in Vyse

During a more and more absurd discussion between a youth-AAS-member and "Germans greatest UFOlogist" who defends Sitchin, extreme forms of evidence were requested, that those signs are really in the first edition of Vyse and were not corrected in a late reprint, so you can see a scan of the first page here.

Back to the topic. The cartouche in Perring looks different than Sitchins picture. The tail of the snake ends for example with an upward turn, whereas Sitchins snake bends the tail down. Sitchins picture looks more like Vyses drawing.
But one thing is clearly visible: in both sources, Vyse and Perring, the small structure in the circle are three horizontal lines. Both pictures unmistakably show a "Kh" and not a "Re". And while we can see that Sitchins small picture on the left comes from Vyses report, we can also see that his "enlargement" on the right is no enlargement at all, but a new picture, probably drawn by Sitchin himself - and faked! Sitchin did not find a fake, he produced one himself to get his faker story!

This fake has not been detected by alternative authors so far, another sign of the lack of verification done in alternative "science".
The books of Perring and Vyse demolish en passant another excuse of Sitchin-defenders. Some people claim, that the correct inscriptions in the relievement chambers are fakes, done by Egyptologists after Sitchin had found out about the spelling mistake. So Egyptologists went into the chamber, armed with a pot of red color and a brush, correcting the mistake Hill had made. And this is the reason why the paint is not carbon dated - the fake would show.
But since the books published in 1839 and 1842 already show the correct spelling, this scenario is simply impossible - only a working time machine could help here.

Khufu in joints Well, that doesn't matter. Real fake-fans, who need it for their own pet theories and/or books still claim them to be fakes. Because, so German author Thomas Fuss: "In the light of the circumstantial evidence like biblical stories and the Hitat legends those inscriptions do not fit into the picture. Therefore they must be fakes."
But there are clear signs, that the inscriptions COULD not be fakes, even in the first report by Perring. On the same table where "Chufu" can be found (table VII, "North Side") we find the cartouche shown on the left (90 turned). This is clearly the end of a Chufu - vanishing behind the heavy floor blocks. Those and other inscriptions can be traced into the cracks and joints of the walls, they are written in places where no faker of the world could write. The only way to put the inscriptions there would be by lifting the up to 70 t heavy floor blocks, scribbling the fakes and putting the blocks back into position - impossible!
I will come later to the "Hitat" context:-)
These inscriptions in cracks were the reason for Graham Hancock to drop the faker legend from his repertoire:

"There were no restrictions on where I looked and I had ample time to examine the hieroglyphs closely, under powerful lights. Cracks in some of the joints reveal hieroglyphs set far back into the masonry. No 'forger' could possibly have reached in there after the blocks had been set in place - blocks, I should add, that weigh tens of tons each and that are immovably interlinked with one another. The only reasonable conclusion is the one which orthodox Egyptologists have already long held - namely that the hieroglyphs are genuine Old Kingdom graffiti and that they were daubed on the blocks before construction began."

Writings around the corner...

Another argument for a fake comes from German best-seller author Erdogan Ercivan. He argues, that there are inscriptions which run around the edges of wall blocks, something no Egyptian would have done (because the blocks were large enough to write anything on one side). But sometimes I ask myself, if those authors think even for some seconds about their "evidence". When it is impossible to let inscriptions vanish behind a floor block, it is even more impossible for a faker to write into the cracks of wall blocks! The only way to put them there would be by tearing out the interlocking blocks - that's pretty similar to tearing down the whole top of the pyramid, because the relieving system rests on them.

Another argument by the same author are inscriptions running over several blocks. This demolishes the idea of quarry marks, so the inscriptions must come from a later time. Therefore: fakes.
Yes, that would be a good argument. If such inscriptions existed. I searched all tables in Perring and Vyse, showing the writings, but I was unable to find a single inscription running over several blocks. You can try for yourself, on this table page you can find all inscription-tables from Perring's "Pyramids of Giza".

I could find 11 (eleven!) inscriptions vanishing behind floor blocks. Not only cartouches, but also normal, "uninteresting" signs. Table IV shows 2 "cropped" cartouches which are probably finished on the other face of the block now hidden from us - but no multi-block inscription.

But why does an author like Ercivan writes such a nonsense? Well the solution to this riddle is easy. You notice on the tables some horizontal and vertical lines, used for horizontal alignment. Those lines are identifiable if you see the whole table. If you have only a clipping of the table, like the small sketches in Sitchins book, you could falsely identify the lines as block joints. And exactly that happened to Ercivan. He never had an original source, only the sketches from Sitchin. And he interpreted the alignment lines as joints. Instead of a measuring line running over an inscription he saw an inscription running over several blocks! :-)
Those lines are themselves interesting. There are 6 of them at all, to see on table VI top and bottom. 3 of these lines are vanishing behind floor blocks which shows, that they were drawn after the wall was finished, but BEFORE the floor blocks were put into place. Even better: The lines go over inscriptions and behind the floor blocks, so they tell us exactly in which order the work was done! Tough examination of the tables presented us with 16 more pieces of evidence speaking against a fake!

This doesn't disturb authors like Ralph Ellis, he simply turned the argument around. Because Chufu is written on the Abydos kings list with a massive disk, similar to the solar disk, he claims that the king in question really WAS called Reufu, and that therefore the name "Chufu" in the relievement chambers clearly shows that it is a fake. Chufu was another person, living at another time.
I asked him, why a king Reufu is nowhere found in the archaeological records. He couldn't answer this, he only phrased "absence of evidence is no evidence of absence", and that would not change a bit about his argument for a fake. So I asked him, why the clearly traceable king Chufu, named in many mastabas around Giza, is then not mentioned on the Abydos list. Ellis answer: He simply was so unimportant, that the Egyptians didn't care about him. Ouch, that really hurts!

[1] Maragioglio & Rinaldi; L'Architettura della Piramide Menefite, Rapallo 1965, Vol. IV, Tavola 3 fig. 1
[2] Sitchin, Zecharia; Stufen zum Kosmos (German edition of "Stairway to Heaven", Ullstein 1996, P. 296 ff
[2] ibid. P. 291, 301, 307
[2] Stadelmann, Rainer; Die gyptischen Pyramiden, Kulturgeschichte der antiken Welt Bd. 30, Zabern 1997 (3. aktualisierte und erweiterte Auflage), Table 35a, enlargement of "CH" done by F.D.
[5] Perring, John; The Pyramids of Giza - From actual Survey and Admeasurement, Table volume, London 1837, Plate 7 South Side
[6] Vyse, Howard; Operations carried out on the great Pyramid of Giza in 1837, London 1937, Vol. I, Plate "Hieroglyphics"
[7] Sitchin, Stufen, Table 146 a, b P. 301 top
Back: The case IsisForward: The wrong letters
All pictures and texts © Frank Dörnenburg