Pillar 2

From Decrypting the NKRYPT sculpture
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Daytime view of Pillar 2 showing the geometric pattern (top) and cog patterns (bottom)
Representation of the geometric shapes (including one with a possible manufacturing defect) and cogs used on Pillar 2

Pillar 2 contains two non-alphanumeric ciphers: a pigpen cipher (Solved), a cog-based code (Unsolved); and a series of numbers around the bottom which probably form part of a cipher (Unsolved).

Pillar 2 is 2347mm tall, and is the fifth tallest of the eight pillars.

Geometric Code

Large view of the geometric code

The top code is a grid of geometric shapes. These are shown in a grid of 5 rows by 26 columns. There are 26 discrete symbols. A small number of symbols have what appear to be manufacturing defects - small circles attached to other circles - for more info, see the combined photograph.

The symbols are those of the Pigpen Cipher. Bob Dovenberg notes that S, T, U, V, W, X, Y and Z are somewhat non-standard representations and that the even rows must be decoded upside down.

Transcribed without the inversion on row 2 and row 4:






Using a labyrinth decoding, decoded by Bob Dovenberg on 18 March to read:

Zum Leiden bin ich auserkoren,

Denn meine Tochter fehlet mir;

Durch sie ging all mein Gluck verloren

Ein Bosewicht entfloh mit ihr

Noch seh ich sie zittern

Which is German, from the Queen of the Night's first aria in the Mozart opera The Magic Flute and translates into English as:

To suffer I have been selected,

for my daughter is gone from me;

Through her has all my fortune been lost,

A scoundrel has fled with her.

Still I see her trembling.

Bob notes: "The composition is noted for its Freemason elements. Mozart was a Mason, and the Pigpen Cipher is sometimes called the Freemason’s Cipher. Also, the 1,2,3 at the bottom may represent the fact that the number three is important to Masons. It could also represent the three notes used in the Mason initiation ritual which notes also appear in The Magic Flute. Or it could be something else…"

Cog Code

Large view of the cog code - also available as a Photographic version or a vector PDF

I'm somewhat at a loss even to translate this code into alphanumerical digits. The variables of the cog-glyphs are: number of internal dots, number of cog teeth (or number of quadrants covered by teeth), and angle. Please look at the image and see if you can advise how to transcribe this into text.


A string of numbers run in a circular pattern around the base of each pillar (see notes on the base code). On this pillar, it reads:

10 11 9 14 12 13 15 17 28 30 17 17 11 11 8 12 13 15 22 24 9 13 11 93 10 8 11 14 17