RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Okay, this is going back a bit, but you were totally right, Steve.Good Point! (slipped my mind)
... you know I don't think it was a separate shot/set, but I can't really account for the depth. I can't imagine they would have bothered to raise the entire set shown in the photo onto a rostrum just to get an access pit. Maybe the had a hole in the floor, the way the pit in the Deathstar Bay was created by tearing up the flooring down to some kind of empty area below (basement?)
heh, here I was being the expert, and you stumped me!
I just came across this blueprint. Note the square outline, marked "Edge of Tank". So the hold was built on the floor, but carefully aligned over a large sunken tank to accommodate the maintenance pits at 5'6". Note that the drawing indicates that the ANH smuggling compartments were still meant to be accessible for some reason. Who knows if they bothered to build those?
The blueprint has some other useful information, such as the spacing of the ceiling ribs, the note how one arc of corridor was a moveable floating piece of set...
I feel like I've made a great discovery today! Unless, of course, you lot already know this...