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The Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man's Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt's Greatest Mystery

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The Secret of the Great Pyramid

How One Man's Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt's Greatest Mystery

By Bob Brier, Jean-Pierre Houdin

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Format: Paperback, 224 pages
Other Information: black and white illustrations and photographs
Published In: United States, 01 November 2009
The Secret of the Great Pyramid is a thrilling intellectual adventure story about the most exciting discovery in Egyptology in decades. Bob Brier, along with French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin, tells the remarkable true story of Houdin's obsession with Egypt's Great Pyramid, one of the Seven Wonders of the World: how, in an ancient agrarian society not long removed from the Stone Age, such a remarkable structure could have been envisioned and constructed. At once the story of Houdin's determined search for answers to the puzzle that have eluded scientist and Egyptologists for centuries and a fascinating history of the planning and building of the magnificent edifice, The Secret of the Great Pyramid is an extraordinary work that puts the mystery to rest, once and for all.

About the Author

Bob Brier is a world-famous Egyptologist who has conducted research on pyramids and tombs in fifteen countries. A senior research fellow at the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University, he is the author of seven books, including The Murder of Tutankhamen, and hosted the Great Egyptian series for the Learning Channel. Jean-Pierre Houdin left his Parisian architecture firm in 1999 to devote himself to solving the mystery of the Great Pyramid. He has been awarded the Montgolfier Prize for his research.


Well-known Egyptologists Brier (senior research fellow, Long Island Univ., C.W. Post campus; The Encyclopedia of Mummies) and Houdin (Khufu), a professional architect, here provide an up-to-date scientific exposition on the most relevant theory and understanding of construction techniques of the pyramid of Khufu. They apply 3-D modeling to illustrate graphically such internal architectural features as burial chambers, passageways, and the Grand Gallery. The same techniques are employed to illustrate the theory that the Great Pyramid was constructed essentially from the inside via a specially constructed ramp that corkscrewed up the interior of the pyramid. Internal construction features such as wall-bonding patterns are used to elucidate the authors' findings. Comparisons with other Egyptian pyramids and temples and to Egyptian cultural chronology provide a regional perspective to their theory, soundly and logically conveyed. A welcome addition to Egyptology and monumental architecture scholarship; suitable for all public libraries, academic libraries, and specialized research collections.-John E. Dockall, Staff Archaeologist, Prewitt & Associates, Inc., Austin, TX Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

"Houdin's theory solves many mysteries about the huge structure." -- Scientific American " The authors' prose is lucid, aided by drawings and photos, and the theories are intriguing." -- Publishers Weekly "It's a plausible theory, well-illustrated, and makes a useful addition to the always seductive study of pyramids...An intriguing new twist to an old enigma." -- Kirkus Reviews " Great fun for Egyptophiles." -- Barbara Mertz, author of Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphics "A serious attempt at a new explanation for one of the oldest Egyptological mysteries." -- Peter Der Manuelian, Giza Archives Project Director, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Since its construction 4,500 years ago for Pharaoh Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza has remained an engineering mystery. According to Egyptologist Brier (The Murder of Tutankhamen) and architect Houdin, the monument was designed by Khufu's brother Hemienu, an architectural genius, and built in two decades by 25,000 paid Egyptian construction workers. Having studied the structure minutely and using computer graphics to visualize every aspect of the pyramid and its construction, Houdin offers a radical proposal of how the huge limestone and granite blocks were raised: the pyramid was built from the inside out around a mile-long ramp corkscrewed up to the top, which remains in the pyramid's walls. The authors' prose is lucid, aided by drawings and photos, and the theories are intriguing but inconclusive until permission can be obtained from Egyptian authorities to thermally photograph the pyramid and determine its internal structure. The highly technical nature of some of the architectural and engineering material makes this book more suitable for experts in archeology and architecture than for buffs. (Oct.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.

EAN: 9780061655531
ISBN: 0061655538
Publisher: HarperPerennial
Dimensions: 20.37 x 15.34 x 1.55 centimetres (0.20 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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