- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
The Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man's Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt's Greatest Mysteryby Bob Brier
Synopses & Reviews
Nine years ago, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin became obsessed by the centuries-old mystery of how the Great Pyramid was built. For ten hours a day, he labored at his computer to create exquisitely detailed 3-D models of the interior of the Great Pyramid. After five years of effort, the images rotating on his computer screen provided evidence of an astonishing secret. Corkscrewing up the inside of the Great Pyramid is a mile-long ramp, unseen for 4,500 years. The pyramid was built from the inside. This revelation casts a fresh light on the minds that conceived one of the wonders of the ancient world.
The Secret of the Great Pyramid moves between the ancient and the modern. The ancient story chronicles, step-by-step, how a nation of farmers only recently emerged from the Stone Age could construct one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. To execute something as complex and massive as the Great Pyramid, Egypt needed architects, mathematicians, boat builders, stone masons, and metallurgists. It took twenty years to build the Great Pyramid. By the time its capstone was laid in 2560 B.C., the innovations born of the building quest had transformed agrarian Egypt into the world's most modern, most powerful nation.
As we follow the progress of Hemienu, the innovative architect who planned, organized, and oversaw construction of the Great Pyramid, we also follow Houdin working to discover how and why the ancient architect designed the Pyramid as he did. Houdin works as a forensic architect, aiming to reconstruct the lessons Hemienu had learned from construction of three previous pyramids and to visualize his blueprint for the massive stone building. In the process, Houdin also discovers the answers to other questions that have bedeviled Egyptologists for centuries: such as what was the purpose of the mysterious Grand Gallery and when did the Pyramid crack? Along the way, Houdin receives the support of a pathbreaking French software company, which helps him validate his theory virtually—a first in archaeology!
The story of genius and obsession in the ancient and modern world, this archaeological mystery will appeal to anyone who has ever been captivated by this magnificent edifice.
"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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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 Houdins obsession with Egypts 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 Houdins 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.
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Metaphysics » Egyptology