The Secret of
The Great Pyramid

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

Bob Brier, Jean-Pierre Houdin
There are dozens of these guys hanging around: the Pyramid of Khafre, the Pyramid of Menkaure, the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Red Pyramid: each bigger and uglier than the last.

There are 118 of them still standing in Egypt after all these years. Or maybe more ... but they come and go. Sandstorms take their toll, as do vandalism, grave-robbers, and optical illusions. You would think something that weighs in at 500,000 tons couldn't just disappear like that but it happens.

In addition, we can all wonder why someone in 4,500 B. C. --- an era without tractors, construction cranes, or the Blackwater Group --- would spend twenty years hauling two million 40 - 70 ton blocks of granite around and about to construct a tomb in the air.

The Great Pyramid is the biggest of them all, sticking up 500 feet, occupying over thirteen acres. It is also a rat's nest of bat shit and secret compartments and heat and humidity and mysterious ramps. In 1870, the British went in with dynamite and discovered four or five "relieving chambers." These are, I hasten to assure you, not indoor bathrooms but were designed to relieve a different kind of pressure ... the pressure of all those blocks stacked up top.

It is one thing to stand there on the Plateau of Giza admiring this hulk weighing in at so many tons. It's quite another thing to try to figure out how they put the whole pot together. Remember, they had no machinery at all outside of cedars of Lebanon (which, apparently, they used as rollers). So how did they get thousands of blocks of marble up there? All is explained here, and I would explain it to you if I could figure it out.

Suffice it to say that the authors have spent over 200 pages explaining the secret of the construction of the Great Pyramid, but as Lord Byron says of Coleridge's metaphysics: he explained it "to the nation / I wish he would explain his Explanation."

These notches, pyrmidions, dolerite pounders and corbelling are way over my head which may well be --- for the writers, perhaps for the pyramid itself --- the very point.

--- Debra Welles
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