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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 [Brier, Bob, Houdin, Jean-Pierre]
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Length: 240 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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 © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A specialist on Egyptian mummies, Brier relates that he receives many a missive purporting to have solved the mystery of the Great Pyramid’s construction. In one day’s e-mail, a plausible idea caught his fancy. Unlike theories that aliens lent Egyptians a helping hand, this message dwelt on the central engineering problem concerning the type of ramp the tomb’s architect used. Brier’s communication came from coauthor Houdin, a French architect who devoted years to studying the problem. Rather than immediately bowl readers over with Houdin’s proposal, Brier cleverly entices them by alternating Houdin’s quest with the trial-and-error development of pharaonic pyramids. Photos and computer-generated graphics illustrate the authors’ explanation of designs and building processes, in the course of which they describe defects in the theories that the ramp was a mile-long straightaway or an external corkscrew. Houdin adopted an inspiration of his father’s, that the ramp was indeed a corkscrew, but one that rested inside the pyramid. His search for supporting evidence, culminating in a public presentation of his theory in 2007, fills out a book to fascinate pyramid fans. --Gilbert Taylor

Product details

  • File Size: 3114 KB
  • Print Length: 240 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins e-books (October 1, 2008)
  • Publication Date: October 6, 2009
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B001H1FZWE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Screen Reader: Supported
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #348,251 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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