Egyptian Pyramids
French Architect Claims Pyramid Secret Solved



Egyptian Pyramids
French Architect Claims Pyramid Secret Solved

Ancient Egyptians built the 480-foot-high (146-meter-high) Great Pyramid of Giza from the inside out, according to a French architect.
Based on eight years of study, Jean-Pierre Houdin has created a novel three-dimensional computer simulation to present his hypothesis. He says his findings solve the mystery of how the massive monument just outside Cairo was constructed.


 
The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.

 
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008.

Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.

The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found at Saqqara, northwest of Memphis. The earliest among these is the Pyramid of Djoser (constructed 2630 BCE–2611 BCE) which was built during the third dynasty.

This pyramid and its surrounding complex were designed by the architect Imhotep, and are generally considered to be the world's oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry.


The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built.

The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.

By the time of the early dynastic period of Egyptian history, those with sufficient means were buried in bench-like structures known as mastabas.

The second historically documented Egyptian pyramid is attributed to the architect Imhotep, who planned what Egyptologists believe to be a tomb for the pharaoh Djoser.

Imhotep is credited with being the first to conceive the notion of stacking mastabas on top of each other — creating an edifice composed of a number of "steps" that decreased in size towards its apex. 

The result was the Step Pyramid of Djoser — which was designed to serve as a gigantic stairway by which the soul of the deceased pharaoh could ascend to the heavens. Such was the importance of Imhotep's achievement that he was deified by later Egyptians. The most prolific pyramid-building phase coincided with the greatest degree of absolutist pharaonic rule.

It was during this time that the most famous pyramids, those near Giza, were built. Over time, as authority became less centralized, the ability and willingness to harness the resources required for construction on a massive scale decreased, and later pyramids were smaller, less well-built and often hastily constructed.

Long after the end of Egypt's own pyramid-building period, a burst of pyramid-building occurred in what is present-day Sudan, after much of Egypt came under the rule of the Kings of Napata.

While Napatan rule was brief and ceased in 661 BC, the Egyptian influence made an indelible impression, and during the later Sudanese Kingdom of Meroe (approximately in the period between 300 BC–300 AD) this flowered into a full-blown pyramid-building revival, which saw more than two hundred indigenous, but Egyptian-inspired royal pyramid-tombs constructed in the vicinity of the kingdom's capital cities.

In 1842 Karl Richard Lepsius produced the first modern list of pyramids, in which he counted 67. A great many more have since been discovered. As of November 2008, 118 Egyptian pyramids have been identified.

The location of Pyramid 29, which Lepsius called the "Headless Pyramid", was lost for a second time when the structure was buried by desert sands subsequent to Lepsius' survey. It was only found again during an archaeological dig conducted in 2008. Many pyramids are in a poor state of preservation or buried by desert sands.

If visible at all they may appear as little more than mounds of rubble. As a consequence archaeologists are continuing to identify and study previously unknown pyramid structures.The most recent pyramid to be discovered is that of Queen Sesheshet, mother of 6th Dynasty Pharaoh Teti, located at Saqqara.

The discovery was announced by Zahi Hawass, Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities, on November 11th, 2008. All of Egypt's pyramids, except the small Third Dynasty pyramid of Zawyet el-Amwat (or Zawyet el-Mayitin), are sited on the west bank of the Nile, and most are grouped together in a number of pyramid fields.

The shape of Egyptian pyramids is thought to represent the primordial mound from which the Egyptians believed the earth was created.

The shape of a pyramids is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun, and most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone, in order to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance.

Pyramids were often also named in ways that referred to solar luminescence. For example, the formal name of the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur The Southern Shining Pyramid, and that of Senwosret at el-Lahun was Senwosret is Shining.

While it is generally agreed that pyramids were burial monuments, there is continued disagreement on the particular theological principles that might have given rise to them. One theory is that they were designed as a type of "resurrection machine." The Egyptians believed the dark area of the night sky around which the stars appear to revolve was the physical gateway into the heavens.

One of the narrow shafts that extends from the main burial chamber through the entire body of the Great Pyramid points directly towards the center of this part of the sky. This suggests the pyramid may have been designed to serve as a means to magically launch the deceased pharaoh's soul directly into the abode of the gods.

All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, which as the site of the setting sun was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.



Secrets of the Pyramids
and the Sphinx


There have been many hypotheses about the Egyptian pyramid construction techniques. These techniques seem to have developed over time; later pyramids were not built the same way as earlier ones.

Most of the construction hypotheses are based on the idea that huge stones were carved with copper chisels from stone quarries, and these blocks were then dragged and lifted into position.


Disagreements chiefly concern the methods used to move and place the stones. There is also another hypothesis that they were built out of geopolymer cement, otherwise known as cast stone.


In addition to the many unresolved arguments about the construction techniques, there have been disagreements as to the kind of workforce used. The Greeks, many years after the event, believed it must have been built by slave labor.


Archaeologists now believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza (at least) was built by tens of thousands of skilled workers who camped near the pyramids and worked for a salary or as a form of tax payment (levee) until the construction was completed, pointing to worker's cemeteries discovered in 1990 by archaeologists Zahi Hawass and Mark Lehner.


For the Middle Kingdom Pyramid of Amenemhat II, there is evidence from the annal stone of the king that foreigners from Palestine were used.



Most Egyptologists acknowledge that ramps are the most tenable of the methods to raise the blocks, yet they acknowledge that it is an incomplete method that must be supplemented by another device. Archaeological evidence for the use of ramps has been found at the Great Pyramid of Giza and other pyramids. The method most accepted for assisting ramps is levering.

The archaeological record  gives evidence of only small ramps and inclined causeways, not something that could have been used to construct even a majority of the monument. To add to the uncertainty, there is considerable evidence demonstrating that non-standardized or ad hoc construction methods were used in pyramid construction

Some research suggests alternate estimates to the accepted workforce size. For instance, mathematician Kurt Mendelssohn calculated that the workforce may have been 50,000 men at most, while Ludwig Borchardt and Louis Croon placed the number at 36,000.

According to Miroslav Verner, a workforce of no more than 30,000 was needed in the Great Pyramid's construction. Regardless, as Egyptologist Dr. I.E.S. Edwards, former Keeper of Antiquities in the British Museum suggests,

"Cheops, who may have been a megalomaniac, could never, during a reign of about twenty-three years, have erected a building of the size and durability of the Great Pyramid, if technical advances had not enabled his masons to handle stones of very considerable weight and dimensions"

Pyramid researcher Dr. Craig Smith stated:

"The logistics of construction at the Giza site are staggering when you think that the ancient Egyptians had no pulleys, no wheels, and no iron tools. Yet, the dimensions of the pyramid are extremely accurate and the site was leveled within a fraction of an inch over the entire 13.1-acre base. This is comparable to the accuracy possible with modern construction methods and laser leveling. That's astounding. With their `rudimentary tools,' the pyramid builders of ancient Egypt were about as accurate as we are today with 20th century technology."




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