A French architect said on Friday he had cracked a 4,500-year-old mystery
surrounding Egypt's Great Pyramid, saying it was built from the inside out.
Previous theories have suggested
Pharaoh Khufu's tomb, the last surviving example of the seven great wonders of
antiquity, was built using either a vast frontal ramp or a ramp in a corkscrew
shape around the exterior to haul up the stonework.
A computer illustration of
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin's new theory to explain the building
of the Great Pyramid is unveiled in Paris March 30, 2007. Houdin believes
it was built from the inside out, using a ramp ascending in a spiral
inside the surface of the pyramid and hidden from view. Previous theories
held that blocks of stone were hauled up a frontal ramp or a ramp wrapped
in a corkscrew shape around the outside of the pyramid. [Reuters]
But flouting previous wisdom, Jean-Pierre Houdin said advanced 3D technology
had shown the main ramp which was used to haul the massive stones to the apex
was contained 10-15 metres beneath the outer skin, tracing a pyramid within a
"This is better than the other theories, because it is the only theory that
works," Houdin told Reuters after unveiling his hypothesis in a lavish ceremony
using 3D computer simulation.
To prove his case, Houdin teamed up with
a French company that builds 3D models for auto and airplane design, Dassault
Systemes, which put 14 engineers for 2 years on the project.
Spectators wearing 3D glasses watch a
3D presentation of French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin's theory on the
construction of the Great Pyramid, Friday, March 30, 2007 at the Geode
cinema in Paris. During a 3D screening followed by a press conference at
the Paris Geode cinema on Friday, Houdin exposed his revolutionary theory
of the construction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, arguing it was built
from the inside. Houdin presented the hypothesis of an internal ramp and
the use of a counterweight system. Houdin used 3D technology to have his
theory confirmed. [AP]
Now, an international team is being assembled to probe the pyramid using
radars and heat detecting cameras supplied by a French defence firm, as long as
Egyptian authorities agree.
"This goes against both main existing theories. I've been teaching them
myself for 20 years but deep down I know they're wrong," Egyptologist Bob Brier
told Reuters at the unveiling.
"Houdin's vision is credible, but right now this is just a theory. Everybody
thinks it has got to be taken seriously," said Brier, a senior research fellow
at Long Island University.
Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities was not immediately available for
comment. Dassault said Brier and other Egyptologists attending the ceremony were
supporters of Houdin's theory but had no financial links to him or the firm.