The Great Pyramid
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
Arthur C. Clarke
Egypt’s Great Pyramid is singularly the most mysterious building in the world. And the largest. And the most precisely built. And among the oldest. And for 38 centuries, it was the tallest as well. Many now believe the Great Pyramid was, and is, the most technologically advanced structure on the planet. It is nothing short of miraculous.
First a few basic facts:
Of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, only the Great Pyramid remains. Far too many people mistakenly believe the white-capped pyramid directly behind the Sphinx is the Great Pyramid. It is not. That one is Khafre’s Pyramid (also quite impressive). The Great Pyramid, also known as Khufu’s Pyramid, is the one to the right of Khafre’s Pyramid.
Nobody knows exactly when the Great Pyramid was built, how it was built, or why it was built. The standard explanation is that, like earlier, smaller Egyptian pyramids, it is a tomb, but there is no proof the Pharaoh Khufu (or any other Pharaoh) built it or was interred in it. The Great Pyramid contains no mummies or human remains, no treasures, and no hieroglyphics.
And now for something to blow your mind:
Look at a globe of the entire earth and find the parallel that traverses more land than any other. Then find the meridian that traverses more land than any other. These two lines intersect at the precise location of the Great Pyramid. The odds of that happening by chance are about 3 billion to 1.
The builders of the Great Pyramid somehow possessed a satellite-like knowledge of the earth’s surface, and their choice of location was deliberate.
The Great Pyramid is made of limestone and granite. It contains an estimated 2.3 million blocks and weighs an estimated 5.3 million tons. That is more stone than has been used in all cathedrals, churches, and chapels in England since the time of Christ. It is enough stone to construct 30 Empire State Buildings, or a 6-foot high wall clear across the United States. Some historians say it took 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. If that is true, it means laborers working 14 hours every day non-stop for 20 years would have added a fully finished multi-ton block to the structure every three minutes.
For most of its history, the Great Pyramid was a perfectly smooth, gleaming white tower covered on all four sides with casing stones of polished Tura limestone. We can only guess how stunningly beautiful and blindingly brilliant it must have looked under the sun, with a reflection so bright it would have been visible from the moon.
A huge earthquake in 1303 AD shook many of the casing stones loose, and before long Arab leaders had carted away nearly all of the Great Pyramid’s casing stones to build fortresses and mosques. Only the ones at the base – hidden beneath the rubble for centuries – remain. Each is 100 inches thick, weighs several tons, and is harder than marble. Yet these enormous casing stones are cut so precisely (0.01 inch tolerance) and placed so perfectly that you cannot fit a razor blade between them. The stones are held together by a cement that is stronger than the stones themselves. The composition of this cement remains a scientific mystery to this day.
Builders who have overseen construction of the world's greatest modern architectural marvels freely admit that even with today’s state-of-the-art technology and equipment, they cannot match the precision of the Great Pyramid. The pyramid faces true north with a variation of only 0.05 degrees – a level of accuracy nearly impossible even today – and may once have been perfectly aligned with true north. The interior Descending Passage is 350 feet in length and its width and straightness vary by no more than a quarter of an inch at any point. The structure’s base is horizontal and flat to within 0.6 inches. The four sides of the base are approximately 755.7 feet long (more than two and a half football fields) and yet the length of each side varies by no more than 2.3 inches (0.03%).
There is more. The perimeter of the Great Pyramid’s base is 1/43,200 the circumference of the earth. The ratio of its height to its perimeter is 2π, the same as the ratio of a sphere’s radius to its circumference. In effect, the Great Pyramid is a scale model of Earth’s northern hemisphere. And take note – for the sides of the Great Pyramid to have slanted up and met at that exact desired height, the casing stones all had to be cut at a precise 51°, 51’ angle. More amazing still, the Great Pyramid’s four sides are not flat but bow in ever so slightly, an effect that can be seen only from above. Laser instrument measurements have confirmed that this concave curvature matches the curvature of the earth.
Like several other ancient structures around the world, the Great Pyramid marks the spring and fall equinoxes within a day’s accuracy, and does so dramatically. In early spring, when the sun rises high enough over the Great Pyramid’s apex, the shadow of structure’s north face vanishes precisely at 12 noon.
The location of the Great Pyramid’s entrance was unknown for centuries. Around 820 A.D., Caliph al-Ma’mun hired a team of excavators to forcibly tunnel their way into the pyramid. Once inside, they discovered an interior passage that led to the original entrance. The entrance, it turns out, was a 20-ton swivel flap door that (according to the Roman historian Strabo) was so exquisitely balanced it could easily be opened by hand – if you could find it. And finding it was the challenge. The door was located on the Great Pyramid’s north face, 56 feet above ground level and 24 feet east of center. Like the rest of the pyramid, the door was covered by a casing stone that was fitted so perfectly with the surrounding casing stones it could not possibly be detected.
The Great Pyramid is also an acoustical marvel. Conversations in the subterranean pit carry through two separate sloping passages hundreds of feet in length and oriented in different directions, then through the passage known as the Grand Gallery, and finally into the so-called King’s Chamber far above, where they can be heard clearly. The King’s Chamber itself is built of special granite stones with high quartz content. The stones come from 500 miles away and some weigh as much as 20 tons. Quartz is noted for its resonance. With hidden spaces above and below to further increase resonance, the King’s Chamber produces a deep, spooky harmonic echo unlike anything found anywhere else on the planet.
Astonished observers look at the Great Pyramid’s size, the precision with which it was built, and the scientific and mathematical knowledge it embodies, and ask how such things are even possible. But one man, Christopher Dunn, took it a step further. He asked why they were necessary.
Dunn, a master engineer by profession, studied the Great Pyramid and other ancient Egyptian sites for 20 years. Relying on his research and skill at reverse engineering, his landmark book The Giza Power Plant rejects the accepted wisdom that the Giza pyramids were tombs, and instead explains in great detail how ancient Egyptians used highly advanced technology to construct the Great Pyramid for the purpose of converting the earth's natural vibration into clean energy to power their civilization. How they came to possess such technology is a whole other topic for another day.
The Great Pyramid remains the world’s greatest mystery, but thanks to pioneers like Christopher Dunn and others, we may finally have begun to unravel the mystery. The secrets of the Great Pyramid, once unlocked, may prove to be one of history’s greatest technological breakthroughs.