Jean-Pierre Houdin spent a couple of decades working as an independent architect around Paris. Then, his career took a big turn. Working with his father, Houdin tried to crack an ancient mystery -- how were the great pyramids of Egypt built?
Throughout the centuries, various theories have been put forth. Herodotus, who visited Egypt around 450 B.C., speculated that some "machines" were involved. Others thought that mounds serving as ramps played a central role in the construction. And still others have guessed that extraterrestrials were the real builders (seriously).
Now Houdin enters into the debate with what Egyptologist Bob Brier calls a "radical new theory." Using state-of-the-art 3-D software, Houdin has concluded that the bottom portion of the pyramids were built with an external ramp, and the upper portions with internal ramps. Brier summarizes the theory rather well in this short article.
Houdin's work has focused particularly on the Great Pyramid of Giza, otherwise known as the Pyramid of Khufu, built circa 2500 B.C. (See image here). And he has gone so far as to create a 3D interactive film that visually documents his hypothesis. We've embedded a good clip above. You can also head to Khufu Reborn to get the full interactive experience. (Note: You'll need a PC, 3D glasses and some downloadable plugins to make it all work.)
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