Tuesday, May 24, 2011

One Entrance, Two Paths: The Noble and Service Routes in the Great Pyramid

Em Hotep (Keith Payne)

Follow Pharaoh Khufu’s funeral procession into the Great Pyramid where we learn the layout of the two very different routes to the King’s Chamber—one used by the workers in the construction of the vast monument, and one created for the sole purpose of the king’s last journey from his Valley Temple to the burial room.

This is the seventh article in a series based on Marc Chartier’s discussions with Jean-Pierre Houdin following the premier of Khufu Reborn, the long awaited revelation of the second chapter of Project Khufu. These articles are provided in English to Em Hotep via special arrangement with Marc Chartier/Pyramidales, Jean-Pierre Houdin and the Project Khufu team at Dassault Systèmes.


Anonymous said...

Andy, do you take Houdins theories serious? I see nothing but wild speculations, without any reasonable proof. I might be wrong though, so I'd be interested in your opinion.

Andie said...

Hi Anonymous. I know very little about the subject, to be honest. If I knew everything about all the news items I posted I would be a walking encyclopaedia and much the better for it of course :-). You would be better off asking Keith, who posted that story on his blog, or Vincent Brown from Talking Pyramids, both of whom have a lot of knowledge on the subject.

Anonymous said...

Hi Andy, thanks for your quick reply.

Keiths page doesn't seem to be really neutral on the subject, as he splitted the interview into several blog posts and advertises them proudly as "Exclusive". I checked out Talking pyramids, there is no mentioning of Houdins theory- I guess they know why!
However, I would like to elaborate a little on the subject, as I am very interested in it.

First of all, coming up with a new construction idea is the easy part, there is certainly no lack of those! Proving it is a lot harder, especially the more your idea deviates from anything else the egyptians have ever built.
I think everybody familiar with the subject and a truly scientific, truth-seeking interest would clearly see that the entire theory consists mainly on fancy illustrations.
There is no structural evidence at all of internal ramps, and the only at least halfway serious proof Houdin cares to show is that rather ambigous density measurement image. I have read his theory a few years ago and would have expected that he would come forward with some findings, or at least providing some links to known building tools and strategies of the Egyptians of that age. Instead, he preposterously speculates even more about a second corridor, that noone in all the millenias was able to figure out except this guy. Well, Houdin had computers! And as it happens, computers with Dassault software on it, which never fails to get mentioned on every article I have ever read about the subject.
Furthermore, the entire internal ramp speculation depends crucially on the great pyramids internal structure, and would not make sense on any other pyramid. Therefore, the proposal stands in line with the orion theory, the water pump/power plant, and whatever else people have speculated into the great pyramid and which by its own definition can't apply to, say, the equally large pyramid of Khafre just a few meters away and a few years younger.
I think it is wrong and misleading to claim that Houdin "revealed" anything, when in reality he was sitting in France playing around with 3D-software.
Incidentally, there is another french architect with wild speculations on secret chambers, but with a lot less public relations effort. That is Gilles Dormion with his book "Le chambre de Kheops". But Dormion at least cared to measure the pyramid itself down to the finest detail, reasoning carefully about architectural changes and apparent errors before coming forward with his own theory of an eastern passage. The quality of his blueprints make his book, despite its doubtful conclusion, a very interesting read. He considered the findings first and then came to his own theory. With Houdin it seems to be the other way around.
In my opinion, this is not science, it's a hobby project of a software company to promote their products. Nothing valuable for egyptology will come out of this, and interested readers new to the subject might get confused that there is some factual base when this is mainly a product of fantasy and wishful thinking.

I really like your blog and admire the steady quality of your postings. So when something regarding the old kingdom comes up, I am quite excited:) I guess I was so utterly disappointed when reading the article, both at Houdin and the blog author not being able to "cut through the BS", so to speak. So I would like to give a warning to (or start a discussion with) other readers. Have a nice day!