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ARCHIVE for Thursday 24th January 2002 - The riddle of the Great Pyramid

What is the most famous building iIl the world? There is only one answer - the Great Pyramid of Egypt. It is also the most mysterious. In its dimensions are encoded the secrets of ancient science and wisdom. That is why learned people in many ages have devoted lifetimes to studying it. That is why there are more books and writings about it than about any other man-made object.

It was built almost 5,000 years ago, in the reign of a pharaoh named Cheops or Khufu. So they say. but nothing about the Great Pyramid is certain. It is so perfectly constructed that experts call it uncanny. Some say that it could not be a work of human hands. Despite our wealth and technology, it certainly could not be built today.

It is a building of immense size - Britain's tallest steeple, on Salisbury Cathedral, is 404 feet high. The Cheops pyramid is about 80 feet taller. And it is all of solid masonry, made up of 2.3 million huge stone blocks, each one trimmed to fit its particular position.

Originally the Pyramid was made smooth and gleaming by a finish of white polished slabs. They were carved and fltted together with the precision of a jeweller. It is said that you can not insert a cigarette paper into their joints.

This degree of perfection occurs in every aspect of the pyramid. So what was the purpose of it? One purpose was to get us thinking, and that is what we shall do here next Thursday.

John Michell

If you have a favourite mystery subject - from spontaneous human combustion to ancient Celtic ritual sites, write to John, suggesting a theme. And if you have any answers or theories about the mysteries John will be highlighting, he would particularly like to hear from you.

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John Michell is a prolific author. Below are just two of John's books which might interest you. We have arranged with our friends at The Daily Mirror for website visitors to order books mentioned on this site.

This service is for UK orders only.

Unexplained Phenomena, A Rough Guide Special
(co-author Bob Rickard, rrp 12.99) at the special Mirror Direct price of 9.99 + p&p.
Who Wrote Shakespeare?
(Thames & Hudson, rrp 8.95) for the Mirror Direct special price of 6.95 + p&p.
Call 0870 165 8587

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