Last week we published Part One of Marc Chartier’s interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin regarding the Great Sphinx. In that installment Jean-Pierre made the case for Khufu being the face which adorns the mighty guardian of the Memphis Necropolis. This week, in Part Two, we will be looking at the physical evidence for setting a date for the Sphinx’s construction. Enjoy!
Posts Tagged ‘Marc Chartier’
For the last fifteen years, Jean-Pierre Houdin has considered the Giza Plateau to be an area particularly rich and fruitful for research. The architect has notably focused on the star of the site: the Great Pyramid, to which he has devoted an evolving theory, developed in Khufu Revealed, then in Khufu Reborn; these are two installments in the ongoing story of the reconstruction of the building site of this marvel of stone, which was largely echoed by Pyramidales.
Broadening his focus to the whole Giza Plateau, but without moving away from his “preferred” building site, Jean-Pierre Houdin came naturally to integrate in his research another major piece of the great jigsaw puzzle that the Giza site represents: the Sphinx. Jean-Pierre’s research into the Sphinx is guided by these two recurrent questions: What is the meaning of this colossal sculpture? To which King should it be tied?
Loyal to the techniques and teachings from his own profession as a builder, Jean-Pierre Houdin doesn’t take the risk of following the “traditional operating mode” of Egyptologists and other patented archaeologists.
Every man to his own trade…Jean-Pierre intends first of all, while taking into consideration the developments from those Egyptologists, to allow the topography of the Plateau to speak, examining how it evolved according to weather conditions and progress of building projects on the site such as the opening of quarries, the building of the ramps for the transport of materials, the construction of pyramids and in particular, the appearance of a certain…Sphinx!
At the end of the study, a conclusion will prevail: that the Sphinx is inseparable from Khufu. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves…
Jean-Pierre Houdin agreed to describe his development, exclusively for Pyramidales (French version) and Em Hotep (English version), through an interview conducted through an exchange of e-mails. With regards to the technical nature of the topic, this method was imperative. This explains the sometimes “didactic” nature of the answers which was required for clarity.
We have seen over the past weeks the case for the Great Sphinx having been constructed during the Fourth Dynasty in honor of Pharaoh Khufu, based on the evidence of the Plateau itself. In Part Three Jean-Pierre Houdin examines the evidence of other features of the Giza Plateau where the ancient builders seem to have labored to channel the water runoff that threatened their monuments.
It has been nearly a year now since architect Jean-Pierre Houdin premiered the second phase of his work with the Great Pyramid—Khufu Reborn. How has his work been received so far? Where does the project stand at the moment? Has the Arab Spring affected the progress of Project Khufu? Where do we go from here?
My good friend Marc Chartier of Pyramidales (and more recently of Égypte-actualités, but more on that endeavor later..) had a chance to sit down recently with Jean-Pierre and discuss these questions and more. Thanks to Em Hotep’s partnership with Pyramidales, I am able to bring you the English language version of this interview. Enjoy, and please feel free to join the conversation, as they say…
These media are from the Khufu Reborn/Khufu Renaissance phase of Project Khufu, an international and interdisciplinary initiative to explain how the Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu was built based on the theories and research of French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin.
Sealing the King’s Chamber—animation uploaded by Marc Chartier (posted to YouTube February 09, 2011)
Sealing the King’s Chamber Up Close—another animation of the sealing mechanism uploaded by Marc Chartier, focusing on the sealing blocks (posted to YouTube February 09, 2011)
Architects Find New Rooms in the Pyramid of Khufu—Indonesian coverage of Khufu Reborn, but the clips are fantastic (posted to YouTube February 04, 2011)
An Architect Uncovers the Secrets of the Great Pyramid—Euronews’ coverage of Khufu Reborn, again in French but visually wonderful (posted to YouTube February 02, 2011)
Khufu Reborn coverage on France 3—French language, but excellent clips (posted to YouTube February 02, 2011)
Khufu Pyramid Secret Rooms—English-language coverage of Khufu Reborn from CCTV News (posted to YouTube January 29, 2011)
Websites and Journal Articles
Thursday was ‘D Day’ and Jean-Pierre and Dassault Systèmes ended all the intrigue and mystery with their spectacular 3D presentation of Episode 2 “Legacy of Khufu” at the La Géode conference in Paris.
In three days time Jean-Pierre Houdin and Dassault Systèmes will be at a conference in La Géode to reveal ‘Khufu Reborn’, the sequel to Jean-Pierre’s internal spiral ramp theory.
- NTD Television: French Architect Discovers New Rooms in Ancient Khufu Pyramid—no author listed. (January 28, 2011)
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin unveiled in Paris on Thursday the existence of two hidden and so far unknown rooms in Egypt’s Great Pyramid. No one had ever suspected the existence of any such rooms. But in his many visits to Khufu’s king’s chamber, Houdin noticed that one stone element in the burial room was not supporting any weight and therefore had once been a passage. According to funeral rites of ancient Egypt, kings would be buried with all their belongings in close proximity. In other pyramids these items are situated in a room adjacent to the burial room.
A French architect campaigning for a new exploration of the 4,500-year-old Great Pyramid of Giza said on Thursday that the edifice may contain two chambers housing funereal furniture.
These media are from the Khufu Revealed phase of Project Khufu, Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work up to and ending with the premier of Khufu Reborn in January 2011.
National Geographic Expedition Week: Unlocking the Great Pyramid—the NatGeo special on Jean-Pierre Houdin’s Khufu Revealed work, in its entirety! (posted to YouTube March 17, 2011)
Another Pyramid Fly Through—this one even better! (posted to YouTube August 17, 2009)
Jean-Pierre Houdin and Bob Brier Interviewed—Associated Press (posted to YouTube November 19, 2008)
Interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin—World News Australia (posted to YouTube November 13, 2008)
Great Pyramid Mystery Solved?—National Geographic short piece from their special on Jean-Pierre Houdin’s work, Unlocking the Great Pyramid (posted to YouTube October 31, 2008)
Jean-Pierre Houdin and Mehdi Tayoubi Interviewed—Also French audio, but also worth viewing for the clips (posted to YouTube June 24, 2007)
Jean-Pierre Houdin, Mehdi Tayoubi, Richard Breitner Interviewed—French audio, but the clips of the Dassault Systèmes animations make it worth viewing even if you don’t speak French (posted to YouTube June 24, 2007)
Pyramid of Cheops by Jean-Pierre Houdin—Spanish-language coverage of Khufu Revealed, as always the visuals make viewing desirable even if you don’t speak the language (posted to YouTube April 3, 2007)
Pyramid Fly Through–The Khufu Pyramid modeled by architect Jean-Pierre Houdin in Dassault Systèmes’ 3D Life. (posted to YouTube April 01, 2007)
Websites and Journal Articles
The site dedicated to the first phase of Jean-Pierre Houdin’s internal ramp theory. The site provides a good, basic explanation of the general concepts of the theory up to that point, with sections for explanations, clues/evidence, and a 3D demo that requires installation of Dassault Systèmes’ proprietary 3d viewer, 3DVIA, which can be downloaded from the site.
- Heritage Key: Exclusive Interview: Jean-Pierre Houdin Defends His Internal Ramp Pyramid Theory—by Malcolm Jack (September 07, 2009)
The question of how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built is one of the most hotly-debated topics in ancient history. Maverick French architect and self-styled “Mr. Pyramid” Jean-Pierre Houdin is determined that he has the answer – the 4,569 year-old monument was, he argues, erected from the inside-out, using an internal ramp built into the fabric of the structure. Others are skeptical of his theory, but Houdin is certain he has the proof.
- Heritage Key: Building the Great Pyramid of Giza: Jean-Pierre Houdin’s Internal Ramp Theory—by Malcolm Jack (September 04, 2009)
We know lots about the Great Pyramid of Giza – it’s age (about 4,569 years), who it was built for (the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian King Khufu), who designed it (Khufu’s brother, the architect Hemienu) and even who rolled up their sleeves and did the work (tens of thousands of skilled labourers from across the kingdom, as opposed to slaves as was once believed). But ask a room full of experts how it was built, and you can expect a whole lot of head-scratching and beard-stroking, followed by heated argument and possibly some light fisticuffs.
- Talking Pyramids: How Were the Egyptian Pyramids Built? Part 5: Houdin’s Internal Ramp—by Vincent Brown (April 10, 2008)
French Architect Jean-Pierre Houdin has a revolutionary theory on how the pyramids were built. He looked at the three main existing theories: the large long straight ramp used to drag the stone up on sleds or rolled on logs, the wooden ‘machines’ mentioned by Herodotus & the spiral ramp theory.
In 1999, Henri Houdin, a retired French civil engineer, was watching a television documentary on the construction of Egypt’s ancient pyramids. He had supervised many dam and bridge projects, and much of what he saw on the show struck him as impractical. “It was the usual pyramid-building theories, but he wasn’t satisfied as an engineer,” says his son, Jean-Pierre, an independent architect. “He had a sparkle in the brain. ‘If I had to build one now, I would do it from the inside out.’
Of the seven wonders of the ancient world, only the Great Pyramid of Giza remains. An estimated 2 million stone blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons went into its construction. When completed, the 481-foot-tall pyramid was the world’s tallest structure, a record it held for more than 3,800 years, when England’s Lincoln Cathedral surpassed it by a mere 44 feet.
- National Geographic News: Great Pyramid Mystery to be Solved by Hidden Room?—by Brian Handwerk (November 14, 2008)
A sealed space in Egypt’s Great Pyramid may help solve a centuries-old mystery: How did the ancient Egyptians move two million 2.5-ton blocks to build the ancient wonder?
- National Geographic Channel: Unlocking the Great Pyramid—by Bob Brier (November 11, 2008)
It always surprises my students when I tell them we don’t know how the Great Pyramid of Giza was built. Dancing in their heads are Hollywood’s images of lots of guys hauling blocks up a huge ramp. The truth is, that simply won’t work. In order for the workers to pull the blocks, the ramp would have to have a gentle slope, but the pyramid is 480 feet high and that would mean that Hollywood’s ramp stretches for more than a mile. The ramp would be greater in volume than the pyramid! Also, archaeologists have never found the remains of such a ramp, and something that big doesn’t just disappear in the dry desert. So how the Great Pyramid was built is still one of the greatest archaeological mysteries of our time.
- Free Republic: Egyptologists use high-tech software to analyze construction of the Great Pyramid—by Sumathi Reddy and Nia-Malika Henderson (October 21, 2008)
Using cutting edge technology, Egyptologist Bob Brier of the C.W. Post Campus of Long Island University delved into the only standing wonder of the ancient world, the Great Pyramid, and uncovered the mystery behind cracks in the massive Egyptian structure, unearthing a new room along the way.
The Great Pyramid of Giza, the sole surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, stands today as the most massive puzzle in the history of civilization.
- National Geographic News: Great Pyramid Built Inside Out, French Architect Says—by Dan Morrison (April 02, 2007)
Ancient Egyptians built the 480-foot-high (146-meter-high) Great Pyramid of Giza from the inside out, according to a French architect. Based on eight years of study, Jean-Pierre Houdin has created a novel three-dimensional computer simulation to present his hypothesis. He says his findings solve the mystery of how the massive monument just outside Cairo was constructed.
On Friday March 30th 2007, the biggest VR screen was inaugurated with a great event; A big show at La Géode (IMAX theater in Paris) to unveil the theory of Jean-Pierre Houdin about his theory on the construction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Kheops).
A French architect claims to have solved the mystery of how Egypt’s Great Pyramid was built. Jean-Pierre Houdin said the 4,500-year-old pyramid, just outside Cairo, was built using an inner ramp to lift the massive stones into place.
Tags: Bob Brier, Dassault Systemes, Internal Ramp, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu, Khufu Reborn, Khufu Revealed, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Project Khufu, Richard Breitner, Vincent Brown
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.
Jean-Pierre Houdin’s theory of the how the Great Pyramid was built continues to unfold. How were the sixty-ton megalithic beams moved from the harbor at the base of the Giza Plateau to 43+ meters high into the Great Pyramid? Was there a second counterweight system like the one in the Grand Gallery? Why was Khafre’s Royal Causeway so wide?
In this, the sixth in a series of articles and interviews from Pyramidales writer Marc Chartier, we learn some of the key evolutions in Jean-Pierre Houdin’s theory. In the few short years between Khufu Revealed and Khufu Reborn, researcher/architect Houdin has expanded his work to account for anomalies surrounding the pyramid of Khufu’s successor, Pharaoh Khafre, and what they tell us about Khufu’s pyramid.
The English-language version of this article was very kindly provided by Marc Chartier, Jean-Pierre Houdin, and the Project Khufu team at Dassault Systèmes exclusively for Em Hotep readers.
One of the most contested aspects of the architecture of the Great Pyramid is the function of the relieving compartments (or chambers) stacked above the King’s Chamber. Do they serve a strictly symbolic purpose? Do they represent, as has been suggested, the Djed Pillar, or some other sacred configuration? Or do they serve a structural purpose, despite adding seemingly unnecessary weight atop the King’s Chamber?
French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin sees the answer in the arrangement of internal elements of the pyramid’s architecture still hidden from plain view, but discernable by other architectural and material oddities, such as the relieving compartments themselves. Why were they so high? What purpose did raising the pressure points serve?
This is the fifth in a series of fascinating dialogues held between writer Marc Chartier, of the website Pyramidales, and Jean-Pierre Houdin following the premier of Khufu Reborn, the next chapter in the unraveling the mysteries of the Great Pyramid and the Giza Plateau. This series of articles is being provided in English for Em Hotep in an exclusive arrangement with Marc, Jean-Pierre, and the Project Khufu team at Dassault Systèmes.
Tags: Corbelling, Dassault Systemes, External Ramp, Giza Plateau, Grand Gallery, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu's Pyramid, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Noble Circuit, Project Khufu, Relieving Compartments
Is there a second, as of yet unopened, entrance to the King’s Chamber in the Great Pyramid? How did the ancient builders seal the burial chamber? Measuring the entrance that we do know about suggests that the sealing block would have fit into the entrance like a cork, but this cork was made to plug the neck from within the bottle. In other words, the sealing block could only have been closed from within the King’s Chamber.
So who pushed the block into place, when did they do it, and how did they get out? Human sacrifice within royal tombs had not been practiced since the early years of the Second Dynasty, so, cork or no cork, ultimately the King’s Chamber had to be sealed from the outside. How do we reconcile this contradiction?
This is the fourth in a series of articles and interviews conducted by Marc Chartier, writer and webmaster of the French-language site Pyramidales, with Jean-Pierre and other key members of Team Khufu, provided in English exclusively to Em Hotep.
The legacy Pharaoh Snefru left to his heir, Khufu, included more than the crown and wealth of the Old Kingdom. Building on an architectural and engineering revolution that stretched at least as far back as Pharaoh Djoser’s Master Builder, Imhotep, Khufu’s own architect Hemienu was determined to build a monument that would last the ages. To say the least, he was successful.
But erecting the final resting place of a god-king involved more than structural and aesthetic considerations. Hemienu was creating sacred ground, and within Khufu’s holy mountain there were specific paths to be trodden and a celestial order of operations to be observed.
Beginning with the physical evidence from the pyramid, Jean-Pierre Houdin pieces these ancient traditions together in a way that suggests where to look and what to look for in unlocking the secrets of the Great Pyramid. This is the third in a series of articles and interviews conducted by Marc Chartier with Jean-Pierre and other key members of Team Khufu, provided in English exclusively to Em Hotep.
Tags: Bent Pyramid, Corbelling, Dassault Systemes, Giza Plateau, Grand Gallery, Hemienu, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu's Pyramid, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Noble Circuit, Project Khufu, Red Pyramid, Snefru
Part Two of Marc Chartier’s interview with Jean-Pierre Houdin following the premier of Kheops Renaissance, the long-awaited Episode Two of Project Khufu. This interview is part of a series of articles that first appeared on the website Pyramidales, run by Marc Chartier. These exclusive English-language translations are provided to Em Hotep courtesy of Marc, Jean-Pierre Houdin, and Dassault Systèmes.
Tags: Dassault Systemes, Giza Plateau, Hemienu, Internal Ramp, Jean-Pierre Houdin, Khufu Reborn, Khufu's Pyramid, King's Chamber, Marc Chartier, Mehdi Tayoubi, Noble Circuit, Project Khufu, Relieving Compartments, The Great Pyramid
Just hours before the premier of Kheops Renaissance (also called Khufu Reborn), Jean-Pierre Houdin granted an exclusive interview to fellow Egyptology blogger Marc Chartier, proprietor of the website Pyramidales. Timed for release immediately following the event, Marc’s interview is a perfect introduction to Episode Two and the Project Khufu material that will be forthcoming from both Pyramidales and Em Hotep.
Previously available only in French, this is the first official English language translation, made available through our partnership with Pyramidales and Dassault Systèmes. Over the next few weeks I will be publishing, in addition to Part Two of this interview, translations of additional material that is being very kindly provided by Marc, Jean-Pierre, and the Project Khufu team at Dassault Systèmes. This will allow me some time to get caught up and reoriented after having to take one of my infamous sabbaticals (sometimes life just shows up with a bag full of challenges, but all is well, Gentle Reader!).
Dassault Systèmes, with their Passion for Innovation program, is emerging as a major player in bringing cutting edge technology to the field of Egyptology. Whether you are talking about creating immersive 3D environments to simulate tombs and monuments, fusing non-invasive surveying techniques to high-definition imagery, or simply bringing the most interesting Egyptian people, places, and things to the widest audience possible, Dassault Systèmes’ Mehdi Tayoubi is at the forefront with some new technology.
I promised I would try to get another chapter of Hemienu to Houdin out before leaving for Paris and the premier of Khufu Reborn, but in these last days it just became too impractical. Part of what makes the series so fun and informative is my fairly unrestricted access to the man himself, Jean-Pierre Houdin. But as he and the team from Dassault Systèmes make the final arrangements at la Géode, Jean-Pierre’s time has become an increasingly rare commodity. Besides, in a couple of days I will be able to talk with him face-to-face without feeling like I am imposing on his schedule.
So the series will conclude when I return from the conference and coverage of “Episode 2: Khufu Reborn” will begin in earnest. But in the meanwhile I am offering this excellent insider’s glimpse into how Dassault Systèmes became involved with Jean-Pierre and future directions we can anticipate. My good friend and fellow Egyptology blogger (still hate that word), Marc Chartier, proprietor of the Pyramidales website, recently had the opportunity to interview Mehdi Tayoubi, Director of Interactive Innovation at Dassault Systèmes.
By a special arrangement with Marc I have translated the interview from its original French and am presenting it here in its entirety for my English-language readers. The original interview, in French, is available from Pyramidales here.