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Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid

Charles Piazzi Smyth

672 pp.  


Published:  September 1980


Charles Piazzi Smyth corresponded with pyramid theorist John Taylor and was heavily influenced by him. Taylor theorized in his 1859 book The Great Pyramid: Why Was It Built? & Who Built It? that the Great Pyramid was planned and the building supervised by the biblical Noah. Refused a grant by the Royal Society, Smyth went on an expedition to Egypt in order to accurately measure every surface, dimension, and aspect of the Great Pyramid. He brought along equipment to measure the dimensions of the stones, the precise angle of sections such as the descending passage, and a specially designed camera to photograph both the interior and exterior of the pyramid. He also used other instruments to make astronomical calculations and determine the pyramid's accurate latitude and longitude.

Smyth subsequently published his book Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid in 1864 (which he expanded over the years and is also titled The Great Pyramid: Its Secrets and Mysteries Revealed). Despite his bad reputation in Egyptological circles today, he performed much valuable work at Giza. He made the most accurate measurements of the Great Pyramid that any explorer had made up to that time, and he photographed the interior passages, using a magnesium light, for the first time. For his works on the Great Pyramid, Smyth was awarded a gold medal by the Royal Society of Edinburgh, but in 1874, the Royal Society rejected his paper on the design of Khufu's pyramid, as they had Taylor's. The rejection of his ideas helped contribute to his resignation from his post as Royal Astronomer in 1888.

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