Before the Pyramids: Cracking Archaeology's Greatest Mystery Hardcover – Oct 1 2009
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'A major breakthrough at last! Knight and Butler's stunning discovery could completely change the way we view our remote past... and origins.' Robert G. Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery 'Absolutely fascinating, and very, very convincing. Knight and Butler's findings provide compelling scientific evidence of the existence of an advanced, technological civilisation in remote antiquity.' --Graham Hancock, author of Fingerprints of the Gods
'Knight and Butler's stunning discovery could completely change the way we view our remote past... and origins' - Robert G. Bauval, author of The Orion Mystery
About the Author
Christopher Knight's first book, The Hiram Key (1996), co-authored with Robert Lomas, became an instant bestseller and has since been translated into 37 languages selling over a million copies worldwide. Alan Butler, an engineer fascinated by history, also became an expert in astrology and astronomy. He has researched ancient cultures, pagan beliefs and comparative religion and has published four successful books on the Knights Templar and the Grail legend. They both have a reputation for carefully researched and challenging theories on early history and are co-authors of Civilization One, Who Built the Moon? and Solomon's Power Brokers.
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Top Customer Reviews
In this latest installment, they not only re-confirm that the pyramids at Giza were modeled on the constellation of Orion's belt, they show just how accurate that design actually was. This precision and design actually match up with some structures in Britain, which leads to similar work Washington, DC. If you're familiar with their previous books, this one will not disappoint, and conversely, if you're not, this one makes a fine introduction and should spur you on to check out the others. Just know beforehand, the authors tend to see Masonry through rose-colored glasses at times, and take Biblical myth way too literally and historically and times.
To round out your reading, I'd also recommend The Cosmic Winter by Clube and Napier and The Secret History of the World and How to Get Out Alive, which deal with similar and related topics (cataclysms, ancient civilizations, etc.).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The construction of Thornborough around 3,500 BC was the high-water mark of megalithic construction in England. It is also the carbon date of Khufu's boats found buried beside the Great Pyramid at Giza. In 3,500 BC, the ocean levels were the highest they have ever been since the end of the last Ice Age, and were 14 feet higher than they are today (according to the brand new book, "The Complete Ice Age", Brian Fagan, editor).
The authors' discovery that Megalithic standard units were used extensively to form the "sacred architecture" of Washington DC proves that the founding fathers looked to the distant past in order to distance themselves from the oppressive dominance of royal rule and inspire progress in the New World. This discovery also makes for a timely companion to Dan Brown's latest thriller, The Lost Symbol.
Christopher Dunn's terrific book, "Giza Power Plant", where he goes into an engineer's explanation of some of the arcane aspects of the Great Pyramid is a book whose message has lasted for me. Zachariah Sitchin's idea, in one of his books, that Tiwanaku and other South American places were tin smelters for the Bronze Age, also stays with me. Richard Firestone's absolutely awesome, and exhaustively researched (but ridiculously-named and covered) book, "Cycle of Cosmic Catastrophes", is totally foundational to understanding anything in this genre. And, of course, I cannot forget to note Thomas Pawlicki's classic, "How To Build a Flying Saucer", the best non-levitation book about how megaliths were built I have yet seen (althought he does get into levitation in a totally fascinating, yet- to me- incomprehensible way). Now I can confidently be assured that "Before the Pyramids" is right there with these, my top-shelf references to the past. It is on these personally meaningful, somewhat relativistic terms, that I make this review, rather than use a more traditional, impersonal book report style. Perhaps, in time, I can come back and synthesize my insights a little more clearly, and with greater discipline. But for now, I just want to say this book rocks.
I did find about a dozen typos, and would like the authors to know that I am available as a proofreader for their next manuscript.
Thanks to the authors, I could get warm and comfy and buy "Civilization One: The World Is Not as You Thought It Was", Knight's and Butler's earlier work; or instead, I could save the money, find a broomstick and head out to the prairie to check it out for myself. At any rate, it's nice to have been empowered through their clear writing to make the choice.
Perhaps the authors go too far when they suggest that all major sites in Washington, DC are linked by a web measured in the Megalithic Yard, bringing the Freemasonry mystique to the United States. The authors suggest the possibility "that Washington DC is a continuation of knowledge held by an advanced culture from the extreme past. And there is still an elite group of people who fully understand this" (208).
They claim that the Sphinx and other Egyptian standing structures "prove beyond doubt that the emergence of civilization...took place long before orthodox history has ever considered" (209). And they suggest that now is the time to "look again at ideas of the past" (211). Are their conclusions correct? I don't believe there is enough information available. But their findings pose questions of a past far more exciting than any fiction, and I do believe that the best is yet to come.
The fundamental postulate is that the builders of England's Thornborough Henges used a uniform unit of measurement, called the Megalithic yard (MY),to design this and other Henges. According to this book,the MY is based on astronomical observations of star transits and a division of a circle into 366 units, resulting in a distance unit that could be repeated anywhere in the country. They also demonstrate how this unit could have been derived using materials available to Neolithic peoples. The concept and methodology are plausible and match the henge dimensions closely. So far, so good.
What follows is speculative to say the least. They claim that the Egyptians visited Thornborough and took what they learned back to design and locate the three primary Giza pyramids (a 1000 years after the Henge was built). They present no real evidence other than that the dimensions of the pyramids can be measured in MYs & that the layout, like that of Thornborough, matches Orion's Belt in scaled dimensions and orientation.
They then surmise that the street plan for Washington, DC's principle circles are based on MYs & triangles centered on the Ellipse in front of the White House. This is highly unlikely. Their conclusion is based on their measurements showing that many of the distances involved are in multiples of 366 MYs. It so happens that 366 MYs is very close to 1000 feet. Since the designers and builders of Washington used the foot as a basic measurement unit, and that multiples of 1000 feet show up repeatedly, it is purely coincidental that distances in MYs are so close. Incidentally, nowhere do they indicate the potential error in the MY or in their actual measurements.
There are some other speculative aspects to this book, too, which aren't worth mentioning.
If the authors had stopped with their findings about Henge dimensions and the use of a common unit of measurement they would have rated a much higher rating. The speculative nature of the rest is such as to greatly reduce their credibility.
The narrow shafts cut into the blocks of rock, two of which run from the King's Chamber, and then run steeply upward to emerge on the outside of the pyramid, close to its pinnacle, were often thought to be ventilation shafts. But since the 1960s it has been argued that these shafts align with the polestar in the north and Orion's Belt in the south. It is also believed that they aligned the pyramids to the four cardinal points of the Earth using Thuban, then the polestar to establish north. The constellation of Orion has an important place in Egyptian mythology because it was considered to be the very soul of Osiris, the God of fertility. Traditionally Osiris was described as the Lord of the Two Lands, Heaven and Earth, as well as the Lord of the Dead.
Those who have studied the three great pyramids have noticed that they are not in perfect alignment, but rather have a bit of a "dog-leg." Yet it was this very "error" that made researcher/writer Robert Bauval and colleague Adrian Gilbert take note. The three pyramids create a pattern that is uncannily like that formed by the three famous stars of Orion's Belt. This constellation contains some of the most significant stars to be seen, including Sirius, the brightest object outside of our solar system, as well as Mintaka, Alnilam and Alnitak, the actual names of the three stars that make up the belt itself. The constellation was named Orion by the Greek sky-watchers who saw the constellation as a great hunter with a belt whose stars point to Sirius.
The book Bauval and Gilbert published was called "The Orion Mystery" and they offered evidence by taking an image of the constellation and superimposing it on an aerial photograph of the three pyramids. The alignment is almost exact.
This controversial book has been attacked by established archeologists, yet the evidence the authors submit is compelling and very detailed. They provide copious photographs, endnotes and footnotes, enough to keep any serious student of ancient wisdom very occupied indeed. But perhaps above and beyond all of this is the strong and resounding message that our ancient forefathers were wise, learned and profoundly connected to the universe. The story we have all been fed is that this phenomenon is very recent and that our ancestors were fear-ridden and narrow minded. In fact the authors prove that they knew that the world was round and part of a solar system and added this dimension into their calculations. Their measurements were precise, long before computers and our modern technology, but even more importantly, their soul, and their wisdom shines forth six thousand years later in these ancient and mysterious monuments.
I thoroughly recommend this book to any serious student of truth. Whilst there are many researchers who point to extra-terrestrial assistance, which of course is very exotic, perhaps we ought to recognize that our history and our species is more ancient than we can imagine. It seems that the greatest mystery is that it becomes clear that humanity itself has lost and found wisdom again and again.
Are we destined to do so again? That my friends, is the mystery within the mystery
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