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Book Review by Paul Lappage, Chairman of the East Midlands Egyptology Society

9 November 2012

Printed in Scribe Magazine

“The second book I was privileged to review is very different from ‘Lordy!’ it is ‘The Pyramids of Egypt, How were they really Built?’ by Chris Massey.

Now, before you say “Oh no not another barmy theory by some random nutter” please read on. Chris Massey is not an Egyptologist or even a dreaded Pyramidiot who believes spacemen built the pyramids. Indeed Chris had no interest in Egypt or its history before a surprise 40th birthday present found him on the banks of the Nile. So why the book and why should we read the book let alone take it seriously? Well, local man Chris, from Derby, is a construction engineer whose company specialises in installations of heavy concrete units using bespoke solutions to complete the task. It soon became apparent to Chris as he visited the sites that he had serious doubts about the age old generic bland explanations he was given by the local ‘expert guides’ about the construction techniques used by the ancient Egyptians. His often asked technical questions were dismissed or not answered to his satisfaction and he was left without any doubts that something was amiss.

So Chris being an expert at solving construction problems set about trying to provide answers to his own questions. So whilst Chris’s family and fellow passengers enjoyed the ever changing scenery unfolding before them as they cruised down the Nile, Chris was to be found pencil in hand his engineer’s brain in full gear. Unfortunately for Chris his innovative theories were met with ridicule and laughter by fellow passengers and guides alike. Things got worse not better when on arriving at the Giza Plateau, Chris saw The Pyramids for the first time and had to listen to the accepted version of how they were made. Chris asked more question in vane then set about figuring our how in his mind the ancient Egyptians could and would have really built them.

So what is Chris’s theory? Like all great ideas it is very simple and very plausible. In fact the more I read the more excited I got. I have always had my own doubts about the normal explanation given for the building of the pyramids and over many years have frustratedly read all the new definitive theories that have come along. Most have ranged from the daft to the idiotic and beyond but this by Chris was somehow different, a sort of light bulb moment and I’m really pleased he sent me his book to review. His idea? Basically it is all about water, Nile water. I won’t give too much away and besides Chris himself explains it far better than I ever could in his book, but instead of dragging the big heavy building blocks he postulates that the Egyptians did in fact float them into position. I know exactly what you are thinking, I felt the same until I read how, in Chris’s mind it could be done then it seemed so plausible I couldn’t believe no one has said it before. You need to read it to see what I mean.

For those of you who can’t wait to read the book and have access to the internet, simply type into your search engine ‘How were the pyramids really built’ then watch the YouTube explanation and video by Chris himself, or got straight to

I have met Chris face to face for a chat and have put many questions about his theory to him all of which he answered easily and satisfactory. It is obvious that he is no Egyptophile with a mass of deep knowledge about the ancient Egyptians but is simply a very clever engineer with a very good theory. At the end of the day it might not be the right answer but it is certainly as good a theory I have read in a very long time. I believe that the fact that Chris has no Egyptology background or training is a good thing because he approaches the problem with no preconceived perceptions or prejudices on the normal accepted version of events. He looked at it purely as a construction engineer and came up with a very good explanation that will, frankly, upset a lot of academics who don’t like to stray too far from accepted ideas.

Hopefully Chris is here today as a guest of The SSAE and will, I’m sure be happy to answer your questions. For those who unfortunately miss him today perhaps we can persuade him sometime in the future to bring along the model he built to demonstrate it for us, I’m sure we will all be impressed.

‘The Pyramids of Egypt, How were they really Built?’ by Chris Massey is Published by Book Guild Publishing, 19 New Road, Brighton BN1. ISBN 978 84624 7347.