NOVA mini-pyramid: fiasco and swindle

NOVA mini-pyramid (© J. Davidovits, 1991)

NOVA mini-pyramid (© J. Davidovits, 1991)

In recent weeks, several internet forums discuss my involvement in a documentary made in 1991 by the American channel PBS, famous for it popular science program “NOVA” and entitled This Old Pyramid. The objective of NOVA was the illustration of different techniques proposed by experts in the construction of the pyramids of Egypt. NOVA had decided to build at Giza, a mini-pyramid, according to the “old techniques”. I related my experience in several of my books: in French (Ils ont bâti les pyramides, 2002; La nouvelle histoire des pyramides, 2004 and 2006) and in English more recently (Why the Pharaohs built the Pyramids with Fake Stones, 2009). I shall make it available for the first time on the internet as a pdf file below which reproduces some pages and figures of the English edition of “Why the Pharaohs built the Pyramids with Fake Stones”. At the arrival of the television crew, including myself, the mini-pyramid was practically finished and had two of it sides convered with their casing stones, not dressed. The workers had used trucks, forklifts and steel tools for their work, the material being soft limestone quarried at Tura, on the other side of the Nile. But the use of construction equipment was not shown in the documentary “This Old Pyramid”. The casing stones are absent on the back of the mini-pyramid which was never completed, as shown in the figure above and Figure 3.14 in the pdf file, taken at the end of filming and before the big traditional festival End of construction.

For this mini-pyramid, built with modern construction equipment, only 3-4 stones weighing not more than 500 kgs were manipulated by hand, namely those shown on camera. These 3-4 500kgs blocks handled with difficulty, serve as official reference to Egyptology to support its construction theory by sled, lever, etc.. In his lectures, French Egyptologist Jean-Pierre Adam uses it as good-paxis. The American Egyptologist Mark Lehner and his friend the Egyptian Zahi Hawas refer to it in their demonstration and their books. However, it is a deception, a fiasco, a forgery. I saw Mark Lehner try to level the surface of a casing block with a copper chisel (in vain) or with the stone tool shown on the pdf file Figure 3.15 (unsuccessfully). This mini-pyramid was never completed and was made entirely with mechanical devices. But the documentary “This Old Pyramid” makes no mention of the use of these equipments.

After its release in February 1992 by the American public broadcaster PBS, my assistant at the IAPAS (Institute for Applied Archaeological Sciences), Barry University, Miami, Florida, began an action with several members of Congress in Washington DC, to denounce this scam. The result was that my intervention in the documentary was cut off and is no longer available in the copies which were distributed thereafter. (those interested must therefore insist and request the original video of 1992)

SEE PICTURES in the excerpt from my book “Why the Pharaohs built the Pyramids with Fake Stones“, 2009, pdf file. Click: Mini-pyramid-NOVA


Conferences 2012


Le fiasco de la mini-pyramide de NOVA

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