giza the truth

the people, politics & history behind the world's

most famous archaeological site (1999)

by ian lawton & chris ogilvie-herald

To order the book click here. For feedback on it click here.

"Lawton and Ogilvie-Herald have gone where no academic has dared to venture, and have exposed the raw truth behind the archaeological history and politics of Egypt's greatest monuments." David Rohl, revisionist author

"A refreshing and realistic overview of research, exploration, questions and answers surrounding the Giza Plateau ... a significant contribution to the field." Rudolf Gantenbrink, robotics expert and pyramid explorer

Giza: The Truth

"I urge everyone to read and digest Giza: The Truth before they even think about picking up another book on alternative Egypt. Lawton and Ogilvie-Herald's insight into the great Giza debate is superb." Andrew Collins, revisionist author

"This book is absolutely first rate!" Joe Schor, financier of Giza explorations

more than 20,000 copies sold worldwide...


The multitude of popular works that have been published about the Giza Plateau - home of the three most famous pyramids and the Sphinx - have increasingly painted a picture of impossible engineering, extreme antiquity, and 'lost' ancient civilisations. Bolstered by a variety of television documentaries, this 'alternative' view has now become firmly entrenched in the public consciousness, leaving the orthodox Egyptological cause floundering in its wake. But have the public been misled, especially in the run up to the new millennium? Coming at a time when more enlightened observers are beginning to question the barrage of propaganda emanating from the alternative movement, the publication of Giza: The Truth is perfectly timed to redress this imbalance. Although initially impressed by the alternative camp’s case, in this ground-breaking book authors Ian Lawton and Chris Ogilvie-Herald have uncovered poor scholarship, distortion, propaganda, and a morass of politics, jealousy, and ambition.

Is it genuinely possible that a Hall of Records containing a record of ancient civilisations exists at Giza? That the remnants of these civilisations designed and built the pyramids and Sphinx as much as 12,000 years ago? That the Great Pyramid is in fact a giant energy generator? That only as yet undiscovered technology could have built the edifices? That in recent years concerted but often covert efforts have been made to locate as yet undiscovered chambers in the Great Pyramid and in and around the Sphinx? And even if we conclude that all these suggestions are wide of the mark, is there other evidence to suggest that such records, civilisations and technology may nevertheless have existed? Indeed, are alternative researchers concentrating their efforts on the wrong places? Meanwhile, who are the key figures who have dominated the exploration of the Plateau from earliest times to the present day? What did they really find? And what lies behind the political in-fighting which has come to dominate the exploration of the Plateau in recent decades?

The answers to these questions and many more are revealed as this astounding story unfolds. Exclusive information has been provided by some of the most famous names involved in research at Giza. This, combined with the authors' own extensive research and on-site explorations, has culminated in what can only be described as the most fascinating and important piece of work on the Giza Plateau to date. The injection of some much-needed sanity into the whole Giza debate is long overdue, but the wait is now over…







The caliph’s capers; Arabian accounts; desecration and disaster; the dawn of decoding; Davison delves; Jomard juggles; the circus strongman; the Genoese merchant; Victorian vandal? the French founders; the astronomer royal; Masonic meddling? the father Of Egyptian archaeology; twentieth century greats.


Context is king; pyramid progression; the foundations of attribution; alternative attacks; Vyse is victimised; the invented inventory; sign your name! earlier structures? carbon-dating revisited; conclusion.


Funerary edifices? the Great Pyramid puzzle; symbolism, ritual and initiation; repositories of knowledge? astronomical observatories? millennium madness? conclusion.


Preparation; erection; completion; logistics; monolithic mysteries? appropriate alternatives? conclusion.


The hall in antiquity; the ‘sleeping prophet’; conclusion.



The joint pyramid project; SRI international; surveying the Sphinx; the Queen’s Chamber; more secret chambers? conclusion.


The lion man; preliminaries; weathering; context revisited; conclusion.


Ventilation revisited; a new perspective; opener of the ways; what next?


Shaft alignments; the Orion correlation; the broader correlations; keeper of genesis; judgment day.



The Sphinx project; the Schor foundation expeditions; trouble in the alternative camp; open that door!


Genesis of conspiracy; the ‘real’ Gantenbrink story; on the offensive; about turn! divergent paths?


Hermes rising; Hermes falling; fall of the gods.


Revelations! seeing sense; conclusion.


Early days; hyping it up! time for truth! pulling in the punters.


Danley’s tunnel; Cox’s tunnel; the Sphinx’s rump; conclusion.


Moving the debate forwards; the show must go on; a final word.

APPENDIX I   Were the Giza Pyramids Covered in Hieroglyphs?

APPENDIX II   More on the Pyramids-as-Tombs Debate

APPENDIX III   The Great Pyramid's Security Features

APPENDIX IV   Features of Major 3rd and 4th Dynasty Pyramids

APPENDIX V   Chronological Summary

APPENDIX VI   Map of Major Sites


Discover why, when and how the Giza Pyramids were built by the ancient Egyptian kings Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, and what early explorers like al Mamun, Edrisi, al Latif, Greaves, Davison, Jomard, Belzoni, Caviglia, Howard Vyse, Perring, Lepsius, Marriette, Piazzi Smyth, the Dixons, Flinders Petrie and others found inside them. Find out why modern explorations by Zahi Hawass, Joe Schor, Rudolf Gantenbrink and others have not discovered secret tunnels and chambers under the Sphinx or in the Great Pyramid, and why context shows that suggestions it is a hall of records, power plant or astronomical observatory built by Atlantean survivors or extraterrestrial visitors have few firm foundations. Includes analysis of modern contributions from orthodox Egyptologists such as Emile Baraize, Selim Hassan, IES Edwards, JP Lepre, and Mark Lehner, and of alternative speculations from Joe Schor, Graham Hancock, Robert Bauval, John Anthony West, Adrian Gilbert, Colin Wilson, Robert Schoch, Colin Reader, Christopher Dunn, Alan Alford, Richard Hoagland, Peter Tompkins, Zecharia Sitchin and many more.




22 Dec 2005

IL comments on important extracts from Paul Brunton's 1935 book A Search in Secret Egypt, including assertions about the true spiritual nature of the Great Pyramid, and about the progressive degradation of ancient Egyptian religious and magical practice


2 May 2001

Notes by Lee McGiffen about theosopher Gerald Massey's 1907 suggestions regarding a set of records buried beneath the Sphinx, originally posted to The Daily Grail


13 Apr 2001

Link to information about the explorations conducted by Khalil Messiha in the Queen's Chamber in 1967



4 Jun 2011

Link to New Scientist article about the latest robot exploration of the air shafts by the Djedi project, which has found painted hieroglyphs or quarry marks between the two doors in the south shaft


29 Apr 2004

Important amendments to G:TT Figure 27 concerning a second kink in the QC north shaft, based on results of Pyramid Rover investigations in 2002, and kindly brought to my attention by Jean-Pierre Houdin


7 Jan 2001

Email from correspondent Keith Hamilton suggesting an explanation for the lateral deviations of the two northern 'star shafts'


30 Jul 2001

Press Release for the new book by David Elkington, Paul Ellson and John Reid entitled In The Name of the Gods

6 Oct 2000

Reproduction of discussion about acoustic effects in a variety of ancient monuments around the world

23 Sep 2000

Link to article by David Lubman about the 'chirped echo' from the Mayan pyramid of Kukulkan at Chichen Itza

18 Sep 2000

Link to article by acoustics engineer Tom Danley about the GP in LiveSound International magazine

18 Sep 2000

Link to article by archaeologist Aaron Watson about acoustic effects in Neolithic monuments in Discovering Archaeology magazine



13 Apr 2001

Email to IL from correspondent Ernest Moyer, referencing a 1973 article on continental drift and the Giza site

1 Feb 2001

Email to IL from correspondent Alex Bourdeau responding to George Forrest, suggesting that plate tectonics do not impact the alignments of the Giza Plateau 

29 Jan 2001

Email to IL from correspondent George Forrest regarding the potential impact of plate tectonics on the alignments of the Giza Plateau 

16 Nov 2000

Link to intriguing paper by Egyptologist Kate Spence entitled 'Ancient Egyptian Chronology and the Astronomical Orientation of Pyramids' in Nature magazine, which appears to further narrow down the date of construction of the Great Pyramid

14 Sep 2000

Email response from IL to Alan Alford

13 Sep 2000

Email response from Alan Alford to IL

8 Sep 2000

Email from IL to Alan Alford in response to recent postings on his site issuing a 'Howard Vyse Challenge'



27 Jun 2003

Link to paper by correspondent Leon Cooper entitled 'The Architect's Plan' in which he describes the geometric designs behind the internal and external layout of the Great Pyramid


14 Feb 2003

New paper by correspondent Terry Maxwell entitled 'The Giza Plateau as a Representation of the Solar System'

23 Mar 2002

Link to new website provided by Barry McCann in which he explores a variety of aspects of pyramid geometry, including especially Mick Saunders' 'octagonal' theory 

12 Mar 2001

Thought-provoking new paper by correspondent Barry McCann entitled 'A Cautionary Tale', suggesting that - from his own experience of designing his new house from simple geometric principles - geometry has an ability to take on a life of its own, and that many geometric relationships appear in his designs that were never an intentional part of the plan 

16 Jan 2001

Link to new web site containing details of the Giza Plateau geometry worked out by researchers David Ritchie and Simon Cox (note that although my own replanning arguments against the Orion Correlation theory extend to any attempt to establish a geometric master plan, readers should be allowed to make up their own minds by looking at alternatives - IL)

5 Sep 2000

Link to Keith Squires web site, where he postulates that the GP incorporates the phi but not the pi relationship 

5 Sep 2000

Paper by Wilfred Nieman, suggesting that the three Giza Pyramids each embody a variation on the theme of circular geometry translated into pyramid-form


3 Sep 2002

Paper by IL entitled 'The Great Pyramid Puzzle' based on extracts from G:TT

31 Jul 2000

Email response from IL to Ralph Ellis 

31 Jul 2000

Link to paper suggesting that 'Mamun's Tunnel' was dug in order to extract large pieces of booty from the GP, rather than to get in, by Ralph Ellis and Mark Foster (click on 'articles' and then 'Tunnel Vision')

15 Jul 2000

A thirteenth century account of the possible existence of a second coffer in the Queen's Chamber, and of possibly hieroglyphic graffiti on the ceiling 


20 Jun 2009

Link to article by Bob Brier in Archaeology about his investigation of the notch in the north-east edge of the Great Pyramid, and of the L-shaped room behind it, suggesting further support for Jean-Pierre Houdin's internal ramp construction theory.

9 May 2008

New research and experimentation casts doubt on the geopolymer theory


2 Oct 2007

Link to excellent paper written by Mike Molyneaux in which he describes small-scale experimentation to support a number of innovative theories about pyramid construction, including: [1] The use of battering rams to create acoustic energy for quarrying, shifting and positioning stones. [2] The use of counter-ramps with counter-weight principles for hauling massive stones uphill. [3] The use of overlapping planks and rollers to create an auto-aligning, auto-braking system for the ramps. [4] The use of leveraging towers with counter-weights for lifting stones out of a quarry and onto rollers. [5] Submerging large stones in watery mud for transporting them down rivers or along canals. [6] Partially completed courses of the pyramid forming a spiral staircase to support a ramp to the inner chambers.


24 Mar 2004

Link to Jean-Pierre and Henri Houdin's superb web site in which they discuss their theory that the Great Pyramid was constructed using a combination of a) a relatively small, straight external ramp, rising to only one third height b) an internal spiral ramp that ran just inside the external face more or less to the top, with niched landings opening onto the outside at each corner connected by external wooden walkways c) wooden lifting machines at the very top d) two temporary internal pyramids to erect the Queens and then Kings/Relieving Chambers and their roofs and e) counterweights running on wooden frames in the Ascending Passage and then Grand Gallery to lift the largest blocks; this would appear to be a highly efficient combination that allowed the bulk of the external ramp material to be reused in the construction of the higher levels


14 May 2003

Paper by architectural designer Seamus Chapman indicating how a change in plans during the construction of the Great Pyramid led to its inconsistent internal design features, plus a brief synopsis of his new book, Building Egyptian Pyramids - Achieving the Impossible

25 Feb 2002

New positioning statement from IL on the geopolymer theory

20 Jan 2001

Extracts from email to IL from correspondent George Forrest regarding the reason for use and manipulation of megalithic building blocks in the temples at Giza

12 Jan 2001

Follow-up paper by Keith Hamilton concerning the plugging blocks, containing new measurements that arguably reinstate the theory that they were slid down from the Grand Gallery


29 Dec 2000

Important new paper by correspondent Keith Hamilton casting doubt on the theory that the plugging blocks at the base of the Ascending Passage in the GP were slid down from the Grand Gallery

10 Oct 2000

An excellent new paper by geological engineer Colin Reader examining the feasibility of using sand ramps in constructing the Giza temples that contain blocks as large as 200-tonnes - responses from other engineers are welcome


12 Jun 2000

Link to paper about the logistics of the Great Pyramid's construction by Craig B. Smith, CEO of Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall in Los Angeles



20 Jan 2001

Link to paper about the 'trial passages' near to the Great Pyramid suggesting that they were left as a 'key' to unlock the secrets of the edifice, by Mark Foster (click on 'articles' and then 'Trial Passages')


8 Jun 2000

Paper about supposed secret tunnelling in the Great Pyramid prepared by COH based on extracts from G:TT


23 Feb 2001

Response to Alex Bourdeau by Colin Reader, originally posted to the Amun discussion group

23 Feb 2001

Email to IL from geologist Alex Bourdeau suggesting new support for the Guari 'salt exfoliation' argument by reference to the effect of the Sun on the different aspects of the Sphinx and its enclosure

24 Jun 2000

Link to response to Jim Harrell's paper by Robert Schoch


28 Mar 2000

Link to brief response to IL's paper by David Billington


24 Mar 2000

Paper by IL responding to Robert Schoch and David Billington


17 Mar 2000

Paper by Colin Reader, responding to Jim Harrell, Robert Schoch and David Billington


2 Mar 2000

Paper by geologist Jim Harrell, including a response to Robert Schoch and Colin Reader


11 Feb 2000

Link to response to Chapter 7 of G:TT by independent researcher David Billington


11 Feb 2000

Link to response to Chapter 7 of G:TT by geologist Robert Schoch


20 Jan 2000

IL's synopsis of Colin Reader's paper, including a fresh look at detective Frank Domingo's facial reconstructions


20 Jan 2000

An excellent paper by geological engineer Colin Reader entitled 'Khufu Knew the Sphinx'



13 Apr 2001

Link to copy of article about the OC Theory by Egyptologist Jaromir Malek, which originally appeared in Discussions in Egyptology 30 (1994)

7 Jan 2001

Response from IL to John Legon

7 Jan 2001

Comments from John Legon about the recent discussions of the OC Theory, originally posted to The Daily Grail 

3 Jan 2001

Email from correspondent Keith Hamilton suggesting an explanation for the internal structure of the Third Pyramid alternative to that of replanning

12 Dec 2000

Email response from IL to Ed Krupp

12 Dec 2000

Email to IL from astronomer Ed Krupp, Director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, with important clarification of his 'north means north' objection to the OC theory

11 Dec 2000

Email response from IL to Robert Bauval

1 Dec 2000

Response from Robert Bauval to IL's 'Fundamental Flaws' paper, originally posted to The Daily Grail

28 Nov 2000

Response from IL to Robert Bauval originally posted on EgyptNews Talk

26 Nov 2000

Response from Robert Bauval to IL originally posted on EgyptNews Talk

24 Nov 2000

Open letter from IL to Robert Bauval originally posted on COH's EgyptNews Talk discussion group (with an appended diagram of the layout of the GP's enigmatic 'shafts' from above)

18 Nov 2000

New paper by IL entitled 'The Impact of Kate Spence's Astronomical Orientation of Pyramids Theory on the Orion-Giza Correlation Theory', including brief correspondence with Spence regarding the AE's knowledge of precession

14 Nov 2000

New paper by IL entitled 'The Fundamental Flaws in the Orion-Giza Correlation Theory' 


8 Mar 2000

Email responses from Tony Fairall to IL


16 Feb 2000

Email response from IL to Tony Fairall


16 Feb 2000

Link to response to the Horizon programmes by astronomer Tony Fairall


20 Dec 1999

Note from IL regarding Robert Bauval's refusal to continue the debate


10 Dec 1999

Response posted by Robert Bauval to The Daily Grail


9 Dec 1999

Response posted by IL to The Daily Grail


7 Dec 1999

Response posted by Robert Bauval to The Daily Grail


5 Dec 1999

Posting by IL to The Daily Grail


22 Oct 2000

Email response from Chris Dunn to IL

16 Oct 2000

Email response from IL to Chris Dunn

15 Oct 2000

Email response from Chris Dunn to IL

6 Oct 2000

Email response from IL to Chris Dunn

6 Oct 2000

Email response from Chris Dunn to IL's of 10 Mar

28 Apr 2000

Note from IL regarding Chris Dunn's lack of response

10 Mar 2000

Email from IL to Chris Dunn in response to recent postings on his site



27 Jun 2003

Link to series of excellent papers by researcher Archae Solenhofen providing among other things excellent artistic and artefactual evidence of the use of copper bow drills and slabbing saws by the AE's

30 Jul 2001

New analysis of the function of the 'Lobed Schist Bowl' in the Cairo Museum by Bill Kay

6 Oct 2000

Email response from Chris Dunn to IL's of 10 Feb

25 Sep 2000

Extracts from a paper prepared by Ivan Watkins postulating the use of focussed sunlight to machine Inca stonemasonry, that first appeared in Rocks and Minerals magazine in 1990 

18 Sep 2000

Link to excellent pictures of Egyptian lathe-turned bowls


10 Feb 2000

Further email response from IL to Chris Dunn, including link to new work by the NOVA team suggesting conventional drilling methods were used

11 Jan 2000

Email response from IL to Chris Dunn


29 Dec 1999

Response posted by Chris Dunn on his own web site, plus abbreviated version of the report of his visit to the Petrie Museum

6 Dec 1999

Email response from IL to Chris Dunn

25 Oct 1999

Response posted by Chris Dunn to Atlantis Rising

25 Oct 1999

Response posted by IL to Atlantis Rising

23 Oct 1999

Response posted by Chris Dunn to Atlantis Rising

19 Oct 1999

Response posted by IL to Atlantis Rising

4 Oct 1999

Posting by engineer Chris Dunn to Atlantis Rising


4 Aug 2001

Link to rare pictures of Ed Leedskalnin constructing his 'Coral Castle' using conventional block and tackle

18 Sep 2000

Link to new research into Resonant Macrosonic Synthesis (RMS)


1 Jun 2000

Link to postings about the Roman origins of Baalbek and the 'Trilithon' by Frank Doernenburg

1 May 2000

Links to 'Coral Castle' web pages


24 Mar 2000

Email from correspondent Håkan Håkansson reappraising the work of Henry Kjellson as referenced in G:TT

14 Dec 1999

Posting by IL & COH to The Daily Grail


9 Feb 2002

Link to Lambert Dolphin's papers on the SRI's surveys at Giza in the late 70's


2 May 2001

Updated list of the URL's referenced in G:TT