Nine years ago, French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin became obsessed by the centuries-old mystery of how the Great Pyramid was built. For ten hours a day, he labored at his computer to create exquisitely detailed 3-D models of the interior of the Great Pyramid. After five years of effort, the images rotating on his computer screen provided evidence of an astonishing secret. Corkscrewing up the inside of the Great Pyramid is a mile-long ramp, unseen for 4,500 years. The pyramid was built from the inside. This revelation casts a fresh light on the minds that conceived one of the wonders of the ancient world. The Secret of the Great Pyramid moves between the ancient and the modern. The ancient story chronicles, step-by-step, how a nation of farmers only recently emerged from the Stone Age could construct one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. To execute something as complex and massive as the Great Pyramid, Egypt needed architects, mathematicians, boat builders, stone masons, and metallurgists. It took twenty years to build the Great Pyramid. By the time its capstone was laid in 2560 B.C., the innovations born of the building quest had transformed agrarian Egypt into the world's most modern, most powerful nation. As we follow the progress of Hemienu, the innovative architect who planned, organized, and oversaw construction of the Great Pyramid, we also follow Houdin working to discover how and why the ancient architect designed the Pyramid as he did. Houdin works as a forensic architect, aiming to reconstruct the lessons Hemienu had learned from construction of three previous pyramids and to visualize his blueprint for the massive stone building. In the process, Houdin also discovers the answers to other questions that have bedeviled Egyptologists for centuries: such as what was the purpose of the mysterious Grand Gallery and when did the Pyramid crack? Along the way, Houdin receives the support of a pathbreaking French software company, which helps him validate his theory virtually—a first in archaeology! The story of genius and obsession in the ancient and modern world, this archaeological mystery will appeal to anyone who has ever been captivated by this magnificent edifice.