Egyptian Pyramid 3d

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  1. A mouse click - and a member of a pharaoh's burial procession turns around.
    One more click - and the animated figure invites you inside the snaking, narrow corridors of one of the world's most magnificent structures - the Great Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Great Pyramid of Cheops.
  2. Peering into the screen through his funky red and blue 3D glasses, ancient Egypt enthusiast Keith Payne is gripped by the centuries-old story unfolding before his eyes as if through a time-travel lens.
    "This is amazing!" "I think that being able to use a 3D simulation tool to explore Khufu's pyramid is really a whole new way of both learning and teaching.
  3. "Being able to pause the narration and virtually take control of the camera to go anywhere in the scene and explore for yourself, and then return to the documentary where you left off is a way of learning that was never really available before now."
    This interactive journey, first presented to the public in a 3D theatre in Paris, has now migrated onto the home desktop.
  4. To watch the film, users simply download a plug-in and don a pair of 3D glasses - although the software gives the sensation of depth without them too, to a lesser extent.
    With help of cutting-edge 3D technology, the video lets users take a peek inside the 146m-high Great Pyramid, the last of the seven wonders of the ancient world still standing.
  5. The scene appears as it might have 45 centuries ago - full of the loyal people of the second ruler of the fourth dynasty.
    But the film is not pure entertainment - besides the educational aspect, it tries to explain one of the theories behind the pyramid's construction.
  6. Lying north of modern-day Cairo, the largest and oldest of the three pyramids of the royal necropolis of Giza is believed to have been built as Khufu's tomb.
    Inside, it contains three burial chambers - one underground, a second known as the Queen's Chamber which was possibly intended for the pharaoh's sacred statue, and the King's Chamber.
  7. This latter is located almost exactly in the middle of the structure, and it is there where the pharaoh's granite sarcophagus lies, but no mummy has ever been found.
    What we don't know is how this colossal monument, made of two million stone blocks that weigh an average of 2.5 tonnes each, was actually built.
  8. "It is a theory that explains how the Egyptians, who had no iron, no wheels and no pulleys, were able to build such a massive structure," says the project's interactive director Mehdi Tayoubi from French software firm Dassault Systemes.
    "Most of all, it explains how they managed to get huge beams weighing around 60 tonnes each all the way up to the King's Chamber."
  9. The idea has been drafted by French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin.
    It differs sharply from another popular theory which suggests that ancient engineers used an outside stone ramp, spiralling its way to the top.
  10. No physical evidence to support such a system has ever been found.
    Instead, Mr Houdin insists that the ramp was inside the pyramid - hence it is invisible from the outside.
  11. The computer simulations done with Dassault Systemes seem to support this belief.
    But not everyone agrees. Professor of Egyptology at Harvard University, Peter Der Manuelian points out that this theory too lacks solid proof.
  12. "Mr Houdin has worked very hard to try to explain many of the features inside the Great Pyramid, he's certainly a dedicated researcher," he says.
    "But until we can do some non-invasive means of confirming or denying his hypothesis, we will have to leave it as just a theory."
  13. But the architect insists that there is some scientific backing to his thoughts.
    For instance, in 1986 a French team used microgravimetry - a technique that measures the density of different sections of a structure to detect hidden chambers.
  14. The resulting scan showed a curious pattern - a hollow that seems to wind the walls up the inside of the pyramid.
    And it is possible to get even more evidence, says Mr Houdin.