An analysis of an undetected design strategy
and encrypted arithmetical feats in
the Giza pyramid complex, ancient Egyptian metrology,
and in the layout of Plato’s Atlantis

  Leslie Greenhill



This paper demonstrates the existence of a remarkable design strategy concealed in the architectural and land layout features of the pyramid complex on the Giza plateau near Cairo. Key features of a design system behind the strategy are also shown to have been incorporated by Plato into his unfinished work Critias which describes the physical layout of Atlantis. The following eight publications are the main data sources. Three subsidiary sources are mentioned in the endnotes.

(1) Petrie, W. M. F. The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh. Field and Tuer (Ye Leadenhalle Presse). London. 1883. (Title abbreviation: TPTG)

(2) Petrie, W. M. F. Inductive Metrology. Hargrove Saunders. London. 1877. (Title abbreviation: IM)

(3) Petrie, W. M. F. Measures and Weights. Methuen & Co. Ltd. London. 1934. (Title abbreviation: MW)

(4) Morgan, M. H. Vitruvius: The Ten Books on Architecture [De Architectura]. Harvard University Press. Cambridge, Mass. 1914.

(5) Zupko, R. E. British Weights and Measures: A History from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century. Madison University of Wisconsin Press. 1977.

(6) Klein, H. A. The World of Measurements. George Allen and Unwin Ltd. London. 1975.

(7) Legon, J. A. R. A Ground Plan at Giza. Article in “Discussions in Egyptology 30”. Oxford. 1988. ISSN 0268-3083. Also see the Internet:

(8) Lee, Desmond. (translator) Timaeus and Critias. Penguin. Middlesex (England). 1971 edition.

The scene is set with a passage from De Architectura by Vitruvius (fl. 1st century BCE).

“The design of a temple depends on symmetry, the principles of which must be carefully observed by the architect. They are due to proportion ... . Proportion is a correspondence among the measures of the members of an entire work, and of the whole to a certain part selected as a standard. From this result the principles of symmetry. Without symmetry and proportion there can be no principles in the design of any temple; that is, if there is no precise relation between its members, as in the case of those of a well shaped man.” (Morgan, p. 72)


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