English-speaking readers have a wide selection of studies to choose from, by such scholars as Sir Flinders Petrie, Ahmed Fakhry and I.E.S. Edwards. Scholarly volumes on the pyramids are available in French (notably, Jean-Phillipe Lauer’s Les Mystères des Pyramides [1974]), German (Rainer Stadelmann’s Die aegyptischen Pyramiden [1985]) and other languages. And there is no end to the popular tomes by non-Egyptologists, ranging from the flawed but interesting Riddle of the Pyramids (1974), by Kurt Mendelssohn, to the merely flawed Orion Mysteries (1994), by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert.


Lehner’s analysis, however, does not make it clear that the three pyramids belong to different periods. Khufu’s pyramid was planned as an isolated monument. Later, when his son and grandson returned to Giza to build their tombs, it was their architects, not Khufu’s, who created the alignments.


These marks were normally shaved off when the stone was smoothed. But in Khufu’s Great Pyramid, the masons’ marks were left intact in the relieving chambers above the burial chamber, which were unfinished and inaccessible. In the mortuary temple of Menkaure, the marks were covered by brick facing, which was later removed by archaeologists.