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Do you know how the pyramids were built? No? Well you’re in good company.  Even Egyptogists haven’t worked it out yet. And yet on a recent trip to a small village in France I stumbled across a man who DOES know. So how did he discover the secret that has eluded the experts for centuries? ​


Mystery Convex Stones
Jean Kuzniar explained to me “I’m not an educated man. I’m just an artisan. So when I visited Egypt on holiday, I saw hundreds of convex stones in every Egyptian museum. Is saw that they were all made in regular shapes, sloping sides, a flat base and a smoothly domed top. I thought to myself: Why has no-one worked out what they are? Whoever made them must have had a good intention behind making them. What was it?”

Guiding Principles
He told me “Every problem has a solution.” With this guiding principle in his mind, he set about working out the problem through practical experimentation. “I don’t live in the world of Egyptologists. I live in my own world.”He ruled out the possibility that the stones were ritual or ceremonial objects, despite this being the best guess of many of the “experts”. Instead he reasoned that they had a practical purpose, because so many of them seem to have been made in precisely standard sizes.

As a craftsman – a carpenter by trade – Kuzniar likes to think with his hands. “If I’m interested in something, I put all my energy in it. Heart, soul and hands”. So he began to create a series of models using stones shaped like those used in the pyramids, and started to explore the problem of how the pyramids could be built so quickly (less than 20 years) with only man-power and ancient technology.

Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth
He explained “If it was possible for the ancient Egyptians, then it’s possible for me. I just have to work out how it was done.” He has the words of Archimedes on his wall: “Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth”. With this thought, plus the convex stones, he began to create the working models that led him to the answer.


Each stone, inset into a matching block of wood, creates a smooth surface which reduces friction, similar to the way that ball-bearings work. By using pairs of these stones as pivots for long wooden levers, just 4 or 6 men could “walk” a 250kg block of granite up a series of gently inclined wooden scaffolding planes, to place them on the top of the pyramid.

By creating scale models Kuzniar single-handedly moved granite blocks which are impossible for even the strongest man to lift or to push. I even moved one myself with astonishing ease using his lever/pivot system. When he re-created the system in full-scale during a working holiday in Egypt, just 20 men lifted thirty 250kg blocks in an hour.


An attitude of curiosity and a belief of possibility
I asked him how long it had taken him to work out his system. “Less time than it took to build the pyramids” he told me. And what had he learnt along the way? “It’s all learning” he said. “Even when things went wrong, I learned from them. There’s no such thing as failure.”He asked me what I do for a living. “Are you a craftswoman yourself?” “No”, I replied, “I teach NLP.” “I’ve never heard of it.” He said. “I probably couldn’t learn it, either. I can only work with my hands.”

Only? It seems to me that this artisan craftsman, with his attitude of curiosity and beliefs of possibility demonstrated more NLP in his life than many who have studied all the theories and the books.

And what about you?

  • How many different NLP Beliefs of Excellence can you recognise in what Jean Kuzniar said to me?
  • What are you curious about? How can you apply your beliefs of possibility to discovering, or re-discovering, the wonders of your world?


If you’d like to learn more about the NLP Beliefs of Excellence, and how they can help you to achieve success in your life, then join us for an NLP Diploma or NLP Practitioner course. Learn more at www.brightlightnlp.com

About Madeleine Allen:  The author is a specialist in Leadership,  Communication and Personal Development for business professionals.  An NLP Trainer and Master Practitioner she conducts in-house corporate training (learn more at www.allentraining.co.uk) and public courses in NLP (learn more at www.brightlightnlp.com)