The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. Mark Lehner: Zahi is one of my oldest friends. I met him in We can work together because we don't diverge that much, but on particular questions and particular issues Zahi has one favored opinion and I have another. But that's par for the course for scholarship. It's not like a Republican and a Democrat talking about what the US economy should be. Mark Lehner. My break-out project was to map the Great Sphinx, stone by stone.
Nobody had done that before.
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The Sphinx was the key that led to a wider understanding of the whole Giza plateau, because it's made right out of the bedrock. It's like a testimony of the layering in the geological veneering of the plateau. Zahi and I both still wonder whether something might be under the Sphinx. My career started from the point of view of New Ageist Edgar Cayce.
Zahi knew that, and my mental transformation was concomitant with my increasing friendship with him. The Edgar Cayce people had this idea that there would be a Hall of Records under the Sphinx: a vault containing the records of Atlantis and the unknown ancient history of the time when all the New Ageists say the pyramids were really made. I take the Hall of Records metaphorically now. We're going back to the Sphinx in the coming months. It would be really nice to find what is there before our careers end. A man stands on an outcrop on the Giza plateau, surrounded by land quarried in antiquity.
To understand the pyramids, you have to turn your back to them. These are very human monuments -- I guess that's what we'd like the readers to take away. You can see the human hand everywhere; in the chisel marks where the stone has not eroded; inside and outside on the stones of the Great Pyramid.
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Where are all the people? Where's all the infrastructure? What does it tell us about how they organized themselves? So much has changed since we started. It's almost to the benefit of posterity that it took so long to write the book. When we started we had not yet found what we can call the Lost City of the Pyramids.
We had an idea that it was out there -- to the south of the Sphinx, and south of this gigantic stone wall. What we're dealing with is really a massive port city of its time -- the Lost City. It was importing cedar from Lebanon, and granite from Aswan, kilometers from the south. The bit that's missing is the true magnitude -- I think it was kind of probably like Versailles and then some.
But now the area is covered with modern metropolis and it's probably un-gettable. More Videos Mysterious void discovered in Great Pyramid What really blew our minds was the discovery of the Wadi al-Jarf Papyri. These papyri, discovered by our French colleague Pierre Tallet near the Red Sea in , with a translation published in , contain a virtual logbook of a man named Merer, who was delivering stones from the eastern quarries for the Pyramid of Khufu.
They're amazing documents that shed light on the waterways. Just as our book was being put to bed, I was reconstructing a model of the water transport infrastructure; how they use the seven meter rise of the Nile every summer to fall as a hydraulic lift for delivering stones to the pyramids. That's an interesting story in its own right, which deserves its own book.
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I have boxes and boxes of file folders full of 'alternative' Egyptian theories. Steve and Elaine Wynn, visionaries:. A year old brand story that began in the legacy of master shoemaker, Salvatore Capezio and continues to this day in a broadening familial legacy , we rebuilt and newly vitalized the story that boosted the heritage into the 21st century.
Lev Leviev , a man who started with virtually nothing built the most extraordinary diamond trading empire in the world and sought our skills in interpreting his story for the opening of his first retail expression: Leviev London. Marta Montenegro, editor, magazine foundress, financial strategist, diplomatic aide and exercise and sports guru has worked with Girvin for help in building her human brand as a story that bridged the design evolution of her magazine, South Beach insider SOBeFit and helped energize and launch her sports events , community events and fitness concept, Montenegro Method.
Sharon Stone — actress, producer, writer asked Girvin to support a series of personal expressions that were entirely lead by her visioning. Working at her home, building strategy and visuals for stationery, announcements, motion picture design, the story will be found in inquiry, brand-storming workshops and interviews.
Applying this sequence of ideas, the question comes back to thinking through the layering of your own story — memorable character and unforgettable moments, components of extraordinary and life-changing encounters.
It is about heart — that sense of heart, the fullness of meaning and emotion — is an attribute of experience that lays the foundations of instinct and meaning. Exploring this ideal, the place from which inspiration comes is profound. The concept of beauty in the nature of brand development can be linked to a series of expressions — but warmth and humanity are the most profound; importantly — from the bridge of enterprise to the nature of human branding, this sequence illustrates the framing of the construct.
In observing community — brands that are founded and driven by human character — one positioning might relate to the nature the distinct character of personal vision, catalyzed to story, built to the proposition of outcomes to community.
Small can be beautiful, as well — everyone starts there. But the foundational question remains. That process, as in the development of other studies links current state to dream — how would you describe yourself, what adjectives to frame the way that you could be defined — and how others might describe you. The nature of the story — the human brand story — can be gathered in the journal ; the tablet that transcribes your collection of the content of your experiences.
The idea of drawing, assembling ideas — transitions from one moment to another — one experience to another, tying them together as in a string: for me, travel, mystery, words, the drawn letter, architecture, history, the light filled path — these are all part of the threading of creative exploration. These gatherings are about the bridge of content — thinking about the nature of the journey, as well as finding the place of gathering. But in studying these evolutions — threaded in the context of writing about them: saving them — you can see your story , the string of your experience.
The journal is the hour recorded — the memory, recalled — the succession of days, saving the sequence. Without them, how can one find the patterning of experience? As a person exploring the brand — consider the signature, the nature of your design. Design, signature, the sign-making of experience, these are all figures of your personality. Store them, the story. In my experience, the idea of mixing the forum of the journal — pages built to examine the form of ideas, laying in content, imagery, handwritten notations — fast, slow, complex, simple.
But get it in there, explore more, these journal spreads:. And being.
The issue lies in the intermingling of effort and the craft of your practice and what could be seen in the foundations of the human brand strategy that can emerge — what in the work is compelling? And how does that string to your personality? Scrutiny explicates. Examination deepens. Working with the journal, exploring the truth of who you are, there are themes that emerge — this might be part of the patterning that suggests the alignment in strength of character, your personal attributes and points of distinction.
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What themes are prevalent in your experience — what are you noticing? And what is the truth, what is the responsible way of formulating your view? What to, then — what patterns reveal themselves? Beginning to explore a layering of message in the content that you develop will require focus on the attentionality of your vision — where are you going?
Truth lies beneath the stone
Stay true to your path and keep up the pace of extending and expanding on your telling. Bear in mind the conception of reflection — audience reflectivity — that which is told is similarly extended to others; it goes two ways, one to one — and then shared, one to many. The more that your story is told, the more building there will be — there are rings, ripples that extend from one to another, that rippling spreads and reflects that resonance back to the teller.