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Saturday

Pity the builders of Giza. For all the impressiveness of their creations—those postcard-perfect symbols of ancient Egypt’s architectural prowess—they are rewarded with doubt. Aliens built the pyramids! Atlanteans built the pyramids! Of course, that’s bunk. And now there’s some proof. Since 1988, a team has been unearthing evidence of what they call the “Lost City.” It’s a planned complex—17 acres’ worth—of structures that housed the workers and workshops that probably built the sprawling ancient site. Ironically, Mark Lehner, director of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project and head of the excavation of the Lost City, first came to Egypt inspired by some of the bunk—Edgar Cayce’s prophesied Hall of Records, which is supposedly buried beneath the Sphinx. He’s since shifted his focus to more accepted archaeological thought, as he writes in a note on his team’s Web site: “We survey the physical reality of Giza and excavate the archaeological record.” He discusses his team’s work as part of the Smithsonian Institution’s daylong seminar “The Lost City of the Pyramid Builders” from 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the S. Dillon Ripley Center, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $131. (202) 252-0012. (Mike Kanin)