Schatzoekers – het geheim van de piramide

“Teach your children well” – Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (1970)

From an inner urge to teach children, I decided 30 years ago to become a teacher for elementary school. During my education, for four years, I was a member of a cabaret group called ‘Framboos’, led by our director. Therefore, I already was critical regarding the rules and laws, made by the Dutch government concerning the educational system. After completing this education, you are considered to be able to teach in a responsible manner. The first years I’ve done this with great pleasure. In later years, I noticed the shortcomings of our education system. All children are different; everyone has its own needs but almost all pupils in the same grade are offered the same curriculum.

When our children were born, I made a conscious decision to stop working (temporarily). That was the moment when there was time and opportunity experience new things. I followed several courses and developed myself further. The turning point for me came in 2002 when I received a gift from my husband that he had purchased at the frontier symposium for me. It was a book about crop circles. I immediately knew that I, without my husband and children, had to travel to South West England, the cradle of the crop circles and so I did. I became fascinated by the phenomenon and still am to this day. On a regular basis, I write articles and give lectures on the subject. Meanwhile, I was also to be found in front of a classroom as a reservist. Although colleagues found my fascination and love for the shapes in the fields peculiar, the students found it very interesting. It frequently happened that the subject of crop circles came up, but the kids could not find enough information to satisfy their curiosity. It was on an English hillside, overlooking a magnificent formation when I suddenly knew what I had to do. I had to inform the children myself by writing a book. And thinking this over, I could clearly see how the story should begin and end. Once I got home I started to make a list of the information that I wanted to share and in a strange way I, who had never written before, was able to write a book. Almost as if I was guided by an invisible power. That story became the children’s’ book ‘Circle Chasers’.

These days I am a part-time teacher again, teaching children in the age from 4 to 12. Although education has not changed in all those years, the children did. It is time that we take a good look at how we could do better, and do more justice to every individual. This will be a long, arduous, painful and laborious process for current teachers who often deny that there is such a thing as new-age children. The way of teaching has not changed substantially in schools. Of course, the digital world joined in the classes, but there is still taught that dolmens are the graves of the Funnel Beaker people, and that the Great Pyramid of Giza is the tomb of Pharaoh Cheops. As a person, I find this more and more difficult to teach. I am known as the rebel-teacher at my school, who regularly deviates from the (history) methods.

With all the knowledge of the Great Pyramid available in my house (through my husband Willem Witteveen) it had to be possible again to write down the information for children aged 9-12 years, hidden in an exciting story? The idea slowly grew, I had enough personal travel experience, information and motivation and I had followed several courses in order to become a better writer.

During the entire writing process of my first book, I had no idea of the title (the last recorded words proved to be the title) I knew the title of this book had to be “Treasure Hunters”. Don’t we all dream of the opportunity to find enormous treasure one day? A treasure that makes sure we never have to worry about money anymore. But real treasure is not always expressed in money, it can take many forms: love, friendship, happiness and knowledge.

I wanted to use the same main characters as in Circle Chasers: Thomas. An ordinary boy from a family where the parents look beyond the end of their noses. It is up to the reader to figure out what part of the book contains real people and what part is sprung from the imagination of the author, but of course there are similarities with our family.

Thomas and his family go for a holiday to Egypt and there he meets an Egyptian boy: Mahmout. Mahmout got hold of an old map with the image of a man, a chest and the Eye of Horus inside a secret chamber in the Great Pyramid. The two boys want to investigate if there could be a real treasure hidden inside the Great Pyramid. During their journey through Egypt they collect clues to bring them closer to the treasure. At the same time, they try to stay out of the hands of a dangerous treasure robber who wants to attack them and find the treasure himself.

The tour is informative, exciting and thrilling and leads past Cairo: the Khal-el-Khalili, the Egyptian Museum, the Colossi of Memnon, Luxor and the Valley of the Kings and comes to a nightly highlight up- and inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. No topic remains undiscussed; orbs are to be seen in the pictures made inside the King’s Chamber and the Atlantis ring is used as a talisman to protect the boys.

Thomas felt the cold stone floor through his clothes. His mother took a picture of him while he was in the sarcophagus. “Now close your eyes and make a soft humming sound.” He listened to the voice of his father and kept his lips together. He did not understand why he had to do this. Later he would ask for an explanation. He made a soft sound from the back of his throat. “Hummm.” Suddenly he was startled, opened his eyes and sat up. “How can this be possible? I made a very soft sound but what I heard was a huge noise! It seemed like all the walls were trembling. ” He looked into the smiling face of his father. “That, young man, is the secret of the Great Pyramid. It’s all about sound. “

The content of the book is less fictional than one would expect. The information about the interior of the Pyramid is faithful to the actual dimensions of the structure but also the secret, or hidden, room is not as fictional as one might think. In the book Mysteries of the Pyramid by David H. Lewis, written in the first half of the 20th century, a secret chamber is already mentioned and in the books of Willem Witteveen he can, through calculations flawlessly prove, where this room can be found. The current project where the pyramids are scanned (ScanPyramids) will hopefully demonstrate this.

The boys eventually succeed to find the secret room and find their treasure. The treasure they find however is an unexpected treasure, a treasure with a message that shows them that they, as the adults of the future, will be able to take to better care for the earth than the current generations. Of course, there will be people who criticize, and blame me here, in their opinion that the boys should find diamonds and gemstones but I do believe that today’s young generation is perfectly able to get the message of the story. We have underestimated them long enough and it’s time that we start to rely on them for our future.

Thomas and Mahmout

Text back cover 

Mahmout slowly brought the whistle to his mouth and blew it.

Thomas listened to him. “Can you play the flute?”

Mahmout nodded and said, before he took a breath, “I learned it from my cousin who is a shepherd. I sometimes went with him and we played the flute to kill time. “

Mahmout played on. It was a beautiful sound. The flute made a low tone. Thomas closed his eyes and enjoyed the sounds. It was soothing and he knew he would remember this moment all his life.

Suddenly he heard a sound. He looked around and tried to find out where it came from. It sounded like two large stones slowly rubbed each other. Mahmout kept playing. Thomas stood up and walked towards the sound as it grew louder. He looked around the corner and beckoned Mahmout. “Do not stop playing. Come here.’

Mahmout did what Thomas asked him to do and walked towards him whilst playing the flute. When Mahmout saw, what Thomas saw, he stopped playing.

They looked at each other. With amazement they saw what had happened.The Pyramid had responded to the sound of music. A large stone had opened like a door and behind it was the hidden chamber.

Thomas visits Egypt with his parents and his sister for a holiday. There he meets Mahmout who has a treasure map. The boys decide to investigate if the information on the map could be true. Will they find the treasure, what does it contain and do the boys manages to stay out of the hands of the dangerous safari man who is chasing them?

Treasure hunters is an exciting book with lots of information about Egypt and the Great Pyramid in particular, for children from 9-12 years.

Title: Schatzoekers – het geheim van de piramide

Language: Dutch

Author: Annemieke Witteveen

Publisher: Frontier Publishing Amsterdam

ISBN 9789078070917

Illustrations: Joeri van den Anker