Scholarly Online Bibliographies for the Study of Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia

One word for this site: wow.

The above link leads to a gateway site for online bibliographies related to the study of the ancient Near East. It’s an amazing resource.

You’re welcome!

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BBC’s Head-in-the-Sand Report on “New” Pyramid Building Theory

Ah, the archeo-pundit media. To quote Time Bandits, one of my favorite college-years movies, “You are so mercifully free from the ravages of intelligence.”

A BBC reporter published this clueless piece today: “Newport Man’s Theory Turns Pyramid Building on its Head.” The big idea? The pyramid was built from the inside out.

Yes, you read that correctly. This is only news if (like the BBC) you’ve never heard of Jean-Pierre Houdin, or never watched the National Geographic special on this now famous French architect’s internal ramp theory about how the Great Pyramid was built, or never sat through my Egyptology class. Honestly, National Geographic wrote about this nearly seven years ago, as did Archaeology magazine.

So no, this guy from Newport isn’t on to anything ground-breaking. He’s behind the curve. But at least his restoration work is lending (more) support to Houdin’s earlier theory.

For information on Houdin and his theory, see the links and books below.

YouTube index (a few videos on the idea)

The Em-Hotep blog has written a great deal on Houdin and the internal ramp theory

Books and Videos:

The Secret of the Great Pyramid: How One Man’s Obsession Led to the Solution of Ancient Egypt’s Greatest Mystery

Khufu: The Secrets Behind the Building of the Great Pyramid

(DVD) Unlocking the Great Pyramid

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Pyramidiocy and Common Sense (And a Little Grasp of Ancient Religion)

I was just sent the image below from a friend who asked for my opinion.

pydmap

I often get pictures like this that people think “prove” certain ideas about ancient alien influence on world civilizations. Asinine. Pardon my yawn.

Let me summarize what this proves:

All ancient cultures believed the gods lived where humans did not and could not – mountains, the depths of the sea, the waters above the sky, below the earth, etc. They also believed the gods lived in the best possible places – hence also the luxuriant garden idea, known best in arid cultures where finding an oasis was a big deal.

Taking the “gods live on mountains” idea, to localize a deity so that you can worship it and offer sacrifice, in return for blessing and barter, you’d build the deity a vacation home – in the shape of a mountain, like his or her real home. A home away from home.

Consequently, such images make me think “whoop-dee-do.” What other architectural shape would you use to build an artificial mountain / home / meeting place for a deity? It’s no surprise that the common shape occurs all over the world. It’s quite understandable.

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Feeding the Pyramid Builders

Here’s a link to an interesting article about recent archaeological research in the village that housed the pyramid builders. It focuses on the evidence for large settled herds that generated food and served as a food source.

Why is it on Paleobabble?

Well, it’s sort of odd that this sort of thing would be needed at the Giza pyramid complex if the ancient Egyptians used the advance alien technology of levitation. We *know* it couldn’t be human. So, if they had levitation, one would think the pyramid would take very little time. Maybe a week with all those stones floating around — no need to drag them. Oh, and the lasers to cut them like butter. The pyramid would be a short-term project. Hmmm.

Or maybe it wasn’t aliens with technology advanced far beyond our own.

 

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Fidel Castro, Plato, Richard Hoagland, and Giorgio Tsoukalos

What’s the connection between all of them, you ask?

Why, Cuba, of course.

I just came across a worthwhile essay on the Bad Archaeology site dedicated to the last underwater city off the coast of Cuba (there’s Fidel) that space aliens no doubt helped to build. Why aliens? Because the city had pyramids, don’t you know . . . and a matching face in it like the “face” on Mars (made infamous by Richard Hoagland). Naturally, the Ancient Aliens research team (read: tripe imagineers) gave it air time (there’s Giorgio) since it must be Atlantis (enter Plato). I remember hearing Hoagland and Linda Moulton Howe giving repeated updates on this “find” in 2001 on Coast to Coast AM.

What could possibly be amiss with a story like that? Just a few things. You can read the basics here.

 

Review of Ancient Aliens Debunked

Jason Colavito recently posted this positive review of the 3-hour documentary. I haven’t watched it yet, even though I’m in it. It’s hard for me to find three hours to do anything. I’ll get to it eventually, likely in bits.

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Unknown Pyramid Complexes Discovered Using Google Earth

Pretty neat; check this link (with pictures).

The interesting thing is that they seem to have the same diagonal arrangement as the pyramids of Giza.  I can hardly wait to see what Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval come up with as to how that would fit in the Orion theory.

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Radical Muslim Clerics Call for Destruction of the Pyramids

In the latest news from “democratic” Egypt, certain factions among Egypt’s Muslim community are demanding that the new Egyptian president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s political leader, get rid of those awful ”pagan” pyramids.

Perfectly reasonable.

 

 

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“We Couldn’t Build the Great Pyramid Today” – We Could Do Better

I’m nearly finished with the book by David McCullough, The Path Between the Seas: The Creation of the Panama Canal, 1870-1914. I don’t ever want to hear any such nonsensical statement again about how the Great Pyramid is beyond modern reach.  Ever. To not laugh when I hear it would be to suffer a fool, and that wasn’t my strong suit before I read the book.

Just one statistic will suffice for this post. It has been estimated that, if the Great Pyramid were built today it would require 3 million cubic yards of concrete. Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? A drop in the bucket compared to the Panama Canal.

In just the American phase of the construction (1903-1914) a total of 238,845,587 cubic yards were excavated. In 1907, men were moving 1,000,000 cubic yards every month. Three million cubic yards pales in comparison. It would have been a vacation for the tens of thousands of men working in Panama. And the cubic yardage doesn’t even begin to describe the engineering logistics and obstacles, not to mention this was all done through waves of malaria and yellow fever.It’s truly a colossal feat of engineering.

But, Mike, you say, it’s not a fair comparison. The people building the canal had machines like steam shovels and trains. Uh … that’s my point. We *could* build the Great Pyramid today and it wouldn’t require aliens, just like it didn’t back in ancient Egypt. As impressive as the Great Pyramid is, its engineering problems are known and solvable. Sure, a couple of dim-witted scientists in a NOVA television special weren’t up to the task — which only shows they weren’t up to the task. Engineers like Jean Pierre Houdin have articulated in great (and coherent) detail how the pyramid could have been built without modern machinery. Other engineers (namely Davidovits and Barsoum) have proposed that the pyramid blocks were fabricated ancient concrete. Scholars of Egyptian engineering are well informed in Egyptian construction methods, including the pyramids.

And isn’t it odd how ancient astronaut theorists never seem to talk about the failed pyramid projects, like the pyramid of Huni (the Meidum collapsed pyramid), built during the reign of Sneferu, the father of Khufu? Maybe the aliens were on vacation for that one. And also the Bent Pyramid . . . and the Step Pyramid of Djoser, which was built in stages after altering the non-pyramid burial mastaba style. These are all examples of human engineering — the Egyptians learned how to build pyramids gradually, trying new techniques and learning from failures. Pyramid engineering evolved through various transitions. The pyramids themselves demonstrate this quite clearly. To say they needed alien help is just insulting.

 

 

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