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.


Ancient Astro-Nuttiness, Al-Maqrizi, and Giorgio Tsoukalos’ Pseudo-Research

Jason Colavito has called Giorgio Tsoukalos’ bluff — precisely what needs to be done to all ancient astronaut BSers. The research they produce is impressive only to non-specialists and those who never check their work. It’s pure paleobabble. Here’s the introductory paragraph of Jason’s post:

Ancient astronaut proponent Giorgio Tsoukalos claims that the fourteenth century Al-Khitat of Al-Maqrizi (1364-1442 CE) contains evidence that ancient astronauts assisted human beings in the construction of Egypt’s pyramids. This book, the most significant collection of medieval Arabian and Coptic pyramid lore ever assembled, has never been translated into English, so I have translated the passages dealing with pyramids to make this text accessible to interested readers. The following contains all of the significant references to the pyramids in the volume, though some minor allusions have been omitted. A fair review of the voluminous legends collected by Al-Maqrizi reveals no extraterrestrials, and no coherent story. In reading this material, I could come to no better conclusion that Al-Maqrizi himself: “There is no agreement on the time of their construction, the names of those who have raised them, or the cause of their erection. Many conflicting and unfounded legends have been told of them.”

Readers can click here to read the translations of these texts.

So it’s put up or shut up time for Giorgio and other purveyors of ancient astronaut paleobabble. Jason deserves thanks from all of us who care that the intellectual heritage of the ancient world isn’t raped and pillaged to put forth modern myths.

Ancient Aliens Debunked: 3-Hour Documentary Now Online for Free

Readers may recall a few months ago when I announced I’d be interviewed for this documentary. That happened in August. Well, I’m happy to announce that the documentary is finished and online. It’s just over three hours, and free to the public. I haven’t had time to watch it yet, but having read all the scripts, I can tell you it will be well worth viewing. There’s a lot of good research that went into this. Jason Colavito’s work, to which I often direct readers, figures prominently in several places. The producer tells my I’m in the last section. Lastly, make sure you visit the actual website, since other video that didn’t make it into the final product will be kept there for viewing, along with source documentation.

I’ve also created a Page on this blog with a link to the documentary so you can easily find it later and direct friends to it.

The History of Pyramid Research: Another Installment from the Em Hotep Blog

Readers should check out this (very) lengthy entry recently posted on the quite useful Em Hotep blog. Readers may recall that Em Hotep has actually produced a series on pyramid construction and architecture that is very readable and worth bookmarking (check out the “Featured Series” on the front page). This post brings us up-to-date with Gantenbrink’s Upuaut pyramid rover.

Building the Pyramids – It’s Not a Mystery

Well, it’s that time of year again. The Ancient Egypt class that I teach at the local university is set to begin on Wednesday.  I devote a full week to pyramids.  The articles below are part of the readings.  Two of these have appeared on this blog before, but the ones by Isler and Lally are new.  I have students read these because I don’t want anyone leaving my classroom thinking aliens were needed for pyramid construction. Absolute paleobabble.

Fitchen, “Building Cheops’ Pyramid” – Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, Vol. 37, No. 1 (Mar., 1978), pp. 3-12

Isler, “On Pyramid Building” (Part 1) – Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 22 (1985), pp. 129-142

Isler, “On Pyramid Building” (Part 2) – Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 24 (1987), pp. 95-112

Lally, “Engineering a Pyramid” – Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 26 (1989), pp. 207-218

Isler, “Egyptian Methods of Raising Weights” – Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 13 (1976), pp. 31-42

Isler, “An Ancient Method of Finding and Extending Direction” – Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 26 (1989), pp. 191-206

And when someone asks, “well, how come those guys on NOVA couldn’t build a small one – huh?” the answer is simple: “that’s because they were inept.” These articles are written by people who actually understand ancient engineering, not NOVA scientists who want to be on TV.