Notices

View Poll Results: Do you believe the official story of Khufu building the Great Pyramid in 23 years?

Voters
6. You may not vote on this poll
  • Yes. That's what Professional Archaeologists say, and the evidence for their claims is compelling.

    4 66.67%
  • No. I think the evidence against is stronger than the evidence in favor.

    0 0%
  • I'm not sure. There isn't enough evidence to make a reliable decision either way.

    2 33.33%
Results 1 to 11 of 11

Thread: Do you think that Khufu really built the Great Pyramid?

  1. #1 Do you think that Khufu really built the Great Pyramid? 
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Of course, I'm asking because I specifically don't believe it.

    While a 23 years building time is not absolutely impossible, it does strain credulity. It sounds like the kind of story an ancient revisionist Egyptian historian might make up after the "fact" to make the people of a country proud of their heritage.

    I don't think it's anything new for the ancient Egyptians to have occasionally erased unfavorable parts of their own history, or edited things to embellish them, so the records would inspire awe in their neighbors.

    Mostly, I just wonder why there would not be any hieroglyphics etched inside. It's a very big building to make and then fail to mark. The only hieroglyphics ever found were in an attic above the "kings chamber" that was only accessible by using dynamite to blast through the ceiling, and there's plenty of room to suspect whether the guy who found them really found them, or made them. (they're painted, not etched)

    I don't mean to suggest the Egyptians known to us in history *couldn't* have built it. I just don't think they did. It seems to me likely that it might have been a more ancient culture still.

    Of course, that implies that I believe in further ancient cultures than just those recorded in history, which might be too big a door to open outside of the "pseudo-science" thread. But, in pseudo-science, I'm sure my poll question would get a different answer than it does here, and I'm curious to know what people have to say.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  2.  
     

  3. #2  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    A week is a long time in politics.

    Twenty three years is a long time in pyramid building.

    I voted for Khufu. I don't find the absence of heiroglyphs strange. How many of the pyramids have heiroglyphs in them?

    Howard Vyse certainly had the opportunity, means and motive to forge Khufu's cartouche. He may well have done so. For that reason I am not certain the pyramid was Khufu's, but I do not doubt it was built rapidly and around the same time as Khufu ruled. Hence my positive vote, since it is closer to my opinion than your alternatives.


    Reply With Quote  
     

  4. #3  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Unsure.

    To my eye (I'm a builder) the task is not incomprehensible and could be tackled in various ways. The means would be plain to any "handy" people who can weave boats, transport logs, stack dikes, etc. which apparently was common know-how long predating Khufu. So I snicker at the postindustrial klutz's estimation that a monumental task demands esoteric arts.

    Also, a flood-plain economy kinda needs such superprojects, to keep everybody focused, employed, and practiced for mundane organized projects like building embankments and jetties. It would be good to stretch the make-work project out over years.

    So the people of that time could have and should have built such works.

    On the other hand, most records are self-aggrandizing, and baldfaced lies are common. Actually, as a builder, I often hear customer homeowners relate to visitors, "When we built the..."

    Kinda related: I suspect the great Sphinx's head was originally a lion head. Look at the proportions.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  5. #4  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Unsure.

    To my eye (I'm a builder) the task is not incomprehensible and could be tackled in various ways. The means would be plain to any "handy" people who can weave boats, transport logs, stack dikes, etc. which apparently was common know-how long predating Khufu. So I snicker at the postindustrial klutz's estimation that a monumental task demands esoteric arts.
    I agree it's not impossible. I'm not suggesting that they couldn't have. I'm just wondering why any realistic group of people would have gone to that much effort. To some degree the answer is obvious: The same reason the USA did the moon landing: to show they could.

    As for the arts: the fact that technology wasn't widespread in the old world doesn't preclude technology from existing. Its likely a very highly trained guild of engineers oversaw the construction, whenever it happened, and may have employed technologies that were purposefully being kept from the general population. (We know the stone masons of mid-evil Europe didn't share their secrets with just anyone. Why go thinking that ancient masons were different?)
    Reply With Quote  
     

  6. #5  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    why any realistic group of people would have gone to that much effort.
    What I said. The group had to. To remain an organized group. Remember they were unemployed and forced to camp out somewhere each flood season!

    Dispense with the "unexplained mystery" we were taught.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    Its likely a very highly trained guild of engineers oversaw the construction, whenever it happened, and may have employed technologies that were purposefully being kept from the general population.
    I believe you're underestimating the know-how and practical ingenuity of people who work and think with their hands.

    *Gestures frustration*

    How do I express this? It is not something one can write, or keep "secret". Yes now we have to read books and attend classes to knit a blanket or build a well. But if you had been able to survive 6,000 years ago these skills would be common knowledge or common sense to you. There's nothing special about building pyramids that you couldn't grasp, because your mundane existence already necessitates every "trick" or "secret" required.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  7. #6  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    Well, of course you need a professional engineer(s) of some kind to plan it, so the bricks all fit into place. There's a pyramid that has two slopes to it, because apparently they had built it half way before someone realized it wasn't going to hold together unless they flattened the slope a bit.

    There are also some genuinely true things about it's alignment to stars and such. Not all of the perceived alignments are sensationalist speculation. (Just the ones that require knowledge people didn't have)

    I'm not inclined to believe that the stone masonry guilds of mid-evil Europe were some kind of anomaly, that only surfaced that one time in history because of some special collaboration of different circumstances. It seems to me more likely that professional guilds played the same role in ancient times as colleges play now, but with one exception: Lacking a printing press, they could only afford to educate a very small number of people.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  8. #7  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    a professional engineer(s) of some kind to plan it, so the bricks all fit into place.
    Lego bricks. Child's play. They plan and complete lions and helicopters and articulated robot arms before school age. No child will build a pyramid though because a pyramid even with chambers is too easy!

    The main problem I think is coordinating all hands on the same task. Watch a group of children with blocks. They may all agree to build a space station and any one design would do, but alas each builder envisions a different solution. So our Chief Engineer was more foreman than architect. Basically an arbiter.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    alignment to stars
    Odd that a decidedly non-nomadic culture would orient their edifices by navigation not geography. Isn't it?

    On the other hand, builders do nothing at random. Especially when we work together! So we snatch something arbitrary: When I'm drafting a renovation, I often transfer measurements from anything already present... e.g. if I need to locate a door "about three feet" from a wall then I might choose 2'-10 3/4" because that happens to be the width of a nearby window.

    All else being equal, surrounded by shifting dunes, I guess I'd take my cues from stars. That's also quite expedient from a construction foreman's perspective. It's a practical standard everybody can follow.

    Maybe space aliens misinterpret our reverence for the metric meter. Like, we worship it.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    professional guilds
    Well sure. But I sense you're overstressing the secret arts thing. Guilds regulate, that's all. They're organizations, not vaults of precious knowledge. Anyway, the skills required to build pyramids should have been essential everyday know-how. Think of how flood plains farmers must survive. If they could live that life, they could build pyramids.

    Seriously, the harness for a team of horses plus chariot is way more sophisticated than a pyramid. Lots of things are. A potter's kiln is. Such knowledge is lost only to post industrial wage-slaves like ourselves.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  9. #8  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    8,035
    As for the stars, any smart ancient politician always wants to connect him/her-self with the stars, and the days when astrology was considered a serious scientific endeavor aren't that long past.

    As for planning, you're right that there are limits on how much sophistication is needed, even when you're building with really heavy blocks. You're forgetting, though, that in the pre-printing press era, even basic literacy was less than common.

    Mathematical sophistication beyond the ability to count and maybe do basic arithmetic would be the exclusive domain of guilds, because they're the only people who had any practical use for such knowledge. At the very least, the pyramids demonstrate a knowledge of geometry. (Which masons always called "sacred geometry" to make it sound more spectacular.)


    You're also forgetting to look at even the way the world is run today, specifically among heavily stratified, or authoritarian societies. A lot of basic knowledge is deliberately kept from people to force them to depend on their leaders.

    A friend of mine over in Iraq explained to me that the way soldiers are trained in most of the middle east and Russian areas is that they deliberately refrain from teaching the soldiers how to read a map. The idea is that way they can't frag their officer. A lot of the soldiers he was training would personally thank him for teaching them that basic skill.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  10. #9  
    Universal Mind John Galt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    14,168
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Odd that a decidedly non-nomadic culture would orient their edifices by navigation not geography. Isn't it?
    The Egyptian civilisation depended entirely upon Nile. The annual flood could be best predicted by noting the changing positions of the stars. So it was decidedly not odd.
    Reply With Quote  
     

  11. #10  
    Time Lord
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Posts
    5,328
    Quote Originally Posted by John Galt
    Quote Originally Posted by Pong
    Odd that a decidedly non-nomadic culture would orient their edifices by navigation not geography. Isn't it?
    The Egyptian civilisation depended entirely upon Nile. The annual flood could be best predicted by noting the changing positions of the stars. So it was decidedly not odd.
    Sounds good to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by kojax
    literacy... Mathematical sophistication... basic knowledge is deliberately kept from people
    We're butting heads.

    Consider: Illiterate farmers have built barns. These are folk who attended maybe a few years of poor rural schoolhouse education. They've designed and built houses complete with cunningly articulated doors and windows, multiple fireplaces set into towering chimneys, a windmill-driven pump out back. How is this possible? When your whole existence is solving material problems with your hands, you just know how to put things together. Your typical pyramid labourer would have been in this "headspace": Weave a basket? Okay no problem. Weave a different pattern, say a chair. Sure, that's interesting. It's not something derived on paper, by experts.

    Now few of us can wrap our minds around a three dimensional weave, and we'll want to use some advanced software to design it. But the way we approach mechanical problems is totally alien to the traditional way. Yes it's geometry. But it's better taken as geometry one grasps, as in chess. The Egyptians didn't need to work everything out on paper.

    They must have been amazingly handy people, since they weren't much else. I'm not saying they could do anything with that. It's one limited way of engaging the world. The engineering of pyramids was relatively simple compared to many more banal crafts the survival of those farmers depended on.
    A pong by any other name is still a pong. -williampinn
    Reply With Quote  
     

  12. #11  
    Suspended
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    439
    I would have thought that any doubt about the authenticity of the depictions could be verified/refuted by analysys of the drawings in question.
    Reply With Quote  
     

Bookmarks
Bookmarks
Posting Permissions
  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •