How the Pyramids Were Built.

September 14, 2011 0 Comments

Should readers object that I have chosen a single unfortunate misstep (everyone makes mistakes) out of 600+ pages of otherwise careful analysis to prove a point, similar strictures apply to the Ogilvie-Herald/Lawton ‘analysis’ of pyramid building. Now, this is not quite the same situation as Domingo’s forensic work, which is the result of a carefully developed methodology that commonly works in practice. Here, Ogilvie-Herald and Lawton do not incriminate themselves in a single glorious paragraph, but rather over the space of some 60 diffuse, ultimately self-contradictory pages.


This comes from their entry in the Daily Grail website but it is a resume of their treatment of the subject in their book:

“Our readers will be aware that our research for Giza: The Truth led us to come out in favour of the orthodox explanations as to when the Giza pyramids were built (c. 2500 B.C.) and why (primarily as funerary edifices, but accepting that there was a great deal of esoteric symbolism and ritual involved). As to how they were built, we feel that there is no conclusive evidence in the pyramids themselves which requires us to look outside of essentially orthodox explanations, even in the “worst” case of the 70-tonne granite blocks which had to be dragged up (in our view via a spiral ramp) to between one third and one half of the height of the Great Pyramid to form the ceilings/floors of the King’s and Relieving Chambers. Nor do we feel that the logistics of Khufu building the Great Pyramid in something like 20 years—or even his father Sneferu’s achievement of erecting three sizeable pyramids in a similar period—were impossible, or required anything other than massive commitment and dedication to a national cause, and superb project management skills. This is notwithstanding our boundless admiration for the quality of the workmanship, and our acceptance that, for example, tube drills were used with great skill— albeit that we do not believe at this stage that these tools were powered by anything other than human or animal labour...


“However there are two areas in which we might be said to depart from the orthodox line. The first is that of acoustics, where ongoing work by researchers such as John Reid is suggesting that the ancient Egyptians had a highly advanced understanding of acoustic properties and design— although we feel it is critical that such theories be evaluated in the context of, for example, other 4th Dynasty pyramids such as those at Dashur, as opposed to concentrating exclusively on the Great Pyramid and to a lesser extent its counterparts at Giza. And the second is that of sonic levitation— which is clearly not entirely unrelated...”


Here again, as non-engineers and non-movers-of-stone, they beg to differ with the engineers, quarrymen and crane drivers familiar with moving huge chunks of heavy matter. These acknowledged experts in various relevant fields assert that their own level of expertise is insufficient to account for the very large fact of carefully fitted 200- ton blocks in the Sphinx and Valley temples and 70-ton blocks in the King’s chamber halfway up the pyramid. After concerted studies of the problems involved in pyramid building, they maintain that no known, simple method of ramps, levers and sledges (which was apparently all the ancient Egyptians had at their disposal) explains their ability to move the stones into place.


In and of itself, that expert opinion does not mean that the Egyptians couldn’t have done it that way. What it does mean is that Ogilvie-Herald and Lawton’s characteristically uninformed conviction that that is how they did do it is as arrogant as it is uninformed.


To support that conviction there are only the opinions of non-engineer Egyptologists, which are by definition suspect, and a single clever but manifestly inappropriate ramp-and-rope experiment by Mark Lehner in which average size 1/2 - 2 ton blocks, similar to those in the core masonry of the Great Pyramid were successfully but roughly wrestled more or less into place up mud-slicked rubble ramps to the height of twenty feet. (Note: When the cameras weren’t trained on the action, a bulldozer was pushing the recalcitrant blocks into easy striking distance. Shortage of time was the reason given.)


Most technological methods tend to have inherent, self-imposed limits. What works with a ton does not, in and of itself, mean that it will work with 70 or 200 tons.


But now, having thrown their joint inexpertise in behind orthodoxy— while ignoring all those informed contrary opinions, along with the 70-ton blocks—they reverse themselves and decide that ramps/levers/unlimited manpower will not suffice, after all, to explain the 200-ton blocks in the Sphinx and Valley Temples. What will? Well, acoustic levitation maybe? And off they go on another diffuse ramble into the resonant properties of the King’s Chamber and ‘burial’ chambers of the Red Pyramid (Dahshur), citing various sound experiments done there and then off into the sound levitation experiments that we, in our “Mystery of the Sphinx” video, cited as a possibility in principle. In principle because, at present an elaborate space-age machine is capable only of levitating a pea-size pebble. They speculate that, hey! if the resonant properties of the chambers cited above are deliberately ‘tuned’ to specific frequencies (I think they are, too) then maybe that knowledge combined with some (totally unidentified and undemonstrable) ancient Egyptian, gravity-reversing technology was what put the 200-ton blocks into place after all.


But of course, if they had such a technology in place for 200-ton blocks, then why go to the prodigious trouble of building gigantic building ramps to put the smaller stones of the pyramids into place? The point is that orthodox explanations for how the pyramids were built do NOT—except in principle— suffice to explain how they were built, while the speculation about acoustic levitation is no better, actually worse, since we DO know the Egyptians had ramps, ropes and plenty of manpower, while they do not appear to have had anything resembling an acoustic technology...


Even Zahi Hawass acknowledges that no one REALLY knows how the pyramids were built, (though he, too, ascribes to the ramp theory in one form or another). The credentialed engineers, quarrymen and crane drivers, on the other hand, tend to believe that since they can’t figure out how the task was accomplished with simple technology, it couldn’t have been done that way. But this is erring in the other direction. In other words, the field is open.


It seems to me that the best way to approach this game is very gingerly ... and systematically. And to this end I offer my own contribution — the result of vast (non-expert) reading of the various experts who’ve played this game.


There are, it seems to me, but four possible explanations for building the pyramids, none of them necessarily mutually exclusive.


A. A simple technology (ramps/ levers/sledges) brilliantly applied.

This is of course the only solution allowed by Egyptologists, even though we cannot reproduce such results today. On the other hand, despite what the starry-eyed New Agers (and indeed, the hard-nosed engineers) may say, this cannot be dis-allowed. Put a violin in my hands and I will quickly prove to you that music cannot be wrung from this intractable device. But give the violin to a virtuoso and out comes Bach’s Partita or the Paganini Violin Concerto. Just because we can’t move 200-ton blocks up a ramp doesn’t mean they couldn’t.


B. A hard technology for which there is no evidence.

This sounds on the surface outrageous, but who knows what ancient technology may have looked like. Suppose, 5000 years from now, a computer is found, and technology at that time does not use electricity or microchips and there is no record of such instruments. Computers turn up in archeological digs but they are mute bits of plastic with no moving parts. They might be fobbed off as ceremonial/ religious artifacts (with some justification perhaps). Who could guess that the Library of Congress could be stored on a few internal chips, or that prodigious mathematical calculations could be performed on them with the touch of a few keys? Maybe certain familiar but mysterious symbols of Egypt—the djed column for instance—were actually technological devices, and we just don’t know how to use them? Who knows?


C. A soft technology — mind power—for which, by definition, there can be no evidence, and the knowledge was a priestly secret and/or references in the texts have been mistranslated.

The Egyptians were very good at keeping secrets; the texts refer to secret knowledge over and over again. It was the garrulous Greeks, Pythagorean defectors, who let the secrets outs of the bag. Ancient Egyptian, unlike Sanskrit, is not a living tradition and has had to be reconstructed from scratch mainly by scholars hostile to a mystical and esoteric tradition. Thus, possible references to such a soft technology may have been misunderstood or ignored. Yogis, Zen masters, advanced martial artists, and shamans can routinely perform physical feats that to the rest of us look and are impossible. But there is a volume of evidence to prove they can do it.


D. Aliens dunnit.

I personally like this explanation less than the others. I prefer to think that people rather like ourselves, but unencumbered with our stultifying and banal rationalist/materialist baggage, did it. Still, anyone who looks seriously into UFO literature has to acknowledge that something is going on out there and they (whoever ‘they’ may be) are periodically coming here. Why I cannot imagine. But who knows? We go up there, why shouldn’t they come down here—and once here, for alien reasons of their own, build pyramids?


The point is that the facile assurances given by Ogilvie-Herald/Lawton endorsing the orthodox viewpoint are illegitimate, their exclusion of contrary, genuinely informed opinion is typical of their selective bogus scholarship, and their long-winded acoustic levitation hypothesis is pure speculation and self-contradictory besides. We still don’t know how the pyramids were built. Period. Full stop. Over to you...


The article by Robert Schoch

Egyptian pyramid construction techniques


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