I have now watched the part on the pyramids from Bob Brier’s ‘Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt’, which I purchased from TheGreatCourses.com. What is laid out there is that the pyramids were constructed as tombs for pharaohs, which also represents the mainstream view on this subject matter.
After having watched Brier’s lectures, I now am convinced that the mainstream version on the construction of the pyramids is wrong. I would even like to go as far and label Brier’s version as laughable. A few points to illustrate this conclusion of mine;
– Brier talking about pharaohs is quite similar to Göbbels (propaganda minister for the Nazis) talking about Hitler. According to Brier, the good things that have been achieved in ancient Egypt were allegedly thanks to the oppressive, totalitarian rule of the pharaohs. Key innovations like irrigation systems emerged, according to Brier, due to the central-planning authority of the pharaohs. This is like saying that today we have to be thankful to Al Gore for the internet. Brier also implicitly glorifies oppression and brutal killings by pharaohs throughout several sections of the DVDs (especially when covering Narmer’s unification). Brier’s lectures have nothing to do with analytical thinking or with research. What it is, is full blown collectivist, fascist propaganda. This needs to be said very clearly upfront.
– Brier gives no reason for why pharaohs chose pyramids as tombs. He simply says that Djoser (allegedly the first pharaoh to build pyramids) ‘had the idea’ to build a pyramid.
– Brier does not clarify why no mummies or remnants of bodies have ever been found in pyramids. As mentioned in a previous post of mine, the argument about tomb raiders doesn’t hold up.
– Brier does not clarify how Ancient Egyptians cut, transport and set 30 stones per hour (most of them weighing several tons, some of them 40 tons and more) in a 20 year period, totaling 2.3 million stones with a total error of a quarter of an inch. That is how far the apex of the pyramid is off center. I am not sure if we could reproduce this act with today’s technology (the physicist Nassim Haramein doesn’t think so, for example), not to talk about ancient Egyptians with copper tools, wooden logs and ropes.
– Brier doesn’t even talk about the construction of the big Pyramids of Giza at all. He merely gives some inconsistent explanations for smaller pyramids; and even these raise more questions than he claims to address.
– Brier doesn’t address why there are no hieroglyphs in the pyramids at all. It can’t be for divine reasons, since he stresses that pyramids did not serve any divine purposes to the Egyptians. He also doesn’t clarify why no Egyptian hieroglyphs ever talk about the Egyptians having built the pyramids.
– Most importantly: Brier says that pyramids have been constructed by means of force and coercion from the pharaohs. It wasn’t something that the people would have done on their own. If the ancient Egyptians really constructed the pyramids, we also know that it would have cut out a very significant portion of their GDP for decades. Some say that more than hundred thousand people had to be employed for years, even decades to get these things constructed. That is a very big part of GDP for an ancient people living in the desert. We also know that, if the ancient Egyptians really constructed the pyramids, it must have been a feature of brilliance, of genius. And not just one genius. You would have needed geniuses all over the place, such as in the fields of: mathematics, astronomy, planning, logistics, cutting stones, transportation, management, lifting stones, engineering, construction etc. Anywhere you look, you would have required pure genius in order to come up with the Pyramids of Giza. How is it possible to create and assure a level of specialization and genius over a period of multiple decades for something that is a big drain on overall GDP and for something that is based on pure coercion and force? It is like the North Koreans today coming up with the most impressive buildings and sky-lines, to which New York or Hong Kong or Singapore would pale in contrast. This is not possible, because genius at that level cannot be created and sustained under a system of coercion. It doesn’t make a difference if the coercion comes from a ruler (a pharaoh) or from a perceived god. Not only can you not expect North Koreans to come up with a such a feat, the same applies to ‘mystic’ people, like the Iranians or the Indians. Similarly, Brier’s explanation that the Great Pyramids of Giza were solicited and brought about by a system of coercion is utterly illogical, and in my personal view even nonsensical. These levels of genius and specialization could have only be brought about by the ancient Egyptians (if they did it) under a system completely based on individualism, free market enterprise and freedom. But there was no such system in ancient Egypt. As such the ancient Egyptians could not have produced the pyramids. Somebody else did.
– There are even further grave inconsistencies in Brier’s version, ie the mainstream version.
It has still been useful for me to watch Brier’s lectures (although intellectually they are quite poor, due to the mentioned fact that they have nothing to do with reason and everything to do with crude totalitarian propaganda), because now I can fully and confidently dismiss the mainstream version on the Egyptian pyramids.
This doesn’t mean that I take Nassim Haramein’s version (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcwOsz6W2jc, minute 3 onwards) at face value, but parts of what he is saying are at least logical and even probable to my thinking.
Finally I want to point out that this realization is quite significant me. Being able to now confidently dismiss the mainstream version on the pyramids has profound consequences on my understanding of humanity and its history.
One possible (but by no means final) explanations is that Western civilization did not start 5000 years ago in Sumer and Egypt, but that there were highly civilized societies around much earlier than that already. These civilizations might have had (at least partially) superior technology than what we have today.