Reply To: Lecture3 Egypt – Pyramids

Jason Jewell

I don’t want to be unduly dismissive of this interpretation, so let’s analyze it a bit.

The speaker in this video appears to be reasoning thus: the pyramids are so marvelous that they could not have been built by the ancient Egyptians in the time available to them with the tools they had. I believe this argument can be challenged in a few ways.

First, he’s resting the entire argument on the Great Pyramid of Giza and not making references to the many other pyramids in Egypt constructed earlier. If you look at these earlier pyramids, you see many that were the product of inferior engineering. Several collapsed during construction. They did not contain the same degree of mathematical accuracy as the Great Pyramid. We can infer that pyramid-building was a progressively developed science in ancient Egypt over several centuries, and the Great Pyramid represents its pinnacle.

Second, his assumptions concerning the manpower and time devoted to pyramid construction are (I think) arbitrary. There’s no reason why the pharaohs might not have had a year-round conscript force working on a pyramid during his lifetime, and I seem to remember reading somewhere that the largest pyramids took more than 20 years.

If you really want to dig into the pyramids, there is a good lecture series published by the Great Courses titled “Great Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt” taught by an Egyptologist who has actually been inside several pyramids, seen the burial chambers, etc.