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The Pyramids Were Never Built by Aliens

Mamerto Adan is a feature writer who is back in college once again. Science is one of his favorite topics.

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A lot of people knew it by now. Years of education, TV documentaries and internet will give us what we need. It’s simply common sense and science. Yet I’m pretty much surprise on how a lot of people still believe these stuffs. But then I think we just let people believe what they believe as it is none of my business.

This is in response though to the series of articles that surfaced in the feed.

The Great Pyramids of Egypt is a wonderful sight to behold. A testament of human achievements. If man fear time, time fears the Pyramid. Those monumental engineering wonders still stand proud over the deserts and skylines of Giza. They were listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the only one that remains today. So amazing are they that some people think they are too much for mere humans to build. Human beings simply cannot make something that grand and complex, hence someone else might have done that. Someone more advanced, someone not from this world.

Could it be?

People suggested that extra-terrestrial beings were at play here. Frankly I don’t agree, and below are the reasons why.

The Pyramids, What are They For?

Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser.

Stepped Pyramid of King Djoser.

Google is your friend, and a good internet search will readily give you what you seek. But for the benefits of our readers, here is a walkthrough on what Pyramids are for.

During the Early Dynastic Period, royalties started not with monumental structures, but tombs of mud bricks known as Mastabas (a type of sloping rectangular tombs with flat roofs). These mortuary monuments don’t come in small sizes though. They are thirty feet in height and the size of houses. The Egyptians believed that the souls could only live if the body is well preserved. They mummified the body, but they need something that will protect the mortal remains of their beloved royalties from robbers and animals. This is where the Mastabas came in play. Now, above ground, the Mastaba had a space for offering and a false door. Inside, the Mastaba has two chambers that lead underground; one is the burial chamber while the other is for the items that will keep the dead comfortable in the afterlife, from food to treasures. As time went on, the Mastabas evolved and it now housed elaborate chapels and chambers. But we got to thank the genius going by the name Imhotep for inventing the first pyramid.

By the way, Imhotep was not the demonic supervillain that Brendan Frazier fought. Historically he was the chancellor to the pharaoh Djoser, probably an architect and a respected figure. For him, a single rectangular Mastaba was not enough. Hence, he stacked several Mastabas on top of each other, with each one getting smaller as it reaches the highest point. This will allow the soul to descend to heaven.

And voila, the Pyramid was born!

Pyramids continued to evolve though, and it was the Pharaoh Sneferu who innovated the design. He gave us the Red Pyramid, the first Pyramid with smooth sides. Eventually, this will lead to the massive Giza Pyramids in later periods.

Aside from protecting the mummies of kings and royalties, the Pyramids symbolizes the primordial mound. Ancient Egyptians believed that the earth was created from a mound. The shape of the pyramid also represented the rays of the sun. It was an important symbol for the Ancient Egyptians, a resurrection machine that launch the soul into the realm of the gods. They are built on the west bank of the Nile, where the sun sets (associated with the realm of the dead).

Now we know what the Pyramids are for, there are certain populations that believed that Pyramids are meant for something else.

Pyramids as Alien Structure

Erich Von Daniken, the man who started it all.

Erich Von Daniken, the man who started it all.

It all started thanks to a man who wrote a book about ancient aliens visiting us. Erich Von Daniken wrote the book Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past, which tells of theories about how ancient astronauts gave us the ancient civilization we knew and was welcomed as gods. According to him, the influence of these stellar visitors was reflected on the various artifacts like the Stonehenge, the Moai, and the Pyramids. They are merely replica of the original alien structures, and they are built as an attempt to call the space explorers back. The book even suggested that it was the aliens who built the structures themselves. The Great Pyramids included.

The book inspired a lot of sci-fi movies and TV shows, from Star Trek to Indiana Jones. You might have guessed that experts dismissed the book as pseudohistory, for a good reason.

Nevertheless, that doesn’t stop people from believing and embracing the rather compelling ancient astronauts’ hypothesis.

According to them, it is all about common sense. The Pyramid is simply too large, too complex and too laborious to be built by people with no modern building equipment. Planning to build a 456 ft structure is already a monstrous task and organizing a work force is another.

Then there are the stone blocks themselves.

How can you carve something that big with only simple tools? How can you move something that big without heavy equipment? One block could weigh 2.5 tons and will require machinery to move. So, there might be intelligent extraterrestrial beings involved.

But Humans Built Them

Remains of the Diary of Merer.

Remains of the Diary of Merer.

There are a lot of evidence that humans, and not alien visitors built the Pyramids though. Renowned archeologist and Egyptologist Zahi Hawass announced the discovery of the “Wadi al-Jarf” papyri near Suez. It dates to the reign of King Khufu, and it offers an insight on how Khufu’s Pyramid was constructed. Currently the artifacts were kept in the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir, and it tells the so called “Diary of Merer.” Merer was a middle ranking official with the title “inspector.” His diary describes his work in building the Pyramid from how Merer heads 40 workers to quarry the stone, cutting of the stone, the transport via boat, and how every ten days, two or three roundtrips are done.

And don’t underestimate what simple tool and manpower could do. Even without modern tools, men could cleave off rocks from the quarry by chiseling a series of holes before wedges are hammered into these holes. This splits the stone apart and a block could be created. After boating the blocks into the construction site, the blocks will be dragged into place possibly by sleighs. The clues that workers used sleighs could be found on the wall painting of Djehutotep’s tomb (dated 1900 B.C.) which shows 172 men dragging a statue using sleighs. The person standing on the front could be seen pouring water on the sand to reduce friction. I know what you are thinking. The blocks weigh more than a ton. But a study made by Daniel Bonn, a physics professor in Amsterdam suggested that it is feasible to move heavy loads with enough manpower and using wet sand as lubricant. Possible, ramps are used as the Pyramid becomes higher.

And by the way, the workers also left a lot of imprints of themselves around the Pyramid, further ruling out the notion that aliens built them.

References:

1. Freudenrich, Craig.(1998) "How Pyramids Work." https://science.howstuffworks.com/engineering/structural/pyramid5.htm

2. Hawass, Zahi. (2018) "Aliens Built the Pyramids!." Egypt Independent.

3. Amagh Observatory and Planetarium. (2012). "Did aliens build the pyramid."

4. Chow, Denise. (2014) "Solved! How Ancient Egyptians moved massive pyramid stones."

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