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For thousands of years, the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt has fascinated humans from around the globe. As the oldest and sole remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, there are many theories as to how these pyramids were constructed. The question most people ask is whether aliens or humans did it.
For years, conspiracy theorists have peddled a claim that human beings could not have possibly built these magnificent structures on their own. They must have had help from above, and they aren’t talking about a deity.
That’s right, many people believe that aliens built the pyramids or at least helped humans do it.
But scientists and archaeologists have repeatedly debunked these theories over the years, and one study, in particular, puts the question to rest once and for all.
University of Amsterdam Physics Professor Daniel Bonn and his team successfully duplicated the way ancient Egyptians moved massive stones from a quarry to the site where the pyramids now stand after researchers found a painting dating back to 1900 B.C. on the wall of a tomb showing over 100 men moving a massive statue using ropes and sledge.
It turns out that the men simply poured a certain amount of water on the sand to make moving heavy objects such as statues and stones across the desert possible.
“Egyptologists thought it was a purely ceremonial act,” Bonn told Live Science. “The question was: Why did they do it?”
They did it because dry sand just clumps up and creates too much drag to pull objects across. But using water helps connect the grains of sand to turn it into a more solid surface.
“If you use dry sand, it won’t work as well, but if the sand is too wet, it won’t work either,” Bonn explained. “There’s an optimum stiffness. It turns out that wetting Egyptian desert sand can reduce the friction by quite a bit, which implies you need only half of the people to pull a sledge on wet sand, compared to dry sand.”
So, the ancient Egyptians were clearly intelligent enough to construct the pyramids and did not use nearly as many laborers to do the job as most people think.
Here’s the video featuring the painting and the experiment via YouTube.
A University of Chicago and Harvard archaeologist Mark Lehner agrees.
After viewing the painting himself and spending years among the Egyptian people and studying their history, he can’t fathom taking their monumental achievement away from them and giving it to alien beings that we don’t even know actually exist.
“I first went to Egypt in 1972 and ended up living there 13 years,” he told PBS. I was imbued with ideas of Atlantis and Edgar Cayce and so on. So I went over, starting from that point of view, but everything I saw told me, day by day, year by year, that they were very human and the marks of humanity are everywhere on them.”
Indeed, from tool markings on the stones to the same quarries where stones are still being cut out in much the same way today to paintings showing exactly how the Egyptians moved the stone and built structures, the evidence that humans built the pyramids is too much to ignore.
“Everything that I have found convinces me more and more that indeed it is this society that built the Sphinx and the Pyramids,” Lehner continued. “Every time I go back to Giza my respect increases for those people and that society, that they could do it. You see, to me, it’s even more fascinating that they did this. And that by doing this they contributed something to the human career and its overall development. Rather than just copping out and saying, ‘There’s no way they could have done this.’ I think that denigrates the people whose evidence we actually find.”
“One of the most compelling pieces of evidence we have is graffiti on ancient stone monuments in places that they didn’t mean to be shown,” he explained, referring to the painting showing laborers moving a statue on a sledge. “Like on foundations when we dig down below the floor level, up in the relieving chambers above the King’s chamber in the Great Pyramid, and in many monuments of the Old Kingdom—temples, other pyramids.”
Lehner even conducted his own experiment, not a miniature experiment like Bonn’s, but with real people and real stones using a real wooden sledge. Only this time, they moved the sledge on wooden rollers, another technique that could have been used.
The results prove that people can move heavy stones efficiently over a distance, thus confirming Bonn’s experiment.
In addition, the Egyptians also used barges to transport stones via rivers and canals and all of these methods and more were likely used to construct the pyramids.
For instance, a man in Michigan built his own Stonehenge by himself using simple techniques, moving and raising stone blocks that weigh anywhere from hundreds of pounds to several tons. The Egyptians could have done the same, but with more manpower.
Lehner also decried the theories that anyone else must have built the pyramids and explained that people who make such suggestions feel lost.
“This was as great as it comes in terms of art and sculpture and building ships from any place on the planet, in the whole repertoire of ancient cultures,” he said. “Why is there such a need to look for yet another culture, to say, “No, it wasn’t these people, it was some civilization that’s lost, even older. To some extent, I think we feel the need to look for a lost civilization on time’s other horizon because we feel lost in our civilization.”
Yet another Great Pyramid expert, Director General of the Giza site Zahi Hawass, concurs.
“We are lucky because we found this whole evidence of the workmen who built the Pyramids,” he said. “We found the artisans. Mark found the bakery, and we found this settlement of the camp, and hieroglyphic inscriptions of the Overseer of the Site of the Pyramid, the Overseer of the West Side of the Pyramid. We found the craftsmen, the man who makes the statue of the Overseer of the Craftsmen, the Inspector of Building Tombs, Director of Building Tombs—I’m telling you all the titles. We found 25 unique new titles connected with these people.”
When asked who built the pyramids, Hawass definitively responded.
“It was the Egyptians who built the Pyramids. The Great Pyramid is dated with all the evidence, I’m telling you now, to 4,600 years, the reign of Khufu. They are not people from a lost civilization. They are not from outer space. They are Egyptian, and their skeletons are here and were examined by scholars and doctors. The race of all the people we found are completely supporting that they are Egyptians.”
The idea that humans were incapable of building these great structures and that we must have had divine help or help from aliens is insulting. Ancient peoples had various techniques for cutting stone and moving it, and also were able to harness manpower in a way that is largely unheard of in today’s modern world. While modern peoples have been able to replace manpower with machines, thus making construction possible with just a small team of people, building such structures like the pyramids required tens of thousands of people using what many today would consider primitive tools and techniques.
But the fact remains that they did build the pyramids, and the human race should be proud of that achievement and learn from it. Because it’s not just Egyptian history. It’s human history. And aliens had nothing to do with it.
Featured Image: Wikimedia