|Ancient Egyptian Pyramids|
According to Weeks, there is considerable evidence favoring the use of ramps and sledges to build pyramids. He bases this contention on the tomb paintings of the Eighteenth Dynasty depicting a ramp used in the erection of columns in a temple courtyard, and the discovery of the remains of ramps at several dig sites, including Giza. These ramps, found near pyramids, had a slope of about 15 degrees, which Weeks claims is “an eminently manageable angle up which to pull blocks.” He also cites an Old Kingdom record stating that 3,000 men were required to haul a sarcophagus lid from the quarry to the Nile. It is estimated that there was a population of approximately 1.5 to 2 million during the Old Kingdom period. Weeks suggests that the claims of Herodotus that over 400,000 people were involved in building the Pyramid were somewhat exaggerated since this would mean that about one- third of the existing population was employed in pyramid building. Instead, Weeks believes that an estimated figure of 100,000 men is more realistic.
The most conservative of the three, I. E. S. Edwards, clings to the theories propounded by earlier Egyptologists. He states that since these theories are based on actual archaeological finds, it is pointless to dispute them unless or until new archaeological evidence is uncovered which would compel revision of traditional thinking on the subject.
Edwards also states that there is no evidence as to the exact size of the population at the time of the building of the Great Pyramid and there is not even enough information available to afford speculation in this area. He also claims that to refer to the writings of Herodotus is not relevant because it “is not equal to citing contemporary evidence.”
It seems to us that we must, at least in part, agree with Olaf Tellefsen’s suggestion that Egyptologists cling over-tenaciously to the ramp and sledge theory. The arguments which they offer in evidence are certainly debatable and do not warrant the acceptance they have received acceptance to the point where many people actually believe that is an indisputable fact that the ramp method was used by the Egyptians in building the pyramids. Actually, there is no solid evidence to support anything the Egyptologists have said or written about the pyramids of any dynasty, or about the pharaohs and their civilizations.
We have now come to believe that all of the writings on Egyptian history are nothing more than theory and are not based on any evidence contemporary to the period under consideration. In other words, pictures of pyramid building or statue transportation on the walls of Eighteenth Dynasty tombs are not contemporary to the Fourth Dynasty any more than stainless steel statues of twentieth century buildings would be considered contemporary to the twelfth century. That ramps were discovered near pyramids does not prove that the ramps were used to build all the pyramids on the site if some of the pyramids were built in the Fourth Dynasty and others in the Eighteenth, it is possible that the ramps were used only in the construction of the later dynasty pyramids. Another possibility is that the ramps were actually used in the dismantling of the outer casing stones, which were then used in another construction.
It is very important to remember that many archaeological sites contain relics of several thousands of years. Especially in the light of the discovery that Carbon 14 dating is not too reliable, it seems rather irresponsible to unequivocally attribute a particular artifact to a particular age or dynasty. It cannot be too strongly stressed that there is absolutely no evidence contemporary to the building of the Great Pyramids which proves that the ramp and sledge method was employed by its builders. The artifacts of later ages can only be accepted as contemporary to those ages and one can do no more than speculate as to whether or not they were also employed in earlier times.
It is interesting to note that while archaeologists are apparently relatively content to ascribe the building practices of the Eighteenth Dynasty to those of the first five dynasties, these same authorities point out that the pyramids of the later pharaohs are obviously inferior, in terms of craftsmanship and technical expertise, to the pyramids of the Old Kingdom. Oddly enough, these Egyptologists see no inconsistency in their attribution of identical building techniques to structures which differ widely in the quality of their construction.
Egyptian Pyramid Construction:
- Egyptian Pyramid Construction Part 1
- Egyptian Pyramid Construction Part 2
- Egyptian Pyramid Construction Part 3
- Egyptian Pyramid Construction Part 4