posted on Feb, 28 2009 @ 11:33 AM
The notion that a vast slave army built the pyramids (at least those at Giza) has largely been discounted by modern archeology -
Who built the pyramids - Harvard Magazine
The worker camp holds considerably fewer than "20,000" slaves. An ancient Greek named Herodotus speculated that to build Cheops would have taken
100,000 slaves 30 years. But even at 20,000 slaves, this would have been a teeming city in that time, and a large enough force to have resisted any
tyrannical Pharaoh. Consider too how do you feed such a mass, without them resorting to pillaging the countryside. Not an easy task in an arid region
bordering a desert.
The building blocks at Giza were much more manageable than say, the foundation stones at Baalbak. Egyptians even used barges to carry their quarried
stones for a number of their edifices down the Nile (numerous citations exist for this).
But before this thread turns into a "how they built it" debate, the topic poster was looking for "reasons for the pyramids...". What reasons would
any culture have for going to the great lengths of building anything? By all accounts the written and carved records left by Pharaohs of that age the
reasons were religious. The pyramids at Giza plateau strike a solid resemblance to the celestial arrangement of Orions belt, and Orion (Osiris) was a
major importance to the Egyptians.
Of course to understand why a certain culture built something you have to be certain who exactly built it. Did Khufu build the pyramids at Giza? This
notion based on a stele placed by Khufu claiming to have built the smaller pyramid and some repairs/restorations to the other pyramids. It was also
graffiti left by workers discovered by Vyse in 1837 claiming Cheops built them. But the
Stele and Workers Graffiti
is open to debate. The "adoption theory"
claims Khufu and Khafre restored the great pyramid and second pyramid and the Sphinx, built the causeway and several other structures at the site, in
all restoring and adding to what they found there. The workers graffiti was also likely faked as later archeologists have suggested;
The most solid piece of evidence supporting the premise that the Great Pyramid, and by inference the other Giza monuments, originated in the
4th dynasty is the ‘workmen’s graffiti’. This graffiti was discovered by an English adventurer, Colonel Howard Vyse in 1837. It was found inside
sealed chambers (the ‘relieving chambers’ above the King’s Chamber) and contained references to Khufu. Thus, on this basis, it was concluded
that Khufu had indeed built the pyramid.
The authenticity of the workmen's graffiti in the Great Pyramid is questionable. Alsford and many other authors claim that the graffiti could have
been faked. It was known at the time that Colonel Vyse had expended many years and a great deal of money on expeditions to Egypt, but had failed to
unearth anything of major significance until his 'amazing' discovery in the Great Pyramid. The Graffiti could have easily been fabricated by copying
inscriptions which had already been discovered on other structures and in the quarries nearby. Interestingly, the graffiti was only found in the
chambers broken into by the Colonel. The so called Davidson chamber, lying below the other chambers and discovered by an earlier explorer, had no such
graffiti. Indeed the rest of the pyramid is strangely devoid of markings of any kind. In the absence of any attempt to radiocarbon date the ‘red
ochre’ paint which was used to daub the graffiti onto the massive granite blocks in the relieving chambers, debate as to the authenticity of the
graffiti will continue.
If we cant be certain WHO built the pyramids, then we can only speculate as to why they were built.