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Egypt: New find shows slaves didn't build pyramids

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posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:07 AM
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Yahoo News


CAIRO – Egypt displayed on Monday newly discovered tombs more than 4,000 years old and said they belonged to people who worked on the Great Pyramids of Giza, putting the discovery forth as more evidence that slaves did not build the ancient monuments.



Graves of the pyramid builders were first discovered in the area in 1990 when a tourist on horseback stumbled over a wall that later proved to be a tomb. Egypt's archaeology chief Zahi Hawass said that discovery and the latest finds last week show that the workers were paid laborers, rather than the slaves of popular imagination.



Hawass said the builders came from poor Egyptian families from the north and the south, and were respected for their work — so much so that those who died during construction were bestowed the honor of being buried in the tombs near the sacred pyramids of their pharaohs.


If this is proven to be 100% true, I guess the history books will have to be re-written again. Im no scholar in ancient Egypt but I do remember learning in school that the pyramids were built by slaves. Right now Im not for sure what I believe, Im just staying in between on this one and seeing how it all comes out in the future.




posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:14 AM
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A lot of it seems to be based on Exodus, from the Bible.

I'm currently reading two books, one by a fellow named Craig Smith, and another by a fellow named Mark Lehner, both of them rarely mention slaves, and instead state that the worked on the pyramids and other monuments and temples in Egypt were the Egyptians themselves.
Due to the harvesting/planting cycle of Egypt, there was a lot of time where the people had time off from field work, probably art of what helped the Egyptian civilization grow.

That's not to say they didn't have slaves, but their system of slavery was a bit different than it is considered today.
www.touregypt.net...

Edit: Forgot to mention, the book I have by Mr. Lehner includes pictures of these tombs, and it was published back in '97.

[edit on 11-1-2010 by RuneSpider]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:38 AM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 


What is notable is that the slaves were Egyptian and NOT Hebrew and that every single Egyptian was a servant of the Pharaoh/god.

I do think this is another nail in the coffin of the bible Exodus myth what would be interesting is a comparison of genes with that of jews so the book can be closed once and for all.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:41 AM
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reply to post by moocowman
 


I don't remember who it was, it may have been Byrd but I'm not sure, but whomever it was did a pretty through analysis of the Biblical story of Exodus, I think showing it as more of a statement against Egypt than a true story.

Not a clue how to bring it up again, but it was pretty interesting.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:30 AM
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I thought it had already been established for a very long time that the pyramids were built by workers and not slaves?


Although, I must admit, I have come across more than a couple of people who were under the impression that Hebrew slaves built them and that this was part of the Exodus story. I have no idea where this silly idea comes from, but it's still rather prevelant, despite the glaringly obvious gap in time between the two events (that is, the accepted time of the pyramids being built, and the guestimate for the Exodus myth).



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:32 AM
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Originally posted by moocowman
I do think this is another nail in the coffin of the bible Exodus myth what would be interesting is a comparison of genes with that of jews so the book can be closed once and for all.


ANTI-SEMITIC! ANTI-SEMITIC! YOU ARE ANTI-SEMITIC!

Sorry, had to get in there before the Israel-groupies.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:41 AM
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I also haven't seen anything written since Budge that makes claims to Egyptian Slavery. From what modern archaeology recognizes, the Ancient Egyptians did not keep slaves, with the solitary exception of the Hyskos during the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 BCE). The Hyskos had enslaved the Egyptians for 40 years, so after the Egyptians overthrew their oppressors they committed the Hyskos to slavery for 40 years to pay for their crimes.

The belief that the Egyptians committed Slavery comes from misinterpreting history based upon Biblical Scholarship rather than upon historical evidence. Because of this, the word Hem (Hm) in Hieroglyphic was mistranslated by Budge to mean "slave" whereas modern scholars have interpreted this word correctly to mean "serf" or "peasant" which may have had less rights than a Pharaoh, Priest or Scribe, but were the equivalent of the common man or woman in today's society.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:44 AM
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It's pretty remarkable that only a dozen or so of these volunteers died during this mammoth construction project that spanned decades.




The series of modest nine-foot-deep shafts held a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders, perfectly preserved by dry desert sand along with jars that once contained beer and bread meant for the workers' afterlife.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:51 AM
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In Hebrew school of course I was taught that Hebrew slaves built the pyramids. During Pesach we even learned to make charoset which supposedly looked like the mortar used to make the bricks. it was yummy.

I also remember when first confirmation was given that the "slaves" were paid Egyptian workers. I am not understanding why more confirmation is needed.

I am curious about the above posters comment regarding gene testing though. What info am I missing to understand the reference?

And would I be considered an anti Semitic Jew if I acknowledged what has been documented and proven? Silliness.

[edit on 11-1-2010 by cjcord]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:53 AM
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Originally posted by fraterormus
I also haven't seen anything written since Budge that makes claims to Egyptian Slavery. From what modern archaeology recognizes, the Ancient Egyptians did not keep slaves, with the solitary exception of the Hyskos during the 18th Dynasty (1550-1292 BCE). The Hyskos had enslaved the Egyptians for 40 years, so after the Egyptians overthrew their oppressors they committed the Hyskos to slavery for 40 years to pay for their crimes.

The belief that the Egyptians committed Slavery comes from misinterpreting history based upon Biblical Scholarship rather than upon historical evidence. Because of this, the word Hem (Hm) in Hieroglyphic was mistranslated by Budge to mean "slave" whereas modern scholars have interpreted this word correctly to mean "serf" or "peasant" which may have had less rights than a Pharaoh, Priest or Scribe, but were the equivalent of the common man or woman in today's society.


HawAss makes the claims himself in this very article:



Hawass told reporters at the site that the find, first announced on Sunday, sheds more light on the lifestyle and origins of the pyramid builders. Most importantly, he said the workers were not recruited from slaves commonly found across Egypt during pharaonic times.





[edit on 11-1-2010 by Deny Arrogance]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 10:58 AM
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Originally posted by VelvetSplash
I thought it had already been established for a very long time that the pyramids were built by workers and not slaves?


Although, I must admit, I have come across more than a couple of people who were under the impression that Hebrew slaves built them and that this was part of the Exodus story. I have no idea where this silly idea comes from, but it's still rather prevelant, despite the glaringly obvious gap in time between the two events (that is, the accepted time of the pyramids being built, and the guestimate for the Exodus myth).


No idea where the idea came from? Again, from this very article:




Amihai Mazar, professor at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, says that myth stemmed from an erroneous claim by former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, on a visit to Egypt in 1977, that Jews built the pyramids.





The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once described the pyramid builders as slaves, creating what Egyptologists say is a myth later propagated by Hollywood films.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 11:01 AM
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Originally posted by Deny Arrogance



The ancient Greek historian Herodotus once described the pyramid builders as slaves, creating what Egyptologists say is a myth later propagated by Hollywood films.


I rather think it is an idea propagated not by Hollywood, but by the OT itself. Denying the validity of what the Bible states to be true is always a fun topic.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 11:02 AM
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Originally posted by VelvetSplash
Although, I must admit, I have come across more than a couple of people who were under the impression that Hebrew slaves built them and that this was part of the Exodus story. I have no idea where this silly idea comes from, but it's still rather prevelant, despite the glaringly obvious gap in time between the two events (that is, the accepted time of the pyramids being built, and the guestimate for the Exodus myth).


It is a very common false belief. I'd say 9 out of 10 Americans believe such to be true, which is most likely why we see this same news article coming up every couple of years. It takes a lot of repetition to rid the world of ignorance.

However, that isn't to say that the two couldn't be reconciled. The Hyskos were a Semitic people, although if the Hyskos were the people who became the Ysraelites, then it would change our view of them dramatically as the Hyskos weren't victims, but aggressors and conquerors. It would also mean that Moshe (Moses) was most likely Akhenaten, as posited by Ahmed Osman as published his book "Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt." However, other than Kenneth Kitchen and Donald Redford, such a notion has been outright rejected by the archaeological community. Still, if there was a need to reconcile Shemot (Exodus) with the Historical Record, this would be the way it could be done...otherwise there is no other time within which Slaves could be found in Ancient Egypt until the time of the Greek Satrapy of the Ptolemaic Dynasty.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 01:00 PM
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Originally posted by VelvetSplash
I thought it had already been established for a very long time that the pyramids were built by workers and not slaves?


Although, I must admit, I have come across more than a couple of people who were under the impression that Hebrew slaves built them and that this was part of the Exodus story. I have no idea where this silly idea comes from, but it's still rather prevelant, despite the glaringly obvious gap in time between the two events (that is, the accepted time of the pyramids being built, and the guestimate for the Exodus myth).


You are correct on both counts.


The myth that slaves built the pyramids had been debunked a couple of decades ago. Egypt was an agrarian society, so during times the farmers could not work (flooding season, etc.), many people were unemployed. The building of the Pyramids could be thought of a a giant government-funded public works project that gave unemployed people jobs -- paying jobs.

The textbooks have already been changed. People who say "They weren't slaves -- all the textbooks are wrong!" haven't read a good textbook in a long time.

...and Exodus never said that Hebrew slaves built the pyramids. However, just because the Pyramid builders were not slaves does not mean that there were no Hebrew slaves in ancient Egypt.

[edit on 1/11/2010 by Soylent Green Is People]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 01:13 PM
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reply to post by Soylent Green Is People
 


Slaves/workers, what a load of "MALARKY".

You have to be brain dead to believe that humans built the pyramids.

Just read "Fingerprints of the Gods" by Graham Hancock, the statistics alone prove that it would be impossibe for humans to build them.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 01:55 PM
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reply to post by downunderET
 





You have to be brain dead to believe that humans built the pyramids.



I'm reading Mark Lehenr's book on the Pyramids, he goes into a good bit of detail about how earl Mastabas were constructed, then the step pyramids, and the changes made to Djoser's and the collapsed pyramid at Meidum that gradually turned towards a true pyramid shape.
Leading to the bent pyramid, and red pyramid, precursors to the pyramids at Giza.
Pyramids were a culmination of the techniques the Egyptians learned over time.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 02:20 PM
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As people have pointed out, it isn't really a new understanding at all. That the pyramids were built by a paid workforce is pretty established in Egyptology. Runespider mentions Mark Lehner. A lot of his reoputation was established when he much younger and led the excavations of the 'pyramid city' a half mile from the Giza Pyramids. The quality of the diet for the workforce was a surprise to them. They had massive granaries for the bread and had a diet rich in fish and red meat. A bigger surprise was that the beef cattle were slaughtered young and in huge numbers.

It's always difficult to equate modern sentiments with our distant ancestors, but I think the building of the Pyramids was viewed by the population as a major national project. It was undertaken with pride and helped to cement ideas of 'nation. Naturally, it also helped the Royal families to rule....

Unemployment would be rare and people had a place in the society. I'm not idealizing the period. From a ruling class pov, a busy population is a manageable population. Throw in good food and reasonable living conditions and people will follow you!

Here's a couple of images of the 'pyramid city' I mentioned earlier...

One of the 'barrack-style' buildings

The circles are the foundations of huge granaries




posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 02:28 PM
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I would like to point that Bible says that Hebrews built two cities. Pithom and Ramses. Nowhere it says that pyramids were built by Hebrews or slaves or both.
So while this find does change perception some people have, it in fact cannot prove/disprove what is described in Bible.
To people who think that they know what was written in Bible but somehow fail to show signs of that knowledge
:



herefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.

www.mechon-mamre.org...



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 02:30 PM
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Imagine all the new stuff we are going to find out within the next 10 or so years. With the techonology we got today, Im sure there is going to be alot of re-writing history.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 02:38 PM
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reply to post by downunderET
 



You have to be brain dead to believe that humans built the pyramids.


Really? Reading one book and dismissing the hundreds of years of research and the millions of words that describe that research seems a little 'premature.'



The image is the 'unfinished obelisk.' See all those dimples? They are from pounding the limestone with granite hammers to dress the stone. Would aliens use such basic tech?



The image shows a line of holes that have been chiseled into the stone using copper cold chisels. When this was done, they hammered wooden staves into the holes. Then they soaked the wood. The wood absorbed the water and expanded. This created a fracture in the rock. They repeated the procedure until the rock split just how they wanted it to. Then out came the granite hammers to dress any visible surfaces.



This image shows the quarry near Giza. The pathway is where they'd drag out the blocks and haul them off to the building site. Even today we know the route they took because there are still loose blocks at the side of ancient pathways.



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