Originally posted by FlyInTheOintment
reply to post by Byrd
Busy with Christmas and stuff at the moment, but a couple of things I'll quickly mention - firstly, the Dino-bones scenario you outlined is
tantamount to setting up a strawman argument.
I think you missed my intent.
This man loved dinosaurs. He had pictures of them, he'd loved them since he was a kid. He could identify pictures of many different dinosaurs. I
see you as someone who is deeply interested in the mysteries of life and the planet and you've read some material on it.
The dinosaur man had not really looked at dinosaur bones. He'd never dug them up, never held them in his hand, and couldn't tell a peripophysis
from a postzygopophysis (these are parts of a dinosaur vertebra -- almost nobody except a paleontologist would know this.) He had no idea of the
history of Earth.
As I understand it, you can't read hieroglyphs and aren't familiar with the timeline and the major artifacts of Egypt. I am not sure you'd
recognize Khufu's name on an artifact or be able to read the hieroglyphs that follow the name (I just had a look at the Vyse drawing and the photo.)
Vyse wasn't very good at copying letters in a language that he didn't recognize... just as European artists of the time were really bad at redrawing
things they found in Mayan ruins (they would reinterpret the serpent as a flower, for instance.)
But... I was mentioning dinosaurs and people who love these things.
My point was that you've found some sites that you like (and they all rant against Hawass, I suspect... who is ONLY the director of antiquities and
ONLY knows New Kingdom stuff... he relies on other experts for the more ancient material.)
But... you didn't take it further.
What I was encouraging you to do was find a local dig (local anthropological societies have open digs where people come out and help research a site)
to get a feel for how evidence is determined.
I was encouraging you to learn hieroglyphics and to look at a number of photographs (not drawings -- photographs) and look at them once you've
learned some basic hieroglyphs. When you've learned to read them (it takes only a few days before you start to recognize a lot of the names, a lot
of the sounds, and learn certain formulas like "king of upper and lower Egypt", "Great Wife", "Son of", "the beautiful god", and other common
things found in hieroglyphs.
I'm encouraging you to look at the WHOLE artifact; not just a piece of it (many of these sites show you just one tiny piece. In the case of the
"Mayan astronaut" the reason for showing you just one piece is that if you recognize other symbols as letters (they are) you might suspect that
someone is using a lot of imagination and doesn't know anything about what's really there.)
You are a prolific poster, but you adhere to the mainstream without really 'digging' any deeper (pardon the pun), content to lay down the
gospel according to Hawass. There is a wealth of information, and a growing wealth of qualified experts who disagree with the mainstream.
You might be surprised at what I read. When answering posters here, I usually go look at the source page and then look up the source page's sources
and see who's quoting them. I do a lot of diligent research (and some really sloppy research -- let's be honest) and sometimes I'm very surprised
and sometimes I'm wrong.
I learn lots.
But if you're going to say a "growing wealth of qualified experts" you should really say what they're expert in, what their background is, and who
some of these new experts are (in the case of Egypt, it would be Egyptologists. Egyptologists squabble all the time, so it would be of value to see
who they are and what digs they went on that they're using in this nice little academic brawl. But if your expert is a journalist then you really
can't say they're an expert on Egypt, any more than dino-guy is (in his defense, dino-guy is an expert on computers. He's not stupid, but he
doesn't know about dinosaurs in any depth.)
PS - I never claimed Chris Dunn to be an archaeologist. He's an engineer, and as such is more qualified than an archaeologist to carry out a
forensic analysis of the manufacturing techniques used in the granite-work of the Egyptians.
Dunn actually isn't an engineer (engineering degree). He's a master craftsman (apparently) and did hold the title of systems engineer, but there's
no record that he went to school and suffered through all the theory and math an engineer needs :
Let me contrast that with an engineer, Sprague de Camp, who wrote a book on ancient engineering. Sprague, in addition to being a science fiction
writer, was an engineer (Master of Science in Engineering and holder of a number of patents. en.wikipedia.org...
knew about the history of engineering and indeed wrote a book about it (which I recommend to folks so they can see how clever and sophisticated
ancient engineers were, as told by an appreciative modern engineer.) As far as I know, Dunn isn't familiar with ancient engineering (or wasn't at
the time of his book) and the biography doesn't point to his having done a lot of in-depth research on materials and techniques of ancient times.
So they're really not the same.
I could be wrong.
But my point is still the same -- no matter which side of the fence you sit on, demand to see the original evidence and learn enough about whatever it
is (human anatomy if you're looking at forensic evidence, local history, timelines, art, artifact collections, etc etc) -- and read viewpoints on
BOTH sides. Then decide for yourself.
For anyone interested, Gutenberg has some free ebooks I have read and I recommend: Maspero's works on Egypt (BADLY outdated, but the drawings and
information about some of the amazing architecture -- moving 65 ton stones and lifting them to the top of a temple, types or mortar used, construction
of city walls (40 feet high, 15 feet thick or more) may have you rethinking about the Egyptians in ways that Egyptologists and historians think about
(one I read recently)
(somewhat "touristy" and not scholarly but a good description of the area)
(rather outdated but gives a sense of where our understanding was in the 1800's)
Petrie's translation of Egyptian papyri stories
(this one includes a famous tale of Khufu, very "Arabian Nights" in flavor)
Weigall (he rambles. Horribly. But some interesting bits)
After you get through those, look for more modern things and for corrections to them, but those are free and accessible -- and over a century old. I
hope you'll be curious enough to forget Hawass, start reading the background, and learn some hieroglyphic phrases... and THEN go looking around.
You'll see things very differently.