Who constructed the Pyramids?
The inquiry of who constructed the pyramids, and also how, haslong been disputed by Egyptologists and historians. Standing at the base of thepyramids in ~ Giza the is difficult to think that any type of of these substantial monumentscould have been built in one pharaoh\"s lifetime. Herodotus, the Greekhistorian who wrote in the fifth century B.C., 500 years prior to Christ, is theearliest known chronicler and also historian the the Egyptian Pyramid Age. Through hisaccounts, the labor pressure that built Khufu totalled an ext than 100,000 people.But Herodotus saw the pyramids 2,700 year after they were built and also hisimpressive number was an educated guess, based upon hearsay. ModernEgyptologists believe the actual number is closer come 20,000.Mark Lehner and also Zahi Hawass have actually been make the efforts to solve the puzzle of where the20,000 - 30,000 laborers who built the pyramids lived. As soon as they uncover the workers\" living area, they can learn more about the workforce, their daily lives, and perhapswhere they come from. Mark has actually been excavating the bakeries the presumablyfed this military of workers, and also Zahi has actually been excavating the cemetery for thisgrand labor force. That is thought that Giza housed a skeleton crew that workerswho labored ~ above the pyramids year round. But during the so late summer and earlyautumn months, during the annual flooding of the fields with water from theannual innundation of the Nile flooded the fields, a big labor force would show up at Giza to put gradually on the pyramids. These farmers and also local villagers gathered atGiza to job-related for your god kings, to build their monuments come the hereafter.This would ensure their own immortality and would likewise benefit the future andprosperity of Egypt as a whole. They may well have been ready workers, alabor pressure working because that ample rations, for the advantage of man, king, andcountry.The following interviews with note Lehner and also Zahi Hawass attend to thecontroversial question of that actually built the pyramids at Giza:MARK LEHNER, Archaeologist, oriental Institute of the university of Chicago, and Harvard Semitic MuseumNOVA: In your extensive work and also research at Giza have you ever before once questionedwhether humans built the pyramids?
LEHNER: No. But have I ever questioned even if it is they had divine or superintelligent inspiration? I first went come Egypt in 1972 and also ended increase livingthere 13 years. I was penetration with ideas of Atlantis and Edgar Cayce and also so on.So i went over, beginning from that point of view, yet everything I observed told me,day through day, year by year, the they were an extremely human and the marks of humanityare anywhere on them. And also you check out there\"s this curious reversal wheresometimes brand-new Age theorists say the Egyptologists and archaeologists aredenigrating the ancient culture. They periodically put up a scarecrow argumentthat us say they to be primitive. And the brand-new Agers occasionally want come say thesewere really sophisticated, technologically sophisticated people who developed thesethings, they were no primitive. Well, actually there\"s a specific irony here,because they to speak they were an extremely sophisticated technological civilizations andsocieties that constructed the pyramids and also the Sphinx, and yet they weren\"t the onesthat we find. So come me, it\"s these suggestions that room really denigrating thepeople who names, bodies, household relationships, tools, bakeries the weactually find.
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Everything that i have uncovered convinces me much more and more that undoubtedly it is thissociety that constructed the Sphinx and also the pyramids. Everytime ns go earlier to Giza myrespect rises for those people and also that society, the they could do it.You see, come me it\"s even an ext fascinating the they go this. And that bydoing this they contributed something to the human being career and also its overalldevelopment actually. Quite than simply saying, you recognize copping out andsaying, there\"s no method they could have done this. Ns think that denigrates thepeople whose proof we in reality find.NOVA: Herodotus, the Greek historian, wrote that 100,000 workers constructed thepyramids and modern Egyptologists come up v a figure an ext like 20,000workers. Can you explain that because that us?LEHNER: Yeah, well, an initial of all Herodotus just cases he was told that. Hesaid, 100,000 guys working in 3 shifts, i m sorry raises some doubt, i guess ifyou review it in the original Greek as to whether it\"s three shifts that 100,000men each or whether you subdivide, friend know, the 100,000 men. Yet my ownapproach come this stems to some level from \"This Old Pyramid.\" friend know, the renowned film the was excellent by NOVA
One the the things that many impressed me, though, to be the fact that in 21 days,12 guys in ceiling feet, living the end in the eastern desert, opened a brand-new quarryin around the time we needed rock for our NOVA Pyramid, and in 21 job theyquarried 186 stones. Currently they go it with an iron winch, you know, an ironcable and also a winch the pulled the stone away native the quarry wall, and also alltheir devices were iron. However other 보다 that they did it by hand. So i said,taking simply a life figure, if 12 guys in ceiling feet—they stayed in a lean-toshelter, day and night the end there—if they can quarry 186 stones in 21 days,let\"s do the an easy math and see, just in a very raw simplistic calculation,how countless men were required to supply 340 stones a day, i beg your pardon is what you wouldhave to supply to the Khufu Pyramid to develop it in 20 years. And also it come outsomewhere between—I\"ve obtained this all composed down—but that comes the end in thehundreds the men. Currently I was bothered by the iron tools, prefer 400 men, 4 to 500men. I was bothered by the steel tools, specifically the steel winch the pulledthe rock away from the quarry walls, so i said, let\"s put in a team that men, ofabout speak 20 men, so the 12 men become 32. And also now let\"s operation the equation.Well, it transforms out that also if friend give great leeway for the iron tools, all340 stones could have to be quarried in a day by something like 1,200 men. Andthat\"s quarried in your ar at Giza. Girlfriend see many of the rock is neighborhood stone.
So then since of ours mapping and because of our approach where us looked at,what is the form of the ground here, where\"s the quarry, where is thepyramid, let\"s see, wherein would the ramp have run, we could come up through afigure the how plenty of men it would require to schlep the stones up to the pyramid.Now it\"s regularly said the the stones were yielded at a price of one every twominutes or so. And brand-new Agers sometimes suggest that out together an impossibility forthe Egyptians the Khufu\"s day. However the stones didn\"t go in one after ~ another,you see. And also you deserve to actually occupational out the coefficient of friction or glide ona slick surface, exactly how much an average stone weighed, how countless men it would certainly taketo pull that. And also in a NOVA experiment we discovered that 12 men could pull a 1.5ton block over a slick surface with an excellent ease. And also then you could come upwith very conservative estimates as to the variety of men it would take to pullan average size block the distance from the quarry, which we know, to thepyramid. And also you might even element in different configurations of the rampwhich would provide you a different length.Well, functioning in together ways, and also I difficulty anybody to sign up with in the challenge,it comes the end that you have the right to actually get the delivery that girlfriend need. You need340 stones delivered you see, every day, and that\"s 34 stones every hour in aten hour day, right. Thirty-four stones deserve to get yielded by x number of gangsof 20 men, and also it comes out to something prefer 2,000, somewhere in the area.We have the right to go over the specific figures. So currently we\"ve got 1200 males in the quarrywhich is a an extremely generous estimate, 2,000 men delivering. And so that\"s 3,200.OK, how about men cutting the stones and setting them? Well, it\"s differentbetween the core stones which were set with an excellent slop factor, and the casingstones i m sorry were practice cut and also set, one come another, v so lot accuracythat friend can\"t obtain a knife blade in between the joints, so there\"s a differencethere. But let\"s gloss over that for a moment.One the the things the NOVA experiment proved me the no publication could, is justwhat is it like to have actually a 2 or 3-ton block—how countless men can obtain their hands onit? Well, friend can\"t have actually 50 men working top top one block, friend see. And you canonly get about four or five, six men at most working top top a block, say 2 onlevers, girlfriend know, cutters and also so on. And you know, you placed pivots under the andas few as two or three guys deserve to pivot it approximately if you put a hard cobble underit. There room all these tricks castle know. But it\"s just impossible to acquire toomany men on a block. Yet you figure out how numerous stones need to be set to keepup v this rate, to obtain in v 20 years. And also it actually comes up 5,000 orless men, consisting of the stone setters. Now the stone setting gets a bitcomplicated due to the fact that of the casing, and you have one team working from eachcorner, and another team functioning in the middle of each face for the casing andthen the core. And also I\"m going to gloss end that.
But the an obstacle is the end there: 5,000 males to actually execute the building and also thequarrying and also the schlepping indigenous the regional quarry. This doesn\"t count the mencutting the granite and shipping that from Aswan or the males over in Tura. OK, sothat rises the number somewhat....And that\"s what things like the ancient technologies collection done by NOVA yes, really bringhome, ns think. No, we\"re no recreating ancient society, and old pyramidbuilding 100 percent. And also probably not also 60 percent. But we are showingsome nuts and also bolts that are an extremely useful and also insightful, far an ext than every thearmchair theorizing.Now simply recently ns was contacted by the building and construction firm DMJM—theinitials stand for Daniel, Mann, Johnson & Mendenhall—it\"s one of the biggest constructionfirms, they\"re functioning right currently on the Pentagon. And one that the senior vicepresidents made decision to take on for a formal resolve for other engineers, aprogram monitoring study the the great Pyramid. For this reason these are not men liftingboilers in Manhattan, this are an elderly civil designers with one of the largestconstruction companies in the united States. And I\"m certain they\"d be happyto walk on record with their study which looked in ~ what they call critical pathanalysis. What do you require to gain the task done? What tools did they have?And lock contacted me and other Egyptologists and we offered them part references.Here\"s what we know about their tools, the lean plane, the lever and so on.And there is no any secret sophistication or surprise technology, simply basically whatarchaeologists say, this is what this folks had. DIM JIM came up through 5,000, 4to 5,000 men could construct the good Pyramid within a 20 come 40 year period. Andthey have actually very particular calculations on every single aspect, native the gravel,for the ramps, to baking the bread. So i throw that the end there, no becausethat\"s gospel truth, but due to the fact that reasoned construction engineers, that plangreat projects choose bridges and also buildings today and also earthworks and also so on, lookat the great Pyramid and also don\"t opt the end for lost civilizations, extraterrestrials, or surprise technologies. No, they to speak it\"s a an extremely impressive job,extraordinary because that the civilization who live then and also there, yet it could be done.They are human being monuments.NOVA: You\"ve made reference to engravings at Giza that show who builtthe pyramids. What do the engravings say?LEHNER: one of the most compelling pieces of evidence we have is graffiti onancient stone monuments in places that lock didn\"t median to it is in shown. Choose onfoundations as soon as we destruction down below the floor level, up in the relievingchambers over the King\"s chamber, and also in many monuments that the Old Kingdom,temples, the sunlight temples, other pyramids. Well, the graffiti provides us apicture of organization where crews, whereby a gang of workmen was arranged intotwo crews. And the crews to be subdivided into 5 phyles. The word phyles isspelled p-h-y-l-e-s. It\"s the Greek word for tribe. The Egyptian native is za.They were separated into five za\"s. In later times when the Greeks came and also inbilingual inscriptions, as soon as somebody was translating za right into Greek castle usedthe word phyles, the word for tribe, i m sorry is extremely amazing actually.Were these aggressive kinds that conscripts? certainly they weren\"t slaves.Could they actually have been natural communities of the Nile Valley type ofcontributing favor the method the Inca construct their bridges and so on? .....So thephyles then are subdivided into divisions. And the divisions are figured out bysingle hieroglyphs with names that average things choose endurance, perfection,strong. OK, so just how do we recognize this—you pertained to a block of rock in therelieving chambers over the good Pyramid. And very first of every you check out thiscartouche of a King and then some scrawls every in red paint after it. That\"sthe gang name. And in the Old Kingdom in the time of the Pyramids that Giza, thegangs were named after kings. So for example, we have actually a name, compounded withthe surname of Menkaure, and also it appears to analyze \"the drunks or the drunkards ofMenkaure.\" There\"s one that\"s well attested, in reality in the relievingchambers above the great Pyramid, the friends of Khufu gang, the Drunks ofMenkaura gang, and also then you have actually the eco-friendly phyles and also then the an effective ones.None the this sounds favor slavery, does it?And in reality it gets much more intriguing. Because in certain monuments you uncover thename the one corridor on one next of the monument and also another gang, us assumecompeting ~ above the other side the the monument. You discover that come some level inthe temple, the Pyramid temple of Menkaure. It\"s together though these gangs arecompeting. For this reason from this evidence we deduce that there to be a labor force thatwas assigned to corresponding crew corridor phyles and also divisions.NOVA: where did the gangs come from? to be they local people or go theytravel from afar?LEHNER: There\"s some evidence to suggest that people were rotated in and outof the raw job force. So that you might be a young man in a town say inmiddle Egypt, and you had never seen much more than a few hundred civilization in yourvillage, maybe at market day or something. And also the King\"s males come and also it maynot have been totally coercion, yet it seems that everybody owed a labor tax.We don\"t understand if that was totally coercive, or if in fact, part of it to be a
natural neighborhood donation together in the Incan empire for example, come buildingprojects wherein they had a an excellent party and so on. However anyway lock startedkeeping track of people and also their time on the imperial labor project. And also if youwere carried from a distance you were lugged by boat. So can you imaginefloating under the Nile and say you\"re functioning on Khafre\"s Pyramid, and also youfloat previous the good pyramid of Meidum and the Pyramids that Dashur, and also my God,you\"ve never ever seen anything favor this. These space the hugest things. We\"retalking around a culture where lock didn\"t have cameras, you didn\"t watch yourselfage. Girlfriend didn\"t see an excellent images. And so right here are this stupendous, giganticthings thrusted as much as the sky, refined white limestone, blazing in thesunshine. And also then they go on under to Giza and also they come roughly this corner,actually the edge of the wall surface of the crow right into the harbor, and there\"sKhufu, the greatest thing ~ above the planet actually in the way of a structure untilthe rotate of the century—our century. And you see, because that the first time inyour life, no a few hundred, yet thousands, probably, that workers and also peopleand sectors of all kinds. And also you\"re rotated right into this experience and youserve in your respective crew, gang, phyles and division, and then you\"rerotated out and you go earlier because you have your own huge household come whomyou are assigned ~ above a type of one estate arranged society. You have your ownvillage, probably you also have your very own land the you\"re responsible for. Soyou\"re rotated back but you\"re not the same. You have seen the centralprinciple the the first nation state in ours planet\"s history, the pyramids, thecentralization, this organization. And also so lock must have been powerfulsocializing forces.Anyway, us think the that to be the suffer of the life recruits. However theremust have actually been a cadre of an extremely seasoned laborers that really knew exactly how to cutstone for this reason fine the you might join castle without acquiring a razor tongue inbetween. And also perhaps they were the rock cutters and setters, and also theexperienced quarry guys at the quarry wall. And the civilization who rotated in andout to be those doing every the various raw labor, not just the schlepping ofthe rock but prepare gypsum and we don\"t know to what level the otherindustries were also organized in the phyles system. But it\"s quite an amazingpicture. And also one the the things that really is inspiring me currently is thequestion of what vision of culture is said by a pyramid prefer Khufu\"s? Wasit in truth coercive? was it a aggressive kind the state WPA project? Or isit possible that we can find evidence that would lug Egypt into line withwhat we recognize of other traditional ancient societies. Like as soon as the Inca builda bridge, and every family winds its twine together, and the line of allthe families in the village are wound right into the villages\" donation to therope. And also the rope on the an excellent day that bridge building is wound into a greatcable. And all the villages\" cables room wound right into this online bridge. Or inMesopotamia we recognize that they constructed city walls, good mud brick city walls, bythe clans turning out and also giving your contribution, a sort of organic, naturalcommunity involvement in the structure project. Ns wonder if that wasn\"t thecase with the good Pyramid of Khufu. Friend know, it\"s nearly like one Amishbarnraising. But you know, the great Pyramid of Khufu is one hell the a barn.NOVA: some of the theory of who built the pyramids indicate that the buildersmay not have been indigenous Egypt. Can you respond come that?LEHNER: One point that strikes me when I read about these ideas—that itcouldn\"t have been the Egyptians who constructed the pyramids, that couldn\"t have beenthe Egyptians who developed the Sphinx, that the fourth Dynasty, it had actually to have been anolder civilization. And also I think around those claims and also then i look at themarvelous statue of Khafre v the Horus falcon at the back of his head. Ilook at the sublime ship of Khufu the was found hidden south of the pyramid.And we know that this objects day from the time of Khafre and also Khufu, and Ithink, my God, this was a great civilization. This to be as good as it come interms the art and sculpture and also building pearl from any place in the planet, inthe whole repertoire of old cultures. Why is there such a need to look foryet another culture, to say \"No, the wasn\"t these people, it was somecivilization that\"s lost, even older.\" and to some level I think us feel theneed to look for a lost civilization on time\"s various other horizon since we feellost in our civilization and also somehow we don\"t desire to confront the tiny manbehind the curtain together you had in \"The magician of Oz.\" We want the good andpowerful wizard through all the sound and also fury. Girlfriend know, go gain me thebroomstick of the angry witch that the west. We want that sound and fury. Wealways want much more out of the past than it yes, really is.ZAHI HAWASS, Director basic of GizaNOVA: Let\"s resolve the question of who constructed the pyramids.HAWASS: We room lucky due to the fact that we found this whole evidence the theworkmen who developed the pyramids and we discovered the artisans and Mark found thebakery and we discovered this negotiation of the camp, and also all the evidence, thehieroglyphical inscriptions of the overseer of the website of the Pyramid, theoverseer of the west next of the Pyramid, the craftsman we found, the male whomakes the statue of the overseer the the craftsman, the inspector that buildingtombs, manager of structure tombs—I\"m informing you every the titles. We found25 unique new titles linked with this people. Climate who built the pyramids?It was the Egyptians who constructed the pyramids. The good Pyramid is dated withall the evidence, I\"m telling you now to 4,600 years, the regime of Khufu. TheGreat Pyramid of Khufu is just one of 104 pyramids in Egypt v superstructure.And there are 54 pyramids with substructure. Over there is assistance (that) thebuilders of the pyramids were Egyptians. They room not the Jews as has actually beensaid, they are not civilization from a shed civilization. They room not out of space.They are Egyptian and also their skeletons room here, and were examined by scholars,doctors and also the gyeongju of every the human being we discovered are totally supporting thatthey room Egyptians.NOVA: The Greek chronicler Herodotus claimed in 500 B.C. The 100,000 peoplebuilt the pyramids, and also yet modern-day Egyptologists think the number to it is in morelike 20,000 come 30,000.HAWASS: Herodotus, as soon as he come here, met guides who tell stories and thingslike that. But I yes, really personally think that based on the size of thesettlement and also the totality work of one area that us found, I believe thatpermanent and temporary workmen who functioned at building the pyramid were36,000.NOVA: and also how carry out you concerned that number?HAWASS: I came to that number based upon the size of the pyramid project, agovernment project, the size of the tombs, the cemetery. We recognize we canexcavate the cemetery for hundreds of years—generations ~ generation canwork in the cemetery—and the 2nd is the negotiation area. Ns really believethere were long-term workmen who were functioning for the king. They were paid bythe king and these space the technicians who cut the stones, and there areworkmen who move the stones and also they come and also work in rotation. You have thisgroup and also another group. In the exact same time there are the civilization who live aroundthe pyramids the don\"t have to live in the pyramids. Lock come by beforehand inthe morning and also they occupational fourteen hrs from sunrise come sunset.NOVA: From her excavations the the workers\" cemetery you to speak you foundskeletons. Walk you analysis the bones, and if so, what did friend learn about theworkmen?
HAWASS: We discovered 600 skeletons. And also we uncovered that those people, number one,they to be Egyptians, the same like you see in every cemetery in Egypt. Numbertwo, we discovered evidence that those world had emergency treatment. They hadaccidents during building the pyramids. And also we uncovered 12 skeletons that hadaccidents v their hands. And also they sustained the 2 sides of the hand withwood. And also we have another one, a stone fell down on his leg, and also they make akind that operation, and they reduced his leg and he live 14 year after that.NOVA: just how do you recognize that?HAWASS: since we have a team right here from the nationwide Research center who aredoctors and also they usage the x-ray and they can discover all the evidence about age.They discovered that the period of death for those workmen were from 30 to 35. Thoseare the world who really constructed the pyramids, the negative Egyptians. It\"s veryimportant to prove how the pyramid to be built. The pyramid friend know, has actually magic,it has actually mystery. It\"s a structure that was built, friend know, 4,600 years ago.There is no accurate publication until currently that yes, really explained all of that. Every thetheorists, in other publications they say the the stones were taken native Tura, aboutfive miles to the eastern of the pyramid. This is not true. Every the stones havebeen taken native the plateau, other than the casing stones that came from Tura, andthe granite in the burial chamber that came from Aswan. Yet the magic the thepyramid makes civilization think about it. One amateur comes by and also looks in ~ thisstructure and also doesn\"t understand the mechanics. The cult of the Egyptians, thereligion, the pyramid, is a component of a totality civilization.NOVA: over there is one inscription above Khufu\"s burial chamber the identifies thepyramid as that the Khufu. Some civilization claim that is a fake inscription. Canyou comment on that?HAWASS: lock say that the engravings inside the five relieving chambers arefake. Fine. Ns went critical week and also we lighted every one of them. It has actually been neverlighted before. Us did beautiful lighting. Then we can read every singleinscription.
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NOVA: and also what perform they say?HAWASS: The workmen who were affiliated in building the good Pyramid weredivided into gangs, groups, four groups, and each group had a name, and eachgroup had actually an overseer. They wrote the name of the gangs. And you have thenames of the gangs of Khufu as \"Friends the Khufu.\" due to the fact that they to be thefriends that Khufu proves that structure the pyramid was not really miscellaneous thatthe Egyptians would push. You know, it\"s favor today. If you go to any villageyou will recognize the mechanism of old Egyptians. As soon as you build, I mean adam, or you build a huge house, people would come to help you. They would certainly workfree for you, the family members will send food to feed the workmen. And also when theybuild the dwellings you will carry out the same for them. And that\"s why the pyramid wasthe nationwide project the Egypt since everyone had actually to take part in buildingthis pyramid. By food, by workmen, this means the structure of the pyramid wassomething the everyone felt to participate, and really it to be love. Lock arenot really moved to execute it. When the king bring away the throne, the world have tobe all set in participating in building the pyramid. And also then once they finishit, they celebrate. That\"s why even now in contemporary Egypt we still yes, really docelebrations when we finish any type of project because that\"s specifically what happened inancient Egypt.NOVA: but what around the incriptions in the relieving chambers in Khufu andthe case that lock were not written during Khufu?HAWASS: lock say that these inscriptions have been composed by civilization whoentered inside. And if friend go and also see them they are usual graffiti that canbe seen about every pyramid in Egypt, because the workmen roughly the pyramidleft this. I would prefer those people who talked around this to come with me.And I will take castle personally to the rooms. Very first of every they say that onlyinscribed is the second room—it\"s no true. All the 5 relieving chambersare inscribed. Number two, there are some inscriptions there the cannot bewritten through anyone except the workmen who put them there. Girlfriend cannot go andreach there. It has to be the male who placed the block above the various other one come dothat. Ns think that possibly the only couple of Egyptologists, the only twoEgyptologists in the world that will really have an open up mind, it\"s me and MarkLehner, since we believe the public has actually the ideal for us to tell them thetruth. We room really functioning excavating around the pyramids to tell the worldthe truth.Photos: (1, 2) Aaron Strong; (3-5) native \"This Old Pyramid\";(6)Aaron Strong; (7) note LehnerPyramids residence | Pyramids | ExcavationContents | Mail