Artifacts and Perceptions
By Emory Taylor
All statements in brackets are mine.
The Riddle Of The Pyramids --- Mendelssohn
Dr. Mendelssohn, at 78/1/5-6, of his book The Riddle Of The Pyramids, wrote, "It is not that the scientist sees more than the Egyptologists --- he sees different things. His conclusions do not supplant the Egyptologist's work but may complement and, one hopes, enrich it."
Symbolic Interactionism --- Charon
3/3/1-4 "There is no way that any individual can see all aspects of any situation simultaneously. One must pull out certain stimuli and totally ignore other stimuli. One must also put the stimuli pulled out into a larger context so that what is seen makes sense. That is what perspectives do: they sensitize the individual to parts of physical reality, they desensitize the individual to other parts, and they help the individual make sense of the physical reality to which there is sensitization."
3/2/ "...a perspective is a point of view, placing observers at various angles in relation to events and influencing them to see these events from these angles. By its very nature, then, a point of view, or perspective, limits what the observer sees by allowing only one side of what is 'out there' to be seen."
Individuals may come to a situation with different perspectives.
3/1/4 "Although some of these perspectives may be closer to 'physical reality' than others, all of them probably capture at least part of that reality, and none of them is able to capture the whole of it."
Thus, Dr. Mendelssohn's statement is made clear --- "His conclusions do not supplant the Egyptologist's work but may complement and, one hopes, enrich it."
Experts from different fields, such as Archaeology, Egyptology, Engineering, Geology, etc., allow the evidence to be analyzed from different perspectives.
4/1/2 "Each perspective is a different approach to 'reality,' and each, therefore, tells us something but cannot include everything."
We might reject or accept a certain perspective, or we might reject only certain parts of a perspective, while accepting certain parts, integrate perspectives. We must be careful about what we reject, accept, integrate. Are we being bias, closed-minded, less than truthful in our decision making? Are we twisting the truth to fit or own needs?
The Complete Pyramids: solving the ancient mysteries --- Lehner
200/1 "How were the pyramids built? This is the question people most often ask when I tell them I work at the site of the Giza pyramids. It implies a single, simple answer --- one which many theorists claim to offer. They have diagrams showing stones hauled up various types of ramp; levered up on the pyramid steps; or lifted with counterweights or hydraulic locks. But all too many enthusiastic ideas wilt in the Egyptian sun. Whatever we propose as the likeliest building methods must be rooted in bedrock reality at the pyramid sites." 200/3 "To build a pyramid was to embark on a huge landscape project, especially in the case of the giant pyramids, and they must be looked at in their particular topographic context. Apart from the pyramid itself, one must identify other facets that together tell the entire story of the living pyramid, including the evidence of the human elements of the workforce and personnel who maintained the pyramid."
Pyramids An Enigma Solved --- Davidovits
Dr. Davidovits approaches the matter of pyramid construction from an Alchemical perspective, and he challenges the orthodox theory of the method of pyramid construction, addressing what he refers to as "The False Proof of Egyptology."
68/2 "If the ancient Egyptians had the ability to produce exceptionally high-quality cement, what prevented them from adding fossil shells to their cement to produce high-quality limestone concrete? The answer is that nothing prevented them. I will demonstrate that the pyramid blocks are not natural stone; the blocks are actually exceptionally high-quality limestone concrete -- synthetic stone -- cast directly in place. The blocks consist of about ninety to ninety-five percent limestone rubble and five to ten percent cement. They are imitations of natural limestone, made in the age-old religious tradition of alchemical stone making. No stone cutting or heavy hauling or hoisting was ever required for pyramid construction."
69/3/3 "Any theory must be feasible; then there must be evidence; and ultimately, hard scientific proof is required."
69/4/1 "Advanced technology plays no part in the production of geopolymers. This is the most basic prerequisite if the theory is to be feasible."
Clearly, Dr. Davidovits is stating that if advanced technology was required for the production of geopolymers, then his theory (hypothesis, actually) that the ancient Egyptians used geopolymers for pyramid construction would not be feasible. Why not? Is Dr. Davidovits saying that the ancient Egyptians were stupid idiots who knew nothing of advanced technology; therefore, any hypothesis employing advanced technology (concerning how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids) is not feasible.
Now contrast this "most basic prerequisite" with Dr. Davidovits statement of 61/3/1 "A modern superiority complex prevails in scholarly literature despite the weight of evidence of a great forgotten technology used for pyramid construction."
What does Dr. Davidovits mean by advanced technology? Does he mean compared to our technology? Does he mean compared to the level of technology generally ascribed to the Old Kingdom? Whatever Dr. Davidovits means by advanced technology, it is clear that he believes the ancient Egyptians knew nothing about it.
The point of all this is that Dr. Davidovits has set a prerequisite that he knows his hypothesis meets, and that he can use against other hypotheses (ones using advanced technology, even though he never stated what constitutes advanced technology), and that falls in line with the prevailing attitude (as indicated by him) of scholars. Not only does this indicate that Dr. Davidovits is playing both ends against the middle, but also it indicates that he interprets evidence such that it is favorable for his hypothesis. This brings up the question of why is Dr. Davidovits engaging in such activity --- could it be that the state of archaeological evidence, as it exist, is such that all hypotheses (concerning how the pyramids of the Old Kingdom were built), to some degree, are speculative?
Had some archaeologist, or Egyptologist, or anyone, unearthed a bas-relief, or papyrus, or ancient Egyptian artifact by any name, setting forth exactly how an Old Kingdom pyramid was constructed, then there would be no need for speculation, but the archaeological evidence is fragmentary, of all the possible artifacts produced during the ancient history of Egypt, only a very small fraction have been discovered, and it is likely that most of them have not survived to be discovered.
Just as an example, given the fragmentary state of the archaeological evidence, when particular type of tool is found at a pyramid site, and marks from these tools are found on the pyramid blocks, and a bas-relief from a different, but still ancient, time period is found depicting blocks being carved with this type of tool, then it is not unreasonable to speculate that such tools were used to cut the blocks for a pyramid. Of course, we would want to make sure that such tools were in use during the time the pyramid was constructed, after all, it could be that a repair crew, working at the pyramid a 1,000 years after the pyramid was originally constructed, might have left the tools and markings, and that these tools were not used for the construction of that pyramid.
62/1 "The wall paintings in the New Kingdom tomb of the official Rekhmire (1400BC) are famous for their illustration of the period’s technology. One painting shows blocks being carved with bronze tools. This painting was produced 1,300 years after the construction of the Great Pyramid, and therefore, is not relevant."
Dr. Davidovits is misleading us, it is not when the painting was produced that is important, it is that the painting illustrates the technology of its time instead of the technology of a past time --- copper tools were used during the time of the Old Kingdom, not bronze tools. I do not know if Dr. Davidovits is simply trying to discredit the use of the Rekhmire bas-relief, or if he is attempting to discourage the approach used in the example I gave above, an approach that is clearly warranted do to the fragmentary archaeological evidence --- Dr. Davidovits wording of 62/1 seems to indicate the latter, which, of course, is beneficial to his hypothesis.
62/2 "A bas-relief on the wall of the causeway approaching the pyramid of pharaoh Unas (2356-2323 BC) of the Fifth Dynasty is the last of the false proofs. The Bas-relief depicts the fact that Unas dismantled a temple in the pyramid complex of his predecessor, Djedkara-Isesi, and reused the blocks for his own pyramid. The bas-relief shows a boat transporting huge temple columns along the Nile River to the Unas pyramid complex. About two miles separate the two pyramids. I observed these columns among the ruins. Instead of being monolithic as depicted in the bas-relief, they consist of units no more than a half ton each."
62/3/1-2 "This bas-relief is used to make sweeping generalizations about pyramid construction. It is used to explain that casing blocks were transported from across the Nile and that granite blocks came from 400 miles upstream at Aswan."
Note Dr. Davidovits statement "I observed these columns among the ruins. Instead of being monolithic as depicted in the bas-relief, they consist of units no more than a half ton each." Dr. Davidovits is clearly indicating that the Unas bas-relief is not accurate, but how do we know when the columns were cut into units. Were they cut before they were move?
Were they cut after they were moved? If cut after moved then the Unas bas-relief is accurate. If cut before moved but shipped together, then again the Unas bas-relief is accurate. Clearly, Dr. Davidovits wants us to think the Unas bas-relief is not accurate because this would be beneficial to his hypothesis.
Note the statement "...the units weigh no more than a half ton each." Clearly, Dr. Davidovits wants us to think that the Unas bas-relief is not accurate because the ancient Egyptian boats were not capable of transporting blocks weighing several tons. But at 16/2/4 Dr. Davidovits tells us of the Pharaoh’s boat writing "The boat, measuring more than 120 feet, had a displacement capacity of over forty tons." At 16/5/1-2 Dr. Davidovits writes, "Khufu’s boat is far more seaworthy than any craft of Christopher Columbus’s day, The famous mission of Thor Heyerdahl in 1970, from Morocco to Barbados in a papyrus reed boat, makes it clear that ancient Egyptian ships were capable of intercontinental travel." But, Dr. Davidovits wants us to believe that the Unas bas-relief is not accurate, and that the ancient Egyptians could not use boats to transport pyramid blocks, of course, because this would be beneficial to his hypothesis.
63/1/2 "The fact that Unas reused pyramid blocks has nothing to do with how those blocks were originally produced and placed in Djedkara-Isesi’s pyramid."
The point of the Unas bas-relief has nothing to do with how the pyramid blocks were produced and place, it has to do with the fact that the ancient Egyptians used boats to transport pyramid blocks. Again, Dr. Davidovits is trying to mislead us because this would be beneficial to his hypothesis.
Clearly, Dr. Davidovits is using under-handed tactics in order to discredit other hypotheses concerning the building of pyramids.
60/2 "A stele discovered in the Tura quarries is attributed to the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Amosis (1580-1558 BC). The stele itself disappeared during the nineteenth century, and only a sketch remains... The sketch shows a stone block placed on a sledge being pulled by oxen. Although the wheel had been introduced in Egypt by this time, this bas-relief indicates that it was still not being used for hauling stone."
60/3 "Pharaoh Amosis opened the Tura quarries to obtain soft stone for the temple of the god Path of Memphis. The Tura stele is not acceptable as evidence to support the traditional theory of pyramid construction because it was produced almost 1,000 years after the Great Pyramid was built."
Recall Dr. Davidovits statements at 68/2 "If the ancient Egyptians had the ability to produce exceptionally high-quality cement, what prevented them from adding fossil shells to their cement to produce high-quality limestone concrete? The answer is that nothing prevented them." Well, the same applies with the Tura Stele, if the ancient Egyptians had figured out how to haul huge blocks using rope and a sledge, then what prevented them from using animals to haul the blocks. The answer is that nothing prevented them. In this case, the dismissal of the Tura Stele based on its date is not acceptable, but Dr. Davidovits wants us to dismiss the Tura Stele because it would be beneficial to his hypothesis. Dr. Davidovits consistently engages in under-handed tactics.
As for quarried blocks, at 57/3 Dr. Davidovits writes the following. "Although the Klemms [who made a dating of the Gebel el-Silsis quarries] did not date limestone quarries, a general dating of quarrying in Egypt is established nevertheless. The implications are profound. From 27 BC to AD 379, the Romans quarried stone with wooden dowels. From 332 to 1250 BC, fine, parallel chisel strokes were used in Egyptian quarries. In 1400 BC Egyptians were making herringbone chisel patterns when cutting. During 1600 BC, they cut stone using random strokes, and before that time, there is no trace of block quarrying at all. How did the Egyptians remove stone in more ancient times for pyramid construction?"
Of course Dr. Davidovits wants us to think that they did not quarry stones as he is presenting the hypothesis that they used geopolymers, (68/2) "the blocks are actually exceptionally high-quality limestone concrete -- synthetic stone -- cast directly in place."
It should be obvious that the dating of just the Gebel el-Silsis quarries, which is sandstone, not limestone, is not sufficient for "a general dating of quarrying in Egypt..." How do we know that thousands of years of quarrying that took place after the Fourth Dynasty did not result in the removal of all the stone having the chisel patterns from the Fourth Dynasty, so, of course, we find no trace. Of course, Dr. Davidovits wants us to think that there was no quarrying because this would be beneficial to his hypothesis.
57/4 "A Twelfth Dynasty (1800 BC) bas-relief from the tomb of Djehutihotep depicts the transport of the colossal statue of this ruler of Hermoplis. It was produced about 800 years after the construction of the Great Pyramid, yet it is used as evidence to support the traditional theory of pyramid construction."
57/5/ "The colossus no longer exists, but it stood 6.50 meters (21.32 feet) high and weighed about sixty tons according to what can be determined from inscriptions. The bas-relief depicts the colossus being hauled on a sledge to which it is solidly attached with thick cords. Protective bands can be seen under cables at the corners of the statue. In four lines, 172 men are pulling the colossus. Three workers carrying a liquid, presumably water, are shown. A worker is pouring the liquid in front of the sledge to ease its movement over the surface of the Nile silt."
Dr. Davidovits wants to know, at 58/3/1, "Is this method applicable for constructing the Great Pyramid?" After doing some calculation for the number of men required and number of blocks required, Dr. Davidovits comes to the conclusion, at 59/1/3 "This enormous number of men would have been squeezed together shoulder to shoulder at the work site, an area about the size of a large sports arena." Thus, Dr. Davidovits is indicating that he does not believe that the Djehutihotep bas-relief can be used as evidence concerning the construction of the Great Pyramid.
Note that Dr. Davidovits stated "It was produced 800 years after the construction of the Great Pyramid..." So Dr. Davidovits objection for using the Djehutihotep bas-relief is also based on when this bas-relief was produced.
I agree with Dr. Davidovits that this bas-relief should not be used concerning pyramid construction, but not because of the date when it was produced. The colossus is a finished statue of a ruler, not a simple construction block. It is likely that pomp-and-circumstance was involved in its moving, and the workers may have been volunteers who considered it an honor to be involved, and, recall the Tura stele depicting a stone block pulled by oxen, it may have been considered an insult to move a finished statue of a ruler with animals. At any rate, we should not expect a simple construction block and a finished statue of a ruler to be handled, or moved, in the same way.
73/5/2-4 "There is, however, a bas-relief that may depict a large stone block being cast. Wall paintings from the tomb of the Eighteenth Dynasty official Rekhmire (1400 BC), are precise illustrations of the technology of the New Kingdom. Although alchemical stone making is primarily Old Kingdom technology, it was used during the New Kingdom on a smaller scale."
74/2/1-2 "A brick workshop is depicted in one of the paintings. One block appears to large to have been made of mud, because a mud brick would crack to pieces at the size depicted."
75/2/6 "Because both types of materials [mud bricks and stone blocks] were made using similar implements, and there is nothing to indicate that the large block was mud bricks instead of stone, the original painting is certainly open to interpretation."
Thus, Dr. Davidovits' under-handed tactics are fully exposed. Recall that, at 60/3/2, Dr. Davidovits stated "The Tura stele is not acceptable as evidence to support the traditional theory of pyramid construction because it was produced almost 1,000 years after the Great Pyramid was built." Recall the Tura stele is from the "Eighteenth Dynasty..." So Dr. Davidovits has already dismissed artifacts from the Eighteenth Dynasty because they were produced a 1,000+ years after the great pyramid was constructed, yet here is Dr. Davidovits using an artifact from the Eighteenth Dynasty as evidence in support of his hypothesis for how pyramids were built.
Dr. Davidovits consistently engages in under-handed tactics.
76/2 "It would be impossible for such an enormous cement industry to have left no traces of its existence, but those traces would never be recognized by anyone unaware of this technology. The most obvious traces are the tremendous quantities of minerals excavated from the Sinai mines... Egyptologists are well aware of the industrial quantities of mafkat mined in the Sinai, but they cannot account for its consumption in such enormous quantities."
76/3/1-2 "The mining expeditions of the pharaohs correspond exactly with the construction of the pyramids. Pyramid-building pharaohs are depicted in large relief in the cliff faces at the Sinai mines..."
Given Dr. Davidovits use of under-handed tactics, I have to wonder why he has not compared the quantities used with the quantities required for making the cement used between the blocks of pyramids, and for temples. Also why is nothing said about how long the Sinai mines were used. Of course he is claiming that no cement was used between the blocks, so, of course, the Sinai mines were not mined for this purpose.
At 80--->81, Dr. Davidovits mathematically shows that 4,704 or fewer, workers could have moved the amount of material required for the cement to cast all the blocks for the great pyramid, and, at 82, he informs us of the additional workers required, so the total worker would be greater than 4,704, but would still be much less than the 100,000 workers required by the standard theory. But given Dr. Davidovits use of under-handed tactics, I have to wonder why he has not presented such detailed information concerning other aspects as drying time, stress, etc. From the information he gives there is no way to tell if they had to start the second course when the cement blocks of the first course were not finished drying --- how would this effect the drying time of the first course, and what would be the result the stress due the weight one cement blocks not completely dried: why has Dr. Davidovits not given this information?
In the chapters "The Hard Scientific Proof," and "The Proof At Giza," Dr. Davidovits presents evidence (chemical analysis performed on small samples, observable telltale signs of engineering techniques, etc.) that he believes supports his hypothesis, and presents opposing interpretations of this same evidence. I give credit to Dr. Davidovits for presenting both sides. While I do not believe that Dr. Davidovits has made his case (in support of his hypothesis), I do believe that he has made the case that further scientific investigation of the artifacts (the pyramid blocks, quarry sites, statues, etches) is warranted in order to settle the matter of whether natural blocks or man-made blocks were used, or whether a combination of both types of blocks were used.
37/1 "WRITTEN TEXT OF PYRAMID CONSTRUCTION MUST HAVE existed. The legacy of and events surrounding these monuments were far too important to have been unrecorded. Surviving documents from the Old Kingdom (c. 2705-2250 BC) are limited in number and extent, and Egyptologist have long claimed that no ancient Egyptian record from any period describes how the pyramids were built. Their error is that they seek records of stone cutting, hauling, and hoisting. They do not have the pertinent texts that would be required for making their historical deductions about pyramid construction."
137/2/1 "Unaware of the technology used, Egyptologists have misunderstood the meaning of Egyptian writings that document pyramid construction --- writings that concur with my findings."
Dr. Davidovits focuses on the Famine Stele. At 137/2/3, Dr. Davidovits writes "Egyptologists are divided on its authenticity, but insist the document is a copy of Old Kingdom texts made by priests of Khnum in about 200 BC." At 143/2, Dr. Davidovits writes, "The Famine Stele contains other major elements having nothing to do with territorial rights or famine. Actually, the stele might be better named Khnum's Alchemical Stele, for it holds the key to the method of manufacturing man-made stone. Of about 2,600 hieroglyphs making up the inscription, about 650 or approximately one-third pertain to rocks and mineral ores and their processing."
143/3/1-2 Some Egyptologists believe that the relevant inscriptions on the Famine Stele were derived from authentic documents dating from Pharaoh Zoser's reign (2630-2611 BC), that were enhanced by Khnum's priests during the Ptolemaic period. The Famine Stele consists of five chapters, made up of thirty-two columns of hieroglyphs written from right to left:..."
143/4/2 "Vital passages relative to making man-made stone for construction purposes are found in columns 6 to 22: In columns 11 to 18, Imhotep describes the rocks and mineral ores of the Elephantine region to Zoser."
143/4/5 "Limestone (translated ainr hedj), the predominate variety of stone found in the pyramid, is not found on the list. Sandstone (Ainr rwdt), the primary material used to build temples between 1500 BC and Roman times, is not listed, nor is Aswan granite (mat), the preferable building material of the Ptolemic period, especially at Alexandria."
144/2/1-3 "The hieroglyphic names of several minerals on the list have never been translated. Other words are of dubious translation [according to Dr. Davidovits]. Their correct translation is vital to the meaning of the stele."
144/3/1 "I have produced a new translation of the stele..."
I have no problem with Dr. Davidovits producing a new translation based on alchemical technology. What I have a problem with is the fact that the columns of the stele concerning man-made stones does not describe the making of huge blocks for pyramids. So, even when the stele is completely deciphered, we still do not have an ancient Egyptian artifact describing the method used to build pyramids, but, instead, have yet another artifact upon which speculation, as to the method of pyramid construction, can be made.
At 71/1/1-2, Dr. Davidovits stated, "WITH CHEMISTRY, THE TASK OF PYRAMID CONSTRUCTION was easily accomplished with the tools of the Pyramid Age. With no carving or block hoisting required,..."
When writing of trapezoidal blocks he observed at the pyramids of Giza, Dr. Davidovits writes, at 104/4, "That these trapezoidal blocks are bound by mortar does not invalidate the agglomerated stone theory because the blocks represent only a small minority. Instead, the blocks provide insight into the plan by which the pyramids were constructed. The blocks were probably cast near by [meaning not in place] and placed [meaning hauled and hoisted] during the final construction phase to plug passageways that had remained open to provide ventilation and allow ingress and egress of materials."
Clearly, Dr. Davidovits is stating that some hauling and hoisting was required. Again, Dr. Davidovits consistently engages in under-handed tactics.
According to Herdotous pyramid construction involved hoisting of blocks, and Dr. Davidovits believes at least some hoisting of blocks was required. But at 158--->159, when addressing Herodotus' report of a machine used for the hoisting of blocks, he writes the following at 158/5/1, "When researchers introduce designs for wooden machines, which they propose might have been used for hoisting pyramid blocks, their concepts do not comply with the archaeological record." Again, Dr. Davidovits engages in under-handed tactics. The archaeological evidence is fragmentary --- there is no clear-cut archaeological record concerning pyramid construction, which is why people like Dr. Davidovits are engaged in so much speculation.
He continues, 158/5/2 "No evidence of any such wooden machinery from the Pyramid Age has ever been found by archaeologists." Again, Dr. Davidovits engages in under-handed tactics. No wooden molds for huge pyramid blocks has ever been found by archaeologist. If you want to know the low level to which Dr. Davidovits goes in engaging in under-handed tactics, then read this quote of Dr. Davidovits from 73/5/1, "Because wood was so scarce, the remains of large wooden molds no longer exist." Clearly, the same would apply to large wooden machines, but Dr. Davidovits is so engaged in under-handed tactics that he does not tell his readers this fact when it comes to something not beneficial to his hypothesis.
I am the author of the Equilibrium Method, but since whether the blocks were natural or man-made does not invalidate the Equilibrium Method, I have no vested interest concerning Dr. Davidovits hypothesis, so it cannot be claimed that I am bias against Dr. Davidovits man-made stone hypothesis, as a matter of fact, I said above that it warrants further scientific investigation.
There is one lingering question that has likely also occurred to you. If, as Dr. Davidovits suggest at 73/5/2, concerning an artifact from the Eighteenth Dynasty, "There is a bas-relief that may depict a large stone block being cast." then why were those guys from the Eighteenth Dynasty using oxen to haul a stone block on a sledge from the Tura quarries, as was depicted on the Tura Stele, which Dr. Davidovits wants dismissed as being evidence of how pyramids were constructed.
It was apparent to me that Dr. Davidovits was bias, closed-minded, engaged in under-handed tactics when rejecting, accepting, integrating perceptions.
Riddle Of The Pyramids --- Mendelssohn
Mendelssohn, Kurt. 1974. The Riddle Of The Pyramids. Praeger Publishers, Inc. New York.
Symbolic Interactionism: an introduction, an interpretation, an integration --- Charon
Charon, Joel M. 1989. Symbolic Interactionism: an introduction, an interpretation, an integration. Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey
The Complete Pyramids: solving the ancient mysteries --- Lehner
Lehner, Mark. 1997. The Complete Pyramids: solving the ancient mysteries. Thames and Hudson Ltd, London
Pyramids An Enigma Solved --- Davidovits
Davidovits, David. 1988. Pyramids An Enigma Solved. Hippocrene Books, Inc. New York