Tuesday, April 3, 2007
War of the pyramid theorists
"...some Egyptologists now argue that ancient Egypt's rural population was the group that actually built the pyramids - and that it did so not in bondage, but as a more complicated form of tribute to the pharaoh...According to Shoeab, those who contributed to the production of the pyramids were not slaves at all, but displaced persons who came to Giza during the Nile's annual flood season. Shoeab believes that the historical records found along the banks of the Nile provide the most credible theory, which says that the pharaohs provided food, shelter and sanitation in exchange for the seasonal river dwellers' work on the pyramids. The seasonal nature of the work may help to explain why the Great Pyramid of Khufu took 20 years to build. Shoeab claims it was actually considered a great honor to work on the pyramids...One should also remember that these were tombs built for gods, she says, and that in this context the pain of the task might have been understood in a similar light as the self-discipline and deprivations of Christian monastic life."