Aliens or Egyptians - Who Really Built the Pyramids?

Aliens or Egyptians - Who Really Built the Pyramids?

A closer look at the claims of sensationalists

Gary WebsterNov 9, 2022, 2:56 AM

Many today believe it was impossible for humans to build such great

 Those who believe that aliens built the pyramids think 

 Since the sun perpetually shines in Egypt, the sun god 

 It is often claimed by “alien” theorists that the pyramids 

 However, it was not a true pyramid with smooth sides. 

Ancient Egyptians were in a position to build the pyramids 

The Great Pyramid of Khufu is made of some 2.3 million 

2. Quarrying

A limestone quarry, located on the Giza plateau, 300 m (985 ft) south of the Great Pyramid, reveals that local limestone was used for the pyramid core. The quarry reveals how the blocks were cut out. In the quarry are the stumps of approximately 3- x 3-m blocks removed thousands of years ago. Trenches are found between them where the stonecutters would have worked. Blocks of stone were cut by pounding channels into the limestone using hammer stones to separate them from bedrock. These channels are clearly visible even today. The blocks were then detached using large wooden levers. Near the Sphinx, and in Menkaure’s quarry, can be found a number of unfinished quarry blocks that are almost detached from the bedrock. Huge lever sockets are also visible in Menkaure’s quarry.

The outer casing of the Great Pyramid was made from finer limestone and granite that were transported by boat via the Nile from Tura and Aswan, while the king’s chamber was made entirely from blocks of Aswan granite. Tool marks preserved on many soft-stone quarry walls (e.g. the sandstone quarries at Gebel el-Silsila) indicate that some form of pointed copper alloy pick, axe or maul was also used during the Old and Middle Kingdoms. Mallet-driven pointed chisels were used from the Eighteenth Dynasty onwards. However this technique would have been unsuitable for quarrying harder stones such as granite. Workers in Old Kingdom quarries probably simply prised large boulders of granite out of the sand. From the Eighteenth Dynasty, granite was cut from Aswan quarries. Unknown tools were used to cut the edges of the granite block that was to be extracted. Workers then cut slots in the bottom of the holes using the same tools. Wooden pegs were then rammed into the slots and filled with water. As the water expanded the pegs, the stones splintered off. An unfinished obelisk still sitting at an ancient quarry in Aswan reveals this process.

Archaeologists have also discovered that the pyramids show human construction in their flaws: The outer shell has very fine polished limestone laid with great accuracy in its joints, while the inner core was very sloppy, with stones not accurately joined at all, and pebbles, cobbles, broken stones and large amounts of gypsum mortar jammed down between the large spaces between the stone blocks.

Fragments of tools, tool marks in the stones and bits of pottery characteristic of the Old Kingdom period were found in many places, even in the largest of the Giza pyramids, again revealing construction by humans. 

3. Labour Used

There is abundant evidence left of the people who performed the work of building the pyramids. In recent years Egyptologist, Mark Lehner, discovered a city of the pyramid builders on the Giza plateau, complete with bakeries; institutional buildings; a building for working copper (the hardest metal known to the ancient Egyptians, and used in tools for quarrying and dressing stones); long corridor-like rooms (the Gallery Complex) for sleeping 1600–2000 workers; a site for the processing or consuming of fish; and huge quantities of cattle, sheep and goat bones—“enough to feed several thousand people, even if they ate meat every day,” said Lehner. 

Even the tombs of workers who constructed the pyramids have been discovered. The city and tombs demonstrate that the pyramids were built by paid labourers rather than slaves.

Early in the twentieth century, George Reisner found workers’ graffiti that revealed the pyramid builders were organised into labour units with names like “Friends of Khufu” or “Drunkards of Menkaure.” They even graffitied their clearly Egyptian names on the buildings! We now know that the workers were organised into crews of roughly 2000 conscripted peasants, made up of two gangs of 1000. These gangs were divided into five groups of 200 men. Each group was made up of 10 divisions of 20 men. 

Some stones from Middle Kingdom pyramids have rough hieroglyphic notes inscribed on them for either scribes or controllers. Such notes consist of the date of transport, the workmen in charge of the block and the stage of transport. Some of the following messages have been written on various stone blocks: “brought from the quarry”; “removal from the quarry”; “delivered at the embankment [or harbour]”; “brought from the embankment”; “delivered to storage enclosures”; “brought” and “dragged” to the pyramid; and, “delivered to the ramp.” Herdsmen, who may have driven oxen that pulled the stone, are also mentioned. 

Stones also record the names of the teams responsible for them. Written documents have been discovered that deal with the pyramid builders. Some of the Lahun Papyri detail the dragging of stone blocks by groups of workers involved in building the pyramid of Senwosret II.

4. Transport

While most of the stone blocks were quarried near the pyramid, any finer stone that was quarried from further away was transported via the Nile River by boat. It seems wooden sledges were used to transport the blocks over land as a 4.2-metre-long sledge was found near the pyramid of Senwosret I. A wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep (1900 BC) shows a large statue being transported by a sledge. These sledges were drawn by oxen and men, since a number of tomb and temple wall paintings depict the transportation of stones by water and by sledges that are drawn by men or oxen.

Roads and tracks were made for the sledges. Such roads 

Water was used as a lubricant for the ground to make it easier to pull the sledges. A wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep shows a large statue being transported by a sledge with a person on the front of the sledge pouring out water to wet the sand, reducing friction. It is clear that transporting large amounts of stone was well within the ancient Egyptians’ capabilities.

5. Laying the Blocks 

When moving stones into place, in order to preserve the exact alignment of the walls, corner blocks were set first. Other blocks were then brought in and moved into their final place using levers. A casing block of Khufu’s pyramid shows a lever hole in the base of the block, which was then filled in with plaster. Since different teams laid blocks from each of the pyramid’s corners, there could be gaps in the middle, which were then filled with smaller blocks. This is clearly seen in the Meidum pyramid.

The Use of Ramps in Pyramid Building

Archaeologists believe ramps were used to drag the blocks of stone to their positions in the pyramids. Some of the step mastabas of the Third Dynasty, which are the proto-pyramids, show evidence that they had ramps on each side. While no ramps have survived at the Great Pyramid itself, traces have been discovered at the Great Pyramid and around other Old Kingdom pyramids. The Meidum pyramid has indications that a ramp was applied to the outer casing. Traces of a “staircase ramp,” which was a steep and narrow set of steps leading up one face of the pyramid, have also been found at the Sinki, Abu Ghurob and Lisht pyramids. 

A “spiral ramp” was possibly described in the Nineteenth Dynasty Papyrus Anastasi I. Traces of “interior ramps” have been found inside the remains of the pyramids of Sahura, Nyuserra and Neferirkara, at Abusir, and of Pepi II, at Saqqara.

With the use of such ramps, 50 per cent of the blocks could have been towed to a height of 30–50 m (90–165 ft). These ramps, made from limestone chip, tafla and gypsum, rather than stone blocks, would have been easy to build and dismantle.

Pyramid Building feasible

Many websites display a misunderstanding of the nature of pyramids. One such site states that the pyramid stones are megaton (1 million ton) rocks, which could simply never be moved by humans. The blocks were definitely not a million tonnes each. Rather, on average, they weighed about 2.5 tonnes. Surrounding the blocks with teams of men, using cattle as well, which the Egyptians sometimes used, and wetting the sand would have made the job very doable, since the Nova pyramid-building experiment revealed that 20 men could easily pull a two-tonne block along lubricated tracks. 

People assume that since we don’t build such pyramids today, it would have been impossible for the ancient Egyptians to do so. However, in the NOVA pyramid-building experiment it took just 40 days to build a pyramid measuring 6 m (20 ft) high using mainly ancient technologies and a team of just 44 workmen, none of 

The Giza Pyramids and astral alignment

Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert theorise that the layout pattern of the pyramids is identical to the three belt stars of the constellation Orion. However, in all probability this is just pure coincidence. The belt of Orion is famous in part because of the natural simplicity of its layout. The arrangement of the Giza pyramids in that pattern was probably because it offered the best line of sight. Being laid out in a diagonal line, the pyramids do not block each other. 

To strengthen the connection with their Orion orientation theory, however, Bauval and Gilbert, using computer software to find when the alignment of the pyramids would have exactly mirrored the constellation Orion in the sky, claimed this occurred in 10,450 BC, and that this is therefore the date, before Egyptian civilisation, that the aliens built the pyramids. However, while there is absolutely no evidence the pyramids existed before the Egyptians, there is abundant evidence that they are the cultural, religious and political products of the early Egyptian state. The Giza pyramids were built during the Fourth Dynasty, which according to current Egyptian chronology, dates to around 2575–2450 BC.

Radiocarbon dating was carried out on the Great Pyramid several times in the 1980s and ’90s. It was initially funded by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, a group that also wanted the pyramids to date to 10,500 BC, because they believed they were remnants of Atlantean society. While this dating method is not always accurate, the radiocarbon date for the Great Pyramid ranged from 2660 to 3809 BC, so not so far off other reckonings. Dating of a funerary boat found buried beside the Great Pyramid was radiocarbon–dated to about 2600 BC. Thus the pyramid certainly does not date from 10,500 BC. 

Clearly there is abundant evidence that the Great Pyramids were built by very human Egyptians rather than by aliens. Interestingly, probably the world’s leading authority on the Giza pyramids today, Mark Lehner, first went to Egypt as a New Age student, intrigued by the mysteries of the “Sleeping Prophet,” Edgar Cayce. As mentioned, Cayce believed the Giza pyramids to be remnants of an Atlantean society and also asserted there was a “hall of records" beneath the Egyptian Sphinx that held the historical texts of Atlantis. However, the longer Lehner worked on the Giza plateau, the more he realised that such notions “could not stand up to the bedrock reality of the Giza Plateau.” Accordingly he turned to an open-minded scientific method of discovery in order to understand the culture better. One can only hope that alien theorists will be as open-minded as Lehner was to the evidence. 

Sources:This article has drawn on many sources, but moreso those acknowledged below, and especially on Egyptologist Margaret Maitland’s excellent blog, Why the Aliens Did Not Build the Pyramids., The Eloquent Peasant, August 24, 2007. Web, December 28, 2015.Dunn, Jimmy (writing as Alan Winston). About Egyptian Pyramids, Web, January 1, 2016.Lehner, Mark, and Tyson, Peter. Excavating the Lost City, January 1, 2010, Nova Online. Web, January 3, 2016.Lehner, Mark and Nova. Interview with Mark Lehner, Archaeologist, Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, and Harvard Semitic Museum, PBS Online. Web, January 2, 2016.Shaw, Ian. Building the Great Pyramid,, BBC History/Ancient History, February 17, 2011. Web, December 30, 2015.Shaw, Jonathan. Who Built the Pyramids?, Harvard Magazine (July-August 2003). Web, January 1, 2016.* All dated events in this article are according to the commonly accepted Egyptian chronology.

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