United States Republican Carson believes Joseph built the pyramids to store grain

This 2011 video is called Pharaohs-The Great Pyramid of Egypt (How was it built?) – BBC 1 of 6.

While all serious Egyptologists say that the six pyramids of Giza were built about 2500 BC as graves for pharaohs, there are some crackpot theories denying that.

Some claim ancient Egyptians did not build the pyramids, but aliens who had arrived in UFOs did.

And now, a United States Republican politician has another off base pet theory. After his fellow Republican Sarah Palin claimed that dinosaurs and humans used to live at the same time, Ben Carson thinks he should not just become president of the USA, but an amateur pseudo-Egyptologist as well.

From daily The Independent in Britain, 5 November 2015:

Ben Carson says pyramids were ‘built by biblical figure Joseph to store grain’

It is not the first time the 64-year-old former surgeon has expressed the novel theory

Andrew Buncombe, New York

There are three of them on the outskirts of Cairo, with the tallest of them soaring to more to more than 140 metres.

Over the years, experts and archaeologists have debated over what may have been the use of these giant pyramids, one of which was for centuries the highest man-made structure on earth. Were they simply burial chambers for the mightiest of the pharaohs?

Ben Carson, one of the leaders of the US Republican presidential race, believes the solution lies in the Bible.

He has repeated his longstanding belief that Egyptian pyramids were built by the biblical figure, Joseph, to store grain.

Dear Dr Carson, there are some problems here. Most historians think that the biblical Joseph was a myth. A few believe the Joseph tradition was based on the Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt. But that was around 1800-1500 BCE, so almost a thousand years after the Giza pyramids were built.

Another theory claims that the Bible was right on Joseph. In that view, Joseph was the same person as Amenhotep-Huy, vizier of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. But that was about 1360 BC, still more centuries later than the building of the pyramids.

“It’s still my belief, yes,” the retired neurosurgeon told reporters this week.

“Well, the pyramids were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time.”

The Associated Press said that Mr Carson, 64, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, first articulated his theory at a 1998 commencement speech at Andrews University.

In the commencement video, Mr Carson laid out his theory that the pyramids were constructed for grain storage.

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Mr Carson

“Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain.”

Exclusive: Carson claimed West Point ‘scholarship’ but never applied. Republican hits POLITICO story, later admits to The New York Times he wasn’t offered aid: here.

Ben Carson ‘fabricated’ his admission to West Point military academy: here.

Ben Carson is not having the best week, between redrawing borders on a U.S. map and that NYT piece on his lack of foreign policy understanding.

Ancient Egyptian sculpture acquired by Dutch museum

Newly aquired sculpture from the age of Pharaoh Amenhotep III

Translated from the National Museum of Antiquities in Leiden, the Netherlands:

The Egyptian collection of the Museum of Antiquities has recently been supplemented by a series of objects from the former collection of HC Jelgersma (1897-1982), a psychiatrist who studied Egyptology in his spare time. The most striking object of this is a small statue from the time of Amenhotep III (1391-1353 BC), the father of the famous Pharaoh Akhenaten. It is a thirteen centimeters tall head of a statue that has stood in an Egyptian temple.

Figurine with features of Amenhotep III

The sculpture has the characteristic features of Pharaoh Amenhotep III, but the wig with vertical strands indicates that the head does not represent the pharaoh himself, but a god with the facial features of the monarch. Amenhotep III had hundreds of these idols made for many temples in the country.

Rise and fall of the sun cult

The statue is made of red quartzite, a type of stone that was popular in this period of Egyptian history. Probably the colour was associated with the rising sun. That suited the cult of the sun as almighty god, which was booming at this time and culminated during the reign of Akhenaten. On the forehead was originally the head of a cobra, a symbol of power, worn both by gods and kings.

September 2, 2015

Egyptian Queen Nefertiti’s grave discovered?

This 2013 video is called Discovery Channel’sQueen Nefertiti” The Most Beautiful Face of Egypt.

From the Amarna Royal Tombs Project, by Nicholas Reeves:


Recently published, high-resolution scans of the walls of room J (the Burial Chamber) of Valley of the Kings tomb KV 62 (Tutankhamun) reveal, beneath the plastered surfaces of the painted scenes, distinct linear traces. These are here mapped, discussed, and tentatively identified as the ‘ghosts’ of two hitherto unrecognized doorways. It is argued that these doorways give access to: (1) a still unexplored storage chamber on the west of room J, seemingly contemporary with the stocking of Tutankhamun‘s burial; and (2) a pre-Tutankhamun continuation of KV 62 towards the north, containing the undisturbed burial of the tomb’s original owner: Nefertiti.

From the Daily Mail in Britain today:

Has Queen Nefertiti been found behind King Tut’s tomb? Scientist claims to have discovered a secret door to her burial chamber in Tutankhamun’s grave, the boy king who may have been her son

Radical claim made by Dr Nicholas Reeves at the University of Arizona
He analysed high-resolution scans of the walls of Tutankhamun‘s grave
Dr Reeves says he found ‘ghosts’ of doors that tomb builders blocked
The door on the north side contains ‘the undisturbed burial of the tomb’s original owner – Nefertiti’, Dr Reeves argues

Inspection of King Tut’s Tomb Reveals Hints of Hidden Chambers. Secret doors may conceal the burial chamber of Queen Nefertiti, but tantalizing clues await further testing: here.

Millions of Egyptian mummified dogs discovered

This video says about itself:

Why ancient Egyptians mummified 8 million dogs found in Anubis ‘God of Death’ mass grave

22 June 2015

In ancient Egypt, so many people worshiped Anubis, the jackal-headed god of death, that the catacombs next to his sacred temple once held nearly 8 million mummified puppies and grown dogs, a new study finds.

By James Gerken:

Millions Of Mummified Dogs Discovered In Ancient Egyptian Catacombs

06/22/2015 3:59 pm EDT

Ancient Egyptians are well-known for having worshipped animals, and archaeologists are used to unearthing nonhuman mummies. But a recent investigation in an ancient tomb south of Cairo led to a find of amazing proportions: an estimated 8 million mummified dogs that have been underground for more than 2,000 years.

Researchers from Cardiff University in Wales chronicle their discovery in a study published this month in the journal Antiquity.

The researchers found the remains within the catacombs of a temple dedicated to the jackal-headed god Anubis, in a burial ground called Saqqara. The center passageway is about 568 feet long and side corridors make the tomb up to 459 feet wide, according to Live Science. Many of the mummified canines have disintegrated or been removed by grave robbers.

“It would be quite difficult to easily find complete, nicely wrapped mummies,” Cardiff University archaeology professor and lead researcher Paul Nicholson told CNN. “What you have got is the decayed remains of the mummies.”

The archaeologists examined the number of mummies in a portion of the catacombs and used that count to estimate how many likely filled the tomb.

The tomb, which was likely built in the fourth century B.C., was first discovered in the 19th century, but archaeologists had no idea how many mummies it housed until this latest discovery. Researchers also found the remains of jackals, foxes and several falcons, The Independent reported.

The surrounding area was quite busy in antiquity, according to the researchers. The temples brought economic activity from visitors, merchants and breeders who raised dogs to be mummified for the Anubis temple.

“It would have been a busy place,” Nicholson told Live Science. “A permanent community of people living there supported by the animal cults.”

Neglected Egyptian influences on ancient Rome

Roman obelisque, showing a pharaoh with a Roman helmetTranslated from Leiden university in the Netherlands:

Ancient Roman culture more multicultural than thought

The ancient Roman material culture appears to be influenced more by other cultures than was previously assumed. In Rome plenty of elements such as images of Egyptian pharaohs were integrated, says archaeologist Marike van Aerde. PhD ceremony April 23rd.

Multiculturalism was normal

From the Romans from the period of Emperor Augustus (27 BC -14 AD) it was already known that they took elements of Greek and Hellenistic culture. They did this for instance in pottery, jewelry and buildings. The study by Marike van Aerde show that they did this also with aspects of Egyptian culture.

Van Aerde: “They did not only take these elements, they really integrated them.” Eg, Van Aerde found a picture of a pharaoh with a Roman helmet on an obelisk made in Rome. “This integration demonstrates that multiculturalism in Augustan Rome was normal. Egypt was from 30 BC on a Roman province, but the Roman material culture did not treat the Egyptian culture as inferior.”

Illegible hieroglyphics

Van Aerde analyzed nearly two hundred objects unearthed in Rome like pottery and jewelry. Much of this came from museums, including the British Museum. The archaeologist also participated in excavations. She also looked at public monuments and murals. She found many Egyptian figurative scenes and architectural and decorative elements. She found at the Sallustiano obelisk previously undiscovered illegible hieroglyphics. “This was actually a strange multicultural mix, but it did not surprise the Romans probably. They used Egyptian influences as a way to enhance their status. It improved one’s status to be multicultural.”

Terracotta panel depicting the Egyptian goddess Isis and two sphinxes, in a Roman-Hellenistic style

Museums move objects

Roman glass depicting an Egyptian head. Copyright the Trustees of The British MuseumSome Roman objects looked at first sight so Egyptian that people thought that the Romans had taken them from Egypt, Van Aerde says. She included an analysis of a number of fragments of Roman cameo glass, which consist of two or more layers in contrasting colors. They proved to be of Roman manufacture and date from the Augustan period. Van Aerde “Some museums have on these insights moved these objects from the Egyptian to the Roman departments. A perspective shift is needed. We are used to stick a label on everything: this is Greek, this is Roman, this is Egyptian. My research shows that one cannot always make such a distinction.”

(April 23, 2015 – CR)

Unknown ancient Egyptian queen’s grave discovered

This video is called Top 10 Female Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt.

From the BBC:

5 January 2015 Last updated at 10:01 GMT

Queen Khentakawess III‘s tomb found in Egypt

Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed the tomb of a previously unknown queen, Egyptian officials say.

The tomb was found in Abu-Sir, south-west of Cairo, and is thought to belong to the wife or mother of Pharaoh Neferefre who ruled 4,500 years ago.

Egyptian Antiquities Minister Mamdouh el-Damaty said that her name, Khentakawess, had been found inscribed on a wall in the necropolis.

Mr Damaty added that this would make her Khentakawess III.

The tomb was discovered in Pharaoh Neferefre’s funeral complex.

Miroslav Barta, head of the Czech Institute of Egyptology mission which made the discovery, said that the location of the queen’s tomb made them believe that she was the wife of the pharaoh.

The Czech archaeologists also found about 30 utensils made of limestone and copper.

Mr Damaty explained that the discovery would “help us shed light on certain unknown aspects of the Fifth Dynasty, which along with the Fourth Dynasty, witnessed the construction of the first pyramids.”

Abu-Sir was used as an Old Kingdom cemetery for the ancient Egyptian capital of Memphis.

See also here.