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Hanslune

Is Egyptology a Pseudoscience?

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Hanslune
Posted (edited)

 [www.youtube.com]

This showed up at the Hancock forum.

No comment except the maker seems to think the great pyramid being a tomb is the central point and focus of Egyptology - I would have thought it was understanding the language then the religion and culture but hey that's just me - will finish watching it tomorrow.

Edited by Hanslune
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Hanslune
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Hanslune said:

 

A question came to mind. Who was the first Egyptologist to espouse the theory that the Great Pyramid was a tomb and when did he do so and what evidence would he have had at that time?

Edited by Hanslune
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Wepwawet
5 hours ago, Thanos5150 said:

Diodorus says:

 

 

 

Yet is this not just supposition on the part of Diodorus, whose experience of slavery is informed by the age he lived in, a far harsher form of slavery than ever practised by Dynastic Egyptians, and goes against the evidence from the Giza workmens town, which despite arguments about the existance of a workmans town during construction of G1, and I'm sure there was, shows that they were not slaves, or even if pressed into service, were not treated as slaves. I would say that the comments of Diodorus as regards a king concerned about being torn up and thrown out of his tomb, so wanting his friends to bury him in secret, would apply to Ramesses XI, who knew well of the depradations in the VoK and abandoned his tomb to be buried, well, we are still searching.

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Tom1200

Well... I listened to that video in the background while researching Stephen Myers and his theories.  Talk about pots and kettles!  

All his videos, interviews, presentations and books (probably to that last one - I don't have access to them here and now) are the same: attack, attack, attack Egyptology using memes, accusations, repetition of choice words and phrases.  He clearly thinks that discrediting Egyptology makes his theories more plausible to a willing and receptive audience, so he focuses on that instead of justifying a single point or offering a positive alternative.  So pay attention Cl*dking and anyone else with their own pet theory, because this is how and why it was done!

a)  The pyramids were built using water locks.  Here is his proof:

The water locks were incorporated into the casing stones. Each water lock rested on top of the casing stones below each water lock.

b)  The Great Pyramid was built to pump water.  Here is his proof:

waterpump.jpg?resize=300%2C236

c)  The watertight casing stones could not have been crafted using hand tools.  Here is his proof:

(okay, he hasn't ever explained how they were made, but he knows they weren't done with hand tools.  We know this because in the link above he ridicules hand tools about a thousand times, which surely counts as proof?)

d)  The Great Pyramid water pump was built to irrigate the lands of Egypt... close to the Nile... at one precise point out of 4000 miles...  Ignore those distracting considerations, because here is his proof:

(okay, he doesn't actually say how water pumped at Giza was used to irrigate the whole kingdom, but - isn't that obvious?  Why else would they build a six million ton Great Pyramid water pump, if not to irrigate farm lands next to one spot on the world's longest river?)

In summary, for anyone who still think pyramids were built using tried-and-tested building techniques developed over centuries of invention and ingenuity:

  1. ancient Egyptians could never have moved stones by dragging them on sleds or rollers,
  2. but they could build watertight canals up the sides of pyramids with such skill that they left absolutely no sign of those when they dismantled them.  
  3. and we know they possessed incredible knowledge of hydraulic systems because the Great Pyramid was built to pump water.
  4. in fact the Great Pyramid must have been so effective at pumping water that they didn't need to bother putting the chambers and tunnels into the other ones
  5. so they just built the other 100+ pyramids in different shapes and sizes for...
  6. reasons that don't need to be explained, because you're probably an Egyptologist and therefore the scummiest, slimiest, smarmiest pseudoscientist ever and you don't deserve an explanation.
  7. but they definitely were not tombs
  8. because I say so
  9. and I declare that's all Egyptologists ever go on about...
  10. and they're wrong, because I say so.

 

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)

I recommend to ALL a book recently published entitled Egyptomaniacs by Nicky Nielsen, an Egyptologist (hey, so what the heck does he know). The entire book is of interest, but releveant to this topic is chapter 7, Ancient Aliens, which looks at the motives and mind set of the fringe and pseudoarcheology and pseudoscience as regards Ancient Egypt. Nielsen correctly points out that Egyptology has an issue with communication to the general public. He does not state this, but I will point out something that many of you will know, and that is the fact that serious books on AE from the academic presses cost an arm and a leg, and the general public will not buy them, but they can easily and cheaply pick up the pulp fiction produced by the fringe, and in quantity, though not quality. So the nonsense peddled by Mr Myers et al needs to be met with reasoned argument backed up by genuine research conducted by professionals. But Nielsen recognizes this to be a daunting task given the ease with which fringe ideas are propagated.

There is scope in that chapter, and the entire book, for some serious quote mining, most of which is actually old ground, but very well put, like this paragraph that I will quote.

Quote

So, if the reasonings and motives behind belief in pseudoarcheology and pseudoscience are so like belief in conspiracy theories, then might we not address the issue in a similar manner? Outright aggression or derision is clearly not an effective strategy when dealing with conspiracy theorists. Calling someone an idiot to their face might be personally satisfying at times, but it simply entrenches already-held positions. It shifts nothing, except the aggression level. No one has ever changed their deeply held views because someone else repeatedly called them a moron. Instead we firstly must at least acknowledge the allure of pseudoscientific theories and pseudoarchaeology. The attraction is undeniable: It creates a world wherein you, despite your lack of credentials and relevant experience, are more knowledgeable than the group who is traditionally viewed as knowledgeable. It provides you with a sense of understanding complex issues, and it places you within a likeminded community - not dissimilar to Facebook groups about ancient Egypt and amateur archaeological societies. And of course, many of the popular pseudoarchaeological theories are - at their deepest level - good stories. One should never underestimate the allure of a good yarn.

It's true that images of the Great Pyramid as a power plant, or a landing pad for Ra's Hatak, and many other fantasies, are appealing, and I was sucked in by Daniken back in the days, but gaining real knowledge cures the "disease" and inoculates you against further infection. The "disease" of fringe theories is rampant, it doesn't kill you, though may decrease intelligence levels, and makes many feel happy. Fine, if that's what they want, but the issue is, as stated by Tom above, the fringe actually being so bold as to attack the professionals and try to make it seem that they are all liers, or "hiding secrets", and this attack is led by those who make money from peddling fantasy and downright lies about Ancient Egypt, and bleat loudly when questioned and engage in all manner of underhand tricks to protect their fantasies.

Edited by Wepwawet
typo
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Hanslune

While the video is shockingly bad it is also a great example of just how funny the fringe are. I believe this good fellow actually feels he is right and that this video supports his ideas. Remarkable!

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Thanos5150
6 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I like the one "lone mavericks working in isolation", yeah, that'll be Egyptologists with their peer reviewed papers and working within an educational establishment with others encompassing a range of disciplines, won't it, oh wait......

He expands on this in the commentary to repeatedly say that it was not just "lone mavericks working in isolation" but rather "lone mavericks working in isolation as a group". Mull that one over for a bit. I'm surprised I made it this far into the video before involuntarily punching myself in the face. 

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Wepwawet
17 minutes ago, Thanos5150 said:

 "lone mavericks working in isolation as a group".

And pack of lone wolves

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Oniomancer

Ah, good 'ol Argument From Incredulity. What was that bit about consistent and valid logic again?

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Abramelin

Is there a transcript of the video?

I don't want to wade through 40 minutes of this slow talker.

 

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Trelane

I can't even imagine how insufferable Hancock would be if he went into UFOs or cryptozoology (Nessie, BF/Yeti).

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Hanslune
22 minutes ago, Trelane said:

I can't even imagine how insufferable Hancock would be if he went into UFOs or cryptozoology (Nessie, BF/Yeti).

Old Graham is a good writer he just struggles when it comes to understanding science and evidence. However he is getting better in his last book he made it clear he wouldn't even TRY to provide evidence to support his contentions.

 

Quote

“My speculation, which I will not attempt to prove here or to support with evidence but merely present for consideration, is that the advanced civilization I see evolving in North America during the Ice Age had transcended leverage and mechanical advantage and learned to manipulate matter and energy by deploying powers of consciousness that we have not yet begun to tap.”  Graham Hancock, America Before

The Pseudoarchaeology of America Before: A Review - Carl Feagans

Yeah he be the man!

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Tom1200
33 minutes ago, Abramelin said:

Is there a transcript of the video?  I don't want to wade through 40 minutes of this slow talker.

Roll three dice, add the numbers, speak the corresponding soundbite:

  • 3 “Ask anyone but an Egyptologist and they’ll tell you Egyptologist are liars.”
  • 4 “No Egyptologist has ever lifted a 70 ton block.  Which proves they don't know nuffin.”
  • 5 “Has any Egyptologist build a pyramid to show it can be done their way?”
  • 6 “Egyptologists use words that confuse me.”
  • 7 “Egyptologists use the word ‘cut’ in ways I don’t understand.”
  • 8 “Egyptologists are cranks who work alone and probably wear women’s clothes.”
  • 9 “Egyptology is pseudoscience because I say so.”
  • 10 “Egyptologists are pseudoscientists because they don’t agree with me.”
  • 11 “Egyptologists are pseudoscientists because they don’t listen to me when I tell them they’re wrong.”
  • 12 “How can simple tools cut stones?”
  • 13 “How can hand tools cut stones?”
  • 14 “How can simple hand tools cut stone?”
  • 15 “Egyptologists say the pyramids were built as tombs.  But where is their evidence?”
  • 16 “Egyptologists say the pyramids were built using a big ramp.  But where is their evidence?”
  • 17 “Egyptologists say the pyramids were built.  But where is their evidence?”
  • 18 “Egyptologists say the ancient Egyptians could speak ancient Egyptian.  But where is their evidence?”
  • 19 or more:  ““I have no idea what I’m talking about.  I am making this $h!t up as I go.”

Repeat for 40 minutes.

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cladking
6 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

So the nonsense peddled by Mr Myers et al needs to be met with reasoned argument backed up by genuine research conducted by professionals.

All Egyptology would need to do is to present their argument.   Show the evidence that people are made strong and capable through superstition!!!  Show actual direct evidence that pyramids are tombs and then quit saying things like "great pyramids were twice as hard to build ass the tiny pyramids" or that one "needs eight years of college to understand translations".  

People don't believe Egyptology because they have a fantastic explanation for the physical evidence.  People who know how to do things and what kind of tools and ability they likely possessed just don't believe the explanations.  It's not bad press or high priced books that makes Egyptology so incredible to so many people; it is their explanations.  They even make having the fields flooded during peak growing season sound like a blessing.  Having millions of unemployed people is an asset.   Doing everything the hard way is genius.  Not leaving evidence is the Egyptian way.  

I think Steven Myers has a lot of great ideas.   He's also able to adjust his ideas in light of new evidence, new testing, or new information.  I don't agree with all his conclusions but I do try to keep up with his thinking.   

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Wepwawet
21 minutes ago, cladking said:

All Egyptology would need to do is to present their argument.   Show the evidence that people are made strong and capable through superstition!!!  Show actual direct evidence that pyramids are tombs and then quit saying things like "great pyramids were twice as hard to build ass the tiny pyramids" or that one "needs eight years of college to understand translations".

 

Please show evidence for your contentions, please show your workings. Based on your posts, you meet all nine criteria for pseudoscience, and I'll add a tenth, refusal to present evidence for examination.

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cladking
47 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

Please show evidence for your contentions, please show your workings. Based on your posts, you meet all nine criteria for pseudoscience, and I'll add a tenth, refusal to present evidence for examination.

 

This isn't about me.  It's about whether  Egyptology is a science or not.

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Wepwawet
11 minutes ago, cladking said:

 

This isn't about me.  It's about whether  Egyptology is a science or not.

Here's an idea for you to make Egyptology look bad. All you have to do is produce your evidence, and when they have no answer, you must be correct. Just imagine yourself as Dirty Harry and your evidence as a Smith & Wesson Model 29, the most powerful evidence in the world. There's Egyptology prostrate on the ground at your feet, you pull your evidence out and tell them to "make my day", go on, I dare you.

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Earl.Of.Trumps
2 hours ago, Tom1200 said:

15 “Egyptologists say the pyramids were built as tombs.  But where is their evidence?”

Now this, I agree with.  :)

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Thanos5150
11 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Yet is this not just supposition on the part of Diodorus, whose experience of slavery is informed by the age he lived in, a far harsher form of slavery than ever practised by Dynastic Egyptians, and goes against the evidence from the Giza workmens town, which despite arguments about the existance of a workmans town during construction of G1, and I'm sure there was, shows that they were not slaves, or even if pressed into service, were not treated as slaves. I would say that the comments of Diodorus as regards a king concerned about being torn up and thrown out of his tomb, so wanting his friends to bury him in secret, would apply to Ramesses XI, who knew well of the depradations in the VoK and abandoned his tomb to be buried, well, we are still searching.

Regardless of the veracity of the Greek accounts, I think the point is this was their general perception at the time. 

No, as discussed before this town turned out to not be for the workers after all but to service the port. 

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cladking
10 minutes ago, Wepwawet said:

Here's an idea for you to make Egyptology look bad. All you have to do is produce your evidence, and when they have no answer, you must be correct. Just imagine yourself as Dirty Harry and your evidence as a Smith & Wesson Model 29, the most powerful evidence in the world. There's Egyptology prostrate on the ground at your feet, you pull your evidence out and tell them to "make my day", go on, I dare you.

I could do that but will stick to the topic instead.

hgyl8q6xssl01.jpg?width=640&crop=smart&a

All Egyptology needs to do is show they didn't start with the conclusions, aren't hostile to criticism and will engage the community in discussion.  Then show that the contention that people made strong  and capable through superstition is logical and not grandiose.  They should explain why the literal meaning of what the pyramid builders wrote and the physical evidence aren't relevant to the nature of the pyramids nor to the culture that built them.  They should show why peers don't need the infrared data to understand the pyramids.  They really should show that understanding the pyramid builders in terms of the authors of the "book of the dead" is sound methodology while doing testing is not.  

I'm not saying Egyptology is a psuedoscience merely that it isn't science, but linguistics.  

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Wepwawet
Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, cladking said:

I could do that but will stick to the topic instead.

 

Says the guy who invades every thread he can in order to shoehorn in his unevidenced ideas.

The Monty Python cladking cheese evidence sketch starring Michael Palin as cladking and John Cleese as Egyptology

 

Edited by Wepwawet
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Earl.Of.Trumps

One may consider questioning some Egyptologists but not Egyptology. That would be like questioning history.  :unsure2:

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cladking
20 minutes ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:

One may consider questioning some Egyptologists but not Egyptology. That would be like questioning history.  :unsure2:

So if Egyptology is wrong they have to stay wrong.   

Where is it written that Egyptology can only be right? 

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