Why the aliens did NOT build the pyramids

PyramidIt has always pained me a great deal that so many people all over the world are genuinely fascinated by ancient Egypt and yet they are so woefully misinformed by sensationalist media, so-called documentaries based in pseudoscience, and the fantasy world of Hollywood. No other ancient civilization is so universally recognized and yet so thoroughly misunderstood. Sadly, Egyptologists are often so frustrated by this that they want nothing to do with the situation; it’s not just a matter of educating people, it’s completely reeducating them, trying to reverse the damage caused by ‘The Mummy’ and even the Discovery Channel.

When I tell people that I’m studying Egyptology, people always assume that this means pyramids and mummies, the only things they know about Egypt. In fact these areas are so popular that they are overrun by untrained theorists and most Egyptologists shun them rather than tackling all of the misinformation. Sometimes I can hardly blame them; even as a lowly student, I was once approached at a conference by a man who wanted to show me the home experiments that he’d carried out, pulling miniature pyramid blocks in his backyard! The sad thing though is that many people prefer madcap theories to the truth, especially when genuine research is presented in dry academic speak rather than the exciting Indiana Jones-style of tv.

Once I was actually asked in all seriousness for my professional opinion on whether alien build the pyramids. The man said: ‘There’s so much discussion of the alien theory that there must be something to it, right?’. Well, my short answer would be, ‘No. There isn’t anything to it at all.’ My longer answer will follow, with a thorough dissection of the central arguments of the alien theory and why they are wrong. I think the main reason the theory is so popular is that people like to believe in things, things that are much bigger than themselves, whether it’s god or aliens. But often people also want proof and they seek to find it in the pyramids and other ancient monuments. It’s no wonder that the pyramids are incredible enough that they inspire people to believe the unbelievable. I myself don’t think there’s anything wrong with postulating that there might be other life out there in the universe, but I also don’t believe in robbing humanity of pride in its achievements.

I think it’s rather more inspiring to think that human beings, our own ancestors, created such spectacular monumental achievements. However, some people see the concept of civilization as progressive, that humans only continue to improve upon the past, so they think that just because we are uncertain about how the pyramids were built and we ourselves would struggle to replicate their achievement, it is impossible that humans of the past could have done it.

They say that since the pyramids of Giza were built about 4500 years ago, people back then couldn’t have been skilled enough to do it. However, we’re ignoring that numerous remarkable developments were happening all those millennia ago. There are many things that were discovered in the distant past that still serve us today. The Egyptians made many brilliant innovations (something I will have to write more about in another post): simple things that we still use today, which have barely changed over the millennia since they first conceived, from the earliest forms of paper and ink, to the 24 hour day.

People say that since we wouldn’t be able to build pyramids today, that the Egyptians couldn’t have done it, but it’s not just building of the pyramids that couldn’t be replicated today. It’s hard to imagine ever being able to pull together the resources, power, money, skilled craftsmen, and architects needed to build one of the great gothic cathedrals in this day and age. It just couldn’t happen. This isn’t something to be ashamed of though, we simply use different technologies and have different priorities these days. While we couldn’t build another Notre Dame Cathedral or Great Pyramid, modern structures like the Eiffel Tower or the Gherkin wouldn’t have been possible back then either. Pyramids were possible simply because the entire economy, resources, and population of the Egyptian civilization was under the control of a single omnipotent ruler, who could mobilize them all into a monumental building project.

To argue that just because we don’t know every detail about how the pyramids were built would be a logical fallacy (an argument from ignorance) and does not prove that aliens must have built them. We have so much evidence that strongly indicates that the Egyptians themselves were responsible for building the pyramids. We have archaeological evidence of their construction: remains of the quarries, roads, tools, records of the workers and the towns in which they lived. We know why they built them and we can even observe their lengthy and imperfect evolution before they reached their architectural peak with the Great Pyramid.

To properly address the issues out there, I will cite from a number of websites that support the theory that aliens built the pyramids and some of the comments that individuals have posted there, and explain why they are incorrect. I randomly chose a number of sites from the top Google search hits for aliens and pyramids. I don’t want to single anyone out or anything, so I won’t use any names attached to the comments. The various websites from which they derive are listed at the end of this post.

I am no great pyramid expert myself, so I must acknowledge an enormous debt to the work of Mark Lehner and Dieter Arnold, from whom most of my information derives, along with other Egyptological sources, all of which are also listed at the end. I’d recommend Lehner’s ‘The Complete Pyramids’ as the best general book on the subject if you want to learn more. It is very readable with lots of illustrations and diagrams.

Why were the pyramids built?

Referring to the alien theory, someone states: ‘It’s the most sensible theory. Why would ancient Egyptians build such monstrosities just to bury their kings?’ Alien theorists say that it’s a mystery why the Egyptians or other ancient people would build such immense monuments. Therefore, it must have been aliens. But why on earth would the aliens want to build these monuments? And on earth? That makes even less sense. We definitely know the purpose behind the building of the pyramids.

They were used as tombs for the ancient Egyptian kings, but they represented much more than just a grave. They were iconic symbols of the supreme power of the ruler; what better way of showing your subjects who’s boss, than conscripting them to build you a monolith that dominates the entire landscape? Above all, they were monuments to divine Egyptian kingship, the place where the king would be transformed into a god. One of the most important Egyptian myths tells how an ancient king named Osiris was murdered by his evil usurping brother, who in turn was eventually defeated by the rightful heir to the throne, Osiris’ son Horus. In death, Egyptian kings were thought to take on the role of Osiris, the ruler of the underworld, while their son assumed the role of Horus and the kingship. And although deceased, the former king would join the eternal cycle of life to be reborn everyday with the sun god. The pyramid was thought to facilitate this. This also legitimized the rule of the successor to the throne, since the pyramid was a symbol of his father’s new divinity.

There are a number of reasons why these tombs were built in a pyramidal form. First of all, they developed out of an older form of monumental royal tombs called mastabas, which were flat-roofed rectangular buildings, that an enterprising architect named Imhotep then decided to adapt by stacking one on top of the other into a step pyramid form. Also, the pyramid was intended as a place of rebirth. An Egyptian creation myth tells of the birth of the world as a primeval mound rising out of the waters of chaos. The pyramid is a stylized mound.

In a country where the sun is always shining, the sun god Re was the supreme deity, and the king aspired to join him in being reborn every dawn. The pyramid form echoed the rays of the sun and its staircase like form allowed it to serve as an instrument of ascension. Each of the pyramids was capped with a pyramidal stone block, or pyramidion, and the carvings on the one from Amenemhat III’s pyramid at Dashur confirm its celestial role for the king; it is inscribed with a pair of eyes looking up at the sundisk and hieroglyphs that read ‘Amenemhat beholds the perfection of Re’.

The ancient names for the pyramids themselves reveal a great deal about their purpose as royal monuments and symbolic locations for the king’s divine transformation and journey to heaven. The Great Pyramid is called ‘Khufu’s horizon’, and the other two Giza pyramids are called ‘Great is Khafre’ and ‘Menkaure is Divine’. Other pyramid names include ‘Djedefre is a Sehed-Star’ and Sahure’s ‘Rising of the Ba-Spirit’. Just because the Egyptians were interested in the celestial aspect of the afterlife though, doesn’t mean they had to be inspired by aliens. People throughout history have been fascinated by the stars, and I don’t think anyone’s calling Galileo an alien.

The pyramids themselves were clearly part of Egyptian religious tradition, forming the focal point for the worship of the deceased king. Some of the rituals involved cleaning, dressing, and offering food and drink to statues of the king, who was undoubtedly human rather than green or tentacled. We actually have records of the day-to-day activities centred around the pyramids. The Abusir papyri preserve detailed records of the daily activities at the pyramids and of the people who worked there, including schedules of priest and guard duties; inventories of pyramid temple equipment; financial accounts; lists of goods supplied and stored; and records of architectural inspections.

The Egyptians had strong cultural, religious, and political reasons for building the pyramids and there is no reason to question their purpose.

Some internet sites claim that the pyramids were never used as tombs, perhaps because they now lie empty.

This is because they were robbed in antiquity for the treasures that would have been buried with the king. There are still huge stone sarcophagi in many of the pyramids that were clearly used to hold the royal mummy. Funerary texts are also written inside the burial chambers of pyramids built after the Giza ones. The temples attached to the pyramids were used for mortuary rituals at the funeral.

Alien theorists often say that the pyramids couldn’t have been built by such ‘primitive’ ancient people and it’s strange that the pyramids suddenly just appeared out of nowhere

The main idea that most people use to support the theory of alien pyramid builders is, and I quote, ‘that ancient man was ‘primitive’, ‘living in mud huts’, and too ‘stupid’ to build such sophisticated constructions. One website states: ‘In the period 2500 BC man did not have the tools or knowledge necessary to build the pyramids, so only aliens could have done it. The angle of the slope of the sides is so precise only aliens could achieve this. The blocks are so heavy and the pyramid so tall only aliens could achieve this. How the aliens built the pyramids is not known, but they would have employed the use of advanced construction equipment.’

First of all, these ancient peoples were nowhere near as stupid as the people who make such statements. While we may have accumulated knowledge over the centuries, our species’ brains haven’t changed at all in the past few thousand years and ancient people were just as intelligent as we are today.

Before the pyramids were built, the Egyptians had developed agriculture, writing, religion, astronomy, mathematics, metal-working and semi-precious stones, sophisticated artwork and monumental stone architecture, and had managed to unite the various people throughout the country under the rule of one king. This was a true civilization, not a motley band of savages. The pyramids of Giza were incredible achievements for the time: expert Mark Lehner calculates that 9 million tonnes of limestone were quarried between the reigns of Sneferu and Menkaure alone.

When you really learn enough about them, it’s not difficult at all to imagine that the Egyptians were capable of such architectural sophistication. They had a certain expertise in stone working that we lack today. By the time of the pyramids, a corps of craftsmen had been developing their quarrying and building skills since the Early Dynastic Period. We have evidence to support the Egyptians’ responsibility for all the construction stages of the pyramids.

A similar claim for the sudden appearance of the pyramids from nowhere, out of the supposed dark ages that proceeded civilization, is made in a Discovery channel programme about the alien theory (!) in which the voiceover states: ‘For two and a half million years our prehistoric ancestors had been living in caves, passing the time by bashing stones together, when suddenly everything changed and people began to build huge monuments all over the planet. But how? And why?’
They blatantly ignore the fact that we have clear evidence for the evolution of the form and building process of the pyramids. These perfections of architectural engineering did not just appear from nowhere and the Egyptians actually got it wrong in a number of early pyramids before they were able to create the Giza masterpieces.

The first pyramid ever built, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, started off as a completely different style of building. Originally, a traditional mastaba was built for the Third Dynasty king Djoser. The architect Imhotep then began to make innovative changes by enlarging the basic structure to be a square and then building a smaller mastaba-like square on top. But he didn’t stop there; inspired, Imhotep expanded the building once again and added a fourth, fifth, and sixth level to eventually form the Step Pyramid.

A remarkable structure with an extensive surrounding complex and subterranean palace, it was still not a true pyramid with smooth sides. After a few other stepped pyramid projects were abandoned by short-lived kings, the first attempt at a true pyramid finally developed out of the stepped pyramid of King Sneferu at Meidum.

The Meidum pyramid was originally intended to be a 7-step pyramid and was then expanded to 8-steps and completed in the 14th year of Sneferu’s reign. In his 28th or 29th year though, theBent pyramid workers were sent back again to fill out the rest of it into a true pyramid. Stripped of its outer casing, the remains of the pyramid stand in three large steps. Before he did that though, the ambitious builder Sneferu began building another pyramid at the site of Dashur that was the first pyramid intended to be a true pyramid right from the start. Unaccustomed to building such a structure though, construction began at too steep an angle, a slope of 60°. When severe structural problems were noticed, the architects took emergency measures and altered it to 55°. Still having problems though, they changed it again to a more gradual gradient of 44°, resulting in a rather odd looking pyramid, which has appropriately been dubbed the Bent Pyramid.

Some alien advocates actually try to use this pyramid to support their theory by claiming that the Bent Pyramid was just a shoddy imitation built by humans to copy the aliens who build the Giza pyramids. However, the pyramid is very conclusively dated to years 15-30 of Sneferu’s reign. This first attempt at a true pyramid was so problematic though that Sneferu abandoned it too, and started another pyramid at Meidum. Learning from previous mistakes, the North pyramid continued to build on the developments of Sneferu’s previous efforts, resulting in the first truly successful and magnificent true pyramid.

Pyramids did not suddenly appear out of nowhere, beamed in by alien technology. Only after all of these less successful attempts, and all the experience gained by architects and workers, could the stage be set for the construction of the greatest of world wonders.

How did the ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids?

Pyramid building was a long and complex process that took many different stages and and an amazing amount of resources, but was well within ancient Egyptian capabilities.

The Great Pyramid is composed of roughly 2,300,000 blocks and was likely built in 23 years or less (the length of its builder King Khufu’s reign according to the Turin papyrus). Stadelmann has calculated that to do this, the builders had to lay c. 340 blocks a day. The general figure suggested for the annual workforce is in the range of 20-30,000. Although it needed a great deal of stone, the bulk of it would have been more easily moved as it would have gone into the base of the pyramid, and even though the Great Pyramid was the best constructed, the core itself was also rather sloppier than the exterior, including many irregular stones and debris fill.
I will break down my discussion of the building process into the various stages:

Planning

The Egyptians were careful and precise architectural planners. Even buildings much older than the pyramids were laid out using an exact measuring system based on a unit called a cubit (about 52.5 cm, which could be further divided into smaller units called palms). Representations of foundation ceremonies for temples show this measuring process, called the ‘stretching of the cord’, being done using ropes tied to wooden pegs pounded into the ground. Many round holes that may have been for measuring pegs have been found cut into the bedrock around the foundations of pyramids and their temples.

The angle of inclination (seqed in Egyptian) for the sloped faces of the pyramids was clearly calculated by the Egyptians using a simple and precise method. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus shows that seqed was defined as the relation between the horizontal setback of the wall and the vertical rise of 1 cubit. Pyramid alignment is further discussed below. There is also evidence that they produced miniature architect’s models, much like is done today, as part of the planning. Rainer Stadlemann found a small limestone architect’s model for the innovative substructure of Amenemhat III’s Hawara pyramid.

Quarrying

We know that local limestone was used for the pyramid cores and the mortuary and valley temples, while finer limestone and granite were brought along river from Tura and Aswan to use for the smooth outer casing.

The quarry used for Khufu’s pyramid is located on the plateau itself, 300m south of the Great Pyramid, a huge horseshoe shaped chunk out of the plateau, dug up to 30m below the original surface. Khafre’s quarry gives a good example of how the blocks were actually quarried. In the open limestone quarry just north of his pyramid, there are still the stumps of 3x3m blocks that were removed thousands of years ago with trenches in between them where the stonecutters would have worked.
Quarry
Stone tools were used for quarrying. Blocks were cut by pounding channels into the limestone using hammer stones to separate them from bedrock and then detached using large wooden levers. Traces of these channels remain and there are still a number of unfinished quarry blocks that lie almost detached from the bedrock not far from the Sphinx, and in Menkaure’s quarry, where huge lever sockets are also visible.

In an interview with NOVA, Mark Lehner explains the strongly human and flawed side to these monuments: ‘A pyramid is basically, most basically, two separate constructions: it’s an outer shell of very fine polished limestone with great accuracy in its joints and the other construction is the inner core, which filled in this shell. The core was made with a substantial slop factor, as my friend who is a mechanic likes to say about certain automobiles. That is, they didn’t join the stones very accurately. You have great spaces between the stones. And so they’d jam down pebbles and cobbles and some broken stones, and slop big quantities of gypsum mortar in there.

We saw in many places, even on the giant pyramids of Giza, the first pyramid and the second pyramid and the third one, fragments of tools, bits of pottery that are clearly characteristic of the Old Kingdom. So you see the pyramids are very human monuments. And the evidence of the people who built them, their material culture is embedded right into the very fabric of the pyramids. And I think I could take just about any interested person and show them this kind of material embedded in the pyramids as well as tool marks in the stones and say, hey, folks, these weren’t lasers. These were chisels and hammers and you know, people who were really out there.’

Workers

There is actually a lot of evidence left of the ordinary people who performed the strenuous building work, who weren’t aliens, but most definitely Egyptian. While the total number of the workforce is speculative, we do know about the division of the work force and the size of these groups. The work force was organized by crews, each of roughly 2000 conscripted peasants, comprising two gangs of 1000. Each gang was divided into five groups of 200 men called zaa, also known by the Greek name ‘phyle’. Within each phyle were ten divisions of twenty men. The gangs seems to have been competitive and had names relating to the reigning king, for example ‘Friends of Khufu’ or ‘Drunkards of Menkaure’, and they actually graffitied their names on the buildings!

The stones from some of the Middle Kingdom pyramids have rough hieroglyphs inscribed on them as notes for either scribes or controllers. These notes consist of the date of transport, the workmen in charge of the block, and the stage of transport. Some state ‘brought from the quarry’ or ‘removal from the quarry’, delivered at the mereyt (harbour or embankment), ‘brought from the embankment’ and delivered to ‘storage enclosures’. Other notes records that they were ‘brought’ or ‘dragged’ to the pyramid, or ‘delivered to the ramp’. Herdsmen are also mentioned, who may have been responsible for driving oxen pulling the stone.

The stones also have team marks written on them to record the name of the team responsible for them. They may have been written and read by the basically illiterate workmen themselves, since some involve true hieroglyphs and others invented signs. Felix Arnold believes that the signs related to the worker’s hometowns, which weren’t in outer space.

There are also written documents that deal with the pyramid builders. Several of the Lahun papyri from the town associated with the pyramid builders of Senwosret II document the dragging of stone blocks by groups of workers.

Transport

The Nile River was the highway of Egypt and any finer stone that was quarried from further away was transported to the pyramid site by boats. Most of the stone was quarried nearby though, and wooden sledges were probably used to transport the blocks over land. A 4.2m long sledge was found by the pyramid of Senwosret III. At least some of these sledges would have been drawn by oxen. A number of tomb and temple wall paintings depict the transportation of stones by water and by sledges drawn by men or oxen.

Roads and tracks were made to pave the way for these sledges. Worn wooden beams were reused like ‘railway sleepers in tracks’ for dragging heavy stones on sledges overland. Such tracks have been found at Lisht near the Twelfth Dynasty pyramids of Amenemhat I and Senwosret I. Transport roads, which also survive at Lisht, measure up to 36 ft in width. They were made with a foundation consisting of a fill of limestone chips and mortar with wooden beams inserted, over which a layer of limestone chips and white gypsum was used to provide a smooth, solid surface. Water used as a lubricant for the ground to make it easier to pull the sledges.

Transporting immense quantities of stone was not an impossible task that would have required space ships, but well within the ancient Egyptians’ capabilities.

Laying the blocks

When the stone blocks were finally being moved into place, to preserve the precise alignment of the walls, corner blocks would be set first and then other blocks would be brought in on rollers but only lever moved into their precise final placement using levers. For example, one of the casing blocks of Khufu’s pyramid shows a lever hole in the base of the block that was then filled in with plaster. But lacking in ‘alien perfection’, sometimes since there were different teams working to lay blocks from each of the pyramid’s corners, they could end up with a gap in the middle, which would need to be filled with smaller blocks, as is the case with the pyramid of Meidum.

It is generally thought that ramps were used to move the blocks to the higher levels of the pyramids. Certainly some of the proto-pyramids, the step mastabas of the Third Dynasty show evidence of having had building ramps on all sides. For true pyramids, using such ramps blocks could have been towed to a height of 30-50 m, and at least 50% of blocks could have been lifted that way. The Meidum pyramid shows traces that indicate a steep ramp was applied to the outer casing. These ramps would not have been difficult to build or dismantle since they would have been made from an amalgam of limestone chip, tafla, and gypsum, rather than stone blocks.

All sorts of ramps have been proposed, from single or multiple straight ones to ones that would wrap around the structure or zigzag up the face or even internal ramps. Just because we don’t know for certain how the upper reaches of the pyramids were built, doesn’t automatically mean that they couldn’t have been built and are therefore alien constructions. There are a number of different ways it could have been done, but sadly we aren’t just able to ask the Egyptians which one is right. There probably isn’t even one simple answer, a number of different methods could have been used.

But…pyramids would have been really hard to build!

A lot of website comments display a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of pyramids. One states: ‘There is no way that primitive man built the pyramids. Even with modern equipment (i.e. cranes) we could not duplicate that feat, those are megaton (1million ton) rocks. You could surround the entire rock with men and it wouldn’t budge 1″. There’s no way with simple ropes & pulleys that they moved those stones… absolutely NO WAY.’

While, yes, the pyramids would have been incredibly difficult to build and required incredible expertise, they are not miracle structures. People seem to think that you’d practically need magic to build them! They’re amazing feats of engineering, but they’re certainly not inconceivable as human creations. The blocks were certainly not a million tonnes each! On average, they weighed about 2.5 tonnes. And the suggestion of lifting the entire weight of the blocks with cranes would probably actually be more difficult than the Egyptian approach, which was to drag the stones over wooden rollers or slippery mud lined surfaces. We even have the remains of the smoothed roads that they built to move them. Just think about it…while I can barely lift my suitcase when it’s stuffed to the brim and weighing almost 30 kg, it’s relatively easy to move when it’s on wheels! By surrounding the blocks with teams of men, it wouldn’t have been that difficult to move them, and the Egyptians often used cattle to help as well. The NOVA pyramid-building experiment found that 20 men could easily pull a two-tonne block along lubricated tracks. Building the pyramids would have been difficult, but people can be pretty clever when it comes to making work easier.

What about the pyramids’ extraordinarily accurate alignment?

Precision, according to one website, is only possible if you come from another planet: ‘The pyramids are so accurately aligned with the points of the compass that only aliens could have achieved this all those thousands of years ago.’ It wasn’t visitors from space, but rather the observation of it that allowed for the Egyptians’ great accuracy in orienting the sides of theEdwards pyramids. Amazing precision could be achieved just by watching the stars. There was actually a whole institution within temples with priests devoted to star gazing. The theory suggested by I.E.S. Edwards is that using a horizontal circular wall, a person standing within could mark a star’s rising and setting points on the top of the wall, with North identifiable as the bisection of these. A more recent theory advocated by Kate Spence suggests that the architects of the Great Pyramid sighted on two stars (b-Ursae Minoris and z-Ursae Majoris), rotating around the North Pole, which would have been in alignment when Khufu’s pyramid was constructed. Supporting this theory is the fact that inaccuracies in the orientations of earlier and later pyramids can be closely correlated with the degree to which the alignment of these two stars deviates from true north.
Tools
The perfect right angles of the pyramid were likely achieved using either a set square, of which ancient specimens are preserved, or using a ‘Pythagorean’ triangle, which was known to the Egyptians before the Greeks. They also used specialized surveying tools called the merkhet (basically a plumb bob) and the bay, a sighting tool made from the central rib of a palm leaf. Examples of such precision tools have actually been excavated are square levels with plumb bobs, set squares, and vertical plumb rods, and there are depictions of them being used by the Egyptians. After each of the four corners of the building had been plotted, the Egyptians would align the straight sides by stretching a rope between each of the corners in a ceremony called ‘stretching the cord’. This method was in use for decades before the first pyramid was ever built, and was first depicted in the reign of the Second Dynasty king, Khasekhemwy.

But then why don’t we build pyramids?

Again, misinformation makes people assume that since we aren’t building pyramids ourselves, the Egyptians couldn’t possibly have. As one person states: ‘How about the fact that a group of modern scientists attempted to build a pyramid out next to the real one using modern technologies, and after something like 100 days, succeeded in building one about 1/40 of the size of the real one????’

Well, again a classic example of wilful ignorance. I’m sure there have been a number of experiments like these, but the major one that I’m aware of, the NOVA pyramid-building experiment took 40 days to build a pyramid measuring 20ft high. However, they attempted to use mainly ancient technologies, they only had a team of 44 workmen, a short time period, and a total lack of experience in pyramid building. And it was just an experiment, they weren’t trying to build a real pyramid! Egypt had a state-controlled system capable of acquiring and organizing the necessary people and resources. The Egyptians would have used thousands of workers and taken many years to build a proper pyramid, and just because we aren’t building them too doesn’t prove that it was humanely impossible.

The pyramids of Giza form the belt of Orion

A theory proposed by Robert Bauval and Adrian Gilbert, notes that the pattern formed by the layout of the pyramids is virtually identical to the three belt stars of the constellation Orion. If one considers the details of the Orion correlation it seems likely that it is pure coincidence. Orion’s belt is a famous star formation partly because of the natural simplicity of its layout. The arrangement of the Giza pyramids in that pattern was probably simply because it offered the best sight lines. Basically the pyramids are laid out in a diagonal line, rather than blocking each other. Khafre built his pyramid after his father Khufu built the Great Pyramid and very cleverly situated his smaller pyramid on the higher part of the plateau so as to actually make his appear bigger than his father’s!

Bauval and Gilbert further pressed the Orion comparison by using computer software to pinpoint the date in ancient history when the alignment of the pyramids would have exactly mirrored the constellation Orion in the sky. They claim this conjunction occurred precisely in 10,450 BC and therefore this is the true date of the building of the pyramids by aliens, before the rise of Egyptian civilization. However, there is absolutely no evidence that the pyramids existed before the Egyptians did. There is overwhelming evidence that they are the cultural, religious, and political products of the early Egyptian state. The Giza pyramids were built during the 4th dynasty, which probably dates to around 2575-2450 BC.

Radiocarbon dating, which is unfortunately not always that accurate, was done on the Great Pyramid several times in the 1980s and 90s, (initially funded by the Edgar Cayce Foundation, another group that wanted the pyramids to date to 10,500 BC, believing them to be remnants of Atlantean society!). The radiocarbon dates for the Great Pyramid ranged from 2660 to 3809 BC, slightly older than the historical dates previously assumed. Also, the great cedar boat found buried beside the Great Pyramid was radiocarbon dated to about 2,600 BC. So the pyramids certainly do not date from 10,500 BC!

So yes, the Egyptians, not aliens, built the pyramids!

Pyramid building became a great cultural tradition of the Egyptian and about 30 key pyramids were built, not including all the accompanying satellite or queens’ pyramids, over a span of more than 800 years, remarkable monuments, for which the Egyptians deserve the credit.

The theory that aliens built the pyramids is built on fanciful notions, misinformation, and a wilful ignorance that completely disregards any scholarly research that contradicts the theory. Alien theorists have barely anything to support their idea other than the tactic of attacking the uncertainty of Egyptologists over the details of the building process. They prey on the people who find inspiration in the concepts of the pyramids and alien life and use them to fuel publicity for their sensationalist books and television programmes. Both ‘Is there Life elsewhere in the universe?’ and ‘How were the pyramids built?’ are questions worthy of being asked, but they belong to separate spheres of research and different periods of history, and should be kept that way. Zahi Hawass, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt and the Director of the Giza Pyramids Excavation, says of the people who believe in alien theories, ‘People like to dream. If you meet someone who is not an archaeologist, they love to dream, but you have to know a little bit about reality.’ While reality might not involve conspiracy theories or UFOs, it can still be thrilling to learn about the real people behind their creation.

We shouldn’t rob ourselves of feeling pride in the pyramids as a human achievement. In building these monumentally inspiring constructions, our ancestors built the foundations of civilization. We shouldn’t betray their ingenuity with our ignorance, but celebrate it by continuing to build upon the intellectual developments and inventions that made the pyramids possible.

References:
Arnold, Dieter. 1991. Building in Egypt. Pharaonic Stone Masonry. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Aston, B., etc. 2000. ‘Stone’ in Ancient Egyptian Materials and Technology, eds. Shaw and Nicholson. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
Edwards, I.E.S. 1985. The Pyramids of Egypt. New York & London: Viking Penguin.
Lehner, M. 1985. ‘The Development of the Giza Necropolis: The Khufu Project’. MDAIK 41, 109-143.
Lehner, M. 1997. The Complete Pyramids. London, Thames and Hudson, Ltd.
Quirke, Stephen. 1990. The Administration of Egypt in the Late Middle Kingdom. New Malden: Sia Publishing.

Websites consulted:
http://www.outerworlds.com/likeness/aliens/aliens.html
http://netscientia.com/egypt.html
http://www.thekeyboard.org.uk/Who%20built%20the%20pyramids.htm
http://www.csicop.org/si/9909/fox.html

211 Replies to “Why the aliens did NOT build the pyramids”

  1. Dear Sir or Madam,

    Have you considered the possibility of time travel?

    Best regards,

    JDD

  2. Why would you assume that when the Egyptians build the pyramids that they found it necessary to leave behind some sort of instructions on how they built them that would last 5000 years!! Do we have instructions on how the empire state building was constructed carved into a rock slab? Think of what would happen if the USA falls in to an economic crises and the country as we know it falls apart. The great marvels of construction are left to ruin and 5000 years later some civilization wants to know how we were able to construct such wonders. Are they going to jump to the conclusion that aliens must have built them because they couldn’t find an instructions pamphlet?

  3. Seems like the aliens would have built with some material other than local limestone, and left some of their superior technology.

  4. The pyramids and ancient egypt generally were built by the giant humans, NO truth except that.

    The early ancient egyptians were giant humans, the portraits prove that hidden truth, addition to the construction records, it tells us that workers of ancient egypt were giants.

    The construction of pyramids is recorded, stones were lifted on shoulders.

    The construction of obelisks is recorded too and giants were working on it.

    The unfinished obelisk is total proof on the truth of giants either, Its funny that archaeologists show the small diorite hammer stones to people and hide the huge large diorite ones, Cheaters no more, If u look at the unfinished obelisk in Aswan, U would notice Two giant human footprint on them, the archaeologists rushed to remove this sign by hitting around the remains, if u deeply concentrate at the signs of hitting diorite stones under the unfinished obelisk, you would notice big curved pace, not small….which means A Large diorite hammer was used to cut the stone.

  5. NO aliens Nor people in our size built ancient egypt.

    Ancient egypt in brief:

    It was built by the early giants then the pharaohs ( who were people in our size) followed the giants era by thousands of years and lived in those dwellings of giants, they added their own civilization.

    Archaeologists deliberately limited the age of ancient egypt and made everything ancient belong to pharaoh, in order to serve the Jewish Agenda, The jewish agenda claims that ancient israelites shared the pharaohs in building ancient egypt, Thats all lies and hypocrisy.

    The ancient israelites and pharaohs didnt build miracles, It was the early giants.

  6. Q. Why is there no inscription on the Great Pyramid of the pharaoh who built it?

    A. Because the pharaoh who built it knew he could never be forgotten.

    Aliens my ass! First prove to me aliens have ever visited Earth anywhere before.

    Then explain to me how they got here.

    There’s never been aliens on Earth.

    Next thing some of you whacko’s will believe is; the existence of a God like Christ being. Some people will believe anything. No wonder we are in such a mess.

  7. Hi, there’s a very interesting new contribution to this debate in …BEFORE THE DELUSION by Wm Gleeson, recently published in UK. It’s not so much about who built the pyrs but why – what were they for [they were definitely not tombs]
    Check it out – worth a look for a radical new theory well supported with references.
    ross

  8. Don’t become a sadist, understand the actual meaning of the post. I believe that Egyptians built pyramids, some techniques are still in use in today’s world. Some ‘stone moving techniques’ are so easy to fit in mind but those hoping that ‘aliens will arrive’ are fools. I mean if aliens arrived/will arrive, then they’d have/will certainly ‘delete’ the men kind. We are also going to do so when we leave the earth and ‘find’ another ‘alien kind’. Think about it.

  9. EVERY i repeat “every” “tomb” discovered in Egypt is adorned with pictures, names, wall carvings etc.etc.etc…but the tomb of the greatest leader known to Egypt is as plain as plastic bread box…with no recognition of the person within..does not compute my friend.

    Not saying aliens built them, but they are not tombs…they are not structures to glorify and preserve a great leader. It has already been proved that some of the stones show machining marks of a precision we would have difficulty duplicating today without using water lazers.

    The people of the time may have done the work but there are certain things that just don’t follow you’er theory and have not been explained.

    Thanks

  10. I don’t think anyone would suggest that aliens built one of the more crude pyrimads, like the Bent Pyrimad that the author mentioned. I don’t know how close in size the Bent Pyrimad is to Giza, but if they are similar in size than that would at least suggest that the Egyptians had a decently effective method to place the upper stones, whether it be by ramp or whatever other method.

  11. at approx 2.5 million blocks in the great pyramid and an estimated construction time of 25 years, means if you worked 24/7 you would need to quarry, cut, and set a block into place about every 3 minutes…not possible.

  12. A typical school book view. Unfortunately, while you try to back up a lot of your theories you miss a lot of the main points. Where did they get these “logs” to drag the 2.5 tonne blocks? They wouldn’t have cut down the trees as it was a main food source… You say 2000 men built the pyramids? Really? Where did you read that? It seems you have typed out everything you have read and heard about the construction of the pyramids without arguing any of the points, very one minded. While your argument and theories seem practical they are very weak and I think you need to do more research and question “how” and “why” before writing a basic blog.

  13. From what i see, all who support the Alien theory are Either liers or uninformed conspiracists who forgot to take medication!

    The Article explains more than enough, of who , why and how the Pyramids where built as an African Archeologist who has put decades of research and evidence to test, i cant believe how Hollywood has effectively crippled scepticis and scientific thought.

    I mean realy, has any of you people gone to Egypt and tested your ideas, have u even read research with proper citations. This is spitting in the fabe of Heritage, I guess Einstein and Edison were helpd by Aliens and Washington slew Vampires.

  14. If you wanted men that were fit,worked in groups,etc…
    that were ready for war but had none to fight.
    What better way then to build a monolithic religious
    structure?
    The silt from the nile was rich to grow food.
    It gave them drinking water.
    The sea gave them food and supplies that were from other places.
    If everyone took a poop twice a day. That’s 60,000
    piles a day just for the workers. Plus you could not have everyone just peeing anywhere they wanted. You cant work 14 hour day’s without food and you could not come down every time to eat. Each worker must have had to pack food,water,and a bucket everyday.
    So in my opinion they were built to improve know how.
    Keep fit. Mix people from different part’s of the country.
    Show power. Keep everyone to one religion.
    To show that by working together that their is no reason to kill each other and any intruder would see the power of the people and not even try to start a war.
    What would you be willing to build to honor the person that brings world peace?

  15. None of the supporters of “Egyptians built the pyramids” really answered the nagging questions asked by some of the conspiracy theorists(or should i say, “humans who think out of the box”).
    If you collect all the known facts about the pyramid of Giza and present them to a totally neutral bystander, he will, without a doubt, say that humans alone could not have accomplished this great feat.
    how can you explain about the extreme precision involved in building the pyramids, using just primitive tools? something like that could only have done by some assistance from state-of-the-art machinery or external intervention, perhaps?
    i don’t know what you think about this, but for me, i certainly believe that Egyptians alone couldn’t have built this magnificent piece of architecture.
    thank you.
    PS>>I believe in God.

  16. Try looking on youtube for the following

    YTgxGJfXRQ0

    Seriously, why people want it to be aliens is beyond me
    Also
    People who focus on the alien angel tend to not have religious faith, but follow the alien angel with as much fervor as a religious man touts the bible as proof…….

    Anyway, this man’s theories carry as much or more weight and actual explain how Man did it and how it was done in 20 years…without ET helping 🙂

  17. Aliens recorded everything what happened such as wars & leaders. They didn’t have anything drawn or written about them building pyramids. Even their leaders were described as aliens! Google osiris..

  18. I know your teacher at school taught you that the egyptians built the pyramids. Unfortunately that teacher was taught by another teacher and so on….just like when it was thought the world was flat. However the truth exists and eventually bright sparks find the facts….The fact is the pyramids were built circa 10500bc due to carbon dating (humans cannot have done it and I know how frustrating it will be to read this as you wasted your time in that history class). Its better for humans to think they are clever (I know I can play chess too)

    Having said that, its probably better that our teachers continue teaching us about the Egyptians abilities because otherwise Egypt wont get any tourism and it’ll be right embarrassing for them.

    Presented with the real facts in court, 12 jurors would come to the same conclusions….sod upsetting the tourism in Egypt, the aliens built em.

  19. Alessio Offreda wrote

    “The great pyramid was built in 22 years.. correct? That means each block weighing tons had to be cut, transported, and placed every 9 seconds.. 9 Seconds.”

    you are forgetting that talks could be done simultaneously. you are calculating one person’s 22 years into seconds and divided by amount of stones. You are forgetting there are hindered of thousands of people’s 22 years. You have to multiply 24 years * numbers of people involved and then divided by numbers of stones

  20. Is it so “stupid”, as you put it, for people to say that the pyramids were built by aliens? Not saying that we couldn’t build them, or that we could for that matter. (Miniature pyramids with the same size and weight of blocks have been attempted multiple times with a fraction of accuracy and not nearly as hasty) But to discredit the entire possibility that aliens COULD have built this would be to say that they don’t exist at all.
    Judging by the size of the universe and the “randomness” of human existence, it would be “stupid”, as you put it, to say that we are the only civilization ever out there and the only sophisticated species to ever touch this planet.
    Simply, there is much more to even human history that we still don’t understand. Perhaps humans were just as intelligent then as we are now, and we have been around for a long time, (simple historic art pieces date back further than even 30,000 bce) but it did take us until the 1700’s (ce that is) to come up with a single-cell, charged object ie. the battery.

  21. Haha ok then… 1. i will give you a clue the egyptians DID NOT build the pyramids but something way way before them i know this because i was visited by them not so long ago.
    They explained to me that some of the people in power todat do not tell us what was really found apparemtly there was a message left to us that we dont know about and it explains everything.
    They told me that a clue is in 4 dots? i didnt understand this but thay also said that something will return soon and some people will not like it as they will find it hard to believe and it will go against all religions ect.

    Another thing they mentioned was that the way things were built are ignored today because the people investigating today are angry that they cannot find out how it was done

    I do know that some methods of building was by using heat to mould and stick blocks in different parts of the world

    so much was explained to me .. one last thing i will say is that they made some kind of line around the earth that will tell us wat is happening….i didnt understand this either!

    Good luck with your discoveries!

  22. there is proof in the ancient sumarian scriptures that we were visited by people with the technology to fly 450,000 years ago. in fact in the ancient scriptures that the biblical “Moses” wrote he describes being taken up to the gods and wrote a whole description of heaven which matches a description of a space view of are planet and describes are world as being round which we are self’s didn’t discover until after Columbus sailed the earth… and I was just reading an article that proves that drills were used in some of the inner construction and there is marking that indicate that they would of needed a diamond drill and be using 2,000 pounds of pressure and it apparently was moving .100 RPM’s the 80’s diamond drill only went at .00002 RPM’s. you may believe what you want but there is to much facts and proof to be found for me to believe that modern day humans were able to build the pyramids with out help and they have found 35 ft tall skeletons which have been called the Anunnaki. thank you for reading

  23. absolute rubbish!!! I do not believe a word in this article! Aliens built pyramids and sphinxes not anyone else and there is no need to spread BS trying to convince people otherwise. There were not a single mummy ever found in pyramids, ever. Pyramids are not for the mummified kings and queens. Pyramids were not built for people either.

  24. I am fasinated by the prymids and egyption life, i have been to see them a number of times and think they are just mind blowing, to think that Humans could actually achive something on the size as the great pryimids, but there is a big question in to how they were built,

    think about it, if your standing next to the Great Pryamid , one block is HUGE, how could they possibly build it to such size and accuacy,

    lets put it this way who ever built them had power over any other human, maybe a King, God, or Alien life

  25. I am just about to start reading this and got as far as “Egyptologists are often so frustrated by this that they want nothing to do with the situation”. I must say that having just come back from a lengthy tour of Egypt after being fascinated by its ancient history since childhood, I left massively disappointed.
    I think Egyptologists are very confused people about their history, and they probably should be too. I was forever hearing contradictions being fed to us as the trip went on and we visited more and more places. If some people think that believing aliens or ‘gods of the sky’ helped build not only the pyramids but many other ancient historic sights around the world which appear to be hard to explain, then I was just as alarmed by some of the things coming out of the Egyptologists mouth. It was often a case of them having no clue what so ever about what happened and so an unrealistic and unbelievable story would be told. I found it quite funny that when I asked them tricky questions their understanding of the English language would almost disappear! We had 4 different tour guides throughout the trip, all Egyptologists, and this was the case for all of them.

    I will read on with this anyway.

  26. Sorry, another thing I will say is that I think the ancient Egyptians would be disgusted if they could see Egypt now. I couldn’t believe nor understand how filthy dirty it is and how there’s no law on the road or probably any laws in general.

    What’s the point in having a government if they’re not even going to clean up the streets or all of the rubbish which is being dumped in the canals. The people should know better as well and are just as much to blame for ruining their country and see the downfall of tourism.

    All these people I see just sitting on the street, whether they’re homeless or not, do something useful. Clean up your city, do anything to make it a better place instead of just being lazy and sitting there or making a donkey almost about to die be your slave because you’re too lazy to walk.

  27. Although I’m quite certain that the egyptions built the pyramids, I am also quite certain that this monument could not have been built in around 20 years, nor could it have been built by such primitive tools such as a bronze chisel and stones. To reach accuracies of 1/50th an inch and make the pyramids earthquake proof (by using different blocks so no fault lines can occur) is outstanding. There is so little we know about ancient egypt that no one really knows how they were built. And when no body knows how something was built, people like to believe in things that are bigger then them as you said.

    Well written, though

  28. well this could be true but how i see it aliens are acually other humans on other plkanets who might be smarter than us

  29. All I can do is hope…
    If they were built by aliens, that they come back in my lifetime.
    To see the end of myth and religion would make me so happy. Hell, I’d even let them eat me.

    Peace and Love

  30. The comments here are hilarious
    the repeating ad nauseam of the same ill informed “arguments”
    the accusation to a professional Egyptologist of never have visited Egypt
    the claim of being “open minded” yet disregarding every single piece of evidence real science has to offer

    even one comment of someone claiming that he was visited by aliens

    this conspiracy nutters are incredibly unintentionally funny

  31. This is a great essay. The only thing I have to say is that I believe that they were built in correlation to the orion CONSTELLATION. Not just the belt. As were many other structures on the planet. I don’t remember what show I saw this on, but many many things that have been build over the millenia, including the Giza pyramids, seem to match Orion’s belt. Also, if you match up the full Orion constellation with the pyramids and the many other things that match the belt, there is a fourth extremely important place to those that built it that matches on the overlay picture another star in the constellation. I can’t seem to find anything about it on the internet right now, because I cant find the right way to word it, but that is what makes me think that they were in fact built in resemblance to Orion.

  32. Well.. Interesting stuff, however, did you know that an alien mummy was discovered last month near one of the pyramids in Egypt, and that it is currently stored in the Egyptian museum. news, and some photos have leaked from inside the museum.

  33. If the aliens did build the great pyramid, why the heck did they build something so absurdly simple? They had interstellar transport for crying out loud! If they came all saddled up with advanced construction technology in their spaceships, they could have as easily built something a little more complex, couldn’t they?

  34. This is a very well written project Margaret. I appreciate your work and what you have done to try and encourage the same people who want to think with such an “open mind,” to actually have an open mind into ideas that they do not understand.

    I think people are fascinating and what they are willing to believe and even defend with tooth and nail is even more curious.

    In my opinion people who are insecure in their own beliefs try to force their beliefs on others. Examples: a good majority of the comments regarding aliens for this document and some for Egyptians alike, religion, politics, just to name a few.

    If you are truly at peace with what you believe, have the mental discipline to stick by it and not feel the need to defend it to anyone and everyone that challenges your beliefs. I can assure you there will always be this type of insecurity in the world.

    Everyone do themselves a favor and step back and decide what you really believe. Ask yourself, Does it really matter what someone else believes? Does this fundamentally change your belief in anyway? I can say from this document alone this is not the case as people are standing firm in what they believe on one side or the other.

    The human mind is incredible, when we abuse its power to try and force an opinion or belief on one another we shame ourselves and the greatness we are capable of as human beings.

    Why not work with one another for understanding? Rather than battle to determine who is right. This simple idea can be applied to a lot more areas of life than this one debate.

    Peace

  35. I’m sorry but your oversized OPINION is highly misleading, please, explain how the Flower Of Life pattern is laser burned into the Osirian temple, you can chip away at this pattern and no matter how much you chip away the pattern is still there burned all the way through the rock, how could they have done this?

  36. i was told that no mummy has ever been found in a pyramid any where on earth no that no writings have been found of such constructions and the theory behind mummies not being found was due to grave robbers but the archeologists that entered the great pyramid of giza had to dynamite they way in so can the grave robber theory be true and why wouldnt they build it and not write something like hey i built this as my tomb it took this long n this many ppl and the time taken is ridiculous some archeologists say they were built by farmers during the flooding of the nile so it took 20yrs to build which is a block every 3min but coz it was only done during the nile floods that changes it to every 3sec not to mention the precise measurements please enlighten me i hope iv been misled coz that would clear up so much blanks in our main stream history

  37. This is such a horrible article! first, how could you be so sure that we did built the pyramids?

    To me this article is not about how the pyramids were built, but just trying to say that you know for sure that aliens dont exist when you and me dont know absolutely anything of why we are here.

    So dont come up with conclusions that you think are a fact.

  38. Very informative and helpful! Agreed very much when you said it’s more exciting to regard this as a human achievement. Also, being possibly part Jewish myself, I was considerably relieved to hear Jewish slaves weren’t involved in these constructions at least.

  39. Most talk is about the build of the Great Pyramid and who did it.

    How about the design?

    Please go to http://www.gizapyramid.info

    The references there are the Entrance height, The Queen’s Chamber floor level and the King’s Chamber floor level (the top of the Great Step). Other dimensions including the bottom of the Great Step will be added later.

    All dimensions use simple ratios. No Pi, no Phi. Nothing has been put in to ‘make things work’.

    Who designed it? The ancient Egyptians did.

    ……….Kellie

  40. Ancient aliens, along with other History channel shows are mainly just for ratings, and don’t mean anything. I mean once December 21st came and went the non stop apocalypse shows just vanished (I am sure the guy who posted the aliens were coming that day is upset). Anyway, I just found it ironic most of the posts with horrible spelling are pro alien, and also accusing others of a lack of intelligence. That one guy spelled Pi like he was sitting down to eat some. And I am not religious nor do I pull for either side here, but I would be extremely shocked to find out aliens that were capable of space travel would have made those pyramids considering they would be beyond intelligent, and I would’ve hoped they would have done something more than built a few structures. Even if they were nicely built, and large in scale.

  41. This is rubbish and you are ignorant to not even accept the possibillity of aliens building the pyramids in order to make the pyramids you would have needed 100.000 + people, then you need to accomodate them, feed them etc and it would have taken thousands of years. some of the stones weighed 50 tons and where cut perfectly, so close together you couldnt fit paper through the cracks, also why would they randomly draw aliens U.F.Os and giants on their hieroglyphics? I could say a lot more but i actually think its easier to belive the alien/giant theorys then this BS.

  42. Makes no sense anyone can write abouts “facts” passed down from the “truthful” and never disorted past. lol
    If you think there is no other life out there your human experience is just pointless. Also aliens are more belivable then a god randomly appointed to every aspect of life. Anyone can give “god” a place, its harder to think a more not church restained outlook. Aliens being possible is more beliveable then a homeless on a fucking boat saving every animal in the world.

  43. “I think it’s rather more inspiring to think that human beings, our own ancestors, created such spectacular monumental achievements.”

    I’m afraid I agree with Thoreau with respect to the “inspirational” qualities of the pyramids and other such monuments.

  44. While I am not saying aliens did make them and I do agree humans have been smarter for longer than we get credit. I think this article as a whole was laughable.

    So you admit we have not all the answers, admit we have never been able to duplicate on a similar scale and yet you are going to just matter of fact dismiss out of the box questioning currently held theories.

    I mean seriously at best they had to average laying a block every 4 minutes for 20 + years. That alone not taking into account that weather, droughts, and wars that would affect labor and access to resources. Log rollers, lubricants and such can only get so high. Pulley and ropes with the tension strength for these 2-3 ton blocks?

    At that time as well knowledge to do this achievement would have been a very small group of people. So you think that the kingdom always had just a platoon of engineers that could accomplish this.

    Personally I believe mankind has been around much longer than current science is admitting and mankind to a step back 5000 years ago and had to learn again many things we lost.

    These are examples I feel of what we lost for a long time. Man did build these but overall why and how based on theories here do not hold water when used in practice.

  45. I don’t know, but how would aliens know Imhotep’s plan for the pyramids. though there are nice graves for the workers people still think aliens built them. There are pyramids on mars so aliens might of seen them and built their own. People say aliens built the pyramids, false! why the f would aliens come and build a huge ass thing for our kings!

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