By Corey Gilkes
It was nice to see your paper do a feature on the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World; there are many persons out there who may have forgotten or were unaware of these ancient structures, the ingenuity of their builders and the lessons that some of them could teach us even today.
I do, however, wish to dispel some prevailing myths which tainted an otherwise marvellous article. The pyramids of Giza, which has attracted the attention of many people from all walks of life, has been plagued with some unfounded labels because of the ignorance of the early Egyptologists who studied them and who were products of the prejudice and religious conservatism of their times.
Contrary to popular belief, NONE of the Giza pyramids and according to Egyptologist Mark Lehner, any of the other Egyptian pyramids were tombs of the pharaohs. None. No mummy has been removed from any of the Giza pyramids. Bones discovered in 1837 in the third pyramid were found to have been placed there during the early Christian era. This misconception stemmed from the burial practices of the 25th. Pharaonic dynasty [circa 663-525 BCE] by which time which the actual meaning of the pyramid complexes were lost.
The Valley of the Kings, 450 miles south of Giza, is the final resting place of the pharaohs. Thus the terms "King's" / "Queen's" Chamber have nothing to do with the resting places for the monarchs. It appears, though, that the pyramids served as part of the elaborate funerary rituals for the shafts leading out of the King's Chamber lined up with a particular star which was identified with the Goddess Isis/Auset. The phallus of the deceased king was placed in this shaft and he "fertilised" the Great Mother so that she could "produce" Osiris/Ausar who would be represented on earth by the succeeding pharaoh [this, however, does NOT mean that the pharaoh was worshipped as a god].
The pyramids also played a part in the education system of the extremely powerful priesthood as well as the pharaohs who were first and foremost philosopher-monarchs and not the tyrants depicted in such bigoted trash as "The Prince of Egypt", "The Ten Commandments" and scores of other films and T.V. cartoons.
Another error in the article states that pyramid building started in Egypt. Pyramid building, like mummification, writing, pharaonic dynasties and almost every other aspect of Ancient Egypt's astounding civilisation, began in inner Africa long before Egypt refined it. Pyramids have been found in Nubia, parts of Ethiopia [and recently in the Nigerian rain-forest]and like those in Egypt, they formed part of the complex education system of the priesthood.
Further, the attributing of these structures to Khufu, Khafra and Menkaure may also be incorrect. It is known that the Great Sphinx was carved around 15,000 BCE when the zodiacal calendar was in the age of Leo. Photographs produced by archaeologist Dr. H. Getzinger has shown sea-shells at a certain level above the present level of the base of the Great Pyramid indicating that when this structure was built waves still washed the Giza plateau and this occurred around 10,000 BCE according to paleoclimatologists. The fact that the apex of each of these structures lined up with the "belt" of the star constellation Orion reinforces this point. The dates I have cited fly in the face of the very cnservative dates usually agreed upon by Eurocentric scholars; their dates were derived from early researchers who wished to synchronise the time line of Egypt with Mesopotamia and to compress Egypt into the Christian chronology of 6000 years; I will not waste your time expanding on that nonsense.
In spite of their great antiquity, the pyramids can still serve as a medium for educating the students of engineering, astronomy, geometry, physics [Newton did, after all, write a lenghty essay on the science of the Ancient Egyptians and his famous law was derived almost verbatim from an old Egyptian proverb], even philosophy. And let students of geography and maritime transport ponder over the parallels between the pyramid complexes of the Nile Valley and those of the Mayans of Mexico. Your feature was otherwise informative and there should be more like it especially since too many people seem to depend upon either the Bible, the Qu'ran, a cartoon in a cinema or all of the above for their "education". I also think that Gideon Maxime's columns on various aspects of Trinbago's history should be printed more often. It almost hurts sometimes when I reflect on the fact that some of the best documents and lectures I have attended on Trinidad's history especially carnival, were given by non-Trinbagonians. We must reverse this cycle of cultural illiteracy and quickly.
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