FOR history buffs, YouTube is a great blessing of the current social media age because it carries a great deal of interesting documentaries. Cable television’s History Channel is misnamed. Outside of old World War 2 newsreels, there’s more hoax than history on that channel: the search for Hitler, the hunt for treasure left by the Templars on Oak Island, UFO sightings, extraterrestrial visitors of time unknown, shopping and selling what is garbage for some and antique for others. After numerous replays, these have become simply unwatchable humdrum. The only program I found worthwhile on that channel was that of Mr. Millan showing the world how to make pet dogs behave viz. by training their masters and remembering that dogs want to be treated like dogs. Refreshing perspectives it brought until it reached the end of its season and the replays began. Even that does not justify the name of the channel. If you want history, it is YouTube you must turn to.
Most notable about YouTube’s offerings these days is a documentary directed and written by the Albanian resident of France, Fehmi Krasniqi, on how the Great Pyramids of Egypt were made. This was first shown in cinemas in France in September last year, and Mr. Krasniqi has decided to put it on YouTube to spark a wider discussion about its conclusions. I agree that these conclusions are important and that they should at least be discussed.
The documentary debunks the theories of Egyptologists that the Great Pyramids were made by innumerable slaves pulling giant stones from afar and piling them up through a system of ramps and primitive cranes. The largest of the pyramids was built in 20 years. The methods of cutting and lifting stones, each weighing hundreds of tons, would take the task nearly forever, if not render it impossible. The boulders were moreover found across the river Nile, and no boat at that time could carry a boulder without sinking.
It also dismisses the fantastic theories of a lost civilization or superior extraterrestrial beings to be mainly or wholly responsible for the building of the Pyramids. No evidence has been found to support these theories. The search for Atlantis has not yielded a single credible relic. A considerable leap of faith exists between reported sightings of flying saucers and weird-looking corpses and supposing that waves of extraterrestrial experts once came to earth on consultation tours.
The documentary “The Great Pyramid K-2019” is so titled because it is believed that its release in 2019 opened a new way in our thinking about ourselves, humanity, by throwing light on a critical landmark of our history. But first, about its basics. The Krasniqi film shows that these theories unjustly underestimates the ability of ancient Egyptians to come up with astounding accomplishments and the experts might have overlooked the fact that when these the greatest of pyramids were built, ancient Egyptian civilization was already almost 3,000 years old and Egypt was at height of its wealth, power and glory.
What is most remarkable about the documentary is that its explanation of how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids is not really remarkable, no longer anyway. They built the pyramids the way succeeding generations built their temples, cathedrals, skyscrapers and their homes: not by cutting and lifting boulders found in Nature but by using artificial stones whose generic appellation is “concrete,” made by pouring a liquefied aggregate of crushed stones and other strong substances, hardening chemicals and water into wooden molds. We and our forefathers would place, unless impracticable, the concrete in situ, or where it is intended to be. The Egyptians, too, laid each artificial stone where it was to lie, putting the mold where the stone would be, pouring the liquefied form of the concrete right there.
It was the ancient Egyptians who pioneered the use of concrete in construction. And it was they who discovered or invented the science(s) that made the building of the pyramids possible at all.
Each year the Nile River would overflow, flooding the farms on its banks and all nearby low-lying areas. The Egyptians would evacuate to the hills and wait for the waters to recede which would take four months. They used the time to observe, contemplate and calculate. And to build pyramids.
The flooding would erase all landmarks showing what lot and how much of it belongs to each owner or farmer. The Egyptians were thus forced to invent a system of measurement. They invented the metric system based on a drop of water that always measures a centimeter. One hundred centimeters make a meter. They thus also invented geometry, its various shapes, squares, rectangles, parallelograms, cubes, circles, the notions of pi and square roots, and other mental devices allowing more complex measurements. By the time the pyramids were built, Egyptians’ knowledge of mathematics had reached such a degree of sophistication they planned and went about the building of the pyramid, layer upon, layer, outside and inside, with astonishing precision.
The growing present-day anticipation of the wide use in the future of concentrated solar energy as a source of electricity may have led the film writer to what could be the secret of the making of the great pyramids of Egypt. The film posits that the pyramid workers used solar energy focused through a magnifying glass into a small laser-like beam to break up and melt limestone and granite into a form that they could carry through distances more easily and pour into the molds. It was this use of solar energy technology, along with advances in other fields, that enabled the Egyptians to finish the pyramids in the relatively short time of 20 years, given that the pyramid workers functioned only four months of the year, the length of time that the Nile’s banks and valleys were inundated. This was neither improbable nor impossible. It had long been discovered that passing sunlight through a magnifying glass could start a fire. If relics of the magnifying lenses used had not been found, it was likely because they had been carefully hidden to prevent their falling into dangerous hands. They just might be found sooner or later by people who know what they are looking for.
The Krasniqi film also disabuses the audience of the widely held notion that the pyramids were built by the forced labor of slaves. There were no slaves in ancient Egypt. Pyramid workers have been found buried in a fetal position close to the pyramids and their pharaoh, or in a situation of honor and respect, which would be impossible if they were slaves. The builders of the pyramids were skilled workers, and they were classified and deployed according to their skills. While they worked out of love and worship of their pharaoh, they were fed and paid well by the standards of the time. Saved from moving immovable boulders and pounding some of the hardest objects in the universe, the workers involved in the building of the pyramids actually numbered smaller than earlier conjectured: not much more than the farmers rendered idle by the Nile flood. Even the film depicted the transporting of construction materials from source to worksite as being done in buckets passed from hand to hand by long human chains. The wheel had long been invented; it is not unlikely that the workers were helped by vessels on wheels and by the beasts of burden depicted in murals that also evacuated from the Nile flood. Water was not carried from the Nile by hand-held buckets but by a rudimentary system of aqueducts. Indeed, the ancient Egyptians who built the pyramids were not primitive at all.
Who exactly were the ancient Egyptians who constructed the pyramids, immortal monuments to the heights of achievement and glory mankind is capable of? The film asks us to give the faces of the statues of the Sphinx and the pharaohs a second look. By their flat noses and thick lips, the ancient Egyptians were African blacks! A test for the quantity of melanin Egyptian mummies carry has been conducted and confirmed their negro coloring. Laboratory tests have revealed another thing about the ancient Egyptians. The mummies contain traces of cocaine, a substance that solely originated from South America. From their observation of the horizon and knowledge of mathematics and astronomy, the ancient Egyptians knew that the earth was round, and they had no qualms about venturing to unknown seas to explore other coasts and lands. The film also leads us to consider that it was from the ancient Egyptians, not aliens from outer space, that South Americans, Cambodians, Indians and others learned to build pyramids. The pyramids in these faraway places bear the signature of the ancient Egyptians: the metric measurement and the orientation to the sun and star of Sirius. Statues have also been found in these places whose flat noses and thick lips resembled those of the pharaohs.
The closing message of the film, expressed in more words, is hence illuminating and timely: BLACK LIVES MATTER.