I found the excavations of the area surrounding the Giza Necropolis to be very interesting.  For thousands of years we have been creating hypothesizing on how these pyramids were constructed.  Many of the theories assume that the Egyptian people were not skilled, organized, or civilized enough to construct these amazing tombs.  These excavations show us the ability of the ancient Egyptian bureaucracy.

We can see the long galleries that, most likely, housed hundreds or thousands of workers each.  We see evidence of the ovens that they used to bake their bread and the silos where they stored their grain.  We see a complex system of streets and the way that these streets divided the town into separate quarters.  We see common areas where people may have eaten their dinners together in the company of their friends and family.

I was surprised when I looked at the survey maps that were included in the excavation report.  What I saw where grids and squares.  It reminded me very much of our towns and cities today, especially from a bird’s eye view (like from in an airplane).  I realized that people have been changing the face of the earth since our existence, and we have preferred to do so in grids and squares.

I find this all very fascinating.  Through excavation we get to see a picture of how ancient people lived; their customs, their culture, their behaviors.  We can make educated guesses as to the purpose of certain events or patterns.  The idea that the pyramids on the plateau were constructed by aliens is just ridiculous.  These people are not looking at all the evidence.  They are not taking into account all of the information that we have on the culture, language, and religion of the ancient Egyptians.  As a scientist, the idea that the ancient Egyptians could not have created these structures, towns, and material culture, makes me kind of angry.

~Cristina M. Cao

4 thoughts on “Aliens?

  1. What a great analysis! I agree that the planning and creation of Ancient Egyptian structures are phenomenal. It’s upsetting that people believe that pyramids were structures left by aliens. There is too much supporting evidence that these wonderful structures are apart of the human history. One thing that I would like to know more about is if any equipment has been found of the construction process or any layouts of the design. I’m sure recovering such data of any pyramids would help to understand the mental capacity of Egyptians as well as the people in general of early dynasties. It has been said that the people in the bureaucracy had a developing written language. This is why I suspect that there exist such layouts, plus much had to be planned before pyramids and their surrounding structures were built. So the mystery is how each colony of builders did the planning. I also found it fascinating how the cities were created with a square-like, grid format. These cities help identify when such a system was incorporated in to societies. Studying the first appearance of grid formatted towns allows for scholars to understand how this format of towns has evolved. It’s awesome that through the excavation of one site, much can be concluded and rediscovered at other site locations.

  2. I also agree that the idea that the pyramids were constructed by aliens is quite silly. The ancient Egyptians had pretty extensive knowledge by the time of the Old Kingdom. The Egyptians were very observant, especially with astronomy. The Pyramids of Giza were even built aligned with certain constellations. The northern shaft of one of the king and queen’s pyramid was oriented toward Star Kocab, which they believed was associated with the immortality of the soul.

    Also, in today’s times, experiments have been run to see if building a pyramid was possible. NOVA experiments found that 12 men could easily pull a one-and-a-half ton block on a slick surface. With calculations, it turns out that 1,200 men could have quarried 340 stones in a day. (You can view this article at The estimated number of laborers constructing a pyramid have been up to 10,000 for some pyramids. Egyptologists also did careful calculations and found that 4,000 to 5,000 men could build the Great Pyramid between 20-40 years. They made sure to take into account every aspect, such as the gravel to create the ramps, the resources available, and even the baking of the bread for the workers. In conclusion, with the high numbers of workers available and the economic and political system that enabled them access to resources, the construction of the pyramids were indeed very feasible.

  3. The alien theory (the ancient astronaut theory) that I know about believes that aliens taught us the technology we needed to build these structures, but may not have actually built them themselves. There is no concrete evidence on this theory (or aliens themselves as far as I know) except the myths created by the ancient people and the drawings, cravings, writing, and structures they left behind and our modern interpretation of them based on their similarities to what we build today.

    I strongly agree that humans built these amazing structures. No one can or should rule out human ingenuity, I personally don’t think we give ancient people enough credit for the hard work that they did. How do we know how intelligent they actually were? They could have been smarter than we are now to be able to figure out how to build the pyramids without what we today call modern technology. We have people today who reach the genius range for IQ, so its plausible that there were geniuses in ancient times and maybe they occurred more frequently than they do today. How do we know if they actually had substantially more advanced technology than what we assume or know them to have had? Just because there is no evidence for it yet, does not mean that at some point we won’t find it.

    I also find it interesting that their cities were arranged and built in a grid like layout, just like we do today. How did someone come up with that layout? It seems to be the best, most efficient way to build a city or town because most civilizations that I have learned about including our own has used this layout. What makes this layout so efficient or popular with civilizations? Good Post!

  4. This post just reminded me of a couple of very remotely related topics. First, the idea that aliens or some other supernatural force was responsible for, or assisted in, the construction of the pyramids reminded me of the topic of the construction of Stonehenge (one of the greatest henges in the world) from a History of Architecture course. The same sort of crackpot theories surround the construction of that monument as well. Stonehenge was built prior to recorded history so there is no way of knowing exactly how they built it, but various theories exist and experiments have been done demonstrating how it might have been built using only manpower and technology that would have existed at the time. Secondly, and this falls under the “Weird ideas that people have about Egypt” category, there is apparently a conspiracy theory out there that the Obamas are the reincarnations of the Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti of the 18th dynasty. Someone from one one of Prof. Watrall’s old classes mentions this on their course website and there are countless websites, blogs, and youtube videos out there on the topic. I guess all of these theories, especially the ideas that insist that humans could not have built structures like the pyramids or Stonehenge alone, remind me of our tendency to be ethnocentric when looking at past civilizations.

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