This week in Great Discoveries has been very interesting to me as it has involved learning about the Pyramids and Egypt. I have always been fascinated with ancient Egypt and the timing of these lectures is very good because my brother is taking a class that just covered the people of ancient Egypt. What I think is so amazing is that the Egyptians not only built these incredible structures thousands and thousands of years ago, but they also built their empire out in the desert. I cannot imagine how tiring it must have been to work in such harsh conditions. It is truly incredible to think that they were able to build the pyramids and other monuments at the same time when their civilizations had to hug the Nile River in order to have enough water to grow crops.
Another very interesting topic we have covered is everything having to do with Egyptomania. One cool thing about history and archaeology is that you can see how different civilizations and cultures evolved. It is fun to look at the different theories in this way and to see how they each have evolved. It is fascinating to see how each theorist built off of early ideas and then how they added their own flare to the idea. I like to look at each wacky theory and find the pieces that make a little bit of sense and the bits that are just completely ridiculous. It seems like even the most outrageous claim starts with an idea that actually makes a little bit of sense and then it just explodes into absolute ridiculousness from there. For example the belief that the sphinx was much older than archaeologists say it is. Two of the men who make this claim, John West and Dr. Robert Schoch, observed the strange erosion patterns on the rock of the west wall of the sphinx enclosure. They were surprised because the annual fall of rain during the time the sphinx was created shouldn’t be enough to cause the erosion. These two make an actual interesting and puzzling observation, but instead of gathering more data or just leaving it at that, they go on to make the claim that the only explanation is that the sphinx is actually at least twelve thousand years old. I feel like this is the case with so many of the claims that are so out-there. It is like they almost had a good idea, but instead of letting it be a small discovery they try to turn it into a huge convoluted breakthrough, that while amusing is not very scientific at all.