The idea of aliens helping along with leaps and bounds in early technology brings up a question that I often consider: will people 2000 years from now look back at what we have done in the past thirty years in terms of technology and wonder how we were able to do it? Consider the jump from the 1970’s until now, or even just the jump from the 70’s to the 90’s. Computer technology has grown incredibly fast, from the huge clunky machines of the 80’s to thin MacBooks that fit in students’ backpacks. Or in terms of phones, which in the past hundred years have gone from clunky and wallbound to being effectively handheld computers that hold incredible amounts of storage. Will people from the future question how a race that was at the same time threatening to destroy the world with atomic bombs and polluting the earth’s atmosphere so haphazardly? Just because we don’t have the information on how people of the past were able to make such incredible achievements doesn’t mean they had help from extraterrestrials. The fact that it’s even questioned is not only insulting to the legacy of human ingenuity but of course has levels of racism. Often the only progress that is questioned, with the exceptions of such things as Stonehenge, is progress made by people of color.
In Ancient Aliens, one of the claims that is personally infuriating is the Dendera Light Bulb. The show argues that within the halls of the pyramid that there is no way that they could have seen anything inside because of how dark it was. They claim that since there is no soot on the ceilings that it couldn’t have been torches, so what could it possibly be?! The show references a carving in the pyramid that depicts something similar to a modern-day lightbulb, and claim that the Egyptians must have been advanced enough to have electricity! Firstly, isn’t it ironic that the same people who say that the Egyptians were too primitive to build the pyramids without help are saying they were advanced enough for electricity? Moving on to actually debunking the claim. Covering the idea that torches weren’t used: that would be correct. For the most part, the pyramid halls and chambers were built in sunlight, since the halls were built as the pyramid went from the bottom up. After the roof of the halls was put on, they used olive oil lamps that burned very pure, and these lamps have been found in the archaeological record. Not to mention the tombs weren’t meant to be lit because… they were tombs. Now in reference to the actual carving in the Dendera temple, it is a well-known depiction of the creation myth of Egypt. Ancient Aliens says that Egyptologists explained that it depicts a lotus flower and that the “bulb” portion was the scent from the flower. This is completely incorrect, shockingly enough. The carving depicts the creation myth of the world blooming from a lotus flower, which was the first thing said to have come from the nothingness. The snake in the center, which they claim to be a lightbulb filament, represents the god Atum. So, not so much a lightbulb, and honestly it’s more fascinating when actually put into context.