Did Dinosaurs Build the Pyramids? NO! (Bonus Blog Post)

The Narmer Palette is a stone table uncovered in Egypt and dated to approximately 3000 B.C.E. The tablet has been identified as a tool of ceremonial practices and is considered of great cultural significance to Egypt(1). Upon inspection it can be observed that the Narmer Palette has two large animals depicted on one side. They are large, have long twisting necks, and each have a hadler holding a leash.Some pseudo archaeologists have looked at these animals and compared them to  Brachiosaurus the long necked dinosaurs made famous by the Little Foot movies. This has been used as one of the main pieces of evidence in the truly shocking claim that dinosaurs built the pyramids. 

In 2013 a series of papyri were uncovered in Egypt. These writings supposedly described the pyramids of Giza being built by dinosaurs that had been tamed by the ancient Egyptians. The main theory is that not only did large long necked dinosaurs walk the earth well after their extinction but they walked the region of ancient Egypt. Ancient Egyptians supposedly tamed these giant lizards and used them to lift and move the huge stones needed for the pyramids(2). Despite the fact that this is clearly pseudo archeological insanity it is occasionally referenced in surprising places. An actual published book about dinosaurs shows a picture of the Namer Palette to explain dinosaurs and how they have been depicted by ancient cultures (3). 

So if the Narmer Palette isn’t depicting giant long necked lizards what is it depicting? The Long necked animals are called Serpopards. They are a mythical animal that show up in other Egyptian artifacts. They are depicted as a cross between a leopard and a snake, having a long curvy neck and a leopard head(1). There is no reason to believe that these or any other Ancient Egyptian artifact depict dinosaurs that they saw walking around or tamed. 

Do dinosaurs and Egypt have anything to do with each other at all? Actually yes. In 2014 a small raptor skeleton was uncovered in a small section deep within The Great Pyramid of Giza. The skeleton is presumed to have been unearthed in the building process by the ancient Egyptians and placed into the pyramid due to it being an interesting find (4).

All in all the Pyramids were built by people. Dinosaurs went extinct long before modern humans entered the picture. Artifacts we see today depict things we don’t always understand but that does not mean that the fantastical is possible or that long dead lizards survived the Ice Age only to be tamed by people with hopes of using them as work animals. This claim, like many others, this semester has highlighted a lack of willingness to understand cultures or science that is rampant in the pseudo archaeological community. It shows a  disregard for real evidence and a misinterpretation of the evidence presented to fuel their own ideas. Hoaxes like this not only hurt those who fail to understand the real world but also allow other ridiculous fringe theories to persist in modern society.

1)Calvert A (2015) Palette of King Narmer. In: Smarthistory. https://smarthistory.org/palette-of-king-narmer/. Accessed 11 Dec 2019

2)AlltimeConspiracies (2018) Did Dinosaurs Build The Pyramids? In: Alltime Conspiracies. https://www.alltimeconspiracies.com/did-dinosaurs-build-the-pyramids/. Accessed 11 Dec 2019

3)Clarey TL, Bogardus D (2015) Dinosaurs, marvels of Gods design: the science of the biblical account. Master Books, Green Forest, AR

4)Egyptian Streets (2014) Dinosaur Bones Discovered in the Great Pyramid of Giza. In: Egyptian Streets. https://egyptianstreets.com/2014/04/01/dinosaur-bones-discovered-in-the-great-pyramid-of-giza/. Accessed 11 Dec 2019