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Friday, November 20, 2015

Why the Pyramids Spawn So Many Wacky Theories

Why the Pyramids Spawn So Many Wacky Theories

Ancient Egyptians built the Pyramids at Giza between 2589 B.C. and 2504 B.C.
Credit: Dan Breckwoldt |

GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson stands by an odd theory he floated at a commencement address: that the Egyptian pyramids are not pharaohs' tombs, but ancient grain silos built by the biblical Joseph. The 1998 claim seems out of left field, but actually goes way back — to at least the sixth century.

Indeed, though the pyramids are some of the most well-researched ancient structures in the world, they have a long-standing tendency to attract crackpot theories. Over the centuries, people have argued that the pyramids were the work of everyone from Noah (of Noah's ark) to architecturally gifted aliens. Like Carson, these people ignore massive amounts of contemporary evidence about the pyramids.

"In terms of direct evidence, he's off the wall," Jim Phillips, the curator of Egypt at Chicago's Field Museum, told Live Science, speaking about Carson's notions. There's no debate about the pyramids or their purpose, Phillips said.