Pyramidology or pyramidiot?

pyramidologyOne of my favourite past times is reading different theories about the Egyptian pyramids. I am collecting books on this topic from every available perspective—from the factual archaeological approach, to the, sometimes outlandish, alternative approaches.

An interesting spin-off of this phenomenon is the debate between the rational scientists and the proponents of alternative theories, between the Egyptologists and pyramidologists.

Some scientists refer to alternative theories as Pyramidiocy. I agree that the majority of pyramidological theories is based on speculation and unwarranted arguments. The scientists are, however, missing an important point. There is more to pyramidology than meets the eye. The ongoing disenchantment of the world and the decrease of organised religion causes people to search for meaning outside the normal parameters. The Egyptian pyramids, and many other ancient archaeological sites, are a great vehicle for meaning.

They are enigmatic for many reasons: they are enormous structures, built with perplexing accuracy, built by a civilisation that did not have access to modern technology and that left no writing behind regarding their construction and function.

Because historiographical methodology is not able to provide any certain truth about events from the past, there is a lot of room for alternative explanations. While the Egyptologists, for example, are convinced that the pyramids were tombs, pyramidologists point out that there is no evidence to prove this fact. From a methodological point of view, pyramidologists are justified in denying this. Just because there is an artifact inside the pyramid of Khufu that looks like a sarcophagus does not mean that it is a necessary truth that it is a tomb. History can only deal in likelihoods, not in absolute truth.

It is essential for the pyramid to be a vehicle for meaning that the Egyptologists are proven ‘wrong’. Egyptological explanations can not provide meaning because it deals in historiographical, not philosophical truth. Egyptology as a science is necessary rational and dry and stays away from speculation. Pyramidology uses the vacuum created through this exsanguated approach by developing theories that go beyond science. The pyramids thus become a vehicle for meaning, rather than just a huge ancient tomb.

Pyramidology has been around for a while, but has been no more prolific than the second half of the last century. It is an interesting cultural phenomena and scientists should not waste their time on deciding truth or falsity of these theories, but investigate the broader philosophical perspective.