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Who Built The Pyramids?
Harvard Magazine ^ | 8-17-2003 | Jonathan Shaw

Posted on 08/17/2003 5:13:35 PM PDT by blam

Who Built the Pyramids?

Not slaves. archeaologist Mark Lehner digging deeper, discovers a city of privileged workers.

by Jonathan Shaw

The pyramids and the Great Sphinx rise inexplicably from the desert at Giza, relics of a vanished culture. They dwarf the approaching sprawl of modern Cairo, a city of 16 million. The largest pyramid, built for the Pharaoh Khufu around 2530 B.C. and intended to last an eternity, was until early in the twentieth century the biggest building on the planet. To raise it, laborers moved into position six and a half million tons of stone—some in blocks as large as nine tons—with nothing but wood and rope. During the last 4,500 years, the pyramids have drawn every kind of admiration and interest, ranging in ancient times from religious worship to grave robbery, and, in the modern era, from New-Age claims for healing “pyramid power” to pseudoscientific searches by “fantastic archaeologists” seeking hidden chambers or signs of alien visitations to Earth. As feats of engineering or testaments to the decades-long labor of tens of thousands, they have awed even the most sober observers.

(Excerpt) Read more at harvard-magazine.com ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: ancienthistory; archaeology; archeology; built; edgarcayce; egypt; geopolymer; geopolymerization; geopolymers; ggg; giza; godsgravesglyphs; history; josephdavidovits; marklehner; pyramid; pyramids; turass; who
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I excerpted the article because it is fairly long and has many pictures.
1 posted on 08/17/2003 5:13:36 PM PDT by blam
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To: farmfriend
Ping.
2 posted on 08/17/2003 5:14:07 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
this thing was not built with logs and ropes.....
3 posted on 08/17/2003 5:15:04 PM PDT by The Wizard (Saddamocrats are enemies of America, treasonous everytime they speak)
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To: blam
Great read, blam!
4 posted on 08/17/2003 5:16:16 PM PDT by MHGinTN (If you can read this, you've had life support from someone. Promote life support for others.)
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; bd476; carenot; CatoRenasci; ellery; Eva; freedom9; FreeLibertarian; ..
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

5 posted on 08/17/2003 5:16:49 PM PDT by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: blam
I've always found this attitude to be essentially a prejudicial opinion against people in the past that says they weren't clever enough to move giant blocks of stone. Therefore it must have been aliens/chariots of the gods/crystal power.
6 posted on 08/17/2003 5:18:09 PM PDT by Liberal Classic (Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est.)
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To: blam
I've been there. They are incredible. Pictures have a hard time capturing their size.
7 posted on 08/17/2003 5:19:06 PM PDT by KCmark (I am NOT a partisan.)
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To: The Wizard
One theory, that some discredit, that is getting some cache, is that the blocks are actually not chiseled limestone, but limestone cement.

If they knew how to heat up limestone, and turn it into mortar, it would have made the task so much more easy.

The chiseled "stones" could in actuality be limestone powder, mixed on site, poured into molds, in place. There have been objections to this theory, but it does easily answer a question about how the huge stones were moved and assembled.

8 posted on 08/17/2003 5:19:16 PM PDT by dogbyte12
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To: blam
Yul Brynner built them!
9 posted on 08/17/2003 5:19:19 PM PDT by Lockbar
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To: blam
Went there a few years back and was able to go inside the center pyramid.

It was amazing, the blocks were perfectly flush, level and you couldn't pass a hair between the stones.

Highly recommend a trip to Cairo, fascinating place...
10 posted on 08/17/2003 5:21:22 PM PDT by Central Scrutiniser (My only desire is to pester Mojo and Nick.)
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To: Lockbar

Got a condo made of stona...


11 posted on 08/17/2003 5:21:55 PM PDT by Liberal Classic (Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentis telum est.)
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To: blam
This notion of a vast slave class in Egypt originated in Judeo-Christian tradition and has been popularized by Hollywood productions like Cecil B. De Mille’s The Ten Commandments, in which a captive people labor in the scorching sun beneath the whips of pharaoh’s overseers. But graffiti from inside the Giza monuments themselves have long suggested something very different.

I am becoming more and more convinced that the Exodus never happened, at least not on the terms we once believed. Great article, and anyone with any interest at all should click through.

12 posted on 08/17/2003 5:23:38 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: blam
Slaves built the Pyramids. Duh!
13 posted on 08/17/2003 5:24:19 PM PDT by ChadGore (Kakkate Koi!)
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To: Central Scrutiniser
"Highly recommend a trip to Cairo, fascinating place..."

I agree, went there in 1966, still have a bronze statue of Nefertiti I bought there.

14 posted on 08/17/2003 5:25:19 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I've had heard that they flooded the valley and built the pyramids with barges. Where is the barge evidence.
15 posted on 08/17/2003 5:25:40 PM PDT by jetson
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To: blam
"Mark Lehner digging deeper, discovers a city of privileged workers."

So here we have concrete evidence, pardon the pun, of the first existence of privileged, perhaps unionized workers!

The egyptians were ahead of us in so many ways....
16 posted on 08/17/2003 5:26:26 PM PDT by spoiler2
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To: Dog Gone
I am becoming more and more convinced that the Exodus never happened

The Bible says nothing about the Pyramids. It says the Hebrew built the "storage cities" of Pithom and Ramses.

17 posted on 08/17/2003 5:26:57 PM PDT by Alouette (Every democratic politician should live next door to a pimp, so he can have someone to look up to.)
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To: dogbyte12
Where is the evidence of this. The mixing pots, the giant ovens, etc.
18 posted on 08/17/2003 5:27:39 PM PDT by jetson
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To: Dog Gone
"I am becoming more and more convinced that the Exodus never happened, at least not on the terms we once believed. "

So, what are you ideas on the Exodus. I believe it happened but, in 1628BC.

19 posted on 08/17/2003 5:27:49 PM PDT by blam
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To: blam
I think it was built by the ancient Egyptians simply using massive numbers of people.

The one mystery to me is how they were able to cut the stones using only bronze tools. They did not have iron yet bronze will not cut stone.

20 posted on 08/17/2003 5:28:49 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: blam
Who Built The Pyramids?

 

My Guess, is no doubt - REPUBLICANS!

21 posted on 08/17/2003 5:29:08 PM PDT by b4its2late (Every time I think about exercise, I lie down, look up towards Mars, till the thought goes away.)
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To: blam
I like the middle east, its quite a culture shock the first time, but it has its own frentic energy.

But I love SE Asia, may be dropping out of society for a while and hanging there.
22 posted on 08/17/2003 5:29:20 PM PDT by Central Scrutiniser (My only desire is to pester Mojo and Nick.)
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To: The Wizard
this thing was not built with logs and ropes.....

Winches and Cranes?

23 posted on 08/17/2003 5:32:00 PM PDT by StatesEnemy
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To: blam
Al Gore built the pyramids....just ask him.
24 posted on 08/17/2003 5:32:08 PM PDT by Lizavetta
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To: Liberal Classic
I've always found this attitude to be essentially a prejudicial opinion against people in the past that says they weren't clever enough to move giant blocks of stone.

In the Third Temple in Jerusalem there was a stone block that is still there. The block is (IIRC) twice as big as the biggest stones at Giza.

And there is no way it was built by little gray men.

It can be done, it has been done, the only question is exactly how it was done and when.

25 posted on 08/17/2003 5:33:22 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Under advice from my lawyer I will now be known as Mostly Harmless Teddy Bear)
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To: StatesEnemy
Or wenches and crones.
26 posted on 08/17/2003 5:33:45 PM PDT by yarddog
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To: blam
My theory is that the Jews came out of the Iraqi/Saudi region, following the Santorini volcanic explosion which provides the "pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day" reference in the Old Testament.

The directions line up for one thing. And we do have a handle on the timing.

If the Jews were in Egypt and followed those "signs", they would have been in the sea, not Caanan.

Then, there is the fact that nobody has been able to come up with any evidence whatsoever of a Jewish slave population in Egypt ever. Not Egyptologists, not Bibliogists. Nobody. And the Egyptians kept good records.

27 posted on 08/17/2003 5:36:46 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: Lizavetta
Al Gore did not build the pyramids, he only invented them.
28 posted on 08/17/2003 5:40:34 PM PDT by fish hawk
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To: blam
AERA Board Member Profile:

Matthew McCauley

Mark Lehner, left, with Matthew McCauley
Mark Lehner, left, with Matthew McCauley, AERA board member, on top of Khufu's pyramid. Behind them is Khafre's pyramid and beyond, Menkaure's pyramid and the desert.

New Directions: Egypt
While music was Matthew's focus during his mid-teens, he also had a strong feeling that part of his life's mission involved discoveries in Egypt. After reading the work of psychic Edgar Cayce (who proposed that the "Hall of Records" of the lost civilization of Atlantis was located under the pyramids), Matthew got in touch with the Cayce Foundation concerning his own theories about pyramid geometry. Hugh Lynn, the psychic's son, telephoned and encouraged Matthew to go to Cairo and meet another young American interested in Cayce's work. At age 19 Matthew followed up on the advice and met Mark Lehner in Cairo in 1974 (see facing page). The two young men explored the Giza Plateau in search of Cayce's vision of history, but they quickly became disillusioned. Gradually their quest metamorphosed from metaphysics into rigorous science.

When Mark launched the Sphinx mapping program, sponsored by the American Research Center in Egypt, in 1979, Matthew traveled to Egypt as often as he could to help. He was in the field assisting when Mark laid down the center point for the grid which was eventually used for mapping the Great Sphinx, stone by stone. Behind the scenes, Matthew helped support the project through fund raising and with contributions of his own music money.

AERA
In 1985 Matthew and Mark founded Ancient Egypt Research Associates (AERA) to promote scientific archaeology at the pyramids of Giza. As a member of AERA's board, Matthew continues to help with fund-raising, moral support, and advice.

Matthew has always been interested in nondestructive remote sensing, technology which allows us to "see" into the past without excavation. Now that the current computation tools render this approach more powerful than ever, Matthew is especially eager to be a catalyst for new kinds of data collection and analysis.

29 posted on 08/17/2003 5:42:30 PM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: blam
Who Built the Pyramids?

Lotsa folks, but I engineered most of the projects.

Ok, some were independant, but over-runs were rampant,
delays in completion ran about 66%.. it was awful. And hot. Humidity wasn't so bad, not if you stayed away from denial.
Err.. the Nile.

30 posted on 08/17/2003 5:42:58 PM PDT by humblegunner (God Blessed Texas)
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To: Dog Gone
"My theory is that the Jews came out of the Iraqi/Saudi region, following the Santorini volcanic explosion which provides the "pillar of fire by night and pillar of cloud by day" reference in the Old Testament."

We agree on this, Santorini was in 1628BC.

Disaster That Struck The Ancients
I believe this impact provided the imagery for Revelations and may be the Soddom & Gomorrah event.

31 posted on 08/17/2003 5:47:23 PM PDT by blam
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To: dennisw

Bread Ancient Style

Experimental archaeology offers clues to ancient baking technology


 

Mohamed Abdul-Qader sets the fire under the stacked bread molds.

Inspired by a major discovery during the 1990-91 field season, Mark Lehner and a National Geographic team built a replica of a Pyramid Age bakery during the fall of1993 .With the assistance of Ed Wood, an expert on yeasts and sourdoughs, they tried their hand at baking bread following ancient Egyptian techniques.

The highlight of the 1990-91 field season was the discovery of two rooms, connected to a larger complex, which turned out to be the remains of baking facilities. Here bread had been baked in large, cumbersome, conical, ceramic molds, weighing up to 12 kilograms each, called bedja-- a style unique to Pharaonic Egypt. These two small rooms were far more significant than their modest contents, seen in the map to the right, suggested. The data they yielded, after painstaking excavation, helped flesh out some of the details of the baking process that was previously known only through reliefs from Old Kingdom tombs. However, to answer the many unresolved questions, Lehner and his team were compelled to turn to experimental archaeology, whereby ancient sites and processes are reconstructed to gain insight into how they really functioned. The National Geographic Society helped in this endeavor by sponsoring a project that rebuilt a bakery room, modeled after the ancient bakeries discovered in Area A, to test various theories about the baking process.

When the two baking rooms were first uncovered in Area A 7 at Giza in 1990-91, they seemed to be enigmatic rectangular structures, 5.25 x 2.5 meters, with low stone walls. As layers of black ash were carefully troweled away, features and artifacts, including whole and broken bedja, used to bake bread during the Old Kingdom, started to emerge. In the end, it became apparent that the rooms closely corresponded to the bread baking depictions in reliefs from Old Kingdom tombs such as that of the 5th dynasty official Ty at Saqqara.

In the northwest corner of each ancient bakery three large vats had been set into the ground, presumably, for mixing the dough. On the other side, in the southeast corner of both rooms, had stood open fireplaces, one of which still held an upside-down bedja, Old Kingdom tomb reliefs show bedja stacked with their interiors down, over an open fire in order to preheat them before bread baking. Along the eastern walls of both bakeries, two rows of depressions had been dug into the floor, like large egg cartons, presumably to serve as receptacles for the preheated bedja. Reliefs show workmen pouring batter into upright bedja whose rounded bottoms had been set into some sort of base. These same representations show that another bedja was placed upside-down over the filled bottom bread mold, as a cover. Then, hot ashes were probably piled around the two pots to complete the baking process, as suggested by the soil found in the "egg carton" area, which was black with minute particles of charcoal.

While the bakery rooms at Giza shed light on some details of this unusual method of baking bread shown in these tomb reliefs, many questions remained. For instance, why were the pots stacked heated prior to baking? Was this merely to temper them in order to prevent the bread from sticking to the pot, or did the pots' thick walls retain enough heat from the fire to serve as miniature ovens? Was ash indeed raked around the preheated pots after they were placed in the "egg cartons?" Was this really necessary to bake the bread? And, what kind of bread was ultimately produced from the emmer wheat and barley flours available to the ancient Egyptians? These grains contain very little gluten, the protein which gives modern breads their light, airy texture.

With these questions in mind, Mark Lehner and the National Geographic team reconstructed a bakery in the fields beneath the bluffs of Saqqara, faithfully reproducing the Giza bakery. Mark and Ed Wood, a retired pathologist, attempted to bake breads using emmer and barley flour, in pots made more or less to bedja specifications, and leavened with local, wild yeasts from Giza, captured by Ed, who has devoted much of his life to the study of wild yeasts and the sourdoughs made from them.

These experiments yielded many surprising insights, that would not have come about through arm-chair theorizing. For example, Mark and his colleagues discovered, as they mixed the dough and placed it in the pots, that the low walls of the ancient bakery rooms were not merely the eroded foundations of what had been taller structures. These walls were intended to be low and flat, providing essential working surfaces.They also found that higher walls would have trapped and held all the smoke and ash generated during baking, making the small space intolerable.

The results of these experiments are not only important for understanding the bakeries at Giza, but also have broader implications. Baking bread in bedja was a wide-spread practice, persisting for almost 500 years, as demonstrated by bread mold sherds found at campsites along the way to Palestine, as well as at sites from the Delta all the way down to Elephantine, in all kinds of contexts.

32 posted on 08/17/2003 5:48:18 PM PDT by dennisw (G_d is at war with Amalek for all generations)
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To: blam
Who built the pyramids?
ELVIS!

- Mojo Nixon, "Elvis is Everywhere"
33 posted on 08/17/2003 5:52:21 PM PDT by kidd
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To: Dog Gone
And the Egyptians kept good records.

Only when they wanted to keep good records. Part of the mysteries of Egypt were caused by the Egyptians themselves.

In the case of Userkare, for example, it seems they went so far as to break into tombs and remove inscriptions that referred to him.

The Egyptians were very good at removing embarrassing little details, events and people from their records.

34 posted on 08/17/2003 5:53:39 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Under advice from my lawyer I will now be known as Mostly Harmless Teddy Bear)
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To: Dog Gone
Then, there is the fact that nobody has been able to come up with any evidence whatsoever of a Jewish slave population in Egypt ever. Not Egyptologists, not Bibliogists. Nobody. And the Egyptians kept good records.

This is not in fact correct. For example, in a rock tomb west of the city of Thebes there is a series of paintings of the life of the vizier Rekhmire. One scene shows dark skinned overseers, rods in hand, supervising light skinned workers. The light skinned workers in other paintings have been attributed to be Semites.

Furthermore, an inscription from the time of Ramesses II describes 'PR' 'who hauled the stones for the great city of Per-Ramesses-Meri-Imen'. 'PR' is a common Egyptian hieroglyph for Semites.

35 posted on 08/17/2003 5:53:54 PM PDT by dark_lord (The Statue of Liberty now holds a baseball bat and she's yelling 'You want a piece of me?')
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To: Dog Gone
And the Egyptians kept good records.

Only when they wanted to keep good records. Part of the mysteries of Egypt were caused by the Egyptians themselves.

In the case of Userkare, for example, it seems they went so far as to break into tombs and remove inscriptions that referred to him.

The Egyptians were very good at removing embarrassing little details, events and people from their records.

36 posted on 08/17/2003 5:54:53 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Under advice from my lawyer I will now be known as Mostly Harmless Teddy Bear)
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To: Dog Gone
I am becoming more and more convinced that the Exodus never happened, at least not on the terms we once believed.

But Exodus doesn't specifically claim that the Jewish slaves built the pyramids, but rather that they were slaves working in MUD and STRAW ... (hence the complaints about their working materials) while the pyramids were built BEFORE the Jewish slavery of solid rock.

Thus why do you assume the ancient Jews weren't making generic "buildings" for the Egyptians masters/owners?

37 posted on 08/17/2003 5:55:01 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only support FR by donating monthly, but ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: Dog Gone
Sorry for the double post

Sorry for the double post
38 posted on 08/17/2003 5:57:52 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Under advice from my lawyer I will now be known as Mostly Harmless Teddy Bear)
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To: blam
I'm not convinced that the Soddom and Gomorrah event was simultaneous. Biblical chronology, to the extent that it's reliable, would indicated that it wasn't.

But who knows?

I find it also interesting that the Gilgamesh epic originated from the same place where I tend to believe the evidence indicates the Jews originated. That would explain the similarities.

I think the early writings of the Bible are a written account of the oral history passed down to the Jews, and it should be viewed in that context. It was sincere, but it wasn't what we might call responsible journalism in today's world. Not that we still have much of that...

39 posted on 08/17/2003 5:59:18 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: blam
You post some of the most interesting stuff on FR.

Thanks, Eaker

40 posted on 08/17/2003 6:00:37 PM PDT by Eaker (This is OUR country; let's take it back!!!!!)
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To: blam

41 posted on 08/17/2003 6:03:06 PM PDT by uglybiker (Backwards words say to used I. Again go I there! $#!& oh!)
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To: blam
I know who can wreck them!


42 posted on 08/17/2003 6:03:26 PM PDT by rockfish59
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
The time for the Exodus agreed upon by Biblical scholars happens to occur during Egypt's Golden Age.

There is no reference to plagues bringing the empire to its knees, or any reference to an Egyptian army being swallowed up by the sea.

The empire never missed a beat.

Now, you can claim coverup, but that's not a very impressive excuse. You'll need to show evidence of the coverup.

43 posted on 08/17/2003 6:04:43 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: blam
Who built the Pyramids?

You mean it was'nt the Pyramid Brothers?
44 posted on 08/17/2003 6:05:03 PM PDT by woofie
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To: Liberal Classic
KING TUT

King Tut (King Tut)
Now when he was a young man,
He never thought he’d see
People stand in line to see the boy king.

(King Tut) How’d you get so funky?
(funky Tut) Did you do the monkey?
Born in Arizona,
Moved to Babylonia (king Tut).

(king Tut) Now, if I’d known
they’d line up just to see him,
I’d trade in all my money
And bought me a museum. (king Tut)

Buried with a donkey (funky Tut)
He’s my favorite honkey!
Born in Arizona,
Moved to Babylonia (king Tut)

Dancin’ by the Nile, (Disco Tut)
The ladies love his style, (boss Tut)
Rockin’ for a mile (rockin’ Tut)
He ate a crocodile.

He gave his life for tourism.
Golden idol!
He’s an Egyptian
They’re sellin’ you.

Now, when I die,
now don’t think I’m a nut,
don’t want no fancy funeral,
Just one like ole king Tut. (king Tut)

He coulda won a Grammy,
Buried in his Jammies,
Born in Arizona, moved to Babylonia,
He was born in Arizona, got a condo made of stone-a,
King Tut!

45 posted on 08/17/2003 6:05:38 PM PDT by Lawgvr1955 (Sic Semper Tyrannus)
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To: blam
BTTT


Thanks for this article.
46 posted on 08/17/2003 6:08:37 PM PDT by EggsAckley (.....S. U. E..........Stop Unnecessary Excerpting........)
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To: Eaker; cardinal4
Everyone knows that Bechtel and Halliburton elbowed their way into Pharaoh's court, shut down the other contractors, and made millions of dirhams of gold for Bush's oil cronies.
47 posted on 08/17/2003 6:10:20 PM PDT by Ax
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To: blam
Who built the pyramids?

Farm labor, but they only worked on it when the Nile was in flood!

48 posted on 08/17/2003 6:12:23 PM PDT by Cruising Speed
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To: Robert A. Cook, PE
Thus why do you assume the ancient Jews weren't making generic "buildings" for the Egyptians masters/owners?

Because I'd like to see some evidence that they were even there at the time of the Exodus, much less as slaves.

I don't care one way or the other. I've already rationalized the early books of the Bible as oral history passed down and written. It has nothing to do with my religious beliefs. If it turned out to be true that the Exodus story was exactly as written, it wouldn't bother me.

I think I'd be pleased.

But I do prefer the facts to speak for themselves, rather than for some traditional belief to be accepted as truth, just because it has been for years.

49 posted on 08/17/2003 6:12:29 PM PDT by Dog Gone
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To: blam
Then pay Bak is not hell.
50 posted on 08/17/2003 6:13:07 PM PDT by Rudder
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