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Pyramidology is a term used, sometimes disparagingly, to refer to various pseudoscientific speculations regarding pyramids, most often the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.[1]

Some "pyramidologists" also concern themselves with the monumental structures of pre-Columbian America (such as Teotihuacan, the Mesoamerican Maya civilization, and the Inca of the South American Andes), and the temples of Southeast Asia.

All claims of pyramidology are regarded as pseudoscience by the scientific community at large, who regard such hypotheses as sensationalist, inaccurate and/or wholly deficient in empirical analysis and application of the scientific method.

Some pyramidologists claim that the Great Pyramid of Giza has encoded within it predictions for the exodus of Moses from Egypt, the crucifixion of Jesus, the start of World War I, the founding of modern-day Israel in 1948, and future events including the beginning of Armageddon; discovered by using what they call "pyramid inches" to calculate the passage of time (one British inch = one solar year).

The study of pyramidology reached its zenith in the 1980s. Interest was rekindled when in 1992 and 1993 Rudolf Gantenbrink sent a miniature remote controlled robot rover, known as upuaut, up one of the air shafts in the Queen's Chamber. He discovered the shaft closed off by a stone block with decaying copper hooks attached to the outside. In 1994 Robert Bauval published the book The Orion Mystery attempting to prove that the Pyramids on the Giza plateau were built to mimic the stars in the belt of the constellation Orion,a claim that came to be known as the Orion Correlation Theory. Both Gantenbrink and Bauval have spurred on greater interest in pyramidology.[2][3]

Contents

Types of pyramidology

The main types of pyramidological accounts involve one or more aspects which include:

History

Charles Piazzi Smyth claimed in 1870 to have made important contributions to "Pyramidology".[4]

Martin Gardner described Pyramidology in 1952 as follows:

[...] known as Pyramidology [...] rivals Atlantis in the number of books devoted to it [...]"[1]

Gardner continues:

[...] it was not until 1859 that Pyramidology was born. This was the year that John Taylor, an eccentric partner in a London publishing firm, issued his The Great Pyramid: Why was it Built? And Who Built it? [...] Taylor never visited the Pyramid, but the more he studied its structure, the more he became convinced that its architect was not an Egyptian, but an Israelite acting under divine orders. Perhaps it was Noah himself."[1]
This diagram from Smyth's Our Inheritance in the Great Pyramid (1864) shows some of his measurements and chronological determinations made from them

John Taylor was also the source of the frequently claimed appearances of both Pi and the golden ratio in the proportions of the pyramids.

Taylor in turn influenced Charles Piazzi Smyth, who made numerous calculations on the pyramid, and attributed its construction to the Hebrews (whom he believed were the actual members of the Hyksos dynasty) under the guidance of Melchizedek.

These theories gained worldwide influence when they were integrated into the works of Charles Taze Russell, a Protestant minister from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, who founded the Bible Student movement in the late 1870s. Russell adopted the earlier coined phrase that the pyramid was "the Bible in stone", continuing to teach this view until his death in October 1916. Russell believed that the Great Pyramid of Giza was part of God's Divine Plan basing his interpretation on a passage of scripture in Isaiah 19:19-20, reading, "In that day shall there be an altar (pile of stones) to the LORD in the midst of the land of Egypt, and a pillar (Hebrew "matstsebah" or monument) at the border thereof to the Lord. And it shall be for a sign, and for a witness unto the LORD of Hosts in the land of Egypt."[5] However, Russell's successor, Joseph F. Rutherford denounced pyramidology in 1928 as not only unscriptural, but inspired by the Devil. When a widespread schism developed in the movement throughout the 1920s one side formed the Jehovah's Witnesses who to this day are both non-supportive and unfamiliar with Russell's views on pyramidology. The other side known as Bible Students continue to study Russell's writings, as well as the topic of pyramidology as it relates to the Bible and world history.

Two brothers John and Morton Edgar, scientists, Bible Students, and personal associates of Charles Taze Russell, wrote extensive treatises on the history, nature, and prophetic symbolism of the Great Pyramid in relation to the then known archaeological history, along with their interpretations of prophetic and Biblical chronology. They are best known for their extensive and highly detailed two volume work entitled Great Pyramid Passages and Chambers, originally published in 1910 and 1913 and greatly expanded in 1923.[6]

David Davidson wrote on pyramidology in books such as The Great Pyramid, Its Divine Message, and predicted various times for the end of the world based on measurements of the pyramid, the earliest date being 1954.

In 1957 Adam Rutherford from Scotland (no relation to Joseph F. Rutherford), an adherent of Charles Taze Russell's theological views as promulgated through the Bible Students of the time, wrote Outline of Pyramidology. This was updated in 1961 and 1962 and renamed as Pyramidology Books 1 & 2 followed by Pyramidology Book 3 in 1966.[7] In these books Rutherford acknowledges his debt to Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, a fellow Scot for the diagrams used in his books. Rutherford incorporated terminology and scriptural references that had been previously taught by Charles Taze Russell.

Criticism

In 1964 Barbara Mertz, reflecting the views of the scientific establishment, reported another term for pyramidologists:

Even in modern times when people, one would think, should know better, the Great Pyramid of Giza has proved a fertile field for fantasy. The people who do not know better are the Pyramid mystics, who believe that the Great Pyramid is a gigantic prophecy in stone, built by a group of ancient adepts in magic. Egyptologists sometimes uncharitably refer to this group as 'Pyramidiots,' but the school continues to flourish despite scholarly anathemas.[8]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b c Martin Gardner, Fads and Fallacies in the Name of Science, Dover, 1957; a reprint of In the Name of Science, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1952.
  2. ^ The Upuaut Project
  3. ^ Bauval, Robert; Gilbert, Adrian The Orion Mystery: Unlocking the Secrets of the Pyramids
  4. ^ Charles Piazzi Smyth (1870). A poor man's photography at the Great pyramid in the year 1865, compared with that of the Ordnance Survey Establishment Subsidized by London Wealth, and under the Orders of Henry James: A Discourse Delivered before the Edinburgh Photographic Society on December 1st, 1869. London: Henry Greenwood. http://books.google.com/books?id=Q2YDAAAAQAAJ&pg=RA1-PA12&dq=pyramidology+date:0-1910&as_brr=1&ei=_xbKRuyuHZzApALNkczTDw#PRA1-PA12,M1.  
  5. ^ See Charles Taze Russell (1913) (PDF). The Divine Plan of the Ages and the Corroborative Testimony of the Great Pyramid. Watchtower. http://www.watchtowerdocuments.com/downloads/1913%20The%20Divine%20Plan%20and%20Pyramid%20Ed.pdf.  
  6. ^ John and Morton Edgar (1913) (PDF). Great Pyramid Passages, Vol 2. http://www.a2z.org/wtarchive/docs/1913_Great_Pyramid_Passages_Vol_II.pdf.   Morton Edgar (1924) (PDF). The Great Pyramid: Its Symbolism, Science and Prophecy. p. 119. http://www.a2z.org/wtarchive/docs/1924_Great_Pyramid_Its_Symbolism_Science_and_Prophecy.pdf.  
  7. ^ Adam Rutherford, Pyramidology Books 1,2 and 3, C. Tinling & Co Ltd London, Liverpool and Prescot 1961, 1962 & 1966.
  8. ^ Barbara Mertz, Temples, Tombs, and Hieroglyphs: A popular history of ancient Egypt, New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1964

External links

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