The Pyramid Scheme

Photo credit: © WGBH Educational Foundation

If you’re like me than you wake up early every morning to go to your soul crushing job that you don’t openly complain about too much because you’re just happy to be working anywhere right now, and if you happened to stop by twitter perchance you might have soon Lupe Fiasco in the midst of one of his pseudo-intellectual rants on whatever he’s angry about now. This is nothing new but what made this particular one interesting to me is a short little convo between him and black hippy’s self-proclaimed “Haile Selassie of Hip-Hop” Ab-Soul about the Pyramids.

The classic debate that always takes place when the pyramids come up: who built them exactly. Lupe takes the rational argument that slaves built them over decades and decades whereas Ab-Soul takes the conspiracist stance that just maybe aliens or some other mystic force had something to do with it. Fine, I guess, as long as we agree that they’re not instruments of satan as stated by series of badly made youtube videos.

This is a touchy subject I think. On the one hand, the idea that the Africans who spent lifetimes going through abuse of every conceivable kind to make elaborate coffins for their overlords aren’t even getting the credit they deserve for it pisses me off. Yet, I am nothing but fair and I am willing to acknowledge te fact that there are  a lot of questions left unanswered as to just how these estimated 20,000 people were able to pull this off in the amount of time they did. Fair enough, but the human tendency of going “it must be magic” when they don’t understand something doesn’t really seem like the way to solve the mystery. That being said though, I kind of believe it’s a little bit of both.

In an interview with NOVA, archeologist Mark Lehner, who lived in Egypt for 13 years, says himself that he’s questioned whether or not those workers had divine or super-intelligent inspiration. He says the biggest problem with the journey to find understanding of who built these pyramids is that there’s no record of them. They’ve been lost because they were nothing more than workers, but we do have inscriptions and graffiti art left by different tribes from that era (which naturally people call fake), so we’ll have to make do with that. Ab-Soul brought up the idea of ascension–the idea that you didn’t have to die to be brought up into heaven. Definitely an idea that existed in ancient egyptian culture and probably has something to do with the positioning of the pyramids and aligning them with the stars. There will always be skeptics, hell even I believe in some of the mystics behind the whole ordeal but the idea of discrediting the work of a generation of people rubs me the wrong way–and that includes the less out there theory that it must’ve been an older generation that built them and not the egyptians. For this though, I’ll end with a quote from Lehner:

“To some extent I think we feel the need to look for a lost civilization on time’s other horizon because we feel lost in our civilization, and somehow we don’t want to face the little man behind the curtain as you had in “The Wizard of Oz.” We want the great and powerful wizard with all the sound and fury. You know, go get me the broomstick of the Wicked Witch of the West. We want that sound and fury. We always want more out of the past than it really is.”


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