"Occam’s Razor" (or "Ockham's Razor") — the sage advice of the 12th century English friar, William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347) — states that in attempting to solve perplexing enigmas, it is the more complicated and elaborate premises that ought to be set aside and the simplest hypothesis among competing theories that should be chosen.
There are many convoluted and arcane proposals to explain how the ancient Egyptians built their pyramids, going so far into left field and outer space as to propose that extraterrestrial foremen might have been on the job. Indeed, even by dismissing the most absurd suggestions for possible construction techniques, these monuments are quite an abiding mystery to this day.
The Great Pyramid at Giza, Egypt is composed of an estimated 2.3 million granite blocks, each of them weighing the quite impressive load of between 2.5 and 15 tons. How long it took to complete the pyramid is a matter of great debate; estimates range from 10 to 30 years. Taking the middle road, workers would have had to have set a block every two and a half minutes.
None of this comports with William of Ockham’s counsel, though.
As a matter of fact, it is the antithesis of common sense to imagine any people so addicted to doing things the hard way that they would have left as their legacy to history these monuments to taking a difficult job and making it exponentially more grueling.
The Egyptians were anything but dense, so it’s bizarre and inexplicable that their pharaohs, architects, engineers, and mathematicians should all have come together and agreed upon the most absurdly wasteful expenditure of time, labor, and materials in forming their construction plan. To the contrary, their sane, sober and utilitarian leaders would have insisted upon just the opposite — the most clever, speedy, and cost-effective manner.
Welsh engineer Peter James has conceived the most obvious way in which a pyramid might be constructed in an astute, swift and practical manner. There aren’t 2.3 million blocks there at all, he posits. Certainly, the exterior shell is composed of those blocks, but the inside of the pyramid — a whopping 90 percent of its mass — he hypothesizes is filled with rubble.
Everything immediately starts to make sense when James’ theory is juxtaposed with all the others. Not only can we dismiss the aliens, levitation and anti-gravity machines, along with whole populations laboring almost their entire lives on one project, but a great mystery is immediately solved as well.
Where is the rubble field left after having chiseled those millions of stone blocks? There would have been a tremendous pile left in the wake of carving out all those slabs of granite and yet it is nowhere to be found. Peter James’ blueprint for building pyramids has them rising in a fashion that doesn’t sap the life out of a nation for decades, and also reveals where the debris field may be — inside the pyramids.
If one is looking for evidence to support James’ premise, it’s everywhere — but just on the other side of the world. Mesoamerican pyramids constructed by the Aztecs, Maya, Toltec and others were built in exactly the obvious way in which any architect would design one: a stone façade on the exterior with the great interior bulk backfilled with rubble.
As a matter of fact, aside from Egyptian pyramids, there are certainly billions of edifices — from humble dwellings to towering skyscrapers — which are constructed in this age-old method utilized by humanity since the first mason and carpenter collaborated to raise the first structure.
It’s certainly not unusual for a building to have a façade on the outside and something else on the inside; that’s the formula for almost everything of what mankind erects. The Statue of Liberty only seems solid; the Gateway Arch over the Mississippi is only meant to appear to be pure steel.
Egyptology, set in its ways like all other disciplines, of course has little use for Peter James and his unorthodox view, and that’s quite understandable. It’s an embarrassment to all of us — not just Egyptologists — for billions to have stared at the Great Pyramid for thousands of years without anyone bothering to stop and ask themselves the obvious questions posed by Mr. James.
Egyptologists’ rebuttal isn’t a very convincing one though. They admit that the pyramids were built the "wrong" way, with too much effort, time, money and national focus, but that this was required from a religious point of view. To hear them explain it, the pharaoh got extra points in the afterlife for going to all the trouble of building his tomb in a method a thousand times harder than it needed to be.
It’s a wonder pharaohs didn’t order their workmen to proceed with their projects blindfolded, as that would really have shown the gods something.
David Nabhan is a science writer, the author of "Earthquake Prediction: Dawn of the New Seismology" (2017) and three previous books on earthquakes. Nabhan is also a science fiction writer ("Pilots of Borealis," 2015) and the author of many scores of newspaper and magazine op-eds. Nabhan has been featured on television and talk radio all over the world. His website is www.earthquakepredictors.com. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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