October 25, 2012

10 - The Old Kingdom OR Pyramid Power Preserves Provisions Perfectly!

Listen all of you! The priest of Hathor will beat twice any one of you who enters this tomb or does harm to it.
The gods will confront him because I am honored by his Lord.
The gods will not allow anything to happen to me.
Anyone who does anything bad to my tomb, then the crocodile, the hippopotamus and the lion will eat him.
-Inscription on the tomb of a man named Petety at the Giza necropolis
source: Ducktales
(This is what happens when you solve a mystery or rewrite history folks.)
Episode 10! I've made it to the double digits! Alright, this time around we take a look at the era of the pyramid builders and blow the lid off how they were built. Also in a shameless display of self promotion, have you checked out the Twitter page yet? You should! Because don't you want to be connected to this podcast on EVERY SINGLE MEDIA FORMAT?

Actually don't answer that. Just keep being awesome and listening to the episodes.

MP3 Direct Link


Music Credits
Little Red King - Rain in the Desert

Resources
Statue of Djoser
Statue of Seated Imhotep
Fantastic site for numerous depictions of Djoser's Step Pyramid
Buried Pyramid of Sekhemkhet
Meidum, or the collapsed pyramid of Huni
Bent Pyramid of Sneferu
Red Pyramid of Sneferu
The Great Pyramid
Essay by Dr. Hawass describing his find of the Great Pyramid workers.
NOVA - "This Old Pyramid" a MUST watch.
Interview with Mythbusters Kari Byron on Pyramid Power...in case you didn't know, pyramids magically preserve food and sharpen razors. Yep.
Civilization IV - Building the Great Pyramid (i LOVE this clip)

9 comments:

  1. Your podcast is amazing! Don't stop, ever. You are entertaining and informative.

    I am pretty familiar with world history, but it is still great to here a new perspective and even more than I knew before. I can't wait to learn about the forsaken periods of history that no one talks about.

    Thanks for doing this man.

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  2. Marc, thanks for the awesome encouragement! Ok, if you insist I'll keep making new episodes! Not to worry though, the short term goal right now is to make it to the death of Alexander. Which I have no idea when that will be, because after we cover the reign of Ramesses II (which isn't for a while), I'll move on to a brand new culture and...well, I'm not giving any more spoilers after that!

    I've tried to make the podcast accessible both to those who are unfamiliar with the material and for those who might like a refresher. Hopefully it's working! But thanks for sticking with the show, and I hope you continue to be educated and entertained by future episodes!

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  3. Another great episode! How did you get the aliens to help you produce it?
    Thank you for all the hard work. I am looking forward to hearing more about Egyptian history in a period that normally is glossed over or ignored. I did not know that Imhotep was someone other than the deity or the apocalypse inducing antagonist to Brendan Fraser.

    Keep up the good work!

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  4. I have a tiny issue with something you said. You stated that the country of Israel doesn't exist yet. While it may be true the the country itself didn't, if you read the Bible, you would know how it goes. I'm sure you are familiar with this already, but for those other readers i'll give a short account. In short, Joseph gets sold into slavery, taken to Egypt ends up at the king's service, becomes second in command. After 7 years of plentiful harvests, famine strikes, his 11 brothers and parents end up in Egypt. They end up living there and reproduce. Eventually they become slaves because the king that placed Joseph (long after he and his brothers died) in command had died. The new kings sees the Hebrews as a source of a work force and enslaves them.

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    Replies
    1. Greetings and thanks for listening to my podcast!
      Yes, during the historical timeframe of this episode c2600-2100 BC, the Kingdom of Israel does not exist yet. It won't truly exist until King David (succeeding the unpopular Saul) conquers Jerusalem sometime in the 1100's BC, of this my facts are correct. But I believe that your main concern is with my exclusion of the Bible in this episode.
      This is not a religious show, and I am no theologian. My intention is to present the history of our world as factually accurate as possible, so that whenever I discuss a topic, I know there's plenty of evidence and academic support behind it. But sometimes history is more than just artifacts and scrolls, it's also about stories that can't necessarily be corroborated, but we know them to be true. I do not shy away from presenting these episodes of human history, because I consider them very important.

      If you check out my newest episodes, you'll see that I've just started covering the history of the Ancient Hebrews and I start with Abraham. He's a critical figure to three of the world's most popular religions and it would be very shortsighted of this podcast to not mention his stories from the Bible. But, to quote Henry Drummond from Inherit the Wind, "The Bible is a book. It's a good book, but it is not the only book." Does it contain historical information? I certainly believe it does, but I can't base a history show off of one book.
      The Egyptians kept detailed records of their history, and with the Rosetta Stone, we have learned so much about them, which definitely makes writing podcasts about Egypt a bit easier. Yet despite this, there is still no mention of Joseph or Moses. Or any Israelite king. Actually the first time we hear of one by name outside the Old Testament is King Jehu, shown on an Assyrian obelisk from the reign of Shalmenesar III. This doesn't mean I won't talk about any of these Biblica figures, but I do so knowing that the evidence is limited at best.
      There are still plenty of secrets in the Biblical lands that have not been discovered, and perhaps one day some intrepid explorer will discover a seal of King Solomon, or a sword of King David, and it will radically change everything we know about the ancient world, but for now, we must go by what we know from the historical record.

      Again, thanks for stopping by the site and I hope you enjoy the other episodes.

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    2. Thanks for the speedy reply. What about in 1993, at Tel Dan where they found the words "House of David" and "King of Israel" carved into basalt? The Smithsonian Department of Anthropology also said: “Much of the Bible, in particular the historical books of the old testament, are as accurate historical documents as any that we have from antiquity and are in fact more accurate than many of the Egyptian, Mesopotamian, or Greek histories."

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    3. Happy to respond!

      Ok, so the first artifact you're referring to is the Tel Dan Stele, an ode in Aramaic from a King Hazael to his conquering of the House of David and the slaying of the King of Israel. It was thought to be a forgery for a while but it has since been authenticated. Definitely an exciting find, but the translation of the phrase "House of David" has left some archaeologists unconvinced, but personally I believe this phrase as true. Also note that I said "first time we hear of an Israelite king" - not the only time! Pharaoh Merenptah also mentions a conquest of the Kings of Israel too.
      Here's a UCLA journal article detailing the find:

      http://www.nelc.ucla.edu/Faculty/Schniedewind_files/Schniedewind_Tel_Dan_Stela.pdf

      As for your quote from the Smithsonian department, the sentence you refer to comes from a 1982 letter, replying to a writer questioning why the Smithsonian took a stance saying the Book of Mormon is not archaeologically viable. This clearly inflamed the writer who requested the Smithsonian to explain themselves. The full letter is here:

      http://www.csnradio.com/tema/links/SmithsonianLetter.pdf

      But yes, they do mention that the Old Testament are sound historical documents. They also mention that:

      "The Bible is primarily a book of religion, a guide to faith. It was not a book of history...it contains all sorts of literary genre. The Biblical writers did not pretend they were giving a complete history; instead they constantly refer us to other sources for full historical details, sources such as "The Annals of the Kings of Judah. It is therefore not possible to try to "prove" the Bible by means of checking its historical or scientific accuracy...In the best analysis, the Bible is a religious book, not an historical document."

      I'm not denying the archaeological evidence of the Bible, or the historicity of the Israelite kings, nor am I ignoring the Old Testament as a historical resource for my episodes on the Ancient Hebrews. I do believe there was a Saul and a David and a Solomon, and no one wants to bust into that church in Ethiopia that supposedly holds the Ark of the Covenant more than me. But just as a college professor would never accept a research paper with just one source cited, I can't rely on just one book to write a history podcast off of.

      Which, is really what my long-winded reply could have been summed up into, but we're having such a nice and civil discussion, that I couldn't pass up the chance to do some research!

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    4. Out of curiosity, would you personally give any merit to dividing of the Red Sea and the drowning of many Egyptians as one possible cause of them not having any record of their slavery? Either by them erasing it from their history for shame, or never recording it as many of the important witnesses would have perished in the event. If you do not believe in this event, how do you explain the chariot wheels and bones supposedly found on the bottom of the Red Sea? Again, thank you for the fast response.

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    5. I am more than happy to respond to discussions about history, but I'm afraid this is where I must stop our conversation, though it has been quite civil so far. Now I may be wrong about this, but I don't think you are very much interested in my opinion, as much as you are looking to convince me that your faith supersedes archaeological findings. I've answered your questions in a respectful way, with articles and evidence as support, and have never denied that the events of the Bible took place. But you seem resolute that I need more convincing. You respond to my comments by ignoring the work I've put into answering the previous one, and instead inquire further into dubious claims without realizing that ultimately, you're questioning my faith, which may or may not differ from yours.

      It's not right to place the burden of proof on me, especially when you know nothing of my own beliefs. In this recent post you want me to acknowledge the truth that Moses raised his arms and the power of YHWH caused the waters of the Red Sea to part, allowing the Israelites to safely pass, while crashing down and drowning some six hundred Egyptian charioteers. And while I and many other listeners enjoy hearing these stories, you are saying that's not enough, because I doubt their authenticity. Am I not allowed to talk about this on my podcast? In that reasoning, I shouldn't talk about the Trojan War, or the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, two events which are of questionable historical evidence. But I will, because they are so important to our shared history.
      I do not think you mean to offend with your questioning, and you have been polite, so I will address the topic of the Red Sea chariot wheels and ask that this be it for this conversation thread.
      The chariot wheels supposedly found were the discovery of Ron Wyatt, who passed away in 1999. An adventurer, Mr. Wyatt traveled throughout the Middle East supposedly recovering artifacts from the Bible, like the blood of Jesus, and locating places like Sodom and Gomorrah. In regards to our topic, Mr. Wyatt supposedly recovered a chariot wheel hub and took pictures of the site at the Red Sea, many of which can be seen here:

      http://www.discoverynews.us/DISCOVERY%20MUSEUM/BibleLandsDisplay/Red_Sea_Chariot_Wheels/Red_Sea_Chariot_Wheels_3.html

      Nevermind the fact that wood rots, never mind the fact that even gold buried undersea for hundreds of years needs to be cleaned, the fact remains that not one artifact has been brought to the surface for examination. I find that strange. Additional research on Mr. Wyatt reveals he was not a qualified archaeologist and was dismissed as a fraud by the curator of the Israel Antiquities Authority, whose letter can be viewed here:

      http://www.tentmaker.org/WAR/Zias.html

      Furthermore, his research has been dismissed as a scam by Christian organizations, and even by his own church, the Seventh-Day Adventists. Two of its members, Russell and Colin Standish of the Christian missionary college The Hartland Institute, even wrote a book to deny his supposed findings:

      http://www.tentmaker.org/WAR/

      So basically, no I don't give any merit to this. I have provided you with a list of facts whereas you have provided me with hypotheticals. I really don't want us to continue going around in circles so I ask that you respect my wish that we end this here in the same courteous fashion we started with. Thank you for your questions and I wish you the best in the new year.

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