These days we are all wallowing in the ocean of information that is often difficult to distinguish lies from truth — we live in such times. Man pulled into a whirlpool of various facts and arguments, and get out of it alone is not under force. Especially when it comes to some very interesting and mysterious theme. For example, such a mesmerizing as the origin and purpose of the Egyptian pyramids.
About this magazine "Echo of the Planet" spoke with Victor Solkino, a famous Russian Egyptologist, the founder of the Association for the Study of Ancient Egypt "MAAT" and a member of the International Association of Egyptologists.
— Victor, for you, of course, no secret that the age of the pyramids — one of the topics of debate among people interested in the mysteries of ancient Egypt. In particular, a very popular view that these unique structures appeared in the Nile Valley long before the birth of Egyptian civilization. One of the reasons — the lack of any inscriptions were inside the Great Pyramid. What is your professional opinion on this?
— First of all, people who are hyping the release, I immediately want to explore the history of the ancient world. But they do not begin, and continue to watch the "sensational" television broadcasts of "scandals, intrigues, investigation."
It is curious that an incredible number of hypotheses concerning the mysteries of the pyramids, stuck in our country — in the West, the situation is quite different. 'll Call a spade a spade: there is much less of charlatans stories! However, not everything is so simple. The fact is that the traditional Egyptology — the science of three languages: English, French and German. And, sadly, only a tiny percentage of studies translated and translated into Russian. That's where the legs grow at different theories.
But let's not live in isolation from the reality: the rest of the world in the age of the pyramids is undeniable. Everyone has long evident that the oldest of them — is Nechereheta-known pyramid of Djoser, which was built in the XXVII century BC, and the last, the "young" king's pyramid of Pharaoh Iahmes I came around XVI century BC, in the city of Abydos . By the way, Djoser — this honorable nickname meaning "sacred" and the name of the ruler was just Necherehet. So, after I Iahmes era of pyramid building Egyptians refused the royal necropolis acquired a new shape, becoming the Valley of the Kings — is rocky gorge with underground tombs. And this format is preserved until the end of classical Egyptian civilization.
As for the pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx, one of the largest modern geological studies of these structures was carried out in 1992 by a reputable company Shell International. In the course of these studies confirmed that traces of stone, the nature of organic matter in the rock, and so on — everything points to the first half of the third millennium BC, that is, on those same dates that are consistent with the generally accepted historical timeframe appearance of sacred objects.
— Many versions and extends over the creators of the pyramids. In particular, it is often said about a certain pratsivilizatsii, which left these buildings Egyptians "inherited". In this regard, as another indicator of the time period, some scholars point to the erosion of the Sphinx suspicious. Well, fans of extraterrestrial civilizations are known to argue that people have helped build the pyramids aliens, because of the structure and are always surprising its scale, complexity of design, purpose unknown. Why, in your opinion, everything was really going on?
— Hypotheses about the so-called pratsivilizatsii have no foundation. During a detailed geological study of the above Shell International, it was found that the erosion of the Great Sphinx was caused by wind, not water — the exact same wind erosion and damaged the walls of many tombs in Giza. So the timing of creating pyramids remain the same: the third millennium BC. Supporters of the version of the alien intervention I too will skip down to earth: plates, arrived and no blocks are not moved. Pyramids — the handiwork of people — namely, the ancient Egyptians. They used nummulitovy limestone — rock, including the fossilized organisms. It is a fact that is not disputed, so that there is no concrete in ancient Egypt was not. And this version is also quite popular.
Pyramid builders were not slaves, as it is often written in textbooks, and freemen, whose royal house actively recruited to work during the flooding of the Nile, which, as we know, lasted three months. At that time, life in ancient Egypt died down — to engage the peasant economy and fisheries was impossible, people are happy to go into the service of his Pharaoh. It was a great honor for them. Let us not forget that the ancient Egyptians were very religious.
Hard work at the construction site of their king was perceived by them as a great blessing and opportunity to get closer to the future — eternal — life to the Most Bright ruler, enter in his suite and worthy of a better fate somewhere far from the gods. Where information has been received about the builders and during construction, you may ask.
Pyramid — is an object that never "silent." All around is full of texts, you just need to be able to read them next to the royal pyramid always been mortuary temple, as well as a huge necropolis of people close to the Pharaoh. A special place was occupied by the tomb of the great architect. In most cases, we know the names of the architects. So, in these graves were found detailed descriptions of how the construction of the pyramids came from what the provinces were recruited workers were brought from limestone. , Numerous papyri with detailed cost estimates: how many of provisions and clothing required for the maintenance people as Bulls needed to move the stone slabs. Even known that for every thousand construction workers accounted for a team of three or four doctors. Being extremely meticulous, Egyptians, all meticulously recorded.
According unfinished pyramid complex XVI century BC in Zaviet El Ariana we know, what was the logic of a complex system of ramps on which the units were raised to a great height. And this example is not the only one. It is also worth mentioning the project NOVA, not so long ago realized the American and Japanese experts, during which the model of the pyramid was built using only ancient technologies in a very short time and with the participation of a limited number of workers.
And how many people actually were employed on the construction of some of the pyramids, we also know from the authentic ancient Egyptian texts. For example, in the construction of the pyramid of Pharaoh Amenemhat III at Dahshur, this XIX century BC, worked 40 brick moulders, 50 carriers of clay bricks 600 porters, 30 porters sand, 250 masons, 1500 porters stone blocks, 200 boaters, 600 workers, moves blocks of stone, 1,500 laborers. Total: 75 meter high pyramid with base side length of 105 meters and a vast, beautifully trimmed dungeon built 4770 people. Worked out for centuries in the Eastern rigid system of control and organization of work yielded incredible results.
I can not fail to mention the opening of a prominent American archaeologist Mark Lehner. In 1982, he discovered a huge necropolis of the royal builders of the pyramids. It is clear that the work of these people have been very dangerous: for example, a person could crush plate or he could fall from a great height. The bodies were all buried here are the typical injuries incompatible with life. In addition to the necropolis found Lehner and barracks of mud brick, which the builders lived. In the barns, even preserved fossils of bread and fish.
In addition, historians know a lot of examples of how the construction of the pyramids was not possible until the end when it became clear that the building made inaccurate and may soon collapse. So nothing human ancient architect was not alien — they also made mistakes. All of this information long ago studied and described in the historical literature. The only problem is that in Russia, in fact, these data are, unfortunately, not widely used — they are known mainly specialists area.
— What did was the main purpose of the pyramids? After all, none of them has yet been found any trace of graves.
— The fact that the pyramids were designed solely for the burial of the king, and sometimes family members, shows a variety of authentic sources. First of all, it's archaeological data in virtually all the pyramids were found fragments of the traditional Egyptian royal tombs, mummies, sarcophagi and canopic boxes — vessels internals that do not just have a precise dating, but at times even been built into the very architecture of the burial chambers of the pyramids . That is, they were there originally.
Also, we know from the ancient Egyptian "Pyramid Texts," in which is described in detail and the function of the pyramids and their symbolic mission. In addition, there is evidence of Arab historians of the Middle Ages. Thus, the Caliph al-Ma'mun, the grandson of the legendary Harun al-Rashid in 820 tries at all costs to find the royal treasures in the pyramid of Khufu. In the case went to pick and heated vinegar eats away the limestone. "In the narrow passage tomb was found, similar to the male statue, carved out of green stone. When the coffin was brought to the Caliph and took cover under it was the body of a man in golden armor, decorated with precious stones. In his hand he held a sword that has no price" — that the Arab chronicler wrote XII century Al Qays.
The idea of the pyramid — "action" as it was called the ancient Egyptians — is to try to bring some semblance of the original hill land, created by the Supreme deity. In Egypt, there were various cosmogonic system, but they have in common is that they are associated with the notion of the pre-eternal waters of the ocean of chaos-Nun, in which uncreated, dormant inhabited by spirits, deities and everything that subsequently emerged in the universe. At some point, there is a creator God, who taketh out of the ocean the first piece of land — and it starts with our world. And he has a pyramid structure.
Understand what it meant to the ancient Egyptians pyramid, help texts found, for example, on the gilded top of the pyramid of King Amenemhat III, this part of the design is called pyramidion. It is carved text on behalf of the deceased pharaoh, in which he says that his eyes looking to the east, the sun, and that, just like every day on the eastern horizon repeated the act of creation, when the light rises in the sky, and he wanted to ask the sun god revive its essence. That is a pyramid — it is an attempt to return to the original times and revive in another world as the immortal king Most Bright spirit.
Pyramid also considered the last legitimate wife of Pharaoh, into the womb of which he was immersed. This is such an allusion to the cult of the mother goddess. More detail all this ideological background is known from the above-mentioned "Pyramid Texts," which with XXV century BC were inscribed on the walls of burial chambers. These texts are made up of about seven hundred sayings that contain magic spells and mythological description underworld. In fact, they were supposed to help overcome the deceased king of otherworldly reality, to rise to another world, to reunite with their ancestors and become a satellite of the sun as the sun god.
In addition, the pyramids were key pillars of the Egyptian economy. In those days the Egyptians there was no money was barter. A pyramid perceived as living creatures, for they were fixed plots of land, herds of animals, different values. By our standards, they sometimes had completely mind bending condition! As a result of the pyramid turned into a sort of city-forming objects around which entire communities were formed, there were markets. There are lots of documents in which the fixed, from our point of view, funny — like a pyramid sends a gift to another, say, a herd of elite bulls, and in return receives vegetables.
— You mentioned the magic spell on the walls of the pyramids. And what can you say to those who believe in that world famous archaeologist Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter, as well as some of their colleagues who worked on the excavation of the tomb of Tutankhamun, were victims of so-called "Curse of the Pharaohs"?
— By this theory, I am with humor. Let's start with the fact that in the story was not so much death, and those who happened to be easily explained by natural causes. Carter died in old age, having lived quite a happy life, and Carnarvon died from an infection, the infection in zanesya accidentally cut mosquito bite. But that is not the case. Ancient Egyptian king's curse was never intended to reduce vandal earthly life: it is extended to the post-mortem human condition — life everlasting. Here is what was the main thing.
In the "Pyramid Texts" said something like: "If you encroach on my pyramid, built for me and my spiritual counterpart — the" ka, "then I submit to you in the court of the gods and you will have the most terrible punishment — you'll be devouring its own sewage and 'll be cast into oblivion. " According to the ancient Egyptians, there was nothing worse than the threat of the second death, when a person is deprived of the chance to become an immortal spirit after death and remain in the cane fields, is an analogue of paradise.
Slightly different curse was in private tombs. People were afraid that the tomb may pull apart on the rocks — it is quite often the case. So widespread was this such a spell, "If you destroy or misappropriate my tomb, shall be against you left on the sand, a snake on the ground and the crocodile in the water." But note, it was a question of the destruction and appropriation of the tomb, and not that it should not be disturbed! That is, the disturbance as such is not seen as a serious crime.
In the understanding of the Egyptian pyramid was a complex ritual mechanism, and the man had nine constituent entities, one of which was a divine one "ah." The task was to help the tomb of the deceased cleansed from the dust of the earth, out of the tomb and join the world of the gods. So after a while she did not like the mechanism was necessary and just turned into a place of memory. This is very important: the man alive until his name is remembered. In this regard, by the way, from the point of view of the ancient Egyptians, Carter and Carnarvon would still very honorable people — yes, they disturbed the peace of the pharaoh Tutankhamun, this is sacrilege, but then they brought him the name of the world!
— As we discuss hypotheses and versions, can not forget about this: that the Egyptian authorities hinder learning the incredible secrets of the pyramids, not allowing access to some of them, and that, for example, under the paws of the Sphinx, in the dungeons store unique artifacts, which can turn representation of humanity about his background.
— Under the paws of the Sphinx, alas, no sensational "knowledge" no. There's nothing at all. Besides water. Two years ago, the Japanese appeared through the soil geomagnetic radar and found that at a distance of two meters of salty ground water flow. And this is a huge problem. And it was designated, by the way, when in Egypt began construction of the Aswan High Dam. Now the water is pumped continuously from the Sphinx.
As for the fact that some objects Egyptian authorities closed access, it is also quite understandable. Tourists — people are malicious, they would just tear off a piece of "on the memory." For example, a closed pyramid of King Unas, of which over the last thirty years, visitors persistently "took out" pieces of beautiful green pigment, which were covered with inscriptions. In exchange for the tourists discovered nearby pyramid of Pharaoh Teti, where this pigment is not otkolupyvat and, accordingly, there is nothing. Still, with a strong desire can get a lot of directions.
There is a clear price list of places to visit closed. Pay two thousand dollars for a group of ten people — Come and see. It is clear that such a price filter set intentionally, but the monuments will be more whole. Do not forget that even the moisture of breath causes some harm to the pyramids. By the way, today in Egypt is very well aware of the value of their heritage. But it was not always. Egypt has gradually started to come to an understanding of this until the end of the XIX century. Yet Mohammed Ali, the famous Egyptian ruler of the time, when the French and German consuls asked him for permission to take out any items that asked them why they need it. He answered honestly, it's a very beautiful piece of art, he said, no, no, cunning Europeans simply this your Europe is not the same quality of stone!
Can you imagine what it was a huge misunderstanding of what possessed? But now, the second generation has grown Egyptian Egyptologists, and the Egyptians realized how rich possess. No wonder during the recent dramatic events, when the country was covered revolution, people ring surrounded the museum, the temple of Karnak and other important facilities to protect them from vandals.
— Victor, and what then, in your opinion, is the mystery of the pyramids? It can not be, even if you do not believe in any "abnormal" versions of their origin.
— The pyramids — these are the places in the world where there is a dissenting space a unique atmosphere that is different from the one that surrounds us. When you look at these amazing structures, when his mind's eye sweep millions of human destinies, you unwittingly plunged into a state in which you begin to think about such important things as the meaning of life, death, immortality of the soul. Feel what, in fact, is our young civilization. In the bustle of modern people do not explore the fact that our life is fleeting. And here you suddenly distinguish the voices from the past and better hear his own heart. That is incredible, poignant mystery of ancient Egyptian pyramids.
Read also: The most interesting archaeological artifacts, Zahi Hawass.