Does a se­cret CHAIN OF PYRA­MIDS con­nect the first civil­i­sa­tions?

World of Knowledge (Australia) - - History -

It’s one of the most amaz­ing un­ex­plained phe­nom­ena in the world: a chain of pyra­mids cir­cles the globe, al­most ex­actly be­tween 20 and 40 de­grees lat­i­tude north. Built by the an­cient Egyp­tians and Mayans, the con­struc­tions are fa­mous the world over. And there are also half a dozen other civil­i­sa­tions that built pyra­mids, too. But how did this hap­pen? His­to­ri­ans have long as­sumed that the cultures around the globe never came into con­tact with one an­other – they had no means to. So what’s the an­swer to this mys­te­ri­ous, an­cient riddle?

In 1970, the ar­chae­ol­o­gist Thor Hey­er­dahl stated his be­lief that an­cient Egyp­tians could have sailed across the Atlantic to the Ca­nary Is­lands, or even Mex­ico, in hand­made pa­pyrus boats. There they could have ex­changed cultures – and build­ing tips – with the Mayans.

Still, con­crete ev­i­dence that this jour­ney took place has never been found. Could the Egyp­tians have dis­cov­ered Amer­ica 1,500 years be­fore Colum­bus? That’s not as crazy as it might sound – his­to­ri­ans now know that the Vik­ings vis­ited Amer­ica long be­fore Colum­bus. But what if the Egyp­tians’ ar­chi­tec­tural prow­ess trav­elled via a dif­fer­ent route?

The most im­por­tant dis­cov­ery of the an­cient Egyp­tian ar­chi­tects was that no other shape of stone build­ing could be built as high as a pyra­mid. You only need a ba­sic knowl­edge of struc­tural engi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion tech­niques to un­der­stand that a square of the same height would col­lapse.

Cul­tural his­to­ri­ans be­lieve that this in­for­ma­tion trav­elled around the globe, al­most like Chi­nese whis­pers. It was car­ried by ar­ti­sans, ar­chi­tects, sailors and mer­chants – con­stantly be­ing passed on from one per­son to the next. This is how a global trans­fer

AN­CIENT NET­WORK Were the pharaohs in con­tact with the Mayans in South Amer­ica? It’s not just pyra­mid build­ing that sug­gests this: South Amer­i­can pro­duce has also been found in An­cient Egyp­tian tombs.

sys­tem for knowl­edge emerged thou­sands of years ago. Long be­fore Colum­bus, in­for­ma­tion trav­elled around the globe.

Of course, us­ing this method, it would some­times take cen­turies for sim­ple facts to travel across con­ti­nents. But the net­work did func­tion – al­though where ex­actly it started from is still in dis­pute. And it wasn’t just knowl­edge be­ing ex­changed; so were goods. Per­haps this ex­plains why the re­mains of South Amer­i­can plants have been found in an­cient Egyp­tian tombs. Traces of cocaine have also been found in Egyp­tian mum­mies – which ar­chae­ol­o­gists had only pre­vi­ously found in 5,000-year-old corpses in Chile. How were the leaves of the coca plant trans­ported to Africa, if not us­ing boats to cross the sea? And who first built the pyra­mids? That’s by far the big­gest mys­tery faced by ar­chae­ol­o­gists today.

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