Does a secret CHAIN OF PYRAMIDS connect the first civilisations?
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.