By Nina - Own work, CC BY 2.5,

I got into egyptology recently and consumed a bunch of YouTube and Wikipedia material on it. I also read a book (review at link) by the controversial scientist Robert Schoch of Boston University, who has some fringe hypotheses about Egypt and other ancient civilizations. Ancient Egyptian society is fascinating and it's provided many hours of entertainment for me.

Amateurs intrude into the field with hare-brained theories and conjecture about the purpose of the various megalithic structures and ancient belief systems. Some people believe the pyramids were power plants for generating electricity, others that they were a source of acoustic energy, or were created by aliens.

The problem is, after learning a bit about egyptology, it has become clear that the mainstream "experts" are nearly as hare-brained as the amateurs. It's a field troubled by idiosyncratic interpretations of evidence, incompetence, and tainted by monied interests. The pros are not much better than the amateurs, and this somewhat created the opening for the cottage industry of cranks that exists.

Egyptology is a clown circus.

The funny thing is that the history of egyptology indicates this has been going on for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Technology changes but humans remain the same. We are lucky we know anything at all about ancient Egypt, and I think it's apparent much of what we think we know might be wrong.


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