Recently, a story has been being widely circulated by people who wish to make GOP presidential candidate Ben Carson look like a fool. The story revolves around a speech Dr Carson made in 1998 at a Christian College. During the Speech, Dr Carson says that “his own personal theory” is that the biblical character Joseph built the pyramids to store grain.
The Joseph that Dr Carson is referring to is from the biblical book of Genesis. He is one of the 12 sons of Jacob who was sold into slavery by his brothers to slave merchants headed to Egypt. Once in Egypt, Joseph became one of Egypts most powerful men according to the biblical account.
The leftist propaganda machine was quick to ridicule Dr Carsons claim stating that “everyone knows the pyramids were tombs” In fact, this is a hotly contested subject. While many top archeologists believe that all the pyramids were built as tombs, there is very little evidence to support that claim in the case of the three 4th dynasty pyramids on the Giza plateau.
The archeologists that do believe that the Great Pyramid was a tomb usually claim that it was built by, and for the pharaoh Khufu. There are several problems with this theory.
First: There are no hieroglyphics in the pyramid at all. In all 5th dynasty pyramids, the interior is covered in hieroglyphics telling stories about who is buried within them. They make it very clear that they are tombs, and they make it very clear who is buried inside. (the 5th dynasty pyramids are also built with much less expertise, and are much smaller then the Great pyramid even though they were built hundreds of years later.)
Second: There is no proof that anyone was ever buried in the great pyramid. There is a large red stone case in the so-called “Kings Chamber” that was supposedly Khufu’s sarcophagus. (it is also said to ring like a bell when struck). There is however, no proof that it was a sarcophagus. It is just a large red stone box in the middle of a room. Anything could have been in it. There is no record of a body being found in it. No record of any of the traditional jewels, gold or ornamentation usually found in Egyptian burial chambers. There is nothing but a red stone box.
Third: Khufu himself said he didn’t build the Great Pyramid. Hieroglyphics from Khufus time tell the story of how Khufu found the Great Pyramid half buried in the sand while wandering through the desert. He then sent men to excavate, and refurbish the pyramid. Doesn’t it seem odd that if you did build the largest structure on earth (at the time), you wouldn’t take credit for it? Especially if you built it to glorify yourself?
Fourth: The Great Pyramid is the only pyramid where the (so called) burial chamber is high above ground level. All other pyramids have a burial chamber below ground, and the pyramid is built above the tomb. The exceptions being the bent pyramid, and the north pyramid at Dahshur that both have burial chambers built at ground level with the pyramid above them.
So back to Dr Carson’s theory, could the great pyramid have been built by Joseph to store grain? Possibly, but I doubt it. At 481 ft tall, and made up of over 2.3 million stone bricks each weighing over 2 tons, and containing only 3 small chambers that make up roughly 1/7,400th of it’s volume, it seems like a bad design for a building to store grain. (Although some scientist have estimated that there could be up to 3,000 additional hidden chambers inside the great pyramid. If that is true, then the plausibility of it being used to store grain would be much higher.)
My personal belief about the Great Pyramid is that Khufu was telling the truth. He did find it half buried in sand. It was the ancient remains of an advanced civilization that lived prior to the end of the last ice age, and was decimated by the climate change that accompanied the ending of the ice age. Khufu wrongly attributed it to something made by the gods, and he, along with later Egyptian rulers, tried to emulate it.
But then again, my theory, much like Dr Carson’s, is just a theory. What do you think the Great Pyramid at Giza was built for? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.