Thread: Ancient Aliens
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Old November 16 2012, 07:21 PM   #403
Crazy Eddie
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Re: Ancient Aliens

TIN_MAN wrote: View Post
No, I think archeology is underestimating how important it is, and so are you. But still, an engineer specializing in reverse engineering (perhaps with a minor degree in archeology or vice versa) would be better qualified to do it than your average archeologist.
In that case, he would be an ABOVE AVERAGE archeologists.

Documented by whom? I don’t think your average archeologist could even be able to read modern blueprints or engineering diagrams, what makes you think they would do any better with ancient ones, even if they could be found and accurately translated?
Better question: what makes you think ancient diagrams or blueprints -- if they even ARE that -- would bear any resemblance to modern ones? Most of those descriptions are more likely to be pure text in a manuscript or an inscription than an actual diagram, and may involve measurements, units or allusions that you would have to know their cultural context to even understand.

I don’t think that’s a very apt analogy, but let’s be clear; I’m not saying that reverse engineering can tell us everything about ancient cultures and their beliefs, only that it is one way we can glean a better context in which to interpret them, and perhaps a better respect for what they were capable of.
Then an archeologist trained in engineering and/or reverse engineering would be an ideal candidate for that study.

Actually, this is not -as I’m sure you’ll agree- their primary goal; while it’s always a bonus when archeologists recover written records, these will still need to be translated, which in many cases proves futile. Besides, many megalithic structures were built by people who apparently had no written records.
The PURSUIT of those records is an important goal, though, since it yields information in the most directly available format.

Not for a tomb, but there’s no evidence that the (Egyptian) pyramids were originally tombs! Their design, in most cases, certainly isn’t conducive to that function.
What, then, IS it conducive to?

Your conditioned bias that the pyramids must have been tombs...
I'm not able to find a post where I claimed that the pyramids "must have" been anything. In fact I'm pretty sure I suggested that the pyramids may have been part of Egyptian succession rituals and/or transfer of power issues.

This has nothing to do with whether they have, or have not, been “inundated”, only that they won’t even listen to any other possibility.
When they themselves are the ones SUGGESTING alternate possibilities? That makes sense to you?

More importantly, much like the Ancient Aliens thing: it's one thing to have an alternate theory, but it's another entirely to have corroborating evidence. Do YOU have a specific theory about what the pyramids were really for, and if so, what is the basis for it?

Perhaps you should be more specific about whom in the archeological or Egyptology community are “quite open” the idea? I know of none, although there may be some archeologist who aren’t so closed minded; leading Egyptologists’ such a Hawass and Lehner insist on the “tombs and tombs only” function, or words to that effect, and have referred to anyone with an alternate theory as a “pyramidiot”.
Have you ever actually MET Hawass and Lehner and spoken with them on the issue? How many archeologists have you actually discussed this issue with?

Because I can say, despite the fact that a solid third of them really ARE just a bunch of closed-minded assholes in the habit of shouting down anyone with a different opinion, this does not appear to be the MAJORITY disposition. Far from it, it seems to correlate directly with visibility: the better your work is known, the more likely you are to be a dick to people who disagree with you (a trait that is not necessarily unique to archeologists).

No, it doesn’t. You’re over-generalizing, I’m speaking specifically of Egypt and the Sphinx and its enclosure. This monument was weathered by rain, (a lot of it) of which there was none in the time when Egyptologists say the structure was carved and its enclosure built. But there was plenty of rain to account for the weathering several thousand years (minimum) earlier...
And "several thousand years" is significantly too short of a timescale for a geologist to be able to pinpoint it with any degree of precision. We'd be talking hundreds of thousands to millions of years, at the very least.

IOW, the rain erosion issue isn't all that informative unless it tells us that the Sphinx enclosure is GEOLOGICALLY ancient, like "built by early humans during their genocidal war against the neanderthals" ancient. Geology is otherwise not precise enough of a science to determine regional climate data with anything close to that kind of accuracy.

It tells me at least two things; (1) that most astronomers are not interested in archeology (no surprise there); and (2) that both archeology and astronomy still suffer under the misconception that our ancestors were primitive simpletons who could not understand precession or build monuments that accurately track the stars.
I don't know of many archeologists OR astronomers who make that claim. Actually, I have been reminded by researchers in BOTH fields that astronomy was an essential survival skill in the eons before humans developed maps; even ancient hunter-gatherers supposedly navigated by following the stars (this is based on the realization that isolated African and aboriginal tribes STILL navigate this way in the absence of other landmarks).

I disagree, but would it make any difference to you? According to your extreme reductionist way of thinking, there is no one person –scientists or otherwise- that you would consider qualified to analyze it all.
Correct, there is no ONE person qualified to analyze everything. This is even true between people in the SAME discipline; ten archeologists working together will get a more accurate picture than a single one working alone. Add an astronomer and a translator to their team and that helps even more.

You know what WOULDN'T be helpful? If the one astronomer on the team goes off and puts together a NEW team consisting of a physicist, an historian, a folklorist and five grad undergrads with a lot of free time on their hands and tells them "I was on a dig with a bunch of other archeologists that one time and I saw lots of evidence that Atlantis exists! Let's go find it!"

Again, who’s going to be qualified to fairly and expertly disentangle what’s relevant or not? For that we need an interdisciplinary panel to consider the data
No we don't. The process we have right now works well enough: researchers share data in public, toss ideas back and forth, new ideas form, new evidence comes to light, rinse and repeat.

There's nothing to stop interdisciplinary exchange and there never has been. That's not even an issue right now. The issue we're discussing is whether or not people OUTSIDE the discipline are really better equipped to researching a particular subject than the people INSIDE of it.

But the fact that he mentions that Khufu was buried under the pyramid –not in it- is, if true, suggestive that this is also another case of intrusive burial, and that Khufu only claimed the GP for himself and was not the builder!

Incidentally, Herodotus also said that Khufu prostituted his daughter in order to pay for the construction of his pyramid! So I think we can safely ignore him on this and related matters.
Which is fine to say, except that without an alternative source of information we're left with Herodotus whether we like him or not. Lack of contradictory evidence leaves us unable to determine to what extent the account is accurate, exaggerated, fictionalized or just plain wrong.

Then how would you define it then?
Data obtained by either observation of experimentation.

For example: I put a measuring tape next to my son and I see that he is three feet seven inches tall. That's empirical data set (observed/measured data). Contrast with a calculation in which I take my son's body weight, his shoe size, his displacement in water and then CALCULATE his height based on a model I devised; I would call that indirect evidence or just a calculation/theory/etc.

Empirical data doesn't need to be "repeatable" as such. I can count the number of bones in a human body three seconds before I stuff that body in a woodchipper and grind him into pulp; no one else will be able to collect that data ever again, but I still have it and I still obtained it by observation.

Not in my experience, what you’re talking about is the Ideal, not the actual practice.
Archeologists tend to strive for the ideal. Not all of them -- or even most of them -- fall that far short of it. Plenty do, but this is not the majority.

Archeology is a sub-branch of Anthropology
I tend to think it's the other way around, personally, especially since anthropologists more often study cultures that PRESENTLY exist than ancient ones that no longer do.
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