Jack Countryman is the author of many books with Christian themes. He also wrote Atlantis and the Seven Stars in which he expressed qualified support for some of Ignatius Donnelly’s theories,*although, he identifies Atlantis as the biblical Tarshish.
However, for me, his book is marred by his promotion of the idea of genetic manipulation by extraterrestrials from the Pleiades (the seven stars in the book title).*
Pumapunku is a terraced earthen mound, faced with blocks and an important part of the Tiwanaku archaeological site on the Bolivian Altiplano. It has unique architectural features including the use of building blocks with up to 80 faces on them. The Tiwanaku site is pre-Inca and has given its earliest radiocarbon date as 536-600 BC and was in use until circa 1000 AD(a), which is a far cry from the flawed 12,000-15,000 BC date claimed by Posnansky(e)(f).
As with so many other enigmatic ancient sites, various members of the ‘lunatic fringe’ have attributed the construction at these location to either ancient astronauts or atlanteans or an exotic combination of both, based on either over fertilised imaginations or flawed data or again, both. Jason Colavito has written a critique of some of the more silly suggestions(b).
Ancient astronaut advocate Von Däniken[1147.221] and Brien Foerester(d) among others, have claimed that the stones of Pumapunku were composed of diorite, an exceptionally hard stone, which would have required a modern diamond-tipped drill to work it. The implication being that only Atlanteans with their advanced technology or extraterrestrials could have worked the stone with such precision.
However, Colavito and Michael Heiser(c) have pointed out that this identification is untrue and that in fact they were composed of the softer andesite and red sandstone. Apart from which, the Code of Hammurabi was incised on diorite, without Atlantean or extraterrestrial assistance, 2,000 years before the development of Pumapunku!
Javier Escalante Moscoso is an architect with a degree in archaeology who has extensively excavated and surveyed the Tiwanaku monuments.(see map above).
John Philip Cohane is an American archaeologist with Irish ancestry who published The Indestructible Irish in 1969, which included a proposed Mediterranean origin for the Irish. This was followed a few years later by The Key, in which he proposes a form of hyperdiffusion based on his view of global linguistic connections. If he was on thin ice with The Key, in my opinion, he fell through it with his third offering in 1977, Paradox: The Case for the Extraterrestrial Origin of Man .
In The Key he touches on the subject of Atlantis when he claims that “much of Donnelly’s research tends to support the major premise of this book” (p23).
Baalbek, situated in the Bekka Valley in Lebanon, undoubtedly presents us with what I consider to be one of the greatest mysteries of the ancient world. It was the site of a most impressive Roman temple complex dedicated to Jupiter. However, the very name Baalbek suggests an earlier connection with the Caananite/Phoenician god Baal.
Velikovsky(i) and others have supported the idea that Baakbek was in fact the location of the biblical Dan, recorded as the most northern city of ancient Israel.
One commentator has suggested a link with Indian yogis!(t)
Although the Roman remains are still impressive, it is some blocks in the lower and presumably earlier courses(d), that have continued to stump archaeologists, three of which are of cut limestone and are estimated to weigh up to 800 tons(c). (compare with content of link(k))
An article(q) by Gian J. Quasara regarding this strange masonry is worth a read.
Even more disturbing is a block still lying in a nearby quarry, where it was cut, and which has been calculated to exceed 1000 tons and named The Stone of the Pregnant Woman. Another block, in the same quarry, was only discovered in the 1990’s and is thought to be even heavier at 1200 tons(g).
Hugh Newman, a self-described ‘megalithomaniac’(r), has produced a paper(s) on the enormous Baalbek monoliths, in which he cites Graham Hancock speculatively dating the Baalbek megaliths at 12,000 years or more old.
In March 2014, it was widely reported(e) that even heavier megaliths had been identified on Siberia’s Mount Shoria. However, the images I have seen suggest to me a natural origin(f). A short video clip is available(j).
We do not know how such huge objects were made or moved in ancient times. I often think that the bigger question is why did they bother to cut such large blocks! An online article(b) tells how the ingenuity of our ancestors produced the most powerful hand crane in history which multiplied the force of its operator 632 times. However, just because we do not yet know precisely how the Baalbek blocks were manipulated, does not justify wild claims that they were moved by high-tech Atlanteans or extraterrestrials. I may not know how stage magicians saw ladies in half, but that does not compel me to label them Atlantean or alien.
The most persistent question relating to all megalithic structures is “how did they manage to build them using such large heavy rocks and blocks”? Many ingenious solutions are on offer, but perhaps the most remarkable is that proposed by W. T. Wallington who has demonstrated that using basic materials, which were available to the Egyptians, one individual can manipulate a 4500kg stone block. His website includes a remarkable video clip of his method. A review(n) of this video is worth a read. Another or comparable technology may have been used by Edward Leedskainin when he single-handedly built Coral Castle in Florida City(o). What is certain is that Leedskainin had no help from intergalactic visitors.
December 2014 found the latest estimate for the weight of the largest dressed stone found at Baalbek calculated to be 1650 tons(h).It is clear that some explanation is required, hopefully, something better than the implication of extraterrestrial intervention. I would like to think that if we had alien visitors that their technology would be in advance of the ‘stone’ age. Surely they would have something better to produce than enormous foundation stones, which to my puny mind does not smack of the best that a civilisation capable of travelling across the cosmos would have to offer! I find the claims of Graham Hancock or Erich von Dániken equally unconvincing in this instance.
A sober well-referenced article outlining the arguments in favour of identifying the megaliths as Roman is available online(k) as well as supportive blogs from Frank Dörnenburg(m).
A UNESCO sponsored hitech survey of the Baalbek site as part of a Risk Preparedness Strategy is now proposed so that the most appropriate remedial action can be taken in the event of natural deterioration or even war damage(l).
Brian Foerster’s website(p) has some remarkable images of the Baalbek masonry.
(a) http://www.eridu.co.uk/Author/Mysteries_of_the_World/Baalbek/baalbek2.html (7 parts) (link broken June 2018) See: Archive 3414
(k) See: Archive 2653
*(s) See: Archive 3409*
Hubert Zeitlmair is a retired German real-estate investor, who became fascinated by the ancient history of Malta since he first visited there in 1993. He has been personally responsible for the discovery of an underwater ‘temple’, in less than 50 feet of water, one and a half miles off the east coast of Malta. Zeitlmair’s interpretation of his find is disputed by some Maltese archaeologists.
His ideas are a strange mixture, as he believes that the temple was submerged at the end of the of the last Ice Age by Noah’s Flood, but attributes its construction to alien visitors from Planet X – Nibiru a la Zechariah Sitchin. He has published, in German, his ideas in a recent book and also has a website(a) where he organises tours.
Some of his most recent pronouncements can only be described as New Age drivel. In order to justify this overgenerous comment, I quote just one selection from his website(b).
“The 11th 3 mount pattern in the middle is the representation in miniature of the whole Mediterranean, with Gozo as the dominating extinct volcano, and its two sediment mounts MALTA, and COMMINO. It was once called at.la.ams which means:
»The Pillar Towering Towards Heaven«;
This is the name of Malta when spoken from right to left.
Malta, The Place Of The Vortex pillar!!
This place Malta was doubtless the matrix of the Atlantean magnetic power system. It brought together the other sub-energy points around the world, which all converged here. Besides the fact that the these stone circle temples erected along the Coastline of today as well as those on the seabed, were meant to serve as a vast stone astronomical calculator , they also form altogether, an incredibly powerful ring of energy. They are responsible for this now invisible vortex of energy generated by a vast electromagnetic field system and here is the biggest sphere of activity in Europe.
The thirty-six Stone Circles temples are a prehistoric power plant; an installation to generate …Non-Lethal High Frequency Active Auroral Energy; Incredibly this prehistoric power plant is a High Power Microwave System.”
What a load of tosh!
Zeitlmair recently (Oct.’14) appeared on the US TV show In Search of Aliens, where he again demonstrated his penchant for the use of verbal bovine manure.
Jason Colavito who regularly reviews the show applied his forensic skills to the episode that included the Zeitlmair segment(c), which included his ideas on Planet X, extraterrestrials and genetic manipulation by space aliens.
(a) http://www.maltadiscovery.org/ (offline June 2016)
(b) http://maltadiscovery.org/en/index.html#guided_journeys,03_Journeys/01.htm (offline June 2016)
The Maya of ancient Mexico and Guatemala have generated much controversy regarding their origins. Recent studies indicate that the story of the development of this remarkable civilisation may be more complex than previously thought(k). The demise of the Mayan cultural (800-950 AD) has now been definitively shown to be the result of persistent drought, particularly in the southern lowlands(o).
Inevitably the Maya have been linked with Atlantis by a number of writers such as Lewis Spence and E.H. Thompson who claimed that the Maya were descendants of Atlanteans. The maverick, Augustus Le Plongeon was alone in identifying Atlantis as a colony of the Maya and that their language was in fact Greek! Others, such as Jean-Frédérick Waldeck, included an Egyptian linkage as well. However, trumping all that is a recent claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(b). In a similar vein is the latest English language publication from Erich von Däniken entitled: Astronaut Gods of the Maya. Semir Osmanagic, of Bosnian pyramid fame, added a twist to this proposed linkage, when he claimed that the Maya had come from Atlantis, which in turn had been founded by visitors from the Pleiades!
For some comic relief, I can suggest a 1976 book by brothers Eric & Craig Umland which ‘reveals’ that the Maya ‘are remnants of space explorers whose attempts to colonise our solar system went awry more than 40,000 years ago.’ Nearly every page is full of hilarious nonsense and nearly worth the £0.01 currently quoted on Amazon.uk. A website(i) dealing with ‘unreason’ uses extracts from the Umlands as good examples! If you wish to read about the Maya in Antarctica, the Canaries as well as the Moon, this is the book for you.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan manmade dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
The Maya had a sophisticated writing system that occupied the attention of a number of 19th century writers including Abbe Brasseur de Bourbourg and Le Plongeon. Unfortunately, de Bourbourg followed the work of the 16th century bishop of Yucatán, Diego de Landa whose interpretation was seriously erroneous.
A report in 2013(l) indicated that substantial progress has been made in the decipherment of any outstanding difficulties in the translation of the Mayan script through internet co-operation.
July 2012 saw a report(j) on the discovery of the largest Mayan man-made dam at Tikal in Guatemala, which was 33ft high and 260ft long and included sand filters.
James O’Kon, an engineer, has investigated Mayan technology for decades, including the discovery of a suspension bridge at the ancient Mayan city of Yaxchilan in Mexico in 1995, which is believed to be the longest bridge of the ancient world(r). This and other aspects of Mayan technology he explores in his book, The Lost Secrets of Maya Technology. More recently, Lorraine Stobbart has written Utopia: Fact or Fiction, which suggests that the ‘Utopia’ of Sir Thomas More was inspired by the Mayan culture although his text was written before Mexico was ‘officially’ discovered. Stobbart recently revealed that she is now revising her views.
However, a more serious claim relates to the idea that Mayan inscriptions revealed that a global catastrophe was to occur in 2012. This nonsense(g) turned into a minor publishing industry. Some even tried to link this daft idea to Atlantis. Fortunately, May 2012 saw evidence from excavations in Guatemala that shows the Mayan calendar extending well beyond 2012(h).
The late David H. Kelley, a Harvard-educated archaeologist and epigrapher at Canada’s University of Calgary, had been investigating ancient links between Asia and pre-Columbian America. In that regard he published a paper outlining similarities between the Mayan and ancient Chinese calendars that were apparently too numerous to be explained by independent development(p). A more sceptical view is offered(q) by Jason Colavito, who traces the idea back to Alexander von Humboldt.
The work of Teobert Maler at the end of the 19thcentury was invaluable in the advancement of Mayan studies. Subsequent researchers have seized upon his discovery of a frieze at Tikal, which he interpreted as a depiction of the destruction of Atlantis, as evidence of the existence of Atlantis in the Atlantic. Apart from Maler’s conjectural ideas, no tangible link has been found between the Maya and Atlantis apart from the use in their glyphs of elephants, an animal that features in Plato’s narrative.
The authenticity of photo of the frieze has been called into question by Jason Colavito and his related blog(n) is worthy of consideration.
In late 2011 controversy erupted when it was claimed that the Itza Maya had migrated to North America, more specifically Georgia(c)(d). It was also suggested that earthen pyramids in Georgia and Florida can be attributed to the Maya(e). Among their other accomplishments is the claim that the Maya were capable of predicting meteor showers(s).
Gene Matlock, the well-known advocate of Atlantis in Mexico, is certain that the Maya were originally Tamils from Sri Lanka(a)!
A recent article(f) gives an interesting firsthand account of encountering the important Mayan city of Calakmul deep in the Yucatan jungle. Potentially even more important are recent LIDAR surveys carried out in Guatemala that have revealed an astounding number of previously unknown Mayan structures.* The number of additional Mayan sites identified through the use of LIDAR continues to grow at an incredible rate(u).*
Muddying the waters further is an Islamic site that claims that the Maya were Atlantean(m).
(g) http://www.2012hoax.org/ (offline Oct. ’14)
(m) http://mashiyah.blogspot.ie/ (offline 1/8/14)
Extraterrestrial visitors have been suggested by a few of the more imaginative and sometimes unscrupulous authors and their publishers, as the source of an advanced civilisation in the past, remembered today as Atlantis. Martin Brady makes such a claim in a brief paper available online(h).
However, Professor Emilio Spedicato may have added some degree of respectability to the concept when he wrote(a) “There are significant indications in worldwide traditions that intelligent people from planets within a few hundred light years from Earth visited our planet and intelligently interacted with our biosphere”. He went on to claim that around 5500 BC some of these visitors landed in the Hunza valley of Pakistan where they engaged in a little genetic engineering which led to the ‘creation’ of Adam and Eve!
It should be noted that Plato’s account does not relate any technology beyond that of a Late Bronze Age society, whereas any civilisation founded by alien astronauts should present some evidence of technologies equal to if not more advanced than that of our present day capabilities. Bill Hanson and Bert Thurlings are some of the more recent promoters of this idea of an alien origin for Atlantis.
Hanson has been joined by the German researcher, Dieter Bremer (1952- ), who claims(b) that the winged disks found in Sumerian art represent a space station, which crashed! Bremer also provides a spirited defence of The Manna Machine by George Sassoon and Rodney Dale, combined with some bizarre theories regarding Christ. Incredibly, Bremer was invited to deliver a paper to the 2011 Atlantis Conference on the concentric circles of Plato’s Atlantean capital. He has published two books on his view of Atlantis[1022/3]. A more rational review of The Manna Machine is offered by Frank Dörnenburg(i).
The late Flying Eagle (1920-2007) and his partner Whispering Wind specified the planet Xylanthia(f) in the Sirius star system as the original home of a visitor who fell in love with an earthling and later became known as Poseidon!
The History Channel series entitled Ancient Aliens(d), now in its third season, has been heavily criticised on the Bad Archaeology website(c) and elsewhere. October 2011 saw another claim that the Maya had contact with extraterrestrials and that a documentary providing evidence is planned(e).
A sceptical review of extraterrestrial visitations was published in the 26th January 2014 edition of Ohio’s Columbus Dispatch(g).
I feel compelled to include a quote from the Calvin and Hobbes cartoonist Bill Watterson who wrote “The surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that they have never tried to contact us.”
(g) http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/science/2014/01/26/no-evidence-of-aliens-helping-ancient-cultures.html (link broken June 2018) See: Archive 2098)
Shirley Andrews from Massachusetts is the successful author of two books on Atlantis but unfortunately she has completely devalued her work by using the output of what she refers to as ‘intuitively gifted psychics’ as research sources. This is a ploy used by those that are unable to produce anything new on the subject through conventional investigative methods. She also blindly follows the ‘ideas’ of the late Zechariah Sitchin and introduces extraterrestrial visitors and Edgar Cayce’s Atlantean use of crystals into the history of Atlantis.
Her output is a poor reworking of old material covered with a heavy layer of conjecture and mystic waffle. Andrews is probably one of the better known writers who blend channelled ‘information’ with the limited historical data at our disposal. Not content with writing bosh about Atlantis she subsequently extended her output of poppycock to include Lemuria. A sample of this nonsense can be experienced on her website(a).
*[(a) http://www.atlantisinsights.net/ (offline May 2016) See: Archive 2361]*
Advanced Technology is regularly claimed by ‘fringe’ writers to have existed in ancient times. Technology can be defined as techniques, skills, methods and processes, usually intended to improve human lifestyle. ‘Advanced’ is a relative term implying superiority over what had previously existed – wheeled vehicles were an improvement on sleds or bronze tools were better than copper ones.
When such writers refer to advanced technology, they really mean apparent anachronistic technology, which is frequently inferred from the existence of structures that cannot be duplicated with today’s technology. It is argued by proponents of ancient advanced technology that many ancient monuments, such as Stonehenge, Lixus, Baalbek or the Pyramids, could not have been built without some unknown power source, frequently attributing the existence of such technologies to extraterrestrials from the planet ‘Zog’.
Also from Egypt is the claim that there is compelling evidence of powered stone cutting ‘machinery’. Similar evidence is also found in South America. A one hour Russian video with English dialogue, relating to this, is quite thought provoking(g) . While the evidence is strong, we cannot rule out the possible existence of long forgotten techniques rather than mechanical technologies, of which nothing has been found. In the case of ancient Egypt, we have the remains of their primitive tools as well as tomb walls decorated with the same implements. If they had possessed some advanced technology, why did they need those simple tools, which are still available to us, or depict such technology on their tomb walls.
For me it is also remarkable that cultures such as that of the Pueblo people of the American Southwest managed to “create architectural complexes using advanced geometry — with incredible mathematical accuracy”(o) despite having no written language or system of numerical notation.
Chris Dunn, famous for his belief that the Great Pyramid was in fact built as a power generator, has also claimed that the ancient Egyptians were capable of advanced machining(k) . Margaret Morris, a respected Egyptologist, took issue with Dunn, challenging him to a debate, which, as far as I can ascertain, never materialised. Morris encapsulated her objections thus(l) : “In short, Chris Dunn’s methodology is so poor that he has resorted to inventing a cataclysm that cannot be scientifically substantiated and he elevates the pyramid builders to the technological level of space travelers, with no physical evidence at all for either assertion.”
For my part, if the 2.9m high red granite head of Amenhotep III was carved by the Egyptians, without alien intervention, Dunn’s claims are pretty shallow.
However, I think it only fair that readers should have access to Dunn’s side of the dispute(m).
Sometimes the process is reversed and a simple technology is discovered today, which could have been known in the past, but since lost, which might explain the megalithic structures that still fill us with awe. An example of this is the discovery by W.T. Wallington(j), he calls it a ‘rediscovery’, of a simple method using a lever and a couple of pivots, for moving concrete blocks weighing many thousands of pounds.
While Wallington’s ‘rediscovery’ may not answer all the mysteries of the past it does raise the real possibility that future discoveries may provide unexpected explanations for some of today’s ‘mysteries’.
*A recent article on the Ancient Origins website by Lia Mangolini(r) offers her view that crude chemistry, using plant extracts, provided the means of dissolving rock, which could explain how some quality artifacts as well as tight-fitting ancient masonry, such as found in Peru and Egypt, may have been achieved. This certainly worth a read, but I would prefer to see a demonstration.*
Another or comparable technology may have been used by Edward Leedskainin when he single-handedly built Coral Castle in Florida City(n). What is certain is that Leedskainin had no help from intergalactic visitors.
The idea that advanced technology existed in Atlantis has been regularly claimed by various writers since the latter part of the 19th century.*However, I must emphasise that Plato offered no suggestion of the existence of any such technology.*
In 1886, Frederick S. Oliver (1866-1899) wrote a channelled book entitled A Dweller on Two Planets in which he attributed a number of technologies to the Atlanteans including anti-gravity and flying machines. This book has been the source of much more recent New Age drivel. Edgar Cayce also spoke of Atlantis having flying machines, but more entertainingly, he had them made of elephant skins!
However, leaving all that speculative nonsense aside, is it not strange that this ‘technologically advanced’ civilisation was defeated by the Athenians and that such a culturally sophisticated society was referred to by Plato as barbarians? Even more important is the fact that Plato, who provided such a detailed description of Atlantis, never gave the slightest hint that the Atlanteans had anything more technologically advanced than the chariot.
Technology worldwide, circa 9600 BC, is generally accepted as having been greatly inferior to that described by Plato in Atlantis. The reconciliation of this conflict is the greatest challenge facing supporters of such an early date for Atlantis. Their stance is quite understandable given that Plato refers to the war with Atlantis occurring 9,000 years before Solon’s visit to Egypt around 600 BC and that Atlantis was destroyed ‘afterwards’.
Plato’s description is totally consistent with a Late Bronze Age society. Not only does Plato’s Atlantis appear to be technologically advanced, in Bronze Age terms, but also their military might implies the existence of equally powerful potential enemies supported by similar technology. Consequently, it is not sufficient to claim that Atlantis disappeared along with its superior skills. It would be reasonable to expect that archaeology would uncover comparable technologies in various locations existing around the same time particularly since imperial Atlantis is supposed to have occupied or at least heavily influenced both north and south of the Mediterranean as far as Tyrrhenia and Libya respectively.
Some authors in an effort to verify Solon’s date have highlighted a number of controversial instances of apparently anachronistic advanced technology to support the possibility of an early Atlantis date. Artefacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism, the Baghdad Battery(a) and even the Ark of the Covenant(b) have all been adduced to give credence to such an idea. Even more daring are the independent claims that both the lighthouses at Pharos in Egypt and Faro in Portugal were powered by electricity. The claim of ancient Egyptian electricity is regularly trotted out(f) and was the subject of a recent book, edited by Larry Brian Radka. In all these instances hard proof is clearly lacking, with the sole exception of the Antikythera Mechanism, which, however, cannot be dated earlier than the 2nd century BC. The ingenuity of our ancestors was often underrated until something such as the Antikythera Mechanism was found and we were forced to modify our view of the past, but not necessarily abandon the accepted view that technology has evolved gradually, even if there are a few ‘missing links’ in the chain.
Even more worrying is the recurrent claim that atomic warfare was engaged in on the Indian sub-continent thousands of years ago. The late Philip Coppens wrote a short paper on this possibility in 2005(c). Equally persistent are claims of flying machines in ancient India which were given impetus by the publication of Aeronautics, a Manuscript From the Prehistoric Past, a translation of the 3,000 year old Vymanika Shastra by G.R.Joyser.
Casey Terry notes[1542.36] that Pavel Smutny, a Slovakian researcher has proposed that “maybe it is unusual and surprising, but in ornaments in old carpets are woven-in schemes, and principle plans of advanced technologies, which come from vanished cultures and thousands-year-old civilizations. These residues are probably the last ones, which can help revive forgotten, very sophisticated technologies and methods for exploitation of natural electrostatic energy sources.”
Smutny goes on to claim that the layouts of Egyptian temples “to a person familiar with the basics of computer technologies or even better to a person experienced with the construction of microwave circuits in bands above 1 gigahertz (GHz), he will tell you that these plans (of the temples) are schemes of PCB’s (boards for electronic circuits).”
Commenting on the Maltese temples Smutny proposes that the complexes “were used probably as generators of high frequency acoustic waves. Purpose were (maybe) to arrange a communication channel between various islands.”
Although the idea of electricity in ancient Egypt is a recurrent speculation, the possibility of electricity in ancient India is somewhat more credible. However, James Hartman refers(p) to another Sanskrit text which supports this belief, telling us that “In another amazing Indian text, the Agastrya Samhita, gives the precise directions for constructing electrical batteries:
‘Place a well-cleaned copper plate in an earthenware vessel. Cover it first by copper sulfate and then moist sawdust. After that put a mercury-amalgamated-zinc sheet on top of an energy known by the twin name of Mitra-Varuna. Water will be split by this current into Pranavayu and Udanavayu. A chain of one hundred jars is said to give a very active and effective force.’
Agastya Samhita (Indian Princes’ Library)
By the way, MITRA-VARUNA is now called cathode-anode, and Pranavayu and Udanavayu are to us oxygen and hydrogen. This document again demonstrates the presence of electricity in the East, long, long ago. In the not so distant past strange events are recorded in Europe’s past.”
A sceptical view of these claims is presented by Jason Colavito(d)(e)(q) who points out that, according to some sources, the passage quoted above is not to be found in the original text!
(h) http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/trades/tools.htm (link broken April 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20181226050814/http://www.reshafim.org.il/ad/egypt/trades/tools.htm
The Egyptian Pyramids are generally accepted to have been constructed in the third millennium BC, in the period 2700 – 2150 BC. However, a number of investigators have inferred a much greater antiquity for some of these remarkable structures, particularly the Great Pyramid at Giza.
They believe that by pushing back the date for the construction of the Great Pyramid and/or Sphinx endorses the possibility that Plato’s early date of 9600 BC for the Atlantean War is factual.
Many and varied are the claims regarding their builders and their methods, including that they were built by refugees from Atlantis. For a long time it was thought that the pyramids had been built by slaves, possibly Israelites. Recent years has seen this idea debunked(at) and reinforced by papyri put on display for the first time in July 2016, which clearly indicate that the pyramid builders were paid and were not slaves (or extraterrestrials)(be).
A sober review of development of pyramid building and the technology involved was offered by Owen Jarus in June, 2016(bo).
The earliest historical references to the pyramids can be found in early Egyptian and Greek documents(ch).
The pseudoscience of pyramidology took off in the 19th century, with a range of outlandish claims(aq), based on external and/or internal dimensions of the Great Pyramid, supporting anything from the British Israelites or the early Jehovah’s Witnesses to being a source of divine prophecy!
Nevertheless, pyramidology was given a new twist in November 2015 when a Spanish architect, Miquel Pérez-Sánchez, added the old alphanumeric system of gematria to the mix and claimed that he had identified the name ‘Atlantis’ when ‘translating’ some of the dimensions in the structure of the Great Pyramid(by). Scott Onstott is also a modern advocate of the existence of Mathematical Encoding in the Great Pyramid(as)
For those interested in the possible significance of numbers and the Great Pyramid, there are three related papers available on Keith M. Hunter’s website(aw).
Many and varied are the claims regarding the pyramid builders and their methods, including that they were built by refugees from Atlantis(bl). October 2017 had Gerry Cannon & Malcolm Hutton claim(bx) that the Great Pyramid was built by an advanced civilisation, which may have been Atlantis! Graham Hancock holds similar views.
How the pyramids were built is still uncertain with a range ingenious theories on offer. At first it was thought that a huge ramp was used, until it was realised that such a ramp with the required gentle incline would require a greater volume of material than the Great Pyramid itself! Two suggestions that still have considerable support are that (1) many of the stone blocks were ‘cast’ in situ as proposed by Joseph Davidovits(bm) and (2) that an internal ramp within the pyramid was used as claimed by Jean-Pierre Houdin(bn).
Among the numerous mysteries related to the Great Pyramid is the fact that each side of the structure is actually slightly concave, making it the only known eight-sided pyramid, (pedants would probably claim nine sides, including the base). This feature was first photographed in 1940(al). The assumed accuracy of orientation and dimensions of the Great Pyramid was recently called into question by Mark Lehner and Glen Dash(bj).
Margaret Morris offers a comprehensive account of the features of the Great Pyramid and possible construction methods on her website(bb) and in three books . Morris is a supporter of Joseph Davidovits who proposed the controversial idea that the building blocks of the Pyramid were cast in situ. In 2007 petrographer, Dipayan Jana, refuted Davidovits theory and as far as I’m aware no rebuttal has been forthcoming from either Davidovits or Morris.
What may be relevant was what was found at Giza(bk) and described as ‘melted limestone’, which led Robert Schoch to consider it the result of ‘a plasma event’. However, it struck me that if Davidovits was correct, this ‘rock’ might instead be some of his liquid geopolymer that had been spilt and hardened in the sun!
Ralph Ellis, a British researcher, has studied erosion to be seen at the Giza, Meidum and Dashur pyramids and concluded  that there is evidence for an 8000 BC or earlier date for the construction of these structures(a). Ellis also has an article on the Internet outlining his evidence for an earlier date for the construction of the Great Pyramid.
More recently Robert Schoch announced the discovery of evidence of erosion INSIDE the Great Pyramid suggesting that a more ancient core had been exposed to the elements for a long period before being built upon to give us the structure we have today.
Edward Malkowski supports(ax) the ideas of Edward Kunkel(ay) and John Cadman(az), who believed that the Great Pyramid was designed to function as a water pump. Steven Myers has written two books(ba) on the subject of ancient Egyptian hydraulics.
Edgar Cayce ‘revealed’ in 1932 that the Great Pyramid was built over a hundred year period from 10,490 to 10,390 BC(ap).
Another writer, the late Joseph Jochmans related  how it was recorded that the outer casing stones showed water marks halfway up the height of the Pyramid before the Arabs removed them. Geologists have found evidence of a final catastrophic flooding event in Egypt circa 10000 BC. Furthermore radiocarbon dating of organic inclusions in a fourteen-foot layer of silt around the base of the Great Pyramid offered a date of around 9600 BC.
This suggested extended age for the pyramids has been incorporated in the argument to prove the existence of other advanced ancient civilisations that were concurrent with the 9600 BC date given by Solon for the antiquity of Atlantis.
Understandably, these revolutionary ideas have been met with fierce opposition by establishment archaeologists. This is a debate that will run for some time yet.
However, the oldest known papyri, discovered at the Egyptian site of Wadi el-Jarf offer evidence supporting a date of about 2500 BC for the construction of the Great Pyramid, which reinforces conventional dating theories. One of the documents, written by Merer an overseer, records details of the construction of the final stages of the G.P. (ce) This, of course, seriously undermines the extended antiquity for the pyramids by proponents such as Graham Hancock.
Apart from the disputed question of age of the Great Pyramid, its very structure has prompted its own share of debate with persistent claims that its location, dimensions and orientation have significance in the fields of astronomy, mathematics and geography. Lists of these connections are available online(p).
For Ignatius Donnelly the pyramids of Egypt and Central America were the result of a shared heritage originating in Atlantis. However, the millennia that separate the construction in the two regions would seem to militate against this idea. The Mayan pyramid at Mirador, in northern Guatemala, was thought to be the largest in the world, by volume, at 2.8 million cubic metres, however, the Great Pyramid of Cholula is 4.45 million cubic metres(au)(bq). This is now rivalled by the Mayan pyramid at Toniná, Chiapas(bd). The great Giza pyramid is 2.5 million cubic metres in volume.
Even more spectacular was the 1996 discovery of pyramids on the southern Atlantic coast of Brazil dated as early as 3000 BC, predating the earliest Egyptian pyramids by a few hundred years(I). However, two sites in Peru , Caral and Sechin Bajo, are claiming pyramid complexes with dates of circa 3500 BC(j). Very ancient pyramids have also been claimed for Crimea(af).
What is arguably the greatest concentration of pyramids in the world is to be found in the Lambayeque Valley of northern Peru, numbering 250, built of mud brick, and dated to circa 750-1100 AD. The late Philip Coppens referred to the valley in his book, The New Pyramid Age  and it was also the subject of a BBC documentary(an). His book reviewed pyramids as a worldwide phenomenon.
Apart from Mesoamerica, pyramids have also been discovered on the Canaries, Sicily, Sardinia and Mauritius(k), not to mention China.*A website by Gabriele Lukacs dedicated to possible European pyramids is now available(g).*The remains of three pyramids have also been identified on the Greek Peloponnese, one of which has been dated to 2720 BC ± 580 years. In 2005 the Bosnian-American ‘archaeologist’, Semir Osmanagic, announced that he had identified a gigantic manmade pyramid beside Visoko, 30 km north of Sarajevo. Highly publicised Excavations began in 2006. Readers should be aware that Osmanagic has expressed rather bizarre notions including a belief that the Maya were descendants of the Atlanteans who in turn arrived on Earth from the Pleiades! A French commentator, Douglas Moonstone, has a comparable belief, namely, that the Atlanteans came from the constellation of Orion and furthermore that the “Neanderthals fled their bases on another near planet, probably a planet of Sirius B and a planet of Alnitak, as we have seen in previous volumes, and they have saved Hopis, Sapiens, in a space station in orbit.”(cc)
Osmanagic updated his claims in December 2011(o).An on-site investigation by Robert Schoch concluded that the Visoko ‘pyramid’ was probably not manmade! As recently as August 2016, he was still offering a spirited defence of his claims(bi). Gigantic pyramids have also been proposed for Germany by K. Walter Haug(ab) and demonstrated on his heavily illustrated website(aj).
Zecharia Sitchin, the controversial ‘alternative’ historian, entered the fray in 1980, with the claim that the only concrete evidence that the Great Pyramid had been built by Khufu, was an inscription forged by Colonel Richard Howard-Vyse(d) (see below). The Howard-Vyse forgery debate has been stirred up again by researcher, Scott Creighton, who produced copies of Howard-Vyse’s papers to support the claim of fraud(ah). If true, this would lend some support to a redating of the structure.
At the opposite end of the speculation spectrum, in a recent book by Emmet Sweeney  he claims that the pyramids were in fact far more recent, and bravely suggests a date of around 800 BC for their construction. In this regard it is to be noted that the Bible makes not the vaguest reference to one of the greatest wonders of the ancient world. It has been erroneously stated that Herodotus, a prolific recorder of trivia and who claims to have travelled as far south as Elephantine, failed to mention the pyramids. This is not true as can be seen in Book II of his Histories 124-134. However, it is possible that it was meant to say that Herodotus did not refer to the Sphinx! It has been claimed that he was describing the pyramids at Dashur and not Giza(ao)!
The most persistent question relating to the pyramids and in fact all megalithic structures is “how did they manage to build them using such large heavy rocks and blocks”? Many ingenious solutions are on offer but perhaps the most remarkable is that proposed by W. T. Wallington who has demonstrated(n) that using basic materials, which were available to the Egyptians, one individual can manipulate a 4500 kg stone block. His website includes a remarkable video clip of his method. A review of this video is worth a read.
*More recently a collaboration between Matter Design and CEMEX Global R&D has demonstrated that irregularly shaped cement objects weighing many tons can be moved easily by hand, suggesting that the manpower required to build many ancient monuments was far less than is assumed today. The conclusion being that technique is the key to how many of the ‘impossible’ structures of the past were constructed(ci). Ashley Cowie has written an article in which he looks at how these techniques may have been applied to the construction of the megalithic walls of Cuzco in Peru, the ancient capital of the Inca(cj). Cowie also holds that a huge earthquake caused a major change in Inca construction methods(ck).*
A recent (2014) study(ag) revealed that the Egyptians were able to move the pyramid building blocks over wet sand. “By using the right quantity of water they could halve the number of workers needed.” This is comparable with the documented method employed by the Chinese to transport 200/300-ton blocks used in the construction of their ‘Forbidden City’(ai).
In October 2018 it was revealed that the remains of a ramp flanked by two staircases with postholes was discovered at an ancient quarry at Hatnub in Egypt’s Eastern Desert. “Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more.”(cf) While this may explain how blocks could have been moved, with relative ease, to pyramid building sites, it does not tell us how the pyramids were actually constructed.
The idea that a ramp was used has been a popular idea for a long time, but weaknesses in the concept were soon apparent. For example, the material required to build some of the proposed ramps would have been greater than the pyramid itself. Franz Löhner has developed what he calls a ‘rope roll’ to demonstrate that simple technology available to the Egyptians could have been used to lift the pyramid’s blocks into place. Löhner has worked in a quarry and consequently has an intimate knowledge of the practicalities involved. He has co-authored a book (German only)  with Dr. Heribert Illig which expands on his idea and has developed an interesting website(cg), in English and German, with further information.
Some commentators, who cannot accept that the Egyptians built the pyramids, in desperation have interpreted the existence of the pyramids as ‘evidence’ of extraterrestrial visitations!(ae)
Ralph Ellis, mentioned above, is a controversial English revisionist of biblical and ancient Egyptian history, who daringly argues(b) that Mount Sinai, of Ten Commandments fame, was in fact the Great Pyramid of Giza! John Taylor (1781-1864) claimed in 1859 that Noah was the builder of the Great Pyramid . Even more imaginative was the claim by C.E. Getsinger in the 1920’s that Noah’s Ark was in fact the Great Pyramid(bp).
Finally, it appears that in order to satisfy the public interest in pyramids the meaning of the term itself has been extended to include a range of natural features as well as man-made structures. Robert Schoch is happy to see Newgrange as a type of pyramid, others see Silbury Hill as a pyramid(e), while some writers apply the term to mountains as is the case with Jeff Nisbet(f) who sees ‘pyramids’ in Scotland. Nisbet attempts to justify his view with a very tenuous link between ancient Egypt and Scotland incorporating freemasonry and Princess Scota(bh). Similar stories are widespread in Ireland where Scota is allegedly buried in Kerry in Gleann Scoithin, now known as Foley’s Glen. Scotia was another ancient name for Ireland. Andrew Power expands on the Scota story in his Ireland: Land of the Pharoahs . This claim of an Egyptian link with Ireland has been repeated by Steve Preston in his Egyptians in Ireland . David Halpin, an Irish writer from Carlow, has also written a three-part paper on the connections between Egypt with Ireland(av). Francis J. and Francis P. Ward claim that druids from Ireland, which they consider to have been Atlantis, built the pyramids at Giza!(bt)
A recent (2010) site, lists(h) the eight largest pyramids in the world. A wide range of free papers, in pdf format, relating to the Giza pyramids is available online(l).
Perhaps even more dramatic is a recent claim(q) of a pyramid older and larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza, known as Mount Sadahurip in Garut, West Java, Indonesia .
July 2012 saw Linda Moulton Howe publish(r) a two-part illustrated article about an anomalous feature in Alaska which has been identified as a buried pyramid larger than the Great Pyramid at Giza. This feature was first identified twenty years ago, but the story appears to have been suppressed, according to a retired U.S. Counterintelligence officer who contacted Howe. A comparable claim has also been made for pyramids in Antarctica and later shown to be a hoax(w).
Now for light relief, earlier in 2012 a nonsensical report(s) of an underwater glass pyramid in the Bermuda Triangle emerged. I’m sure it will be soon followed by a sighting of Elvis creating crop circles in Antarctica.
August 2012 brought a report that two possible new Egyptian pyramid complexes have been discovered using Google Earth. However, subsequent inspection on the ground showed them to be less interesting(v). In May 2013, Peter James, a structural engineer, published a new theory on why the building of pyramids ceased(x).
In September 2013 it was reported(y) that researchers have discovered an underwater pyramid 60 meters high with a 8000 meters square base near the Bank De João de Castro, between the islands of Terceira and São Miguel” in the Azores. Shortly afterwards the Portuguese Navy denied the existence of any such structure(aa). This claim has now spawned its own website(ad).
Even more nonsensical was a report in the UK’s Daily Star which claimed that an underwater pyramid estimated to be between 3.5 and 11 miles across had been spotted on Google Earth, situated off the coast of Mexico in the Pacific(cd).
2014 began with a report that two idiotic Germans, Dominique Goerlitz and Stefan Erdmann, had chiselled off part of the ‘Vyse’ cartouche from inside the Great Pyramid, which led to an international incident. They claim that the objective of their foolhardy act was to demonstrate that the Pyramid is older than generally accepted and was in fact a remnant of the Atlantean empire(z).
2014 also saw the publication of Pyramid Gravity Force(ac) by John Shaughnessy in which he claims that “The pyramids were built to prevent and/or control tectonic plate movement, volcanic activity, tidal waves, major earth quakes, land movements and the magnetic field movements on Earth.” I suggest that all the Amazon reviews are read before purchasing.
It was recently revealed(ar) that, Ben Carson, a former Republican candidate for the US presidency, once proposed to an assembly of students at Andrews University that the Egyptian pyramids were built to store grain! This idea has been traced back to the sixth century,*when there was a belief that the pyramids had been the granaries of Joseph, as Julius Honorius (Cosmographia, c. 500 CE), Antoninus of Piacenza (Itinerary 43, c. 570 CE), and Geoffrey of Tours (History of the Franks 1.10, 594 CE), among others, all testify! This theory was later popularized by works such as ‘The Book of John Mandeville’, a hugely popular 14th century travelogue.”(bs)*
A June 2016 report revealed(bc) that the builders of the Great Pyramid had made a very minor miscalculation resulting in the west side being around 5 inches longer than the east side. The research team, led by Glen Dash and Mark Lehner, also noted that the pyramid is not oriented as precisely with the cardinal points as we have been led to believe since “The pyramid’s north-west being almost the same.” However, these very minor defects cannot detract in any way from the magnificence of the structure constructed so long ago.
In a 2018 paper(ca), Glen Dash returned to the very slight misalignment of the Great Pyramid with the cardinal points. “The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc, or one-fifteenth of one degree.” Dash claims that the engineers who designed the plans for the Great Pyramid have used the fall equinox to seamlessly align this pyramid to the cardinal points. “He also claims that all three major Giza pyramids exhibit the same type of error in that they are rotated slightly counter-clockwise from the cardinal points.”
Maxim Yakovenko was the founder of the world-pyramids.com website(bf) in 2008. It has a range of interesting articles that relate to pyramids around the globe. Unfortunately, the news section does not appear to have been updated over the past two years.
Another site offers a remarkable collection of old images of the pyramids dating back to the mid-nineteenth century(br).
November 2017 began with an exciting claim published in Nature magazine(bv) that a huge cavity had been identified above the Grand Gallery in the Great Pyramid of Giza. This discovery was made using non-invasive technology, which suggests that physical verification will require some degree of interference with the structure of the pyramid, which may not be allowed by the Egyptian authorities. This initial announcement was quickly followed by a refutation of the claim of a void over the Grand Gallery by Zahi Hawass(bw).
Not long after, it was reported in the UK’s Daily Mail that an Italian archaeoastronomer, Giulio Magli, believes that the void at the center of the Great Pyramid houses a throne made from meteorites, used to help the pharoah in the afterlife(bz). Magli has previously received public notice with a paper which explored the possibility that Göbekli Tepe had been constructed to “celebrate and successively follow the appearance of a new, extremely brilliant star in the southern skies: Sirius.”(ca)
(a) http://www.edfu-books.com/repairs.html (Offline March 2017) See: Archive 2925
(b) http://www.world-mysteries.com/gw_rellis2.htm (link broken) See: Archive 2926
(d) http://www.philipcoppens.com/nap_art9.html (Offline Dec. 2017) See: Archive 2494
*(g) pyramids.eu/wb/ (link broken Oct. 2019) See: https://www.european-pyramids.com/galerie*
(j) http://www.philipcoppens.com/caral.html (Offline Dec. 2017) (See: Archive 2138)
(n) http://www.theforgottentechnology.com/newpage1 (offline May 2017)
(p) http://www.timstouse.com/EarthHistory/Egypt/GreatPyramid/interestingfacts.htm (Offline Oct.2017) See: Archive 3620
(r) http://www.earthfiles.com/news.php?ID=2000&category=Environment (subscribers only)
(w) http://s8int.com/WordPress/2012/09/15/hoax-man-made-pyramids-recently-discovered-in-antartica-why-are-they-using-photo-from-2006-annual-report-for-mountain-guides/ (offline)
(af) See: Archive 3619
(ah) See: Archive 2806
(am) http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/piramides/coppens_pyramids08.htm (offline see Archive 2564)
(ao) http://godsprophets.org/who-built-the-pyramids (offline Nov. 2015) see Archive 2818
(bb) http://www.margaretmorrisbooks.com/great_pyramid.html (offline May 2018) See: Archive 3057
(bl) https://dublinsmick.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/the-atlanteans-built-the-great-pyramid-not-the-egyptians/ (link broken Jan 2019) See: https://web.archive.org/web/20150627184535/https://dublinsmick.wordpress.com/2012/08/25/the-atlanteans-built-the-great-pyramid-not-the-Egyptians/
(bn) http://emhotep.net/2014/04/19/structures/pyramids-structures/sarah-korcz-a-new-interview-with-jean-pierre-houdin/ (link broken Oct. 2018) See: Archive 3631
(bp) The Thomson Review, Thomson, Illinois, July 19th, 1922 – p.3
(bx) http://ewao.com/2017/10/03/two-historians-claim-the-ancient-egyptians-did-not-build-the-pyramids/ (Link broken Sept. 2018) See: Archive 3618