Rogue amateur archaeologists stole samples to “prove” a conspiracy theory

Two German citizens are in some hot water over desecrating and stealing from one of the Great Pyramids – just to support an idea experts say is nonsense.

Two German students have vandalised part of the Pyramid of Khufu to help ‘prove’ their Lost Civilisation theory |

Egyptian authorities are in uproar after two German students scraped away some ancient writing to “prove” the Great Pyramids are 20,000 years old.

Supporters of the popular story that the Pyramids are evidence of a lost civilisation from the dawn of time consider the reaction all part of an ancient conspiracy.

Internet forums, books and doccumentaries all rage against the “old guard” for hiding the “truth” and refusing to take their ideas seriously.

Believers point to a small set of largely discredited studies and amateur postulations, including claims by a geologist that erosion patterns “prove” the Pyramids and Great Sphinx belong to a much older “lost civilisation” from 20,000 years ago.

The cartouche was scrawled in red by the Great Pyramid builders in the 17th year of Khufu’s reign, according to experts. It names Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) and is scrawled in a small compartment above his burial chamber in one of the three Great Pyramids at Giza.

The students, both amateur, broken Egyptian law by entering the pyramid and taking the samples without permission. Smuggling the material out of the country was a breach of international law and UNESCO archeological conventions.



Egyptian archaoelogists refute claims by German amateurs on Great Pyramid – Ancient Egypt – Heritage – Ahram Online.

Penalties imposed on two amateur German archaeologists – Ancient Egypt – Heritage – Ahram Online.

Fair to say they ruined future job prospects? Except perhaps on some pseudo-archeology show on cable.

  17 comments for “Rogue amateur archaeologists stole samples to “prove” a conspiracy theory

  1. December 2, 2013 at 9:56 PM

    Probably students of Von Daniken, who’s got a new book out…

  2. Ceppie
    December 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

    I blame the History Channel and all that Ancient Aliens crap…..which means it comes to rests at the feet of Von Daniken. Can’t they throw him in jail for fraud….AGAIN?

  3. spookyparadigm
    December 2, 2013 at 11:52 PM

    I’d be curious to know what they are students of. I have my suspicions, but I’ll keep them to my ill-founded self.

  4. spookyparadigm
    December 3, 2013 at 12:02 AM

    And they talk about a similar kind of action here

  5. Chris Howard
    December 3, 2013 at 1:33 AM

    Spookster, it’s in German.

  6. spookyparadigm
    December 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM

    Google translate did a decent enough job on it for me to follow. Same with their names in the German version of wiki

  7. cplamb
    December 3, 2013 at 10:18 AM

    Which tests did they plan on running?

  8. Chris Howard
    December 3, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    You’re the best. Thank you. šŸ™‚

  9. Frederick
    December 3, 2013 at 11:18 AM

    Pyramid belong too a old lost civilization already, in what the reality of ancient Egypt is not cool enough for people needing to believe in stupid alien stuff.
    I hate that when the strip the humans of the incredible feat they as done. “we are too stupid, so it is alien”. We don’t even know all the technique they could have use. like that “concrete” theory, that part of the stone were in fact molded there, that is a incredible if they were ingenious enough for that.

    they always said that “they were not advance enough so it is impossible” In the middle age they build castle church and a lot of incredible thing, nobody claim “notre-dame de paris” was build by alien, and human back than were not that advance.

    I guess my mind is control by those dude on the moon.

  10. spookyparadigm
    December 3, 2013 at 11:57 AM

    Of course they don’t claim Notre Dame was built by aliens. It was built by white Christians, and they never get their stuff explained by “aliens” or “lost civilizations.” Which is a pattern common for apologists of colonialism. One of the great myths (and here I mean myth as both a narrative used to explain the present and as something not true) found in most contexts of European colonialism (and I will include Anglo-American settlement of North America even after the US splits from the UK, South Africa from UK, etc), especially if there are any impressive archaeological ruins around, is that there was a lost civilization there in the distant past, one that was usually destroyed by the natives (which means that the indigenous people, by this logic, are also invaders and genocidal, nice bit of projection). This lost race/civilization is either directly tied to the later European colonizers, or it is spiritually akin to them. Ancient Aliens by and large fits into the latter mold. But the traditional version is still vibrant, as demonstrated by the sort-of-sequel to the show Ancient Aliens, America Unearthed, on History2 channel (and occasionally shown on the main History Channel I believe). Jason Colavito reviews each episode in depth on his blog, and he lays bare that the obsession of the show is putting white people in the Americas, and that there is an academic and others conspiracy to deny this. The show has, from Colavito’s description, increasingly been leaning on British Israelism, which is still adhered to by a few non-open-racists, but is primarily known (especially in the US) as part of the racist Christian Identity movement and similar notions.

    That the owners of the History Channel are trafficking in such material is astounding.

  11. Chris Howard
    December 4, 2013 at 12:35 PM

    I know this isn’t the scholarly term, but for lack of a better word, does “Dominionism”, with its focus on Christian Nationalism, cross-pollinate with the ancient white civilization conspiracies?

    I ask because there appears to be some parallels between Nazi “Christian” Nationalism (excluding the SS’s strange neo-pagan beliefs) and the current movements (Dominionism as umber elks term) here in the US.

    The one that comes to mind is a necessary desire to find a legitimizing force in tradition. Namely ancient white civilizations that spawned “lesser” non-white people’s.

  12. Chris Howard
    December 4, 2013 at 12:36 PM

    Who knew that “umbrella” gets turned into “umber elks”?

  13. spookyparadigm
    December 4, 2013 at 2:49 PM

    There is a lot of debate about the term Dominionism (especially as it is largely used by those afraid of it, not those suggesting it, though that’s true of a lot of political movements). But to go back to your question, much (though not all) of what gets called “social religious conservatism” is less theological, and more ethnic. Both in a broad way (the way Christian is used by far right activists who talk about a War on Christmas or the oppression of Christians in America is very much identity politics and not theology) and in a narrower way (there are non-white fundamentalists in the US, but the stereotype of the southern white fundamentalist exists for a reason).

    On top of that, a major shibboleth of fundamentalism in the US is being vociferously anti-evolution. Not even just Creationist, but anti-Evolution. This mingles nicely with anti-climate science in many cases.

    All of that primes people to be more open to other critiques of mainstream culture and science (never minding that there is also a class thing in the hatred of “elites” that generally is in the mix somewhere). We all know this to be the case for many people, and it was well-illustrated by the psychology study on paradoxical conspiracy style (people who believed in a conspiracy theory were more likely to also believe in a polar opposite conspiracy theory, but they were less likely to believe in a more compatible mainstream claim, suggesting that the whole point of conspiracy theory is a rejection of the orthodox and not the actual content of any theory).

    So I would say that for several reasons, yes, there does seem to be cross-pollination with pseudoarchaeology. And then on top of that, as I told my students this morning, the core symbolic value of archaeology is discovery, and one of the major uses it is put to is by incipient movements trying to overturn a non-favorable status quo.

    And THEN on top of all that, I think a significant aspect of the resurgence of Ancient Aliens is coming from those who have an ideology more in tune with David Icke, and talk about Nephilim and Annunaki and fit this into End Times theology, conspiracies about elites, and so on, believing that “aliens” in both the past and the present are actually demonic or spiritual forces. That’s not the message that the TV show by that name puts out, but it is the same sort of transformation by TV one got with conspiracy theory and the X-Files (the show took advantage of a bump in conspiracy theory in the early 1990s, but that bump was largely from the American right in the wake of the fall of the Soviet Union and the election of Bill Clinton).

  14. December 5, 2013 at 9:29 AM

    In German sources they are not mentioned as students and I doubt they are. As it seems those two already have quite a trackrecord in pseudoscience: and unfortunately only in German.

  15. Chris Howard
    December 5, 2013 at 10:29 AM

    Way cool! Thanks , again.

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