Monday, September 07, 2009

JUNK HISTORY WATCH: Haven't had an entry in this file for a while.
Governor stirs controversy over Great Pyramid of Giza

By Ramadan Al Sherbini, Correspondent (Gulf News)
Published: September 06, 2009, 22:56

Cairo: The first shot was fired by Giza Governor Saeed Abdul Aziz early last month, when he announced that the city famed for its pyramids would celebrate Giza Day on every August 23.

He explained that this decision had been reached as a result of a study completed by a panel of archaeologists and astronomers, who concluded that the building of the Great Pyramid began on August 23.

This announcement met with an angry response from Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top archaeologist.

"This study is inaccurate," said Hawass, general secretary of the Superior Council of Antiquities. "There is no clear text from the ancient history [that states] when the Great Pyramid was built. The belief that the Great Pyramid was built during the Nile flood, when there was usually no work, is completely erroneous."

I suppose that's junk history too - I'll take Dr. Hawass's word for it - but it's not the junk history I had in mind, which comes at the end of the article.
The independent newspaper Al Youm Al Sabe this week speculated that Hosni, who is vying for Unesco's top post, did not want to anger the Israelis, who claim their ancestors built the Giza pyramids.

"He [Hosni] needs Jewish votes for his bid in the upcoming Unesco election," the newspaper reported, quoting an unnamed senior official at the Supreme Council of Antiquities, an affiliate of Hosni's Ministry of Culture.

The report added that the timing of the controversy was inopportune for Hosni
Er, no. The Israelis don't think that their ancestors built the pyramids, although it's reported that Menachem Begin once claimed this. Josephus seems to have come up with the idea, and it was much later promulgated by a Scotsman, but today I don't know of anyone who believes it except perhaps a few Egyptians. (For the Begin and Josephus references, see that last link.) Needless to say, the notion is bogus.