Friday, June 01, 2007

Who built the pyramids?
In archaeology, times have changed. Where at one time professionals in the discipline were primarily philologists, historians, artists and epigraphers who, in their search for material remains of the ancient Egyptian civilisation, dug and destroyed layers of archaeology, things are different today. The search is for information rather than museum-worthy objects. Multiple layers of complex stratigraphy are being scientifically excavated and analysed -- everything from pottery shards to sealings of mud, from a fish-hook to human to animal remains. Such evidence, in addition to the discovery of long galleries which might have been barracks for a rotating labour force from the countryside, and a village-like town that possibly housed permanent workers and their families, paints a picture of the pyramid-builders which boggles the imagination.

It's a good article summarizing the revision of ideas about the builders of the pyramids (Lehner) and highlighting the way archaeology has become more prominent in some aspects of Egyptology.