I am dubious of generalisations whose subject is “Egyptology” or “Egyptologists”. They tend not to accord with my experience.
I am dubious of claims of analogy or arguments from analogy. Often the analogies are forced and it’s an invalid form in any case.
> Isn't Egyptology guilty of the same? Few, if any,
> have knowledge of mathematics, astronomy, civil
> engineering, but are quick to accept theories such
> as ramps for construction and that chord ceremony
> for alignment with cardinal points.
> Egyptology tells us that the GP was aligned with
> such accuracy because of the'stretching of the
> chord' ceremony. (I might have the ceremony name
> wrong). Owen Gingerich, Harvard Professor of
> Astronomy, disagrees. He says that humans did not
> have the ability for such accurate alignment until
> the work of Kepler. Yet, they alignment is near
> perfect. Spence, the British astronomer, attempted
> to prove that the chord ceremony would have worked
> -- but her theory was shown to be in error. Not
> only is there no scientific evidence that the
> chord ceremony will work, astronomers say that it
> can't, Egyptologists still assert the validity of
> the chord ceremony for accurate alignment.
I’d like to know who these Egyptologists are. Certainly there is evidence (not directly concerning the pyramids) of a pḏ šs ceremony. How practical it was is another question. I doubt it was any less pro forma than laying a foundation stone or launching a ship are in our own time and culture.
> And it was either on this board or HOM many, many
> years ago that a poster by the name of Stickler
> (can't find it in either archives) who pointed out
> that by the logic of Egyptologists, they would
> also conclude that Windsor Castle was built by the
> current House of Windsor.
It would work for Castle Howard, whereas Carnegie was named for the hall, clearly. Such is the murky world of analogy.
Let’s run this one past a few relevant facts. The ancient Egyptians had no family names. They had no named royal houses. I know of no examples of their being named after localities.
Which precludes the analogy suggested.
> And as an example of Creighton's point on
> Egyptologists going against the grain, I offer the
> case of Dr. Jane Sellers. Dr. Sellers used
> Egyptological sources (PT, hieroglyphics, etc.) to
> suggest that the AE were aware of precession. Her
> point is any society observant of the skies can't
> but fail to see the precession of the equinoxes.
> They might not understand why, but they would know
> that it exists. However, Egyptology, for reasons I
> have never understood, cannot allow the AE to have
> knowledge of precession (as they cannot allow the
> AE to have knowledge of PI). That knowledge is
> reserved for the Greeks (they cynic would suggest
> that the reason is that Egypt is in Africa while
> Greece is not). For her heresy, Dr. Sellers has
> been relegated to the fringe of Egyptology -- no
> endowed chair for her at the University of Chicago
> or Cantab.
I don’t know all that much about Sellers. I have her book (in the Penguin edition). It’s hard to find anything about her. Best I can find is the brief profile by Gary D. Thompson:
If this is correct, then she did not complete her doctoral studies (so not “Dr” Sellers)—and no one goes far in academia without a PhD. Far from being marginalised in Egyptology, she was barely in it in the first place. She was not, contrary to some statements, a professional Egyptologist or professional academic of any kind.
There seems to be some mythology here.
> I am not original here -- all these points have
> been raised on this and other boards. I was told
> that in British public schools, students are
> taught to be able to argue both sides of a
> question. It is in that spirit, that I make this