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  #1  
Old 11 January 2010, 06:40 AM
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Icon102 Egyptian tombs suggest pyramids not built by slaves

New tombs found in Giza support the view that the Great Pyramids were built by free workers and not slaves, as widely believed.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100110/...iquities_tombs
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  #2  
Old 11 January 2010, 08:59 AM
Troberg Troberg is offline
 
 
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Hasn't this been the working theory for quite some while? I've read about this at least ten years ago, so this is certainly not the first indication.

However, I was in Egypt this summer, and my investigations on site points to another conclusion:

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Old 12 January 2010, 12:18 PM
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I don't quite get why this points to no slaves. I don't think anyone thought it was built entirely by slaves, surely? The labour used would have ranged from brute force to skilled and semi-skilled artisans to priests and engineers overseeing it. I'm sure they got good tombs whilst the slaves dragging rocks around got hurled into the nearest ditch.
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Old 12 January 2010, 02:24 PM
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It was established before that most of the labor was by non-slaves. Working on the pyramid was a holy duty, so there was no problem getting workers.
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Old 12 January 2010, 02:30 PM
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Troberg I fail to see how your photograph proves anything. How do we know the crane wasn't built by slaves? and at me
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  #6  
Old 12 January 2010, 02:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
It was established before that most of the labor was by non-slaves. Working on the pyramid was a holy duty, so there was no problem getting workers.
Not only a holy duty in the name of the God/King, but also a national project every Egyptian would be proud of.
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Old 12 January 2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
It was established before that most of the labor was by non-slaves. Working on the pyramid was a holy duty, so there was no problem getting workers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyrano View Post
Not only a holy duty in the name of the God/King, but also a national project every Egyptian would be proud of.
And also, I have read somewhere, a way to keep people occupied during times when the Nile was flooded so they couldn't work on their fields anyway.
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Old 12 January 2010, 03:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Squirt View Post
I don't quite get why this points to no slaves.
I think that the point was that slaves were not the primary work force which is the traditional viewpoint

Quote:
I don't think anyone thought it was built entirely by slaves, surely?
Not for the last decade or so at least as I can remember, but the popular presentation of pyramid building (ie the movies, the Bible) presents that the job was done primarily by slaves

Quote:
The labour used would have ranged from brute force to skilled and semi-skilled artisans to priests and engineers overseeing it.
I doubt any of those fit under the definition of slaves as classically depicted though.

Quote:
I'm sure they got good tombs whilst the slaves dragging rocks around got hurled into the nearest ditch.
Are you sure?
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  #9  
Old 12 January 2010, 04:21 PM
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I believe it was the Greek historian Herodotus who claimed that they were built by slaves and that story has stuck for about 2500 years. He had a bad habit of making things up at times.
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  #10  
Old 12 January 2010, 07:29 PM
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He's not called the Father of Lies for nothing, then...

(eta - and the Father of History by those feeling kinder, of course).
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  #11  
Old 13 January 2010, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Eddylizard View Post
Troberg I fail to see how your photograph proves anything. How do we know the crane wasn't built by slaves? and at me
Well, that is possible, but it would still have been the crane that built the pyramids.

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Not only a holy duty in the name of the God/King, but also a national project every Egyptian would be proud of.
The Farao was a god. He was the god that kept them alive. He was Egypt. By preserving him after death, in a way, they preserved themselves and Egypt.
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  #12  
Old 14 January 2010, 04:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Floater View Post
And also, I have read somewhere, a way to keep people occupied during times when the Nile was flooded so they couldn't work on their fields anyway.
Yes; Barbara Mertz says that in one of her non-fiction books on Egypt.
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  #13  
Old 14 January 2010, 05:41 AM
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From my understanding they were not slaves, but conscripts. Mostly taken from the freed up labor from the fields during the flood season as Floater said. This was also quite helpful in making sure your population was busy and thinking about the kingdom and things like rebellion.
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Old 23 August 2010, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Troberg View Post
However, I was in Egypt this summer, and my investigations on site points to another conclusion:
So, is this a sand crane then..........
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  #15  
Old 23 August 2010, 10:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diddy View Post
Not for the last decade or so at least as I can remember, but the popular presentation of pyramid building (ie the movies, the Bible) presents that the job was done primarily by slaves
I don't think there's any pyramid-building mentioned in the Bible (though come to think of it, Sir John Mandeville insists the pyramids are Joseph's grain silos, and those are Biblical).
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  #16  
Old 23 August 2010, 11:11 PM
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A Turtle Named Mack A Turtle Named Mack is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing in the Drizzle View Post
From my understanding they were not slaves, but conscripts. Mostly taken from the freed up labor from the fields during the flood season as Floater said. This was also quite helpful in making sure your population was busy and thinking about the kingdom and things like rebellion.
This has been my understanding as well, and I am quite sure that the neat boundaries that we have for concepts like 'slaves' probably do not apply. A conscript had little freedom to choose whether he would work, but probably had a certain allotment of hours he had to put in, and then was largely free to use his remaining time as he chose. It was not 'chattel slavery', in which the slaves could be sold and used largely without restraint, but it was also not very free, since you could not choose not to do this work.

In some sources I have read, the term slave seems to be applied by some ancient writers to those who worked for wages, the concept apparently being that a person was only really free if he was an equity participant in the venture, just as the crew on the crab boats on Deadliest Catch are paid a percentage, not a wage. I have no particular cites, and it does not seem universal (as in Jesus's parable of the day laborers), but that is my impression (and I repeat it here to see if anyone has any further info on that).

My point - and I do have one - is that we use the term slavery for a particular institution, but the term can apply to quite a number of other arrangements which are in come sense not wholly free, but are not as unfree as the chattel slavery we have read so much about.
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  #17  
Old 23 August 2010, 11:49 PM
Nick Theodorakis Nick Theodorakis is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Turtle Named Mack View Post
...
In some sources I have read, the term slave seems to be applied by some ancient writers to those who worked for wages, the concept apparently being that a person was only really free if he was an equity participant in the venture, just as the crew on the crab boats on Deadliest Catch are paid a percentage, not a wage. I have no particular cites, and it does not seem universal (as in Jesus's parable of the day laborers), but that is my impression (and I repeat it here to see if anyone has any further info on that).
...
New Testament Greek seems to use the same word for "slave" and "servant," δοῦλος (doulos, Strong's no. 1401), although in the parable of the laborers in the vineyard another word was used (εργατων).

Nick
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  #18  
Old 24 August 2010, 07:16 AM
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I can't remember the exact quote, but I recall that Dr Zahi Hawass (the Head of Antiquities in Egypt) is opposed to the claim that slaves built the pyramids, and he was even quite angry at the claim.
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  #19  
Old 24 August 2010, 07:26 AM
Jaime Vargas Jaime Vargas is offline
 
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Originally Posted by Chloe View Post
I don't think there's any pyramid-building mentioned in the Bible (though come to think of it, Sir John Mandeville insists the pyramids are Joseph's grain silos, and those are Biblical).
Not pyramid, but I think there was temple building. IIRC in Exodus the Israelites (while not slaves per se) were definitely labouring in the construction business.

Unless you're claiming that pyramid- and other type of building are fundamentally different instead of just picking nits.
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  #20  
Old 24 August 2010, 12:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaime Vargas View Post
Not pyramid, but I think there was temple building. IIRC in Exodus the Israelites (while not slaves per se) were definitely labouring in the construction business.

Unless you're claiming that pyramid- and other type of building are fundamentally different instead of just picking nits.
I'm not picking nits; the thread is about who built the pyramids, not whether or not Israelite slaves worked in construction. That seems like a pretty meaningful distinction to me.
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