Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Even More on Egypt: The Pointy Pyramids

The pyramids are probably the most famous symbol of Ancient Egypt. Napoleon Bonaparte visited the pyramid of Cheops in 1799. It is said he walked into the very center of the king's chamber and ordered the tour guide to leave. When he left, he was pale and shaking. No one knows what happened, but Napoleon hinted about it to a friend that he'd experienced incredible things. Just before he died, he nearly told someone, but changed his mind. His secret died with him.

Some people believe that the pyramids weren't tombs at all. They could have been giant calendars or landmarks. There are also stories of many tourists going in, reaching the center and fainting. Whatever they were, they are still one of the seven wonders of the world.

There is a story about a man who found a cat inside a pyramid. That wouldn't be so shocking if I didn't tell you the cat was a mummy. That wouldn't be shocking either if the cat was wrapped and embalmed. But it wasn't. He began experimenting to find out how this could happen. He made models of pyramids and put food inside them that you'd expect would rot. It stayed fresh longer than you'd expect.

Another man heard about the experiments and wondered if the pyramids would preserve razor blades, as they were in short supply. He put a dull blade inside a model. The razor blade became sharp again! He took the idea to a patent office. The man in charge agreed to try it for one week. When he came back, the man in charge was a shaken man. Apparently, the idea had worked! They couldn't figure out why, but the idea was patented.

We may never know if the stories told about the pyramids are true. We may never know what the Egyptians knew that we don't. But we do know this: the pyramids have a much deeper history than what we can imagine.

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