Aliens, ‘ancient astronauts’ or perhaps the ancient Egyptian ‘gods’ (really extraterrestrials) may have helped inspire the building of the Egyptian pyramids (like God inspires the building of cathedrals), but it was your basic human blood, sweat and tears that did the actual construction despite all the hardships. Here are some thoughts on why we have to pat ourselves on the back and not the backs of aliens for these impressive structures, one of which is the last one standing of the seven original ancient wonders of the world.

*One common theme in creation mythology is that the ‘gods’ created humans to serve them and do the hard yards in terms of sweat and toil. That alone is suggestive that the so-called ‘gods’ (that is, the ‘ancient astronauts’) did not sweat and toil and build the pyramids using whatever high-tech at their command; rather humans erected these massive structures as tombs (and as a stairway to the heavens in the afterlife) to honour their ‘gods’, of which the pharaoh was considered to be as one after death. So a tomb for the departed king was also a monument erected to the ‘gods’.

*Archaeological digs within sight of the Great Pyramids at Giza have uncovered ‘towns’ and cemeteries where the human labour force that planned and built the pyramids, and provided the required infrastructure (like food) lived and died and were buried, including, of course, the skeletal remains of those workers.

*Detailed medical analysis of those skeletons reveals the sorts of anatomical conditions and accidental injuries that would be commonly associated with; that which would result from the backbreaking sort of work associated with stonework; moving and positioning massive stone blocks.

*Images or reliefs in various temples, tombs and other structures depict scenes of large groups of men hauling massive stone blocks and/or doing the sorts of things that stonemasons do.

*Graffiti has been uncovered inside numerous ancient Egyptian pyramid sites left behind by the work gangs who did the hard yards. It’s a sort of ancient equivalent of the WWII “Kilroy Was Here” sort of thing.

*The pyramids show a natural evolution in styling from the simple mastaba to the more complex as in mastabas piled one on top of the other (the Step Pyramid), then finally to the true pyramid shape now so familiar to us in their design and structure, starting with the Red Pyramid at Dahshur. Pyramids are not all near identical clones that those at the Giza necropolis might suggest.

*Associated with that evolution, we find pyramids that ended up in an ‘oops’ condition; pyramids that suffered construction mishaps like the Pyramid of Meidum where the outer bits just sort of collapsed in a heap revealing the inner core. The Bent Pyramid was “bent” because it was realised half-way through that the original angle was too steep and the top half was constructed at a lesser angle. The pharaoh concerned was an unhappy camper about that ‘oops’ and so the Bet Pyramid was then abandoned unused. Aliens wouldn’t have made such trail-and-error mistakes.

*The pyramid shape is hardly something out-of-this-world. It’s a fundamental geometrical shape well-known to the ancients.

*Looking at images of the pyramids, both external and internal, you’d be pretty hard pressed to think of these as something high-tech. If ‘ancient astronauts’ can get from there to here in high-tech spaceships, and when they arrived they then built these pyramids, then you’d expect something a bit more futuristic ‘gosh-wow’, ‘golly-gee’, with flashing lights and lots of glass, chrome-and-steel, ceramics-and-plastics, all incorporated into that sort of architectural engineering that we employ today. Pure stone might be impressive, but high-tech it’s not.

*Modern scholars and Egyptologists have shown plausible ways ancient humans could have used ‘primitive’ techniques that oriented the pyramids and levelled them with respect to the ground and constructed them to high levels of precisions of length and slope. No high-tech was required.

*What possible motive could ‘ancient astronauts’ have had to construct such things in any event? They weren’t tombs for aliens; they certainly weren’t apartments or office blocks for extra-terrestrials.

*No out-of-place artefacts have been discovered in or around the pyramids that can be associated with the time of the pyramids and the pyramid builders, the sort of tools and equipment you might find in any modern hardware store. And certainly nothing that looked like it should belong among the props on the “Star Trek” film or TV set has been documented.

*The only real out-of-place artefact I’m aware of that’s suggestive of some odd goings on is that little wooden ‘bird’ found within an ancient Egyptian tomb at Saqqara in 1898, dated to several centuries BCE, now at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. Alas, it’s labelled a “bird” because it would be silly to label it an “airplane”, yet that’s exactly what it looks like, and scaled up models fly like a plane and are aerodynamically sound. That’s hardly evidence, far less proof, aliens were in ancient Egypt and therefore must have built the pyramids, but the game is afoot and explanations are required.

*Ancient Egyptians left behind an awful lot of images on the walls of tombs, temples, obelisks, stele, etc. of their gods, pharaohs, their everyday life at work and play, their family activities, warfare scenes, etc. Nothing leaps out as anything obviously ‘out of this world’ as in depictions of ‘The Greys’ or of flying saucers or any sort of celestial scenes like say the planet Saturn complete with rings or an accurate pictorial depiction of say our solar system. Some of their ‘gods’ do look more than just a little bit strange with their animal heads, but at least they are the heads of terrestrial animals depicted.

*However, an interesting image or relief at the Temple of [the goddess] Hathor at Dendera, Egypt shows two ancient Egyptians, apparently priests, each holding up what appears at first, second and even third glance to be an enormous light bulb complete with cable attachments at the rear end [2], though judging by other humans in the petroglyph nothing really is to scale. However, a light bulb by itself is useless. To be effective and do its light bulb thing, a massive infrastructure is required behind it. You’d need an electric power plant, or generator, or large batteries and electric wiring. There’s no power source shown and there’s no such electric generating infrastructure uncovered in the archaeological record. This image appears to be a one-off and the objects probably aren’t what they seem to be to our modern eyes. Only those depicted in the image, and perhaps the one who carved it and the intended audience would know what it really signifies.

*However, that image does raise an interesting question, and, IMHO, a bona-fide mystery. How were passageways in tombs (like the pyramids) and temples, sometimes kilometres in length when taking into account all the twists and turns; often tunnels (with multi side chambers) descending down to depths equivalent to a 30-story building, lighted? Experiments with reflecting mirrors using outside natural light fail after several hundred feet. There are all sorts of highly detailed inscriptions/hieroglyphs chiselled on the walls and ceilings; ditto paintings. Yet, if all was lit by burning torches, where’s all the smoke soot? Can you construct such elaborate passageways / chambers from solid rock and highly detailed paintings and carvings and inscriptions in total darkness except for candles/torches without leaving soot behind and ruining your eyesight to boot? Could you? I couldn’t. Somewhat related is a viable oxygen supply in some of those really deep tombs. There just wouldn’t have been enough to support many workers. Even archaeologists descending down today can find themselves in difficulty.

*Finally, much of what applies here applies equally to the pyramids associated with the various cultures of Mesoamerica. I see no evidence at all that humans couldn’t of constructed these structures.

Now don’t get me wrong, there are indeed many, many unsolved (but not unsolvable) anomalies or mysteries associated with the Egyptian pyramids (like lighting) that will keep Egyptologists and archaeologists and historians busy for generations yet, but invoking ‘ancient astronauts’ doesn’t seem to be very helpful in pushing forward such solutions that research will eventually solve and pin the handiwork where it belongs, on the human being. That said, I’m more than willing to concede that aliens might be associated with one or more reasons for humans building the pyramids, but that’s a far cry from saying aliens actually built the pyramids or gave humans our modern even futuristic (by our standards) technology to accomplish same.

P.S.: Contrary to typical and stereotyped Hollywood (and similar) depictions, slaves didn’t build the pyramids either. You had a voluntary labour force (in service to the pharaoh), a well fed, housed and looked after workforce.