Ancient Egyptians borrowed a Scottish design for pyramids

Click to follow
The Independent Online

The nation that brought us haggis, bagpipes and caber tossing can now lay claim to a far older invention - the Egyptian pyramids.

The nation that brought us haggis, bagpipes and caber tossing can now lay claim to a far older invention - the Egyptian pyramids.

Scotland, a small country with a history of big ideas, developed a key technology for pyramid building, say researchers. Robert Lomas and Christopher Knight believe the pyramids owe at least one unique feature to the technology invented by the ancient people in the Orkneys 2,000 years before the pyramids.

Dr Lomas, a lecturer in information technology at Bradford University, said the Orkney people were cladding their buildings in white quartz as early as 3,800BC. A clear "audit trail" shows how the ancient Scots invented the cladding technique but Dr Lomas said no such evidence of independent innovation can be found in Egypt.

"There is a very strong possibility they took the technology to Egypt via Crete," he said. "They travelled extensively by sea."

The earliest Orkney residents arrived soon after the Ice Age, about 8,000BC. "Their building technique was so sophisticated," said Dr Lomas. "They seem to have been led by astronomer priests who passed their knowledge to pilgrims all over Britain."

In their book Uriel's Machine: The Ancient Origins of Science, Dr Lomas and Dr Knight say the ancient Orkney designers used the megalithic yard, measuring 82.966cm, calculated from their knowledge of the geometric relationship between the Earth, Sun, and stars.

Other than the Orkney people people and the Ancient Egyptians, no other societies dressed their building using the same cladding technique, Dr Lomas said.

"Unfortunately, although they were intelligent, they had not developed any type of writing we are able to read, so their discoveries had been forgotten," he added.

Comments