Measuring the Sage

The Great Pyramid is probably the greatest repository of mathematical and geometric wisdom from the ancients that we have. The work of polymaths Robert Grant (Instagram: @robertedwardgrant) and Alan Greene (YouTube channel) even seems to argue in the direction that the Silent Sage harbors more mathematical and physical wisdom (from the past) than we have understanding of today!  But to make claims like this, we must have very accurate measures of the Great Pyramid’s lengths and angle measures.

So who has measured the Great Pyramid, and who’s measures are right?  Are there modern measurements taking advantage of laser precision? The battle over measuring the Great Pyramid probably climaxed in the competing measurements of Scotland’s Royal Astronomer C. Piazzi Smyth, and Sir William Flinders Petrie. Smyth first became interested in the measures and meaning of the Great Pyramid by reading John Taylor’s book, “The Great Pyramid: Why Was it Built and Who Built it?”  Smyth was drawn to the connections Taylor made between the proportionality of the size of the Pyramid compared to the size of the earth, and the implication that this knowledge was a revelation from the Creator. Smyth thought the Pyramid’s design must have a connection with the biblical patriarchs, rather than the polytheistic Egyptians, because of their closer affinity to Adam and the God who created him.  So when Smyth diligently measured the Pyramid, he was trying to confirm Taylor’s claims that the Pyramid had knowledge of the size of the earth’s circumference.  And Smyth also believed that the Creator placed time prophecies in the Pyramid at the scale of one inch for one year. Smyth used the best instruments available to take a comprehensive set of Great Pyramid measurements.

The father of Flinders Petrie was an avid follower of C. Piazzi Smyth, so when he undertook his survey of the Great Pyramid soon afterward, in 1880, it was partly to check the measurements of Smyth.  In one take on this, it was the measurements of the Christian pyramidologist (Smyth) versus the supremely rational and secular scientist (Petrie.)

Cutting to the chase here, Petrie is considered one of the fathers of Egyptology, and the Egyptological establishment is unanimous in ascribing great confidence in his measures over Smyth’s. The normally measured and rational Petrie is actually the one who coined the derogatory term “pyramidiot” to refer to those who, like Smyth, tried to force fanciful Christian theories on the Pyramid. The fact that Smyth gave a book length reply to defend himself against Petrie is largely lost on history because when Petrie dismissed Smyth he thereafter ignored him and was followed in that by succeeding Egyptologists.  Zahi Hawass often uses the term to dismiss theories he does not like.

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