Secret History of Ancient Egypt: Electricity, Sonics and the Disappearance of an Advanced Civilization – Book Review
by: Herbie Brennan
Publisher: Berkley Books: Penguin Putnam Inc.
Cover: Kristin del Rosario
reviewed by: Lynard Barnes, November 6, 2006
Summary: Recommended for the questions raised. How was the Great Pyramid built? Is civilization older than 7,000 years?
There was recently a program special on the HISTORY channel (cable-TV) concerning the architecture of ancient Egyptians. The question might be asked as to when there is not a program special on the DISCOVERY or HISTORY channel concerning the ancient Egyptians (or Hitler and the Nazis). These “Egypt discovered” programs–99% of the time (a wide-eyes guess)–simply regurgitate the Egyptologist’s perspective that the ancient Egyptians simply popped-up along the Nile Delta some five thousand years ago with a highly developed corporate (religious) society, reached a pinnacle of development some thousand years later and spent the next 2000 years going into a state of decline until the Romans marched in and took over. But it is television. Entertainment and education for the masses. FCC (as in Federal Communications Commission) forebid raising anything like a debatable question. Or, if a debatable question is raised, devote equal time to both sides. One talking head says this, the other talking head says that. You decide based upon the most superficial facts squeezed between camera cuts, commercials and repetitious re-statement of the superficial facts stated seven minutes before. It is television.
There are of course alternative views on the development of Egyptian civilization. This statement should normally be followed by the observation that some of the alternative views are sort of wacky. But given all that we do not know about Egyptian civilization, despite what the Egyptologists say they know, it would be naive to rule out any but the most fanciful ideas on the how and why of ancient Egypt. Herbie Brennan, in THE SECRET HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT, has a knack for raising questions–the best possible expression of alternative ideas there is.
Brennan’s approach is purely technical. He looks at the science of the ancient Egyptians and concludes that there is more history than the Egyptologist would have us believe. In reading the book, we are inclined to agree, though the science, as presented by Brennan, is speculative. Could the ancient Egyptians have used electricity, aircraft and sound waves to manipulate their environment? There is no reason they could not have. The proof may indeed be buried in the arcane wording of their rituals and ceremonies.
From Brennan’s THE SECRET HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT and similar efforts, the impression is inescapable that there were two ancient Egyptian cultures. There was the culture which built the Great Pyramid and Spinx, and the culture that followed, imitating the one before. The science of the former became the rituals and ceremonies of the later. In the process, the culture of rituals and ceremonies, which could not duplicate the science, stylized the procedures in dogma of life and life after death. It is an impression. But it is difficult for anyone to explain ancient Egyptian civilization as a cultural continuum. By focusing on the science, Brennan does not even try. He does take up the subject toward the end of the book when he looks at the theory of evolution.
The various theories on how the Great Pyramid was constructed are presented by Brennan.
The conventional wisdom–by which is meant Egyptologist–maintain that the 50 to 80 ton stones in the King’s chamber of the pyramid were put in place by use of inclined ramps. Common sense rejects the idea, but that does not mean it was not possible. But compound the difficulty of moving such massive weight with the precision by which it was done leads to doubt. Evidence presented in support of the ramp theory is evidence created after the fact. The Egyptian pictures of slaves dragging massive stones on a level plane were created long years after the Great Pyramid was erected. According to Brennan, the supposition reported by Greek historian Herodotus that the Great Pyramid was built by Cheops (Khufu) around 2551-2528 BC creates numerous twists and turns which eventually leads to a dead end. Egyptologist take Cheops as being Pharaoh Khufu, but there is no supporting evidence that the Cheops mentioned by Herodotus was in fact the Pharaoh Khufu. So, the supposed time frame in which the pyramid was built may be wrong. It could be thousands of years older than we think.
The monuments we know as the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx at Giza are between 5000 and 7000 years BC according to Brennan. The civilization that built these structures is probably older than that. The author goes on to argue that a culture as rich and sophisticated as early Egypt was probably the recipient of an even earlier culture.
Toward the end of the book, Brennan takes on Charles Darwin by mentioning the oddities that pop up in fossil records. He cites the instance of a “human skeleton found in Switzerland is estimated to be between 38 and 45 million years old” among of list of some seventeen examples. The Ancient Egyptians themselves claimed that their civilization was 30,000 years old when the last of the Horus-kings, Narmer, ended his rule around 2925 BC.. For Brennan and others, this all points to a very strong case for the influence of a thus far mythical civilization called Atlantis.
In the last chapter of THE SECRET HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT, rehashes Plato’s mention of Atlantis in his introduction to a history of Egypt. This is arguably the best chapter in Brennan’s work. While Atlantis may or may not have existed, there is too much unexplained about Ancient Egypt to blindly accept the logical though unfeasible history presented by Egyptologists.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT is definitely worth a read. It does not provide as many answers as it does questions. Questions, in history, are more valuable than answers.