Sunday

Pyramidiots



The Giza Pyramids, the one surviving wonder of the ancient world, have always been a focus of interest. Historians, archaeologists and scientists are fascinated by the mystery they emanate.

They have also generated more extreme pseudoscience than any other ancient monument on the planet, being popular focal points for theories on ufology, the Illuminati and Atlantis. People who subscribe to such notions even have their own name now: “pyramidiots”.

The most popular theory is that the Pyramids have supernatural or paranormal powers to preserve food, maintain the sharpness of razor blades, improve health and trigger sexual urges.

It is not clear who came up with such ideas or what they are based on, but it has prompted numerous people to come to Egypt seeking to absorb the mystical vibes said to be trapped inside the pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkawre.

Pyramid power is said to cure a host of ills, give glimpses of the future, provide a better night’s sleep and even halt aging.

More recently, driven by the idea that the Pyramids can enhance sexual prowess, in the absence of guards or police to stop them, a group of people shot pornography on the Giza Plateau that was later posted on the Internet by a Russian-speaking woman.

The ten-minute video was apparently posted last year but did not generate attention until newspapers
published screenshots with the woman’s breasts blurred out. According to reports, much of the video was shot in areas closed off to tourists and the actress is a young porn star named Aurita, who posts on a website called Porn Travelling.

The video sparked anger in Egypt, where Minister of Antiquities Mamdouh Eldamaty referred the issue to the prosecutor general for investigation. A week after the incident a local, privately owned newspaper published a story about foreigners who came to the Giza Plateau after midnight for a special ritual that newspapers have referred to as “Masonic.”

The newspaper claims that the group spent the night in King Khufu’s burial chamber where they chanted, meditated in the lotus position and danced.

Kamal Wahid, the head of the Central Administration for Cairo and Giza Monuments, however, said the newspaper’s report was based on unfounded claims. “No Masonic parties or ritual processions have taken place inside the Great Pyramid or anywhere on the plateau,” Wahid said.

He went on to explain that hundreds of tourist groups come to the plateau for private visits, whether inside the Great Pyramid or by the Sphinx, for a special fee after they obtain the approval of Ministry of Antiquities and Tourism and the Antiquities Police. From two to four archaeological inspectors and a police security force accompany each group on these private visits.

Before entering the Pyramid or the Sphinx courtyard, Wahid explained, every tourist is subjected to inspection by police in order to guarantee that they do not possess illegal objects such as candles, cameras, liquids or any solid object that could harm the monuments. The tour guide is even required to sign a pledge not to let the group conduct rituals inside the monument.

“All these procedures take place according to Ministry of Antiquities regulations,” Wahid asserted, citing cases where the police have prohibited private groups from entering the Pyramid.

“Did the reporter see them or only hear about them?” Wahid asked, dismissing the newspaper report and claiming it was bad press for tourism at a time when the country is in dire need of foreign visitors. “What kind of rituals is she talking about and what is her proof?”

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