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~3,000 year old pyramid in Kazakhstan
Topic Started: Sep 1 2016, 02:27 AM (363 Views)
Gregory J. Liebau
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I suppose I need to make a "Eurasian" section of the forum now...
http://www.businessinsider.com/archaeologi...in-egypt-2016-8
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Matthew Amt
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Kind of stretching the point to call that a pyramid... The whole thing would fit in my back yard without blocking the view of my fence, too. Journalists...

Matthew
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Gregory J. Liebau
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I think comparing it to the Egyptian pyramids is a bit silly, but technically it is very much a pyramid. Just a rather small one!
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Dan Howard
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It is definitely a pyramid but it is barely worth a footnote in a journal. A typical drystone wall built by farmers is more impressive.
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Matthew Amt
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Sorry, but what makes it a pyramid? It's a group of concentric walls that are, in their *current* state, a little taller towards the middle. Hard to tell if that was even its original form. By that definition, the pile of papers on my desk is a pyramid! Or any collapsed mud hut.

Are mastabas pyramids? What about burial mounds? Silbury Hill near Stonehenge is built the same way, it just happens to be circular rather than square, and it's a HELL of a lot bigger, not to mention far older. Why should this 3rd-rate sheep pen get any press? Let alone a mention alongside the PYRAMIDS OF EGYPT, for pity's sake...

Sorry for getting caustic, it's always neat to find something new from the Bronze Age, obviously! But all we get lately are these pathetic attempts to steal fame and inflate something to ridiculous heights, instead of just appreciating cool things for what they are and actually learning something about them.

Matthew
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Gregory J. Liebau
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Matthew Amt,Sep 2 2016
12:35 PM
Sorry, but what makes it a pyramid?

From the Oxford English Dictionary:

"pyramid - noun - a monumental stone structure with a square or triangular base and sloping sides that meet in a point at the top, especially one built as a royal tomb in ancient Egypt."

If you read the article you note that all of the exceptions to the norm are already indicated and clearly understood both by the archaeological team as well as the journalists. It is not completely like a pointed pyramid, resembling a "stepped rectangle," etc. It would have been more reasonable to compare it to the stone temples of Central America, perhaps. However, For the layman reading a news article, comparing it to a traditional pyramid seems like a good way to give an impression of what the original structure was like. I don't see anyone trying to make this into something that it is not if you actually read the article.
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Matthew Amt
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Oh, come on:

"Archaeologists just found a new pyramid that's even older than some in Egypt"

Do you really think 98 percent of the people who see this article will *not* be heavily influenced by that headline? It deliberately evokes the Great Pyramids of Egypt, because 98 percent of the readers don't know of any other pyramids in Egypt. So they see this pile of 12" stones and envision it as an immense, pointed megalith, when it's really just a largish hut with multiple walls. Heck, there's even that dramatic photo of Khephren's pyramid looming over Cairo. It uses the word "older"--and yes, the article promptly says, "Well, not older than ALL of them", but you know, first impressions, eh?

Besides, I'm not seeing sloped sides or a pointed top!

I'm also not seeing all the potentially fascinating things about this site: Are tombs like this common in that region, or rare, or is this one unique? Do other tombs share some of the features, or just have fewer walls? What do the surviving finds look like? What else do we know about that culture, or its royalty? Is there any sort of settlement or other structures nearby? Is this part of necropolis?

All of those questions are important to the significance of this structure. And all of them were ignored in order to draw a completely misleading comparison to an Egyptian pyramid.

Yeah, I'm a little extra grumpy and cynical these days, sorry. But I didn't get swept up in some heady fantasy by this shallow "EXXXTREEEEM" journalism.

Matthew
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Gregory J. Liebau
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Matthew,

The article is on Business Insider. I'm glad to have a commonplace news outlet reporting on such things at all, no matter how much it has to be hyped up to get a grand majority of people to even finish reading the headline. This is the way news is spread nowadays - get used to it.
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Dan Howard
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Matthew Amt,Sep 3 2016
01:36 AM
Oh, come on:

"Archaeologists just found a new pyramid that's even older than some in Egypt"

Welcome to the world of clickbait headlines.
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