Discussion:
Two problems with identifying Alexander the Great's body
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JTEM
2011-01-02 19:13:05 UTC
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"Unknown Man E" is the best candidate for the remains
of Alexander the Great, but there are two problems with
this identification. The first & foremost is the ego of
Hawass -- king of Egyptology.

Hawass originally entered the limelight as the Napoleon
of Egyptology, the great reformer. That was a long time
ago, and all such pretenses are long gone. The man who
was once thought of as a reformer -- saving Egyptology --
has since revealed himself as a petty tyrant driven by
ego and corrupted by wealth.

....just try making a documentary on ancient Egypt, in
Egypt, without bribing....errr....hiring Hawass.

Anyhow, the great ego that is Hawass has decried that
"Unknown Man E" is in fact the son of Ramesses III, and the
unfortunate casualty of the so-called "Harem Conspiracy."
And, to "Prove" this ego dropping we have a classic example
of circular logic. But let's take a step back for a moment.

We're all familiar with "Occam's Razor." Unfortunately, as
well known as it is, it just happens to be one of the least
understood and most misapplied concepts in the world.

The other is Godwin's Law, but I digress...

Still, "Occam's Razor" is certainly well known, and I will
apply it now to "Unknown Man E" in order to demonstrate
the problem here....

We have a body that was preserved in a distinctly non-Egyptian
style, and buried in a distinctly non-Egyptian fashion. "Occam's
Razor" would lead us to conclude that the mummy was prepared
by non-Egyptians. So, I guess the real question remaining is
whether or not there's any evidence that the mummy was actually
prepared in Egypt.

There isn't.

There's the dating, which unfortunately is based entirely on the
premise that the mummy was positively determined to have been
prepared in Egypt. This is where Hawass' circular nonsense comes
into play.

See, in order to shoehorn "Unknown Man E" into any Harem
conspiracy, as Hawass does, you first have to pretend that
the mummy is unambiguously Egyptian.

Oops, no, that's wrong....

You have to pretend that the mummy is unambiguously Egyptian
AND that it has been determined that the preparation took place
in Egypt by Egyptians.

None of these things are in fact true. None.

#1.
The ethnicity/nationality of the mummy has never been determined.

#2.
The location of the mummification process has never been determined.

#3.
The ethnicity/nationality of the mummifiers has never been determined.

Yet, Hawass' "Harem Conspiracy" knee-jerk is based on the lie that
all three of these things have been established.

Here, I'll spell it out for people who don't get it...

The so-called "Dating" -- which just happens to allow for the "Harem
Conspiracy" --- is based on EGYPTIAN mummification techniques.
They're saying the techniques, the style was in use during specific
periods in Egypt, so the mummy must date to within that time frame.
But...

But if the mummification took place elsewhere, that's all nonsense.
The prevailing styles within Egypt are irrelevant if the mummification
took place outside of Egypt, by non-Egyptians. And the fact that the
mummy is nothing like any other mummy would alone suggest that
prevailing Egyptian styles are very useful in this case.

So, although "Occam's Razor" would have us conclude that this
mummy was mummified elsewhere, Hawass merely decides that
it wasn't, and then uses this decision to "Prove" itself correct....

Circular reasoning.

Unfortunately, disproving Hawass and his mindless dictates does
nothing to advance the argument that "Unknown Man E" is in fact
Alexander the Great. So, what would?

Let's face it; Alexander the Great died a very long time ago, and
his body was highly prized as both a relic and the potential source
of treasure. The odds say that it was destroyed a long, long time
ago. But there's a chance that it wasn't. And finding his body would
be a major discovery, so even if the chances are slim we've got to
roll the dice. And, "Unknown Man E" is an excellent candidate, too
good a candidate to continue ignoring....

So, again, what kind of "Evidence" do we need for the "Alexander
the Great" theory? Well, I'd say....

THE DEIR EL-BAHERI CACHE

The "Unknown Man E" mummy was discovered in the Deir El-Baheri
cache, and there lies the, um, the catch.

When was the cache forgotten? The conventional story says that a
bunch of priests piled up the mummies inside the Deir El-Baheri
catch during the 21st dynasty, and then afterwards went out for some
chicken and forgot about it. Well, or something like that. The point,
of course, is that if the cache was forgotten within even a few
centuries
after the 21st dynasty then there's no way Alexander the Great (who
died in the late 4th century) could get inside.

Now, personally, I never believed that knowledge of the caches were
lost. The priests were known for their records and record keeping,
and a secret like that was just too juicy to not keep alive. No, I
have
always believed that the knowledge of the caches weren't lost until
Roman times, and probably not until Christianity took over.

Can it be proven?

Can anyone, anywhere, prove that the Priests entered the cache
sometime as recently as the 4th century BC, or at least that they
didn't lose knowledge of the caches until someone AFTER Alexander
the Great died?

See, we need at least the possibility of this in order to call
"Unknown
Man E" Alexander the Great.

THE TEETH

Now not only are teeth a fantabulous source for DNA, but they can
also tell us a lot about ancient people and their health & diet as the
teeth formed. Something else that testing of the teeth has been used
for is determine WHERE an ancient body originated.

WHERE THEY CAME FROM.

Isotope analysis of the teeth in ancient remains have been used to
identify the geographic origins of people. Now this is a overly
simplified
explanation, but it goes like this...

The isotopes got in the tooth enamel while it was forming, so even if
a person later moves it's not going to change anything. And as
Alexander the Great was born & raised quite some distance from Egypt,
an analysis of "Unknown Man E's" teeth, if he's not Egyptian, should
show this.

Here, this story discusses the science, though in the context of a
boy found near Stonehenge:

: Different regions have different mixes of elements in their drinking
: water, for example, and some of those are absorbed into a
: person's tooth enamel as he or she grows up. Analysis of the
: isotopes of oxygen and strontium carried in the enamel can give
: scientists a good but rather general idea of where a person was
: raised.
http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2010/0930/Stonehenge-skeleton-Ancient-traveler-died-near-the-famous-monument

POLLEN

Now this is a difficult one. See, if a person died and was
mummified in ancient times, they would have to have
microscopic clues such as pollen trapped on their body.
You'd think so, anyway. In the case of "Unknown Man E"
there are two issues. The first is the chemicals used in
the mummification process, and the second and more
important issue is the missing wrappings.

Still, at least SOME pollen would have to be trapped, and
if any of it, any of it at all pointed to a location outside of
Egypt, this would be good evidence for a foreign
mummification.

Oops, there's another problem: The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.

But that's no big deal.

What we'd be looking for is pollen NOT found in Egypt.

Anyhow, these are the tests -- the evidence -- I'd like to
see on "Unknown Man E," and I'd like to see them
performed by multiple, independent international laboratories.

You know, so Hawass can't fudge any results...
George
2011-01-02 19:46:03 UTC
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Oops, there's another problem:  The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
He's been dead for 1734 odd years.
How do you get 'thousands' ?
Lee Olsen
2011-01-02 20:32:05 UTC
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Post by George
Oops, there's another problem:  The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
He's been dead for 1734 odd years.
How do you get 'thousands' ?
Same way he got 6700 out of 10000 :-)
JTEM
2011-01-02 20:54:19 UTC
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Post by George
Oops, there's another problem:  The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
He's been dead for 1734 odd years.
How do you get 'thousands' ?
Oops, you're a little confused, reading "AD" (or "CE) where
you should see "BC" (or "BCE").

Current belief is that he died in 323 BC, some 2343.5 years
ago.
VtSkier
2011-01-02 21:09:32 UTC
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Post by George
Post by JTEM
Oops, there's another problem: The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
He's been dead for 1734 odd years.
How do you get 'thousands' ?
Surely you can do math better than that.
+/-300 BC + 2011 = +/-2311
yes thousands, only two but still plural.
George
2011-01-02 22:52:57 UTC
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Post by VtSkier
Post by George
Oops, there's another problem:  The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
He's been dead for 1734 odd years.
How do you get 'thousands' ?
Surely you can do math better than that.
+/-300 BC + 2011 = +/-2311
yes thousands, only two but still plural.
Fair enough.
The mind is not in gear :-(
paris2venice
2011-02-01 12:13:18 UTC
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Post by JTEM
"Unknown Man E" is the best candidate for the remains
of Alexander the Great, but there are two problems with
this identification. The first & foremost is the ego of
Hawass -- king of Egyptology.
Hawass originally entered the limelight as the Napoleon
of Egyptology, the great reformer. That was a long time
ago, and all such pretenses are long gone. The man who
was once thought of as a reformer -- saving Egyptology --
has since revealed himself as a petty tyrant driven by
ego and corrupted by wealth.
    ....just try making a documentary on ancient Egypt, in
Egypt, without bribing....errr....hiring Hawass.
Anyhow, the great ego that is Hawass has decried that
"Unknown Man E" is in fact the son of Ramesses III, and the
unfortunate casualty of the so-called "Harem Conspiracy."
And, to "Prove" this ego dropping we have a classic example
of circular logic. But let's take a step back for a moment.
We're all familiar with "Occam's Razor." Unfortunately, as
well known as it is, it just happens to be one of the least
understood and most misapplied concepts in the world.
The other is Godwin's Law, but I digress...
Still, "Occam's Razor" is certainly well known, and I will
apply it now to "Unknown Man E" in order to demonstrate
the problem here....
We have a body that was preserved in a distinctly non-Egyptian
style, and buried in a distinctly non-Egyptian fashion. "Occam's
Razor" would lead us to conclude that the mummy was prepared
by non-Egyptians. So, I guess the real question remaining is
whether or not there's any evidence that the mummy was actually
prepared in Egypt.
There isn't.
There's the dating, which unfortunately is based entirely on the
premise that the mummy was positively determined to have been
prepared in Egypt. This is where Hawass' circular nonsense comes
into play.
See, in order to shoehorn "Unknown Man E" into any Harem
conspiracy, as Hawass does, you first have to pretend that
the mummy is unambiguously Egyptian.
Oops, no, that's wrong....
You have to pretend that the mummy is unambiguously Egyptian
AND that it has been determined that the preparation took place
in Egypt by Egyptians.
None of these things are in fact true. None.
#1.
The ethnicity/nationality of the mummy has never been determined.
#2.
The location of the mummification process has never been determined.
#3.
The ethnicity/nationality of the mummifiers has never been determined.
Yet, Hawass' "Harem Conspiracy" knee-jerk is based on the lie that
all three of these things have been established.
Here, I'll spell it out for people who don't get it...
The so-called "Dating" -- which just happens to allow for the "Harem
Conspiracy"  --- is based on EGYPTIAN mummification techniques.
They're saying the techniques, the style was in use during specific
periods in Egypt, so the mummy must date to within that time frame.
But...
But if the mummification took place elsewhere, that's all nonsense.
The prevailing styles within Egypt are irrelevant if the mummification
took place outside of Egypt, by non-Egyptians. And the fact that the
mummy is nothing like any other mummy would alone suggest that
prevailing Egyptian styles are very useful in this case.
So, although "Occam's Razor" would have us conclude that this
mummy was mummified elsewhere, Hawass merely decides that
it wasn't, and then uses this decision to "Prove" itself correct....
Circular reasoning.
Unfortunately, disproving Hawass and his mindless dictates does
nothing to advance the argument that "Unknown Man E" is in fact
Alexander the Great. So, what would?
Let's face it; Alexander the Great died a very long time ago, and
his body was highly prized as both a relic and the potential source
of treasure. The odds say that it was destroyed a long, long time
ago. But there's a chance that it wasn't. And finding his body would
be a major discovery, so even if the chances are slim we've got to
roll the dice. And, "Unknown Man E" is an excellent candidate, too
good a candidate to continue ignoring....
So, again, what kind of "Evidence" do we need for the "Alexander
the Great" theory? Well, I'd say....
THE DEIR EL-BAHERI CACHE
The "Unknown Man E" mummy was discovered in the Deir El-Baheri
cache, and there lies the, um, the catch.
When was the cache forgotten?  The conventional story says that a
bunch of priests piled up the mummies inside the Deir El-Baheri
catch during the 21st dynasty, and then afterwards went out for some
chicken and forgot about it. Well, or something like that. The point,
of course, is that if the cache was forgotten within even a few
centuries
after the 21st dynasty then there's no way Alexander the Great (who
died in the late 4th century) could get inside.
Now, personally, I never believed that knowledge of the caches were
lost. The priests were known for their records and record keeping,
and a secret like that was just too juicy to not keep alive. No, I
have
always believed that the knowledge of the caches weren't lost until
Roman times, and probably not until Christianity took over.
Can it be proven?
Can anyone, anywhere, prove that the Priests entered the cache
sometime as recently as the 4th century BC, or at least that they
didn't lose knowledge of the caches until someone AFTER Alexander
the Great died?
See, we need at least the possibility of this in order to call
"Unknown
Man E" Alexander the Great.
THE TEETH
Now not only are teeth a fantabulous source for DNA, but they can
also tell us a lot about ancient people and their health & diet as the
teeth formed. Something else that testing of the teeth has been used
for is determine WHERE an ancient body originated.
WHERE THEY CAME FROM.
Isotope analysis of the teeth in ancient remains have been used to
identify the geographic origins of people. Now this is a overly
simplified
explanation, but it goes like this...
The isotopes got in the tooth enamel while it was forming, so even if
a person later moves it's not going to change anything. And as
Alexander the Great was born & raised quite some distance from Egypt,
an analysis of "Unknown Man E's" teeth, if he's not Egyptian, should
show this.
Here, this story discusses the science, though in the context of a
: Different regions have different mixes of elements in their drinking
: water, for example, and some of those are absorbed into a
: person's tooth enamel as he or she grows up. Analysis of the
: isotopes of oxygen and strontium carried in the enamel can give
: scientists a good but rather general idea of where a person was
: raised.http://www.csmonitor.com/Business/Latest-News-Wires/2010/0930/Stonehe...
POLLEN
Now this is a difficult one. See, if a person died and was
mummified in ancient times, they would have to have
microscopic clues such as pollen trapped on their body.
You'd think so, anyway. In the case of "Unknown Man E"
there are two issues. The first is the chemicals used in
the mummification process, and the second and more
important issue is the missing wrappings.
Still, at least SOME pollen would have to be trapped, and
if any of it, any of it at all pointed to a location outside of
Egypt, this would be good evidence for a foreign
mummification.
Oops, there's another problem:  The body has been in
Egypt for thousands of years, and unwrapped for more
than a century. It's a virtual impossibility that it hasn't
been contaminated by Egyptian pollen.
But that's no big deal.
What we'd be looking for is pollen NOT found in Egypt.
Anyhow, these are the tests -- the evidence -- I'd like to
see on "Unknown Man E," and I'd like to see them
performed by multiple, independent international laboratories.
You know, so Hawass can't fudge any results...
Of the forty mummies found at TT320 in 1881, the most famous are of
course from the New Kingdom. Pinedjem, however, was a High Priest
from Dynasty XXI. He became High Priest in or about 1070 BCE at about
the same time that the Egyptian economy failed and tomb robbers became
the rage (history is repeating itself). Do you know any TT320 mummies
from dynasties later than the 21st? If not, 600+ years is a long
time between adding mummies to the cache.
JTEM
2011-02-01 18:40:32 UTC
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Post by paris2venice
Of the forty mummies found at TT320 in 1881, the
most famous are of course from the New Kingdom.
Most, if not every last one, was dating by way of
embalming techniques, which ordinarily might be
a tad "iffy" even before considering how these
mummies were re-wrapped and often in the wrong
coffin.

And does that make the least bit of sense to anyone?
Re-burying mummies in the wrong coffin? But I
digress...
Post by paris2venice
Pinedjem, however, was a High Priest
from Dynasty XXI.  He became High Priest in or about
1070 BCE at about the same time that the Egyptian
economy failed and tomb robbers became
the rage (history is repeating itself).
My personal theory is that it was never out of rage... at
least going by tut....
Post by paris2venice
Do you know any TT320 mummies
from dynasties later than the 21st?
Besides "Unknown Man E"?

It really all comes down to when the knowledge of
the cache was lost. I would suspect that this didn't
occur until Christian times.

There are so many good, solid, scientific ways to
answer questions about this "Screaming Man" that
I see no value in speculation.

There's DNA. There's the isotope testing. And, yes,
to a much lesser extent there is pollen.

...Carbon Dating would also come in useful in
excluding, but not proving, a particular theory.

NOTE: It can't avoid having Egyptian pollen. No matter
what, it's been in Egypt for at least 2,000 years and
unwrapped for more than a century. But if it does have
pollen associated with the place & time of Alexander's
mummification, and is not associated with Egypt, that
would strongly suggest the disgraced Prince theory is
rubbish.
Post by paris2venice
600+ years is a long time between adding mummies
to the cache.
Alexander was special. As conqueror of the Persians he
appears to have taken on the mantle of "Freedom bringer,"
and with it the airs of a genuine Pharaoh. This was not
necessarily true for the distinctly FOREIGN monarchs of
the Libyan & Nubian dynasties.

REMEMBER: We are speaking of an abnormally here.
This "Unknown Man E"/"Screaming Man" is an annomally
and NOT the norm. Roughly, your argument appears to
be a derivative of "It can't be an abnormality if doesn't fit
the norm" -- the norm in this case being the 21st dynasty
or earlier.

Well it doesn't match any other royal mummy of any period.

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