Position Statement by Graham Hancock

In his reply to my "Position Statement On The Antiquity And Meaning Of
The Giza Monuments", Martin Stower kindly offers to place my Statement
on the Web.

As long as the statement is posted in exactly the same form as it
appeared on Egyptnews of Thursday 23 July 1998 I would be grateful to Mr
Stower if he would indeed repost it as widely and as prominently as
possible on the Web. Other readers should also feel to repost the entire
statement wherever they wish.

Best regards,

Graham Hancock


22 July 1998

I am the author of  "Fingerprints of the Gods" and the co-author (with Robert
Bauval) of "Keeper of Genesis" (entitled "The Message of the Sphinx" in the
United States).

Before continuing I advise all who are interested in this position statement
to read first the critique of  my work posted by Martin Stower on his website
(http://www.dcs.shef.ac.uk/~martins/Pyramid/kogenesis.html). Please also
refer to John Anthony West's open letter to Martin Stower posted on Egyptnews.

(1) Re the 'quarry mark' hieroglyphs in the relieving chambers above the
King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid, I have rightly been taken to task for
uncritically supporting Zecharia Sitchin's forgery theory. I reported this
theory in Fingerprints (published 1995) and in Keeper/Message (published

(2) As an author and researcher I hope that my work will always be 'in
progress' and never finished or set in stone. When I come across new evidence
that casts doubt on theories that I previously endorsed I am ready to change
my views and admit to past mistakes.

(3) As John West kindly reported in his open letter to Stower I have changed
my views on the validity of the forgery theory. The relieving chambers are
strictly off limits to the public and are extremely difficult to gain access
to. I had been unable to obtain permission to visit them prior to the
publication of Keeper/Message in 1996. However, in December 1997, Dr Zahi
Hawass allowed me to spend an entire day exploring these chambers. There were
no restrictions on where I looked and I had ample time to examine the
hieroglyphs closely, under powerful lights. Cracks in some of the joints
reveal hieroglyphs set far back into the masonry. No 'forger' could possibly
have reached in there after the blocks had been set in place - blocks, I
should add, that weigh tens of tons each and that are immovably interlinked
with one another. The only reasonable conclusion is the one which orthodox
Egyptologists have already long held - namely that the hieroglyphs are genuine
Old Kingdom
graffiti and that they were daubed on the blocks before construction began.

(4) I have stated my view on this matter several times in public lectures
during and indeed before 1998. In my September 1998 book "Heaven's Mirror"
(with photographer Santha Faiia), and in the accompanying television series
"Quest for the Lost Civilization", I  likewise make absolutely clear my full
acceptance that the Great Pyramid (or at any rate most of it) was built during
the Fourth Dynasty.

(5) This is not a sudden conversion. Although I was still open to the
erroneous forgery theory while Keeper/Message was being written, I was also
very much open to the orthodox theory that the Giza pyramids were Fourth
Dynasty work - irrespective of the provenance of the quarry marks. The central
thesis of Keeper/Message -- that the Giza monuments were built to commemorate
the sky of 10,500 BC -- does not require us to conclude that all the monuments
were necessarily built in that epoch. On the contrary I wrote in
Keeper/Message that "the Great Pyramid must have some extremely strong
connection with the epoch of 2500 BC - the approximate date at which all
orthodox Egyptologists and archaeologists in fact believe it to have been
built." Earlier, in Fingerprints of the Gods, I suggested that the ground-plan
of the Giza monuments might have been devised in 10,500 BC but that the
monuments themselves could have been built over an 8000-year period (from
10,500 BC down to 2500 BC). I pointed out that the Great Pyramid's famous star
shafts unequivocally
link the monument to the epoch of 2500 BC and that the construction levels
through which the shafts run might be explained as "the later work of the same
long-lived cult that laid out the Giza ground-plan in 10,450 BC.'

(6) Robert Bauval and I have jointly evolved a tentative 'theory of Giza' over
the past five years of our work together. Briefly this theory -- which we
offer as a serious alternative to the orthodox 'tombs and tombs only'
hypothesis -- is that the three great pyramids of Giza, and the Great Sphinx,
form a symbolic architectural model of some of the principal stars of the Duat
sky-region (through which the Pharaohs believed that their souls would travel
after death) as that sky-region appeared at dawn on the spring equinox in the
epoch of 10,500 BC. Citing the geological findings of John Anthony West and
Robert Schoch, we have argued, and continue to maintain, that the Great Sphinx
and its associated megalithic structures may actually have been built in that
distant epoch. We have also argued, and continue to maintain, that the three
great pyramids in general are likely to be much younger than the Sphinx and
that they should probably be assigned to the Fourth Dynasty (rather than to
any other period) because of the alignments of the star shafts.

(7) Ultimately, however, our hypothesis does not stand or fall on the precise
dates at which individual monuments were built. A symbolic architectural model
of the Duat sky region as it last appeared in 10,500 BC could theoretically
have been designed in any epoch (I repeat, in any epoch) by any culture
possessing a knowledge of the astronomical cycle of precession and of how it
alters stellar positions over long periods of time.

(8) In short, we are more interested in why such a model was built than when
it was built.

(9) For the record I believe that Khufu did build the Great Pyramid - or
anyway most of it (perhaps the subterranean chamber and some other rock-hewn
parts of the
structure may be earlier).

(10) For the record I do not believe that Khufu built the Pyramid as his tomb.
The very fact that his name only appears within the monument in the form of
quarry marks accidentally left behind in inaccessible chambers goes to prove
that he was not such an ego-maniac. I think that he built it for another
purpose altogether - a far loftier and much more mysterious purpose. Further
details are provided in my forthcoming book
"Heaven's Mirror" (UK and US publication, late September 1998) and in the
accompanying TV series 'Quest For The Lost Civilization' (The Learning Chanel,
US, August, 1998; Channel 4, UK, September/October 1998).

Graham Hancock

Devon, England, 22 July 1998

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