Two German students, in an effort to prove that the Great Pyramids are 15,000 years older than they really are, chipped off samples from the walls of an ancient burial chamber and brought them back home for analysis. Both Egyptian and German authorities are outraged.
As reported in News Corp Australia, the two University of Dresden students subscribe to a popular theory among conspiracy theorists that the Pyramids are evidence of a lost civilization. They consider all reactions against this claim to be part of an ancient conspiracy; the "old guard" is hiding the "truth."
The ancient cartouche
The painted cartouche which named Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) is scrawled in a small compartment above his burial chamber in one of the three Great Pyramids at Giza.
Their idea is a popular one: That the Great Pyramids were merely "refurbished" by the Old Kingdom Pharaoh credited with its construction in the 26th Century BC. They argue the official dating of the Pyramids is solely based on the presence of the ancient red cartouche.
The two students from Dresden University recently took matters into their own hands: With Egypt's political turmoil distracting security forces, the pair conspired to sample the red paint and smuggle the pigment out of Egypt. They have since asserted the fragments support arguments that the construction of date of the Pyramids was much older than Khufu's reign.
Accredited archaeologists have dismissed their claims as conspiratorial nonsense, noting the mountain of evidence clearly demonstrating when the pyramids were built and by whom— like papyri diaries of engineers working on the pyramids, records of trading expeditions to get the construction materials, and the excavation of a massive nearby worker's camp where the builders resided.
The unnamed students
The German embassy in Cairo has issued a statement condemning the students' action. Egypt's ministry of antiquities criticized the incident, saying it was a "great violation of Egypt's ancient heritage, and the great pyramid in particular - the only surviving monument of the seven wonders of the ancient world."
Smuggling samples like this is a violation of international law and UNESCO conventions. The students have been placed on an airport watch list and face immediate arrest should they return to Egypt.
[ News Corp Australia including images ]