Mysterious coffin-like (sarcophagi) granite boxes found inside a serapeum, located northwest of the Pyramid of Djoser in the ancient necropolis of Saqqara near Memphis in Lower Egypt, have been the subject of intense speculation since the archaeologist Auguste Mariette first discovered the serapeum in 1850. The lingering mystery of the stone boxes of the Serapeum of Saqqara has led some to suggest that they might have been built by giant aliens who visited ancient Egypt in UFO spaceships.
Although it is known that the Egyptians had developed advanced skills in the fields of applied mathematics and geometry, UFO hunters and ancient alien astronaut theorists insist that the standard of precision of engineering of each of the 25 black coffin-like stone boxes discovered in the Serapeum of Saqqara is remarkable, even by 21st century technical standards.
According to the UFO and alien theorist Brien Foerster, “the precision [of engineering of the boxes] is very 21st century, or at least 20th century.” Foerster argued that the precision of construction of the surfaces of stone boxes and the angles are “within a few ten thousandths of an inch.”
Decades after the 100-ton black granite and diorite boxes with 30-ton lids were discovered, experts are still unable to explain why and how the ancient Egyptians constructed them and stored them in a system of caves and tunnels dug into a hillside at a site 12 miles south of the Great Pyramid of Giza. They are also unable to understand the technology behind the skilfully cut stone boxes, especially the ability of ancient engineers to create precisely flat surfaces and right-angled corners.
Despite the fact that the ancient Egyptians had advanced knowledge of geometry and mathematics, researchers are unable to explain the procedures and tools that the ancient engineers used to construct the surfaces and perpendicular corners of the granite boxes with such extremely high precision, researchers claim.
The inability of researchers to explain the source and nature of the technology behind the high standard of stone cutting craftsmanship exhibited in the construction of the granite boxes has led UFO researchers and ancient alien astronaut theorists to suggest that they were not designed and constructed by the ancient Egyptians but by a race of technologically advanced, giant extraterrestrial beings that visited ancient Egypt.
However, skeptics have dismissed the suggestion, saying that while the precision of construction of the giant stone boxes was remarkable, it should not surprise anyone that the ancient Egyptian engineers were capable of such remarkable engineering feat. One of the earliest known ancient Egyptian texts on geometry, the Moscow Mathematical Papyrus, dates back to 1850 BCE. The Rhind papyrus dates back to about 1650 BCE.
There is evidence from the texts that the ancient Egyptians could approximate pi and that they knew how to calculate the volume of a truncated pyramid, skeptics argued.
However, according to UFO believers and proponents of the ancient alien astronaut theory, evidence that the boxes were not made by the ancient Egyptians comes from the carelessly inscribed hieroglyphics on the body of the boxes. Experts admit that the hieroglyphic inscriptions appear to be mere graffiti. The poor quality of the hieroglyphic inscriptions, according to UFO believers, makes it unlikely the people who created the inscriptions were the same as the skilled craftsmen who built the stone boxes.
According to believers, the ancient Egyptians who scribbled the poor quality hieroglyphics on the granite boxes were also baffled by the technology behind them and could only scratch graffiti on the body of the boxes while marveling at the standard of craftsmanship.
Archaeologists found the massive granite boxes inside a tomb, the Serapeum of Saqqara, believed to have been built around 1300 BCE by Rameses II. According to historians, the construction of the Serapeum of Saqqara was ordered by Khaemweset, son of Rameses II. The prince ordered engineers to excavate tunnels and chambers through the side of a mountain at a site in Saqqara to hold the large granite sarcophagi.
The tomb is believed to be the burial place of the sacred Apis bulls. The cult of the Apis bull was one of the oldest religious cults in ancient Egypt. It held a special position in ancient Egyptian sacred culture. The bulls were worshiped as the incarnation of the god Ptah and the manifestation of the Pharaoh. The bulls were believed to attain to divine immortality after death.
Although no one has been able to explain the function of the boxes, it is clear to experts that they must have been very important sacred objects. The precision of construction of the lids made it possible for the interior to remain airtight for thousands of years.
Attempting to explain the purpose of the boxes, some Egyptologists suggested that they were intended to hold the mummified remains of the sacred bulls. But the suggestion was dismissed because none of the boxes contained mummified remains of the sacred Apis bulls at the time they were blown open, soon after the discovery in 1850.
UFO believers have challenged skeptics to explain why the boxes were found to be empty If the ancient Egyptians had built them as memorial tombs for the Apis bulls. UFO believers insist that the granite sarcophagi must have been constructed to hold the mummified remains of giant humanoid aliens who never used them, possibly because they left Earth before they died.
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