Gympie Pyramid

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The Gympie Pyramid is a pyramid like structure near Queensland, Australia.[1] There are many opinions of who built it. Some suggest it was built by the Egyptians or Phoneticians, others say it was built by Chinese explorer Zheng He, the Kabi Kabi aboriginals suggest it was built by their ancestors, but most archaeologist suggest it was built by Italian farmers.[2] The site was first brought into the public light by Rex Gilroy who located it in 1975.[1] The property on which the site rests was bought by Brett Green so he could study the site and restore it. [3] In more recent years however, there have been plans to put a highway through the site. This has stirred up problems with the Kabi Kabi who claim it to be their cultural heritage.[2] The site is in many ways linked to hyperdiffusion[4] and the pyramidiots[5] due to the proposed links to Egypt.


  • Gympie Pyramid

Background

The Gympie Pyramid was supposedly discovered in 1975 by pseudoarchaeologist Rex Gilroy. Rex Gilroy visited several locations with ruins and odd rock formations throughout Australia. On of these such ruins near Queensland, Australia Gilroy asserts is actually a part of a pyramid built by the Egyptians or the Phoneticians. This is an extremely diffusionist view of early history. Gilroy wrote a book on this subject entitled the Pyramids of the Pacific. There are only a few of the original structures that survive, the rest, including the pyramid, now only exist in photographs. Meaning that properly trained archaeologists can not got to the site to see if the claims made by Gilroy are in fact verifiable. Furthermore, Grlroy has claimed to find Phonetician inscriptions all around Australia. The inscriptions all have deeply flawed syntax that clearly indicates the inscriptions are fakes. While there is no evidence that he, himself, faked the inscriptions, it certainly does not look good for the validity of his claims. [1]


More recently a local author, Brett Green, has taken over for Gilroy in his investigation of the site. Brett Green, though more rational than Gilroy, is still not a trained archaeologist and is not critical enough to make his evidence valid. Green claims to have artifacts that suggest Asian and European occupation, however, it is not much and could have easily been deposited at the site at a later time. Moreover, he claims that local indigenous language is similar to ancient Mediterranean and Indian languages. This is based largely on superficial, impressionistic comparisons. His complete lack of formal training in linguistics makes him entirely unfit to make these sort of comparisons. in fact, the notion that he could interpret these kinds of exceedingly complex language structures without any previous experience is quite outlandish. Moreover, nearby is a site called Sarina, which is said to be a phonetician port. This claim was made by Val Osborn. While Osborn appears to be a slightly more scholarly source, some of her claims are still quite eccentric. This means that this potential "port" is very likely not credible as well. [1]


The site is now owned by Brett Green and in conjuncture with The Dhamurian Society there have been efforts to better address the site. There was the creation of a five phase plan for the site in 2005, however the progress has not been updated. Phase one consisted of a general cleaning of the site and the removal of overgrowth in preparation for phase two. The second phase was to thoroughly map and photograph the site, taking note of any special features such as markings. Phase three was to do geomagnetic survey to identify excavation locations for phase four (excavation). The final phase consisted of restoration with the final goal being to restore as many of the wall as possible. They have documented bat of their progress, as well as taken photos of the "artifacts" they have found. The site on which they are found (gympiepyramid.org) does not seem to have had been updatedsince the early 2000's. [3]

Pseudoarchaeological Impact

From Gilroy's assertion, others have made assertions of their own about the nature of the Gympie Pyramid. Gavin Menzies has proposed that the Gympie pyramid is evidence of Chinese explorer Zheng He discovering Australia. Menzies claims that Zheng He traveled and explored both shores of the Pacific during the late medieval times. Allegedly, there are maps whose dates, origins, and physical details prove this hypothesis. According to Menzies the Gympie Pyramid's size, height and shape are very similar to that of Ming Dynasty observation platforms used to chart locations. Gavin Menszies utilizes many flawed methods to make his assertions. In many cases, he listens to non expert advice and opinions which he has included in his research. [1] Menzies' use of unreliable sources like Gilroy, among others, is exactly why his research is unfounded and untrustworthy. The larger scientific community have discredited many of his most influential sources. One of the sources hes used was a taxi driver that suggested that the language on a map may be a early form of Hindi. Menzies never actually fact checks this assertion by a nonacademic source. That is only one of the many example of how weak Menzies' argument is.[6]


As of March 2016, the Gympie Pyramid site may be destroyed by the construction of the Bruce Hwy by-pass. This threat of destruction has caused the creation of a particularly interesting legal battle. The Gympie Pyramid, also known as rocky ridge was going to be bulldozed to facilitate the construction of a new highway in the area. To prevent this Kabi Kabi activist Wit-booker has made the claim that the Gympie Pyramid is associated with the local aboriginal group and its destruction would constitute cultural genocide. Wit-booker made the assertion that the artifacts that people like Gilroy, Green, and Menzies say were left by Egyptian or Chinese travelers are actually highly significant Aboriginal artifacts. The local Aboriginals are making the claim that the fact that many do not associate these artifacts with them is racist. They believe that the reason these artifacts are not already associated with them is due to the public's perception of them being to primitive to have had built the structure themselves. Another protester, Gary Tomlinson, was even arrested for trespassing and obstructing the police. He, however, claims that he is following the law while the government is not. They are claiming the authority of international law on treatment of indigenous populations. The Kabi Kabi consider the potential destruction of the Gympie Pyramid a fundamental human rights violation. It is an interesting case as it is possible the case would not have existed if Gilroy had not brought attention to the site in the first place. This court case directly is a result of the light Gilroy shown on the site. The pubic interest in the site was evoked by the wild claims of an Australian pyramidiot. [2]

Scientific Disproof

Many of the pseudoarchaeological ideas proposed by people like Gilroy and Menzies are based on an extreme form of diffusionism or hyperdiffusionism. Hyperdiffusionism is a concept not accepted by any real archaeologist. There is no material culture that suggests that hyperdiffusionism ever occurred. If all of the worlds culture came from one source you would expect to much similar material culture in the earliest stages of cultural development. The argument most often made is that the existence of pyramids around the world is evidence enough of a common origin, but what that argument fails to acknowledged is that the pyramid was simply the most structurally sound shape to build tall monuments before the age of steal. With only stone to build, a pyramid would be the most stable way to build a tall and imposing structure. [4] Furthermore, hyperdiffusionalism is often linked to more outlandish concepts like Atlantis. This so called lost continent is often the location which culture is said to have had disseminated out of as well as the idea of pyramid construction. In contrast, sometimes aliens are given the credit for hyperdiffusion, only it is their culture being spread rather than a human originated culture. [7]


The notion of the Gympie Pyramid was also tied to the concept of "Pyramidiots". Gilroy suggest that the Egyptians may have been the culture to build the Gympie Pyramid. For this to be true, the Egyptians must have been more advanced them modern day archaeologists give them credit for. For Egyptians to have nvigated to Australia and back they would have to have had an extremely developed sense of navigation and much more ocean worth boats then we see in the archaeoloical record. This over estimation of Egyptian capabilities is nothing new. Pyramidiots believe in the superiority of Egyptian wisdom. This over estimation is especially in terms of their math skills has been present since the west gained intrest in the Nile. But, despite Flinders Petrie proving in the 1880's that this was not the case, the idea has perpetuated. [5] The constant rhetoric of pyramidiots and other psudoarchaeologists believing they know better then mainstream media is well seen in the case of the Gympie Pyramid. Many of its supporters believe that mainstream archaeology is just unwilling to accept the truth or purposely trying to suppress it. [8]


Rex Gilroy has been disproven and thoroughly discredited by academic research over the last twenty years or so. His lack of concrete evidence to back up has claims has left him with no credibility. Moreover, his complete lack of any proper archaeological training has means that he has no real expertise in the subject what so ever. Meaning that nothing he subjects should be considered valid without outside verification form a proper archaeological source. [6]


The so called Gympie Pyramid is likely instead the remains of a 19th century vineyard terracing built by Italian farmers. There is no credible proof of the involvement of any Egyptian or Chinese in the construction of the site. The artifacts found do not demonstrate any real evidence of Egyptian or Chinese occupation but instead seem to be consistent with 19th century European tools. Any other interpretation of the artifacts would be a blatant bending of the facts. Gilroy attempted to distort the facts to fit his false narrative. The real facts in no way support his conclutions. [1]

Sources

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 Newbrook, Mark. "Zheng He in the Americas and Other Unlikely Tales of Exploration and Discovery." Skeptical Inquirer (2016).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Gorrie, Arthur"native title claim over gympie pyramid Rocky Ridge land claim; International law cited as basis for claim to block Bruce Hwy by-pass." Gympie Times [Gympie, Australia], 15 Mar. 2016. Infotrac Newsstand Accessed 1 Dec. 2017.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Green, Brett. THE GYMPIE PYRAMID, The Dhamurian Society, 2008. Accessed 19 Nov. 2017.
  4. 4.0 4.1 de Montellano, Bernard Ortiz, Gabriel Haslip-Viera, and Warren Barbour. "They were not here before Columbus: Afrocentric Hyperdiffusionism in the 1990s." Ethnohistory (1997): 199-234.
  5. 5.0 5.1 BIANCHI, ROBERT STEVEN. “Forum: Pyramidiots.” Archaeology, vol. 44, no. 6, 1991, pp. 84–84. JSTOR.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Richardson, W. A. R. "Gavin Menzies' cartographic fiction: the case of the Chinese'discovery'of Australia." Globe, The 56 (2004): 1.
  7. Normark, Johan. "Blogging about the End Times: Dealing with the Fringes of Archaeology." AP: Online Journal in Public Archaeology 5 (2015): 67-96.
  8. Rundkvist, Martin. "Pyramidiots, Nazis, and Post-Modernists." Skeptic 2008: 69,70,80. ProQuest. Web. 1 Dec. 2017.

Green, Brett. Gympie Pyramid. 2004, The Dhanurian Society. Accessed 30 Nov. 2017.