Like any scientific research, the methods, data, and conclusions presented in JAMA can now be evaluated and debated. Right now, for example, I am working on a short piece about the results to go into our May/June issue. There’s something I’m checking about one point of the DNA analysis, and I wish that more of the CT scan-bone interpretation side of the study had been presented here. The implication of malaria as a cause in Tut’s death seems speculative—he might have had it earlier and survived. In places, what’s in the JAMA paper seems to have been overplayed in the media. Tut’s widely reported “cleft palette” is actually a partially cleft palette and within the normal range of variation.
But the point is that Hawass and colleagues have done the science and put the results out there for discussion. That’s how it should work. Interestingly, a week or two back I received in the mail a copy of Khufu’s Pyramid Revealed from architect Jean-Pierre Houdin, whose investigations into the possible use of an internal spiral ramp in the construction of the Great Pyramid were featured in Bob Brier’s article “How to Build a Pyramid” (May/June 2007) and update “Return to the Great Pyramid” (July/August 2009). Though I have only known Houdin for a few years, his passion and boundless energy for this topic strike me as quite similar to Hawass’s.
Monday, March 08, 2010
Time for the Great Pyramid?
Archaeology Magazine (Mark Rose)