Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson once vocalized an odd theory about Egyptian history.
According to a video unearthed by BuzzFeed on Wednesday, Carson posited in a 1998 commencement address at Andrews University that the pyramids in Egypt were used for grain storage rather than as tombs for ancient kings and queens.
"My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain," Carson said, referring to the Old Testament. "Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, [something to store that grain] would have to be something awfully big, if you stop and think about it."
Carson appeared to be referencing the biblical figure of Joseph, who was sold into slavery in Egypt and later went on to advise the Egyptian pharaoh to store grain due to a coming famine.
The famed neurosurgeon, who is currently the front-runner for the GOP nomination, added in the speech that he didn't think aliens built the pyramids, as some conspiracy theorists have stated.
"And when you look at the way that the pyramids are made, with many chambers that are hermetically sealed, they’d have to be that way for various reasons," he said. "And various of scientists have said, 'well, you know there were alien beings that came down and they have special knowledge and that’s how.' You know, it doesn’t require an alien being when God is with you."
Betsy M. Bryan, professor of Egyptian Art and Archeology at Johns Hopkins University, explained the pyramids were not conducive structures for storing grain.
"The actual space available within pyramids of any era was highly limited -- far more was devoted to descending and ascending shafts. These would be highly unsuitable for grain storage in large amount," Bryan said in an email, adding that Egyptian granaries "were not pyramidal but mostly beehive-shaped. They were built over brick lined circular bases, and they were filled from the top with ladders set up against them."
J.G. Manning, a professor of classics who studies Egyptian history at Yale University, called Carson's version of events "lunatic."
"It's a biblical view of the pyramids," he told The Huffington Post. "It just has no basis in fact."
Asked Wednesday by CBS News whether he still believed the pyramids were primarily used for grain storage, Carson said, "It's still my belief, yes."
How to vote
Vote-by-mail ballot request deadline: Varies by state
For the Nov 3 election: States are making it easier for citizens to vote absentee by mail this year due to the coronavirus. Each state has its own rules for mail-in absentee voting. Visit your state election office website to find out if you can vote by mail.Get more information
In-person early voting dates: Varies by state
Sometimes circumstances make it hard or impossible for you to vote on Election Day. But your state may let you vote during a designated early voting period. You don't need an excuse to vote early. Visit your state election office website to find out whether they offer early voting.My Election Office
General Election: Nov 3, 2020
Polling hours on Election Day: Varies by state/localityMy Polling Place