Ben Carson's Strange Theory About The Egyptian Pyramids

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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."

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