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Posted to the Gilder forum - September 26, 1999

OT: The world's largest gold heist

The Egyptian pharaohs wanted to go to Heaven with as many possessions as possible to guarantee a cushy life in the after-world. Not only material possessions but slaves, servants, wives and concubines. The material things were carefully put away in the pyramids which served as tombs for the pharaohs. A lot of cattle and poultry was also carefully prepared for the voyage to Heaven. Of course, the slaves, servants, wives and concubines had to be slaughtered before they could be properly embalmed but I guess that was a price that some people were willing to pay to be near royalty.

Most of the pyramids explored by archeologists were found to have been robbed and vandalized. The conventional wisdom was that the robbers were Turks or Arabs who had no respect for the pharaohs. A Texas professor whom I heard speak on Larry King's radio talk show about 10 years ago contends that the blame should not be placed on Turks or Arabs but on the pharaohs themselves. His argument was based on the availability of gold at the time. His contention is that there was not enough gold to supply all the pyramids the way each pharaohs wanted, so each one, in turn, raided his predecessor's tomb. The pyramids had very well thought out protection systems that were very difficult for late comers to figure out. But it was easy for the new pharaoh, all he had to do was to find the master builder or one of his knowledgeable assistants.

Hoarding gold can be dangerous to your trip to Heaven!


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