Inca & Egypt
Thank you for joining us for another episode of Nerdy by Nature.
Have you ever thought about how the pyramids in Egypt and the pyramids in Central America seem to be similar? And if those ancient civilizations are related to each other? Join us on today’s show as we uncover and discuss the similarities between Ancient Egypt and the Inca / Pre Inca peoples of Mesoamerica.
Set The Stage
Mesoamerica is a region was a region and cultural area in the Americas, specifically South America. It extends approximately from central Mexico to Belize, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and northern Costa Rica. This area was rich with pre-Columbian societies before the Spanish colonization of the Americas in the 15th and 16th centuries.
The oldest known civilization was known as the Olmec, dating roughly from as early as 1500 BCE to about 400 BCE. Pre-Olmec cultures had flourished in the area since about 2500 BCE, but by 1600–1500 BCE, early Olmec culture had emerged, centered on the San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán site near the coast in southeast Veracru.
The Maya civilization, far more advanced and taking cues from the Olmec. They were highly developed people, and noted for its hieroglyphic script—the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses south-eastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, and by 500 BC these cities possessed monumental architecture, including large temples with elaborate stucco façades. Hieroglyphic writing was being used in the Maya region by the 3rd century BC.
For many reasons, including wars the Mayans soon disappeared and the Aztecs and Inca took rise in the 1400’s. The Aztecs mainly populated the the far south into Mesoamerica conquering cities as far south as Chiapas and Guatemala and spanning from the Pacific to the Atlantic oceans.
While the Inca incorporated a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean Mountains, Peru and where Machu Picchu can be found. However all of that changed with the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in late 1500’s and both cultures became scarce to the point that Inca became the last great civilization in South America.
On the other side of the globe, Ancient Egypt, now in full swing in North-eastern Africa. The Egyptians, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. It is one of six historic civilizations to arise independently somewhere around 3000-3150 BC and lasted many dynasties changing rulers and gaining more land. The many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying, surveying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids, temples, and obelisks; a system of mathematics, a practical and effective system of medicine, irrigation systems and agricultural production techniques, the first known planked boats, Egyptian ceramic and glass technology. Egypt left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were widely copied, and its antiquities.
So while the ancient Egyptians and the people of Mesoamerica Inca/Pre Inca evolved on opposite sides of the globe, they were never in contact. Or were they? Both cultures mysteriously share the same striking similarities with respect to art, architecture, symbolism, mythology and religion. There had been some theories that both of those cultures must have originated from the City of Atlantis.
-The Great Pyramid Giza, most famous one was constructed around 2580 BC.
-The pyramid Djoser in Saqqara, contains a step design that’s very similar to the ones found in Mesoamerica and was constructed around 2667 BC.
Not a lot of people know this, but there are over 80 pyramids built in the area from the western bank of the Nile and down, other than the ones found in Giza, and a lot of them are step pyramids. Further to that, step pyramids can also be seen in Cambodia.
Inside the pyramids, they are constructed in a way that they incorporate a step design, then covered with a limestone casing. The pyramids in both civilizations were situated in almost identical orientations; sun earth and stars.
One of the similarities that you can see today is in temple design, specifically with the stone masonry. They both also incorporate the use of trapezoidal doorways. They both adopted the three-door design indicating same religion or set of beliefs. It’s clear that Egyptian pyramids have the purpose of being more of a tomb while pyramids found in Mesoamerica seem to be more ceremonial.
Even the mummification of the dead were prepared similarly, including crossed arms. There is extensive use of gold in masks and necklaces which seemingly copy the concept that was made. For example, masks contained animal on forehead (owl vs. cobra).
What about writings? Inca/ Pre Inca obelisks contained Hieroglyphics just like what is found in Egypt. In addition, drawings depicting solar symbolism were almost identical in placement. For example, RA the eye is also seen in Inca circle with sun and eye in the centre. Is this coincidence?
What seems intriguing on a scientific level is that according to researchers, 30% Native American DNA is middle-eastern in decent which definitely raises some questions on the origins of the Masoamerican peoples.
One thing that I did realize while researching this topic, is that the Egyptians did it better. The effort and quality of work shows in everything they did, while Inca/ Pre Inca is a close second.
Apparently these facts presented have been completely ignored by the archaeology community. We learned about some of these civilizations in school, yet never been a taught there could be a connection between the two of them. We hope our podcast has sparked some interest in uncovering the mystery behind these ancient civilizations. Thanks for listening -Chris