Pyramids in Scotland!
That title should have caught your attention. There ARE really pyramids in Scotland! But before you start booking flights to see these great wonders, let me dash your excitement entirely. Or, maybe I won't. Keep reading.
Social media is great at sensationalizing news stories or outright twisting facts to the point that there is little truth left. Mark Twain once said, "Truth is more of a stranger than fiction" or "A half-truth is the most cowardly of lies."
In this age of ease of access to information, we are bombarded by more fiction than ever before. This blog isn't really about all the pseudoscience out there, although clearly I've touched on it. As consumers, we can't always take things at face value. Like pyramids. In Scotland. While there is truth to the statement, I've left a key detail out. You can see one of the pyramids here if you're so inclined. In the comments below the video you will learn that this pyramid was built in the 19th century as a burial structure. Ah, now it makes sense! But some people get misled by the idea and envision ancient structures akin to their Egyptian siblings. And, with social media, they create sensational videos of finding these "secret" or "hidden" ancient pyramids that have some kind of mystical power. I'm sorry, those don't exist, but it does make good entertainment. And for what it's worth, there's nothing wrong with a little imagination.
Dr. Brett Poole was once tempted to swallow pseudoscience when he first came upon the mystery of an Egyptian burial site in Scotland. He had become so frustrated in not being able to figure something out, he was willing to grasp at the first thing that came to mind. If you know Brett Poole, you know his ego is rather large but fragile, and anything illusive will frustrate him entirely. For his temptation to dabble outside the lines of science, he received a scorching rebuke from Dr. Mary Sutherland. The scene is witnessed by Jamie, Brett's daughter, and is meant to retell a famous myth that some pass off as scientific fact. It's also meant to be lighthearted. Jamie might disagree with this as it is her first chance to see how driven and determined her dad is. She will later realize she's just like him!
The Jamie Poole Book series is a mix of science and myth, and sometimes there is a purposeful blur between the two in order to provide a captivating story. I thought it fun to relive this moment as we come upon the time known by the Celts as Imbolc--February 1. This is a key date in Jamie Poole lore.
If you haven't gotten into the Jamie Poole series yet, you can purchase any of the books on your local Amazon store. Here's a link to the first book, The Isle of Osiris. If you live in the Halifax, Nova Scotia, area books can be purchased from preferred vendors or directly from the author. Autographed. Drop an email to JamiePooleBooks@gmail.com.
For now, enjoy a little humor about the myth of Scota, an Egyptian in Scotland. Alas, she never erected pyramids.
From The Isle of Osiris:
He tapped the chalkboard. “A sword, an alabaster statue, and a star map. The statue appears Egyptian with distinct differences: blue eyes, clothing, and sword. We can’t date the statue. We can only presume it was found in Egypt based on Dalton’s testimony. He may be lying. It could be fake. Dalton’s no expert, so he has no way of knowing. Let’s assume he’s telling the truth, and the statue was carved at the same time as the original star map—which we can date based on Tom’s findings. We know the alabaster woman is likely not an Egyptian queen. Perhaps she’s a noble—or maybe the statue is merely art and is no specific person. Have we considered that? I think we should before we proceed.”
He looked at us. We nodded.
“Someone took a lot of time to detail the northern sky. If Tom is correct, we need to look closely at the Isle of Osiris. Something may be there. Speaking of the map: who are the women on it?”
“The sisters of Osiris, Isis and Nephthys,” I answered. Didn’t he realize we’d started this same discussion over an hour ago when he’d abruptly dismissed the name of the island?
“Right. Osiris again. Who was Osiris?”
“The Egyptian god of the Netherworld, ruler of the dead. Also Osiris was married to Isis, his sister. That was common back then,” I added. “They had a son, Horus. Osiris was murdered by his brother Seth who was married to the other sister, Nephthys. She tricked Osiris and they had a son, Anubis. Isis raised him as if he were her own. Want to know how Seth murdered him?”
He coughed and turned pink. “More than you…er…um…we needed to know, but that’s correct.”
“Hey,” I said. “You sent me the books. I just read them. I can’t help what they did back then.”
Dad shrugged dismissively and then proceeded, regarding us over his glasses. “Egyptians in Scotland. How can that be? How about that discovery in 1955 at the Mound of Hostages at Tara, Ireland?”
“Wait,” Mary cut in. “You weren’t willing to consider Osiris earlier. Now you’re taking a larger theoretical leap in a completely different direction.”
“Humor me a moment,” he persisted.
“I follow you. Unfortunately. Allegedly skeletal remains were found of a young prince still wearing a necklace of faience beads much like those worn by Tutankhamun. Likely the same person made both pieces of jewelry, if you subscribe to the entire story.”
“Indeed.” He didn’t flinch at her sarcasm.
Mary’s face darkened. “I’m appalled you’d consider this as historical fact.”
“Oh?” Dad sneered, his glasses dangling on the tip of his nose.
“Scota.” Mary brushed a red curl from her face. She blurted the name smugly like it explained everything.
“Scota?” I didn’t get it.
No surprise he ignored me. He defended, “A long boat was also found in Yorkshire, England. Initially assumed to be Viking. Turned out there were several boats, and they were too old to be Viking.”
Mary’s green eyes lit up like emeralds. “There is a Scottish legend claiming Scots descend from an Egyptian princess named Scota. Daughter of a pharaoh. How well I know this. You forget where I grew up!”
They locked eyes. I briefly reconsidered that chocolate milk, but I couldn’t keep ducking out at the best moments.
She continued, “The Irish natives didn’t take kindly to them, and they were forced to flee…to Scotland. In boats.”
Dad shrugged casually, and Mary grew more irritated by the moment.
“As it goes, the historian Eusebius states a woman by that name or a variant of it married a Scythian who was a prince of the Gaels. That part is probably true. Later someone identified—and I use that word loosely—the Gaels as a Celtic tribe in the British Isles. It’s further presumed to be the origin of the word Gaelic. That’s a legend. It’s not real. Allegedly, all this is based on the 1955 discovery et cetera, which further cites genetic evidence connecting Black Africans to Scots. The evidence is unconvincing. Some would consider it fraudulent archaeology.”