Archaeological Dig: And you thought historical revisionism only happened here

Huang Heqing teaches at the School of Arts and Archeology at Zhejiang University, one of the most respected universities in China.  So one would think a high level of credibility and intellectual integrity would be needed to keep his position at the university.  Apparently, not.

This past week Huang gave an internet lecture in which he claimed ancient European and Egyptian civiliations are 19th century fakes.  Quoting from an HK01 news item, using google translate, emphasis mine:

Professor of Zhejiang University said the Pyramid with Pictures and Truth is a modern forgery built with concrete in the 19th century

Huang Heqing, a professor at Zhejiang University, claimed in his live lecture recently that ancient ruins such as the Parthenon in Athens and the pyramids in Egypt were forged by the West in modern times.

Taking the Pyramid of Khufu and the Sphinx in Egypt as examples, the Yellow River Ching showed that there are solid Western book illustrations and historical photographs, which prove that it did not exist at the time. It was built with concrete in the 19th century. “Because the West has always been Suppressing Chinese civilization, this kind of denial of Chinese civilization, so I also rectify Chinese civilization to some extent.”

Huang Heqing stated that from the 19th to 20th centuries, the West was rampantly forging historical and cultural relics, spending huge sums of money everywhere forging ancient relics, and elevating the status of ancient Egypt, the ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Indian civilizations. Chinese civilization is more ancient, and its intention is to use a large number of false images to disrupt the truth of world history and weaken the glory of Chinese civilization.” Huang Heqing believes that the only purpose of the West to fabricate history and forge ancient relics is to demean Chinese civilization.

Huang Heqing’s theory is to “prove history with pictures,” which refers to the acquisition of a large number of rare, almost undisclosed Western ancient book illustrations and historical photos through Internet resources, which “unquestionably proves” that many ancient Western relics are modern forgeries. Taking the Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt as an example, Huang Heqing said that he had found the paintings of Denon, the first curator of the Louvre Museum in Paris, and the delegation of scientists who followed Napoleon’s expedition to Egypt. They published pictures in “Description of Egypt” after they returned home. , Both show that the pyramid was built on a gully hill like the Loess Plateau in northern Shaanxi. Not only was it totally inconsistent with today’s environment, but also there was no Pyramid of Khufu and Sphinx at that time.

I know that predominantly white countries have a long, long history of historical revisionism based on racism (Cheetolini’s proposed “1776 project”, “triangle trade” instead of saying slavery, the denial of kingdoms and empires in Africa, etc.).  And I know that “western” countries have repeatedly stolen artifacts from other countries and not returned them.

But 19th century fakes?  Seriously?

Arguing how the Egyptian pyramids were built is a valid discussion.  So is arguing how and from where people first reached the North and South American continents.  But if the reporting is accurate, Huang’s claims are purely in the territory of cranks and crackpots.

Hong Kong 01 (HK01) was founded by newspaper editor Yu Pun-hoi in 2016 as a purportedly independent news media, but has repeatedly kowtowed to Beijing, removing or altering news articles after publication.  The HK01 item is written in Mandarin, not Cantonese, despite being based in Hong Kong.

Taiwan English News is where I first heard of this, linking back to the HK01 item (“Chinese professor: There were no ancient western civilizations, just modern fakes made to demean China”).


  1. Pierce R. Butler says

    … the Yellow River Ching showed that …

    Is “the Yellow River Ching” an approximate rendition of “Huang Heqing”?

    Looks like they smoke some really fine [weed] at Zhejiang University!

  2. Rob Grigjanis says

    An example of Chinese exceptionalism I heard about some years ago: An idea taken seriously in Chinese academic circles was (is?) that the Chinese people evolved directly from Homo erectus populations in situ, rather than from Homo sapiens who had migrated from Africa.

  3. springa73 says

    This reminds me a little of the “new chronology” of Anatoly Fomenko, a Russian mathematician who has claimed that pretty much all of ancient history and associated artifacts are fake, that human civilization only goes back a little more than one thousand years, and that it is largely centered on Russia.

  4. jrkrideau says

    Well he and Ben Carson can fight it out. Concrete fakes or granaries built by the biblical Joseph.

    I did not take samples but they sure looked like stone when I was there.

  5. blf says

    This reminds me of a badly-misinterpreted photograph of restorers (mostly white, probably European, men) in Egypt practising their profession inside a ancient Egyptian tomb(?). The crank site was of those “ancient Egyptians were all black” types. The caption, paraphrasing from memory, was “Proof of whitewashing Egyptian blacks from history! You see it here!! Don’t fall for the Great Lie!!!”