Ben Carson Has an Unusual Theory About the Pyramids

November 5, 2015 Updated: November 5, 2015

On Thursday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson was asked about a video, which surfaced online 17 years ago, where he says the Egyptian pyramids were used for grain.

In a college commencement speech, Carson told graduates at Andrews University in Michigan that it’s his belief the pyramids were built for grain storehouses. This contradicts numerous archaeologists’ theories that they were used to house dead pharaohs.

“My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain,” Carson said in the video, which was unearthed by Buzzfeed on Wednesday.

He said, “Now all the archeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it.”

In Miami, Carson was asked about what he said.

“Some people believe in the Bible, like I do,” Carson told reporters. “And don’t find that to be silly at all…The secular progressives try to ridicule it anytime it comes up and they’re welcome to do that.”

The retired neurosurgeon added that the large, stone structures “were made in a way that they had hermetically sealed compartments.”

“You wouldn’t need hermetically sealed compartments for a sepulcher. You would need that if you were trying to preserve grain for a long period of time,” Carson said, according to CNN.

Carson’s opponent, Donald Trump, commented on Carson’s theory during an appearance on MSNBC on Thursday, saying, “I’ll have to put that into my repertoire when I talk about Ben… That was a strange deal.”

Kristina Killgrove, a bioarchaeologist at the University of West Florida, wrote a lengthy piece about Carson’s comments.

She wrote: “We know what the pyramids were built for because the ancient Egyptians tell us what they were built for (see, for example, the Ancient Egyptian Pyramid Texts).  Denying ancient people the capability of building monumental structures is not new, though, and not confined to Egypt — plenty of people over the years have denied that Native Americans could have built the massive earthwork mounds across the U.S. and that the Mayas could have built their pyramids without help from aliens, Europeans, or a higher religious power.”