News and Commentary

Leftist Professor Who Won $1 Million TED Prize Issues Instructions For Destroying Monument
'Real-world Indiana Jones' Sarah Parcak unveils a wish to enlist people around the world to help save antiquities, February 16, 2016
Glenn Chapman/AFP via Getty Images

A professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham who won a $1 million TED Prize for 2016 and is a National Geographic Fellow decided to offer some expert advice, ostensibly to the rioters busily destroying sections of cities, on how to pull down a monument in her city.

Sarah Parcak, who has been feted as a “space archaeologist,” as she has used satellites that were first used by the military in her quest to discover ancient lost sites, issued a Twitter thread with specific instructions on how to destroy the monument.

Ironically, Parcak has stated that her work was also devoted to preventing looting and destruction of ancient sites, boasting, “Archaeology is experiencing significant challenges right now due to ISIL (ISIS), economic crises, and drops in tourism. Looting and site destruction are global problems. We have a tough road ahead, and one key will be developing more collaborations using new technologies like satellite imagery. I am one of many people documenting damage and looting at ancient sites from space — it is such a crucial tool.”

Parcak’s instructions on Twitter started with her offering what she referred to as a public service announcement.

“PSA For ANYONE who might be interested in how to pull down an obelisk* safely from an Egyptologist who never ever in a million years thought this advice might come in handy  *might be masquerading as a racist monument I dunno,” she wrote.

Just to make certain people knew how sound her advice was, she followed by writing, “My Bona Fides: I’m an Egyptologist. I have worked in Egypt for 20 years and know a lot about ancient Egyptian architecture. Especially how they raised obelisks.”

She continued: “The key to pulling one down is letting gravity work 4 you. Chances are good the obelisk extends into the ground a bit, so you want to get CHAINS NOT ROPE (it’s 2020 AD not BC let metal work for you) extended tightly around the top (below pointy bit) and 1/3 down forming circles.”

Of course, she expressed concern for the rioters who would destroy a monument: “For every 10 ft of monument, you’ll need 40+ people. So, say, a 20 ft tall monument, probably 60 people. You want strong rope attached to the chain—rope easier to hold onto versus chain. EVERYONE NEEDS TO BE WEARING GLOVES FOR SAFETY (there is a lot of safety first).”

She continued:

You probably want 150+ ft of rope x 2…you’ll want to be standing 30 feet away from obelisk so it won’t topple on you (your safety! first!). This gives enough slack for everyone to hold on to rope, alternating left right left right. Here’s the hard part…pulling in unison

You have two groups, one on one side, one opposite, for the rope beneath the pointy bit and the rope 1/3 down. You will need to PULL TOGETHER BACK AND FORTH. You want to create a rocking motion back and forth to ease the obelisk from its back.

I recommend a rhythmic song. YOU WILL NEED SOMEONE WITH A LOUDSPEAKER DIRECTING. There can be only one person yelling. Everyone will be alternating on rope left right left right not everyone on the same side. No one else near the obelisk! Safety first!

Start by a few practice pulls to get into it. Think of it like a paused tug of war, pull, wait 2, 3, 4, 5 PULL wait 2, 3 4,5. PULL AS ONE, PAUSE 5 SECONDS, you’ll notice some loosening, keep up the pattern…you may need more people, get everyone to pull!

Just keep pulling till there’s good rocking, there will be more and more and more tilting, you have to wait more for the obelisk to rock back and time it to pull when it’s coming to you. Don’t worry you’re close!

WATCH THAT SUMBITCH TOPPLE GET THE %^&* OUT OF THE WAY IT WILL SMASH RUN AWAY FROM DIRECTION. Then celebrate. Because #BlackLivesMatter and good riddance to any obelisks pretending to be ancient Egyptian obelisks when they are in fact celebrating racism and white nationalism

Then, a concern for “ancient Egyptian obelisks”: “OK because this is twitter I need to clarify: PLEASE DO NOT PULL DOWN ACTUAL ANCIENT EGYPTIAN OBELISKS that was not the point of this thread.”

A schematic:

A local reference: “There might be one just like this in downtown Birmingham! What a coincidence. Can someone please show this thread to the folks there.”


The Daily Wire, headed by bestselling author and popular podcast host Ben Shapiro, is a leading provider of conservative news, cutting through the mainstream media’s rhetoric to provide readers the most important, relevant, and engaging stories of the day. Get inside access to The Daily Wire by becoming a member 


Create a free account to join the conversation!

Already have an account?

Log in

Got a tip worth investigating?

Your information could be the missing piece to an important story. Submit your tip today and make a difference.

Submit Tip
Download Daily Wire Plus

Don't miss anything

Download our App

Stay up-to-date on the latest
news, podcasts, and more.

Download on the app storeGet it on Google Play
The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Leftist Professor Who Won $1 Million TED Prize Issues Instructions For Destroying Monument