Building the Pyramids of Egypt

Submitted by: hammerdrop 7 years ago in Science

Could this be the way the ancient Egyptians actually built the pyramids some 4 thousand years ago?
There are 54 comments:
Male 65
I think they still would`ve had to haul the stones up long ramps, but it`s better than trying to cut perfect limestone blocks from the ground.
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Male 1,834
i believe this
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Male 756
@kalimata: this is the simplest way...
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Male 155
ok so you mean to tell me aliens DIDNT build the pyramid?
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Male 661
There are limestone quarries outside of Giza that show that the stone was taken from there for the three great pyramids. There is a similar quarry and proof of excavation in Abu Roash where the 4th pyramid stood.

Interesting experiment, but not likely how it was done. Occams razor, the simplest explanation is usually the correct one.
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Female 1,515
>>this is soo freakin cool!..it`s amazing how it took us this long to figure it ouut and yet they knew how to do it years before..so much for modern/future human`s intelligence<<

It`s not that we couldn`t figure out how to build the pyramids, it`s that we couldn`t figure out how THEY built the pyramids. Difference there...

And anyways, this seems like a much more plausable explanation of how they did it than lugging huge rocks up some crazy ramp they built and/or just claiming aliens did it. This makes a whole lot of sense!
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Male 101
@dang007
There are some areas where gaps are visible yes but these gaps are due to wind, sand and water erosion over thousands of years. Other areas of the pyramids have no gaps whatsoever, these areas were protected from exposure to weather.
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Male 756
i made them for poos and giggles
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Male 12,365
[quote]this is soo freakin cool!..it`s amazing how it took us this long to figure it ouut and yet they knew how to do it years before..so much for modern/future human`s intelligence[/quote]

There`s so much confused wrongness in that statement that I`m not sure where to start.

The ancient Egyptians *were* modern humans. It wasn`t even 5000 years ago!

With modern technology, we could build one ten times faster with a hundred times fewer people, at a very conservative estimate. According to your argument, that means we`re vastly more intelligent than they were. Which is wrong. We just have far better technology.
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Male 663
>>>>this is soo freakin cool!..it`s amazing how it took us this long to figure it ouut and yet they knew how to do it years before..so much for modern/future human`s intelligence<<<


Um go to the pyramids. You will see gaps between the stones. The method they show here, no gaps. It is not how the pyramids were made.
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Male 6,693
Well thats very cool.
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Male 4,593
Everyone knows the Pyramids of Gaza were made my aliens using the tractor beam from their mother ship.

Duh.
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Female 25
this is soo freakin cool!..it`s amazing how it took us this long to figure it ouut and yet they knew how to do it years before..so much for modern/future human`s intelligence
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Female 27
This makes more sense. Highly logical hehe
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Male 4,290
Well, if they didn`t use this method, I bet they wish they had.

[quote]all rock samples containing depositional features are necessarily sedimentary in origin, but not all sedimentary rock samples contain diagnostic depositional features, if you follow.[/quote]
I get you. In maths terms, "rocks with depositional features" is a subset of "sedimentary rocks".

Or, in Venn diagram form:


A = rocks with depositional features
B = sedimentary rocks
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Male 17,511
I`m waiting to hear what Dr. Zahi Hawas thinks of this, He knows the most about these monuments and his opinion on them is highly respected.
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Male 12,138
vv Agreed Ollie. Very interesting and entirely plausible theory. I`d like to know more about it, and will certainly be following this story with interest.
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Male 15,832
[quote]There are textural sedimentological features that could easily determine if the blocks were cast or genuine stone blocks[/quote]
davy, I gathered from this that the natural limestone in Giza is not "virgin" sedimentary rock but, rather, fractured rubble that has reformed into a conglomerate structure. In this case, it would be difficult to distinguish it from artificially cast stone if the chemical composition was similar to the naturally formed conglomerate.

The theory does answer a lot of questions, though. It would be much easier to cast the blocks in place than to move them up hundreds of feet of ramps and maneuver them into position. It also explains the perfect joints.
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Male 12,138
[quote]davymid...if it`s that simple to tell, why hasn`t anyone done it and why are there experts stating that it isn`t easy to tell and arguing about it?[/quote]
Yeah, good point. To be fair, to do the job properly would take samples for polishing and making thin sections for microscopy. As you said, they aren`t too keen to let the stones be subjected to that kind of (necessarily destructive) analysis.

Also, you`d have to do so on a block-by-block basis. Literally every block, or at least enough to have a representative sample number, from different heights/stages of pyramid construction.

Also, to complicate things further, all rock samples containing depositional features are necessarily sedimentary in origin, but not all sedimentary rock samples contain diagnostic depositional features, if you follow. Absence of evidence =/= evidence of absence and all that.
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Male 5,189
Everybody knows the aliens did it..Right? (Jkin)
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Male 12,365
[quote]This all fine and dandy but I does not address the moving of said blocks. Some of which are so big and heavy that we today cant even move them.[/quote]

You`d be amazed what you can move with very simple equipment and a lot of motivated people. Experiments have been done in the UK regarding Stonehenge. They found that the team of 130 volunteers could drag a 40 tonne block of stone up a 5% incline using nothing more than rope and wood.
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Male 12,365
[quote]@Angilion they didn`t use it all over because (according to the theory I read before) they used a rare mineral for binder. When it ran out, the pyramid building stopped dead (see what I did there?).[/quote]

Doesn`t work for me. You can do the same with common materials and I don`t buy them ending the use of such a useful material simply because a nearby source of a rare mineral they didn`t actually need for it ran out. Anyone who came up with an alternative would gain enormously, so no end of people would try various things.
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Male 12,365
davymid...if it`s that simple to tell, why hasn`t anyone done it and why are there experts stating that it isn`t easy to tell and arguing about it?

Whips probably weren`t needed. Archeology indicates that the pyramids were built by free people and that it was probably a good job.
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Male 40,764
@CrackrJak, they hauled those, lolz! But that`s a small % of the stone used in the pyramid, yes? Use fancy stone for the best bits, concrete for the HUGE mass that`s not visible.
@Angilion they didn`t use it all over because (according to the theory I read before) they used a rare mineral for binder. When it ran out, the pyramid building stopped dead (see what I did there?).

Why didn`t the later Pharohs build pyramids? They had the same religion, government, population & wealth; why did they NOT build more in centuries that followed the final one? They built lots of other cool stuff, but no more pyramids?
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Male 1,598
Pretty amazing. I really freaking hate when people underestimate ancient civilizations and say that "aliens" or people from the future came and built these things. I mean really, just because they were from a different era doesn`t mean they were any less intelligent.
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Male 12,138
*NERD WARNING*

Interesting premise, and one that any first-year geology undergrad could determine. There are textural sedimentological features that could easily determine if the blocks were cast or genuine stone blocks: features such as cross-bedding, graded bedding, stylolites, imbrication etc which could only form during natural sedimentation. The absence of such features wouldn`t be diagnostic, but if present that would account for that block under examination to be genuine quarried limestone. It`s pretty easy to tell concrete from real rock under proper examination...

Also I`m reminded of that episode of Red Dward where Rimmer asks Lister how he explains the pyramids. Lister`s answer: "Whips. Lots and lots of whips".
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Male 25,416
Wasnt it the aliens :P
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Male 12,365
[quote]It would be quite obvious if the the pyramids were made out of cement.[/quote]

Not cement made like this. You`re basically just bashing limestone up and sticking it back together. The difference would not be obvious. You might be able to tell if you hacked large bits off a pyramid and did a very detailed study on them, but the Egyptian authorities aren`t too keen on people hacking large bits off the pyramids.

On the other hand, you can haul huge chunks of quarried rock around if you have a lot of people and the ancient Egyptians had a lot of people. The scale of the accomodation at Giza implies a sizeable city of workers, which implies a hugely labour-intensive method. Casting blocks in situ wouldn`t have required as many people.

I`m undecided.
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Male 12,365
[quote]I thought the stone for the pyramids was quarried. Is this accurate?[/quote]

It`s uncertain. Some people have hypothesised that a mixture of both was used, with cut blocks for most of the pyramids and cast blocks for higher levels.

You can make blocks this way that appear to be cut limestone blocks and we know that full on concrete existed at least as far back as the middle of the republican period of Rome.

But therein lies a big hole in this hypothesis. Concrete is spectacularly useful in building. You find it all over the place in Roman building work. If the ancient Egyptians had it, why didn`t they use it all over the place?
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Male 17,511
5Cats: Limestone casting still does not explain these granite blocks used to make the inner chambers of the pyramids.

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Male 40,764
Also, I LOVE the costumes! Lolz! That`s all the proof I needed to see!
[quote]not have known the difference between lime stone and cement but now we do.[/quote]
FALSE @u_jesse_u. Cement was know to ancient peoples, including the Romans, then the knowledge of making it was LOST for a long time. Ancient Roamn cement was actually every bit as good as the best modern cement, it`s a fact! (It was even on IAB a little while ago, lost knowledge).
[quote]what a load of poo lol they found the quarries[/quote]
True @panzerlancer, but those quarries were used for all those pillars and obelisks & such. There`s even a HUGE rough-cut obelisk abandoned half-way between the quarry and worksite, but NO blocks.
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Male 40,764
This my friends, is EXACTLY how they pyramids were built. There are NO ancient drawings of pyramid builders hauling huge blocks, but TONS of them hauling gravel.
They are believed to have used a semi-precious stone for a binder (iirc alabaster, I could be wrong) whose mines stopped producing just as the last pyramid was being completed. With no more binder, no more pyramids!
Remember, the great late-period Pharohs didn`t build any pyramids. Why the heck not? They build LOTS of other HUGE projects. The simple answer? No more binder to make pyramid blocks.
The simple answer is often the best.
So ALL the evidence points to cast blocks, not carved. NO fossiles in the blocks. AIR bubble are in them. NO record of huge stones being moved. & etc.
Also not, aliens were not involved this way, lolz!
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Male 17,511
I wonder what Dr. Zahi Hawass would think of this ?

Another problem though, There are huge heavy granite (not limestone) slabs inside the pyramids that are still mysterious.
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Female 3,001
sometimes, i look forward to Gerry1of1`s comments more than the posts, especially when its a post this boring. His posts always make me laugh :)
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Male 2,229
that would make for easier and faster assembly of those structures
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Female 225

"why would space aliens use a silly method like that to build the pyramids?"

for real!
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Male 39,931
why would space aliens use a silly method like that to build the pyramids?
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Male 4,745
Yes, the quarries exist, but they were WAY up river. Who`s to say that the limestone wasn`t broken up in the quarry and shipped down to the dessert to be reassembled, on site?

Makes much more sense than the 1 tonne blocks floating down the river, then being dragged up the sides of the pyramids.
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Female 317
that was cool.
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Male 130
what a load of poo lol they found the quarries
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Male 85
this seems so much more practical than getting them from a quarry, and honestly, the Romans had some excellent cement 2,000 years ago, why is it hard to believe the Egyptians didn`t use a similar process?
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Male 613
The blocks for the Pyramids were cut not molded the quarries and the marks on the blocks show that.
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Male 122
It is an intriguing theory, and maybe this technique has been used. However, there are large limestone quarries in Egypt, and for part of the pyramids´ stones, including granite, it is quite obvious where they came from.
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Male 987
"This all fine and dandy but I does not address the moving of said blocks."
THEY DON`T HAVE TO. You build the blocks ON the pyramid.
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Male 90
@defiythelie

That`s where the power of slave labor comes in to play. You know they had hundreds of thousands of people working on the pyramids right? That many people could literally move a mountain, and they pretty much did.
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Male 230
This all fine and dandy but I does not address the moving of said blocks. Some of which are so big and heavy that we today cant even move them.
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Male 170
The stones for the pyramids were indeed quarried. Also 4000 years ago maybe they would not have known the difference between lime stone and cement but now we do. It would be quite obvious if the the pyramids were made out of cement.
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Male 373
they cant just build the blocks on the pyramid?
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Female 547
I like the costumes; you just HAVE to wear them to make the re-creation complete.
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Male 2,121
This could quite probably be true.
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Male 1,547
I thought the stone for the pyramids was quarried. Is this accurate?
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Male 871
Thats a cool theory so they wouldnt have to move large blocks of stone up ramps or by some form of old cranes they built the blocks in situ.
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Female 2,120
That`s pretty cool!
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Male 199
Link: Building the Pyramids of Egypt [Rate Link] - Could this be the way the ancient Egyptians actually built the pyramids some 4 thousand years ago?
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