The Surprising Truth Behind the Construction of the Great Pyramids

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Evo

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Oh my, this does change history quite a bit. The limestone blocks for the pyramids were formed onsite and not dragged by slaves or teleported by aliens?

This Behind the Scenes article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the National Science Foundation.

"A year and a half later, after extensive scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and other testing, Barsoum and his research group finally began to draw some conclusions about the pyramids. They found that the tiniest structures within the inner and outer casing stones were indeed consistent with a reconstituted limestone. The cement binding the limestone aggregate was either silicon dioxide (the building block of quartz) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral.

The stones also had a high water content—unusual for the normally dry, natural limestone found on the Giza plateau—and the cementing phases, in both the inner and outer casing stones, were amorphous, in other words, their atoms were not arranged in a regular and periodic array. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone are seldom, if ever, amorphous.

The sample chemistries the researchers found do not exist anywhere in nature. “Therefore,” says Barsoum, “it’s very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block.”

More startlingly, Barsoum and another of his graduate students, Aaron Sakulich, recently discovered the presence of silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres (with diameters only billionths of a meter across) in one of the samples. This discovery further confirms that these blocks are not natural limestone.

Generations misled

continued...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20070522/sc_livescience/thesurprisingtruthbehindtheconstructionofthegreatpyramids [Broken]
 
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The pyramids were never made by jewish slaves. Thats just myth from the bible.
 

Evo

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The pyramids were never made by jewish slaves. Thats just myth from the bible.
I never knew there was a myth about Jewish slaves.

Stories I've read ranged from slaves (captured in war, criminals, etc..) to farmers that were obligated to spend non-planting and harvest months as subscribed laborers to fully paid laborers.

This really changes things. If the blocks could be formed on site at the level they were to be placed, there is no mystery as to how they were carted up to the top, they were made on the spot.
 
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Isnt it in the bible, about how the pharaoh slaved the jews and built the pyramids?

Thats where the saying "Let my people go!" comes from.
 

Evo

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Isnt it in the bible, about how the pharaoh slaved the jews and built the pyramids?

Thats where the saying "Let my people go!" comes from.
Wasn't that the wrong time period?

I thought the saying "let my people go" came from the cruel and unusual decree for mandatory square dancing during the reign of Pharoah Doseedo.
 
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I don't think it changes history quite that much. All it shows is that the ancient Egyptians had brilliant chemists and builders. But I must say I'm surprised that all this didn't come to light sooner, what with all the "Egyptologists".
Also note that it still remains something of a mystery, as to how the 70 tonne bricks were hoisted to such heights using the primitive tools at the time.
 

Evo

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Also note that it still remains something of a mystery, as to how the 70 tonne bricks were hoisted to such heights using the primitive tools at the time.
They didn't have to be hoisted if they were made on the current top layer of the pyramid.
 
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Hmm.. I've serious doubts about this. Although I'm not very sure of the exact nature of the chemical processing involved, it would probably involve using a very large furnace and other heavy materials.
Setting up such a plant on each layer would be equally tedious, especially as you get towards the top. A single large plant at the bottom would be more realistic.

This is also mentioned in the article, so I guess he must have seen the impossibility of the situation.
 

Astronuc

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It would appear that the blocks were cast in place. So they only needed to calcine the limestone and other constituents elsewhere, then carry the powder and mix near the forms, or wet concrete up and pour it in forms. Interesting.

http://www.materials.drexel.edu/Pyramids/

Shouldn't this thread be in the History forum, or are we raising the standards in GD. :biggrin:
 

Ivan Seeking

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I remember seeing a scientist proposing this idea on The Discovery Channel or the like some years ago, and have wondered what became of the idea. It makes much more sense than anything I've heard before.
 
wow this IS realy interesting and shows the ancient egyptians even more advanced than we ever thought. amazing.

although.. aliens would have still been more interesting :biggrin:

Isnt it in the bible, about how the pharaoh slaved the jews and built the pyramids?

Thats where the saying "Let my people go!" comes from.
I don't remember the bible mentioning pyramids, but it's very probable that jews would have been kept as slaves— pretty much anyone was kept as a slave by one nation or another during ancient times. as I understand it, back then it was pretty much the norm that, after a war, the strongest people would enslave the weaker, regardless of race or religion.
 

iansmith

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I remember seeing a scientist proposing this idea on The Discovery Channel or the like some years ago, and have wondered what became of the idea. It makes much more sense than anything I've heard before.
I think I saw the same show, and if I remember correctly, it stated that it found materials in unique block that came from three different spot in Egypt and it had to be assembled as a "cement-like" product.
 

Ivan Seeking

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And when you think about it, it would seem to be a natural step in the evolution of mound building.
 
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and it took us a few hundred years to come up with the idea that it could be made of cement... whcich civilization is the advanced one?
 

matthyaouw

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Aren't sizable fossils visible in a lot of the rocks that would have been destroyed if these were cast blocks? :confused:
 
Nice. I've been reading all the theories and this always bugged me. It's at the very least a most plausible explanation.
 
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Astronuc

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Aren't sizable fossils visible in a lot of the rocks that would have been destroyed if these were cast blocks? :confused:
If the blocks were cut from a quarry and left intact, then there would probably be intact fossils. Ostensibly, the complete absence of fossils would seem to be an indicator that the rocks were processed to something equivalent to powder.
Early History and Development of Portland Cement

Ever since civilizations first started to build, we've sought a material that would bind stones into a solid, formed mass. The Assyrians and Babylonians used clay for this purpose, and the Egyptians advanced to the discovery of lime and gypsum mortar as a binding agent for building such structures as the Pyramids.

The Greeks made further improvements and finally the Romans developed a cement that produced structures of remarkable durability.

Most of the building foundations in the Roman Forum were constructed of a form of concrete, placed in some locations to a depth of 12 feet. The great Roman baths built about 27 B.C., the Coliseum, and the huge Basilica of Constantine are examples of early Roman architecture in which cement mortar was used.
http://www.rumford.com/articlemortar.html

These may need to be revised -
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/material.htm
http://www.touregypt.net/construction/

I think it would be easy to take sample of blocks and compare the microstructure cut from various quarries to see if they are similar or quite different.
 

Evo

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Aren't sizable fossils visible in a lot of the rocks that would have been destroyed if these were cast blocks? :confused:
It appears that the pyramids are made of both quarried rocks at lower levels and cast blocks at higher levels.

This page has a picture showing what the two distinct types of blocks look like.

http://www.materials.drexel.edu/News/Item/?i=948 [Broken]
 
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L

lunarmansion

The pyramids were never made by jewish slaves. Thats just myth from the bible.
Slaves labored at the pyramids. Hebrew means "dirty feet" in Egyptian, that is, people have no fixed home and wander looking for work. I do not see why Jews were not among the workers, if not the only workers, who labored at the pyramids.
 
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So the pyramids were cast at site, eh? Not using large hot furnaces. Once again my ineptitude at chemistry and material sciences comes to the fore :blushing:

So this part of the article has been debunked.
Still, as with all great mysteries, not every aspect of the pyramids can be explained. How the Egyptians hoisted 70-ton granite slabs halfway up the great pyramid remains as mysterious as ever.
Anyway, good find Evo.
 
It appears that the pyramids are made of both quarried rocks at lower levels and cast blocks at higher levels.

This page has a picture showing what the two distinct types of blocks look like.

http://www.materials.drexel.edu/News/Item/?i=948 [Broken]
Indeed, there's a video linked there at http://www.materials.drexel.edu/Pyramids/ that explains this. Apparently, casting was dependent on factors like climate/weather.

Thanks, Evo!
 
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Read this one some time ago. On the surface plausible, but then start thinking about it. As far as I know, there are no remains of the forms required for casting. There are quite a few stone cutting/shaping tools as well as the quarries. There are also wall paintings depicting the movement of large blocks, re: Karnak
Note also that the pyramids are entirely made of stone blocks. Now then, if you are capable of casting huge amounts of concrete, why do the foundations as individual blocks? Why not simply build a form that casts the concrete in one solid piece? See any large construction site for examples.
Occam's Razor does apply.
 

Evo

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Read this one some time ago. On the surface plausible, but then start thinking about it. As far as I know, there are no remains of the forms required for casting. There are quite a few stone cutting/shaping tools as well as the quarries. There are also wall paintings depicting the movement of large blocks, re: Karnak
Note also that the pyramids are entirely made of stone blocks. Now then, if you are capable of casting huge amounts of concrete, why do the foundations as individual blocks? Why not simply build a form that casts the concrete in one solid piece? See any large construction site for examples.
Occam's Razor does apply.
It absolutely makes sense to form them into blocks, the forms were most likely wood and they would have been taken apart and rotted away long ago. You do know that the predecessors to the pyramids were mastabas made from man made bricks. Besides the upper stones have been analysed, and apparently they are not natural, only the bottom layers are natural.

I actually argued against someone here when they suggested the blocks were formed and not natural because I had not seen any proof otherwise, now I admit I was wrong.

What's more intelligent, to continue dragging huge blocks from a remote quarry and then try to carry them up the pyramid or cast them on site? They had already been building with bricks for ages, figuring out how to cast "bricks" that looked like stone was a next logical step when faced with the problems of hauling up the natural stones to higher and steeper levels.
 
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