Skip to comments.A new angle on pyramids: Scientists explore whether Egyptians used concrete
Posted on 05/01/2008 11:04:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
At MIT, Hobbs and two colleagues teach a course called Materials in Human Experience... The MIT pyramid will contain only about 280 blocks, compared with 2.3 million in the grandest of the Great Pyramids... Hobbs describes himself as "agnostic" on the issue, but believes mainstream archeologists have been too contemptuous of work by other scientists suggesting the possibility of concrete. "The degree of hostility aimed at experimentation is disturbing," he said. "Too many big egos and too many published works may be riding on the idea that every pyramid block was carved, not cast." ...In 2006, research by Michel W. Barsoum at Philadelphia's Drexel University found that samples of stone from parts of the Khufu Pyramid were "microstructurally" different from limestone blocks. Barsoum, a professor of materials engineering, said microscope, X-ray, and chemical analysis of scraps of stone from the pyramids "suggest a small but significant percentage of blocks on the higher portions of the pyramids were cast" from concrete... "But 10 or 20 percent [of the blocks] were probably cast in areas where it would have been highly difficult to position [whole stone] blocks," he said. Barsoum, a native of Egypt, said he was unprepared for the onslaught of angry criticism that greeted peer-reviewed research published two years ago by himself and scientists Adrish Ganguly of Drexel and Gilles Hug of France's National Center for Scientific Research."You would have thought I claimed the pyramids were carved by lasers," Barsoum said.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, minced no words in assailing the concrete idea. "It's highly stupid," he said via a spokesman. "The pyramids are made from solid blocks of quarried limestone. To suggest otherwise is idiotic and insulting."Oh, and while he's on the topic, it's highly stupid, and idiotic and insulting to suggest that he's wrong about A) the total number of blocks used to build the Great Pyramid, or B) the average weight of those blocks. So don't even think about bringing up the usual estimate (over 2 million) or the recent-years scientific estimate (5 million). ;')
Egypt’s Pyramids Packed With Seashells (Not Concrete)
Discovery Channel | 5-1-2008 | Jennifer Viegas
Posted on 05/01/2008 2:02:14 PM PDT by blam
This photo shows a sample of the casing from the ascending passage of Kheops great pyramid, given by the French egyptologist Jean-Philippe Lauer in 1982 to J. Davidovits. Now, the cross section is characterised by the presence of organic fibers and air bubbles that do not exist in normal situation, especially in a 60 million years old limestone from the eocene era
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We had an elevator type device near here at one time (circa 1820)...A load was sent down a steep bank TO THE RIVER BELOW...forcing another load up and we're talking tons.
The supposed secret is likely within the tomb which is likely a honeycomb inside. It's only an opinion...Be kind.
No aliens, no anti gravity, no magic. Just good masons
I dunno! But here’s some links to images of quarries in Egypt:
Geopolymer Institute Website:
Since the early eighties, Prof. Joseph Davidovits is proposing that the pyramids and temples of Old Kingdom Egypt were constructed using agglomerated limestone, rather than quarried and hoisted blocks of natural limestone. This type of fossil-shell limestone concrete would have been cast or packed into molds. Egyptian workmen went to outcrops of relatively soft limestone, disaggregated it with water, then mixed the muddy limestone (including the fossil-shells) with lime and tecto-alumino-silicate-forming materials (geosynthesis) such as kaolin clay, silt, and the Egyptian salt natron (sodium carbonate)...
American Concrete Institute has other ideas:
Searchable Abstracts of ACI Publications
Title: Ancient Egyptian Pyramids—Concrete or Rock
Author(s): Donald H. Campbell and RobertT L. Folk
Publication: Concrete International
Pages: 28, 30-39
Keywords: archaeology; geology; granite; limestone; microscopy; petrography; pyramids; General
Date: August 1, 1991
Reports evidence the authors feel invalidates the theory of a cast-in-place origin for the building stones of the Egyptian pyramids. Observable geologic evidence in the pyramid stones includes ripple lamination, repeated layering in many tiers of blocks, calcite-filled tectonic fractures restricted to individual blocks, numerous sharp cross sections of clams, fragile calcite worm tubes, and burrows formed by sea-bottom dwelling organisms. Pores in the blocks are highly irregular, not oval as theorized. Nearby quarry rocks match lithologically most of those in the pyramids and temples. Quarrymen’s tool marks are obvious in the Giza pyramid blocks and Khufu boat-pit stones, the marks appearing very similar to those found in ancient and modern quarries. Gypsum-based mortar occurs between many of the pyramid blocks. The stratification is vertical in some blocks. A zeolitic cementitious material, called “geopolymer” by Davidovits, was neither observed by light microscopy nor detected by XRD, DTA, SEM, EDXA, or chemical analysis in the sample examined. Neither was an aggregate-cement fabric observed. Seepage of “geopolymeric concrete” into the open joints between almost all underlying pyramid blocks is obviously nonexistent. Shapes and sizes of pyramid and temple blocks seem too diverse to have been cast in molds. Xenoliths and dikes were found in the granitic Khafre Valley Temple stones.
MIT supports my pyramid theory
News 23 avr 2008 Lire / Read it
The famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Boston, USA, is supporting my re-agglomerated stone (concrete) pyramid theory. At MIT, Professor Hobbs and two colleagues and students are experimenting the construction of a small scale pyramid using my theory.
Go to the Boston Globe article of April 22 2008 titled
A new angle on pyramids
Scientists explore whether Egyptians [...]
hmmm...that’s the article you posted, so having come full circle I can shut down the comp and go to bed...
TO anyone who is thinking that this theory has any validity, I posit one question.
To get concrete, you must burn limestone. Where did the the constructors of the Great Pyramid get the heat to burn the hundreds of thousands of tons of limestone to make the concrete?
I’ve been saying concrete for decades. It makes sense, being a a result of the necessary annual dredging of the river. Over time you could build up huge structures as a part of normal life. Every spring, the flood brings the raw materials to your doorstep.
The idea of exhausting a kingdom rounding up slaves, cutting stone with soft copper tools, moving them with non existent trees etc, over hundreds of years, is absurd.
How about if you grind it up to fine sand and add a little something...?
You mix up a chemical reaction, you don’t burn it. You can use the leftover material from the dredging and molding process to add heat to the mix by burning that.
I will ask again.
Where do you get the Heat?
“Yet, calcining limestone into lime requires temperatures far lower than the temperatures needed for smelting copper...
“But lime CaO is not produced by calcining limestone. It is the result of the making of bread. The ashes of Palm wood and reeds they used for bread cooking contain a very high amount of CaO. This explains why we do not find kilns for lime, but very important bakeries (for bread) with great quantities of ashes...”
Personally I think they could swing it with a little heat and clever chemistry. And a lot of brains!
Here’s another on fly ash base:
“The silicon and the aluminium in the low-calcium (ASTM Class F) fly ash react with an alkaline liquid that is a combination of sodium silicate and sodium hydroxide solutions to form the geopolymer paste that binds the aggregates and other unreacted materials.”
The ancient Egyptians were the first (significant) chemists.
Chemical reactions create heat.
Or they could just burn the nonexistent trees they were supposed to use as rollers to move the blocks of stone they couldn’t cut.
Gee. To those who think the pyramids were built of quarried limestone blocks, where did they get the tons of limestone?
Davidovits doesn’t think aliens built the pyramids, but thanks for the non-contribution to the discussion.