Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Pyramids were built with concrete rather than rocks, scientists claim
UK Times Online ^ | Today | Chalres Bremner

Posted on 12/01/2006 3:55:23 PM PST by Rodney King

The Ancient Egyptians built their great Pyramids by pouring concrete into blocks high on the site rather than hauling up giant stones, according to a new Franco-American study.

The research, by materials scientists from national institutions, adds fuel to a theory that the pharaohs’ craftsmen had enough skill and materials at hand to cast the two-tonne limestone blocks that dress the Cheops and other Pyramids.

Despite mounting support from scientists, Egyptologists have rejected the concrete claim, first made in the late 1970s by Joseph Davidovits, a French chemist.

The stones, say the historians and archeologists, were all carved from nearby quarries, heaved up huge ramps and set in place by armies of workers. Some dissenters say that levers or pulleys were used, even though the wheel had not been invented at that time.

Until recently it was hard for geologists to distinguish between natural limestone and the kind that would have been made by reconstituting liquefied lime.

But according to Professor Gilles Hug, of the French National Aerospace Research Agency (Onera), and Professor Michel Barsoum, of Drexel University in Philadelphia, the covering of the great Pyramids at Giza consists of two types of stone: one from the quarries and one man-made.

“There’s no way around it. The chemistry is well and truly different,” Professor Hug told Science et Vie magazine. Their study is being published this month in the Journal of the American Ceramic Society.

The pair used X-rays, a plasma torch and electron microscopes to compare small fragments from pyramids with stone from the Toura and Maadi quarries.

They found “traces of a rapid chemical reaction which did not allow natural crystalisation . . . The reaction would be inexplicable if the stones were quarried, but perfectly comprehensible if one accepts that they were cast like concrete.”

The pair believe that the concrete method was used only for the stones on the higher levels of the Pyramids. There are some 2.5 million stone blocks on the Cheops Pyramid. The 10-tonne granite blocks at their heart were also natural, they say. The professors agree with the “Davidovits theory” that soft limestone was quarried on the damp south side of the Giza Plateau. This was then dissolved in large, Nile-fed pools until it became a watery slurry.

Lime from fireplace ash and salt were mixed in with it. The water evaporated, leaving a moist, clay-like mixture. This wet “concrete” would have been carried to the site and packed into wooden moulds where it would set hard in a few days. Mr Davidovits and his team at the Geopolymer Institute at Saint-Quentin tested the method recently, producing a large block of concrete limestone in ten days.

New support for their case came from Guy Demortier, a materials scientist at Namur University in Belgium. Originally a sceptic, he told the French magazine that a decade of study had made him a convert: “The three majestic Pyramids of Cheops, Khephren and Mykerinos are well and truly made from concrete stones.”

The concrete theorists also point out differences in density of the pyramid stones, which have a higher mass near the bottom and bubbles near the top, like old-style cement blocks.

Opponents of the theory dispute the scientific evidence. They also say that the diverse shapes of the stones show that moulds were not used. They add that a huge amount of limestone chalk and burnt wood would have been needed to make the concrete, while the Egyptians had the manpower to hoist all the natural stone they wanted.

The concrete theorists say that they will be unable to prove their theory conclusively until the Egyptian authorities give them access to substantial samples


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: davidovits; geopolymer; geopolymerization; geopolymers; giza; godsgravesglyphs; greatpyramid; josephdavidovits; pyramids
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141 next last
The Ancient Egyptians built their great Pyramids by pouring concrete into blocks high on the site rather than hauling up giant stones, according to a new Franco-American study.

It's one thing to be a Renaissance Man, but to figure out this and make Spaghetti-O's is pretty dammned impressive.

1 posted on 12/01/2006 3:55:26 PM PST by Rodney King
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
to figure out this and make Spaghetti-O's is pretty dammned impressive.

The tricky part is hinding the knots.
2 posted on 12/01/2006 3:57:40 PM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

They probably used a combination of natural and man made materials. Just like we do today.


3 posted on 12/01/2006 3:58:24 PM PST by kinoxi
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

Possible theory. It's known that the Romans had concrete and ancient people used mud bricks.


4 posted on 12/01/2006 4:00:15 PM PST by captain_dave
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
This after the Roman computer!

What's next?

The ancient Greeks had TVs???
5 posted on 12/01/2006 4:02:22 PM PST by PetroniusMaximus
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
...even though the wheel had not been invented at that time.

They don't have a friggin clue as to what was around at that time - or before. The recent posts here on the mechanical astronomical computer dating from before Christ blew scientists away when it was discovered. There is very little that is new under the sun and what is, isn't due to any greater intelligence in our times.
6 posted on 12/01/2006 4:05:44 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Ever learning . . .)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

Southwestern Asia (Middle East) had batteries.


7 posted on 12/01/2006 4:08:26 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

good memory.


8 posted on 12/01/2006 4:08:28 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

ANCIENT EGYPTIAN TREASURES FOUND IN THE GRAND CANYON

http://www.cyberspaceorbit.com/text/0000tx09x.html


9 posted on 12/01/2006 4:08:38 PM PST by seastay
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Jedi Master Pikachu

There was a good article once about a battery in ancient iraq... i posted it on FR I think.


10 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:02 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King
Some dissenters say that levers or pulleys were used, even though the wheel had not been invented at that time.

This was printed in a semi-reputable newspaper? I think that sentence de-legitimizes the rest of the article. The wheel had been in use in Egypt for thousands of years before the first pyramid.

11 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:26 PM PST by Alter Kaker ("Whatever tears one sheds, in the end one always blows one's nose." - Heine)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus

The Romans has "IV's" They called the FOURS tho.


12 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:46 PM PST by lexington minuteman 1775
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

Lime from fireplace ash...
The trouble with this theory is that ancient Egypt did not have much in terms of fuel - no extensive forests. And out of reeds and few palm trees it would not be easy to organize lime kilns on any noticeable scale, let alone for the pyramids. They had enough fuel for pottery kilns, primitive metallurgy on modest scale, and that was about it. And the large pyramids were built fast, too - each one during a single reign.


13 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:54 PM PST by GSlob
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

Appreciated. Will search.


14 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:55 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: WorkingClassFilth
They don't have a friggin clue as to what was around at that time - or before.

Amen to that. If one reads and studies the construction of the Great Pyramid, it's quite fascinating.

15 posted on 12/01/2006 4:10:45 PM PST by somemoreequalthanothers (All for the betterment of "the state", comrade)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

We need to call in the mythbusters. (OK, not quite the same, but I'd bet Jamie and Adam would love to build a pyramid)

http://kwc.org/mythbusters/2005/06/mythbusters_jetpack_pyramid_po.html


16 posted on 12/01/2006 4:10:57 PM PST by Indy Pendance
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Rodney King

Edit: "The Ancient Egyptians built their great Pyramids by pouring concrete into blocks high on the site rather than hauling up giant stones, according to an American paper published after the French flaked in a Franco-American Study."


17 posted on 12/01/2006 4:11:04 PM PST by skippermd
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WorkingClassFilth

Interesting, but what difference does it really make today?
Smart thought , but nothing not already figured out. Just common sense. Natural, isn't it!


18 posted on 12/01/2006 4:11:09 PM PST by dforest
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: WorkingClassFilth

I know that Zahi Hawass gets pretty irritated with the suggestion that the ancient egyptians weren't smart enough to figure out who to do these things on their own. Suggesting that it was aliens sends him round the bend.


19 posted on 12/01/2006 4:11:36 PM PST by cripplecreek (If stupidity got us into this mess, then why can't it get us out?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: PetroniusMaximus
The Aztec's invented the iPod and the ugliest car ever.


The Pontiac Aztec.
20 posted on 12/01/2006 4:12:29 PM PST by trumandogz (Rudy G 2008: The "G" Stands For Gun Grabbing & Gay Lovin.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]


Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-2021-4041-6061-80 ... 141 next last

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson