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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
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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
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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?)
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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
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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
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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
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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 . . .)
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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.)
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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.)
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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
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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.)
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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)
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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
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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
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To: Rodney King

Appreciated. Will search.


14 posted on 12/01/2006 4:09:55 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
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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)
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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
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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
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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
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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?)
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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.)
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To: Owl_Eagle; brityank; Physicist; WhyisaTexasgirlinPA; GOPJ; abner; baseballmom; Mo1; Ciexyz; ...

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.


21 posted on 12/01/2006 4:12:31 PM PST by Tribune7
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To: GSlob

So, does this mean we go back to the theory that aliens did it?


22 posted on 12/01/2006 4:12:47 PM PST by gb63
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To: Rodney King

Are they talking about the facing stones? If so, this wouldn't solve the main mystery of how they cut and piled the main structural blocks. Of course they had the wheel, but they had to use rollers under the blocks, there not being a wheel that would have lasted even one revolution under a weight of ten tons.


23 posted on 12/01/2006 4:13:15 PM PST by RightWhale (RTRA DLQS GSCW)
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To: somemoreequalthanothers
Didncha know, the aliens built the pyramids?
24 posted on 12/01/2006 4:13:52 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Rodney King
Here is one: by vannrox.
25 posted on 12/01/2006 4:13:59 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
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To: Alter Kaker
"The wheel had been in use in Egypt for thousands of years before the first pyramid."
The Joser pyramid is ca. 2700BC. Your timing might be a bit suspect:
"...Based on diagrams on ancient clay tablets, the earliest known use of this essential invention was a potter’s wheel that was used at Ur in Mesopotamia (part of modern day Iraq} as early as 3500 BC. The first use of the wheel for transportation was probably on Mesopotamian chariots in 3200 BC. It is interesting to note that wheels may have had industrial or manufacturing applications before they were used on vehicles. A wheel with spokes first appeared on Egyptian chariots around 2000 BC, and wheels seem to have developed in Europe by 1400 BC without any influence from the Middle East. " [www.ideafinder. com]
26 posted on 12/01/2006 4:15:00 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Rodney King

The aliens never get credit for their work!


27 posted on 12/01/2006 4:16:05 PM PST by Sir Gawain
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To: Indy Pendance

Yep. They used their flying saucers to lift the heavy stones in place.


28 posted on 12/01/2006 4:16:36 PM PST by TruthWillWin
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To: vannrox
Whoops. Ping for comment 25.
29 posted on 12/01/2006 4:16:37 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

cool, thanks. maybe I didn't post it, but just remembered it. Although, I recall their being a picture of one.


30 posted on 12/01/2006 4:17:11 PM PST by Rodney King (No, we can't all just get along.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus

Well they did have vending machines and steam power.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hero_of_alexandria


31 posted on 12/01/2006 4:17:37 PM PST by J_Baird
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To: gb63

No. Just add another zero to the number of manual labor man-hours.


32 posted on 12/01/2006 4:17:43 PM PST by GSlob
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To: GSlob

Europe invented the wheel independently? Which culture?


33 posted on 12/01/2006 4:18:48 PM PST by Jedi Master Pikachu ( For the Republic.)
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To: PetroniusMaximus
What's next?

You don't think they carried that stuff up in buckets do you?


34 posted on 12/01/2006 4:19:24 PM PST by RGSpincich
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To: TruthWillWin

Well, duh, isn't that obvious? :)


35 posted on 12/01/2006 4:24:34 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: captain_dave
I would modify that to state that "Roman Concrete is a well known and recorded historical fact."

It transformed architecture by allowing a far more plastic building design compared to prior post and lintel designs.
36 posted on 12/01/2006 4:25:35 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: Sir Gawain

See 24.


37 posted on 12/01/2006 4:25:41 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: PetroniusMaximus

"The ancient Greeks had TVs???"

I wonder what Sophocles used as a ring-tone?


38 posted on 12/01/2006 4:25:50 PM PST by L98Fiero (The media as a self-licking ice-cream cone)
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To: Jedi Master Pikachu

The site I copied it from did not say - I just pasted a piece from it. Got a google on the "invention of the wheel" and it came through. If pottery wheel, then probably the Celts or Mycenaeans, if chariot wheel - Mycenaeans. The trouble with this guess is that the Mycenaeans were too close to ME to be sure of "independent discovery".


39 posted on 12/01/2006 4:26:22 PM PST by GSlob
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To: L98Fiero
I was going to say Gregorian chants, but my timing would be off.
40 posted on 12/01/2006 4:26:58 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: GSlob
Well, let's settle this wheel controversy once and for all, Algore invented it.
41 posted on 12/01/2006 4:27:53 PM PST by Indy Pendance
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To: Rodney King; PetroniusMaximus; WorkingClassFilth

... with that much concrete gettin' poured ,...

. . . those jodsites had to have been All Mobbed Up


42 posted on 12/01/2006 4:28:00 PM PST by Dad yer funny (FoxNews is morphing , and not for the better ,... internal struggle? Its hard to watch)
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To: bill1952

but that wasn't prehistoric.


43 posted on 12/01/2006 4:28:13 PM PST by bill1952 ("All that we do is done with an eye towards something else.")
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To: cripplecreek

Oh, I'd wager the ancient Egyptians were plenty smart enough to build the pyramids with either technology. The modern Egyptians, however, are certain evidence of de-evolution. Stupid and degraded are two adjectives that come to mind.


44 posted on 12/01/2006 4:28:55 PM PST by WorkingClassFilth (Ever learning . . .)
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To: blam; SunkenCiv

Heads up! This could get interesting...


45 posted on 12/01/2006 4:29:56 PM PST by TXnMA ("Allah": Satan's current alias...)
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To: SunkenCiv

ggg ping


46 posted on 12/01/2006 4:31:55 PM PST by Fractal Trader
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To: All
And then I said - I will build 'em, and they will come!

47 posted on 12/01/2006 4:36:38 PM PST by gb63
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To: Indy Pendance

He was not in Europe at the time, I believe. In those days he was living it on the hog from the patent royalties on his loincloth invention. And bow and arrows prior to that.


48 posted on 12/01/2006 4:38:11 PM PST by GSlob
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To: Alter Kaker

That is an understatement. Hasn't the author ever seen the 10 Commanements?? What were those chariot thingies riding on that chased Charlton Heston?? Duh! ;-)


49 posted on 12/01/2006 4:38:58 PM PST by fremont_steve (Milpitas - a great place to be FROM!)
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To: Rodney King

"...according to a new Franco-American study."

Gee, I think I ate that spaghetti which was about the consistency of concrete.


50 posted on 12/01/2006 4:39:47 PM PST by MIchaelTArchangel
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