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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

Egypt's Pyramids Packed With Seashells

Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Fossil-Filled

April 25, 2008 -- Many of Egypt's most famous monuments, such as the Sphinx and Cheops, contain hundreds of thousands of marine fossils, most of which are fully intact and preserved in the walls of the structures, according to a new study.

The study's authors suggest that the stones that make up the examined monuments at Giza plateau, Fayum and Abydos must have been carved out of natural stone since they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4,000 years ago, when the buildings were erected.

"The observed random emplacement and strictly homogenous distribution of the fossil shells within the whole rock is in harmony with their initial in situ setting in a fluidal sea bottom environment," wrote Ioannis Liritzis and his colleagues from the University of the Aegean and the University of Athens.

The researchers analyzed the mineralogy, as well as the chemical makeup and structure, of small material samples chiseled from the Sphinx Temple, the Osirion Shaft, the Valley Temple, Cheops, Khefren, Osirion at Abydos, the Temple of Seti I at Abydos and Qasr el-Sagha at Fayum.

X-ray diffraction and radioactivity measurements, which can penetrate solid materials to help illuminate their composition, were carried out on the samples.

The analysis determined the primary building materials were "pinky" granites, black and white granites, sandstones and various types of limestones. The latter was found to contain "numerous shell fossils of nummulites gen." At Cheops alone, "(they constituted) a proportion of up to 40 percent of the whole building stone rock."

The findings have been accepted for publication in the Journal of Cultural Heritage.

Nummulites, meaning "little coins," are simple marine organisms. Shells of those that lived during the Eocene period around 55.8 to 33.9 million years ago are most commonly found in Egyptian limestone. Fossils for the organisms have also been unearthed at other sites, such as in Turkey and throughout the Mediterranean.

When horizontally bisected, a nummulite appears as a perfect spiral. Since they were common in ancient Egypt, it's believed the shells were actually used as coins, perhaps explaining their name.

Fossils for ancient relatives to sand dollars, starfish and sea urchins were also detected in the Egyptian limestone. Liritzis and his team argue that since the fossils are largely undamaged and are distributed in a random manner within the stone, in accordance with their typical distribution at sea floors, the large building stones used to construct the monuments must have been carved out of natural stone instead of cast in molds.

To further their argument, the scientists say the X-ray patterns detected no presence of lime, which would be expected along with natron, a salt found in early cast materials. They also point out that no references about molds, buckets or other casting tools exist in early Egyptian paintings, sculptures or texts.

Joseph Davidovits, professor and director of France's Geopolymer Institute, formulated the theory that natural limestone was cast like concrete to build the pyramids of Egypt.

Davidovits told Discovery News that Liritzis and his team "should have taken into account the scientific analysis" conducted by himself and other researchers before backing the carved-not-cast theory.

Robert Temple, co-director of the Project for Historical Dating and a visiting research fellow at universities in America, Egypt and Greece, has also studied Egypt's monuments. He agrees with Davidovits about the casting.

"There is no evidence known that suggests the ancient Egyptians had cranes," he said. "Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tons."

Temple, however, agrees, "Egyptian pyramid blocks of limestone tend to contain fossil shells and nummulites, often huge quantities of them, many of them intact, and many of them of surprisingly large size."

He added, "Frankly, not many people pay attention to the shells, which I have always thought was a shame. 'Seashells in the Desert'-- a good story."


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: concrete; davidovits; geopolymer; geopolymerization; geopolymers; godsgravesglyphs; josephdavidovits; pyramids; seashells

1 posted on 05/01/2008 2:02:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: SunkenCiv

GGG Ping.


2 posted on 05/01/2008 2:02:46 PM PDT by blam (Secure the border and enforce the law)
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To: blam

They should have kept mum about this. Now Egyptian shell encrusted seashell slabs will be all the rage for kitchen counters.


3 posted on 05/01/2008 2:12:55 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: blam

“There is no evidence known that suggests the ancient Egyptians had cranes,” he said. “Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tons.”
In other words, ‘if I can’t imagine it, it couldn’t happen’.


4 posted on 05/01/2008 2:14:47 PM PDT by count-your-change (you don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: blam

Sahara desert was once ocean floor.


5 posted on 05/01/2008 2:23:26 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: blam
... Fayum and Abydos must have been carved out of natural stone since they reveal what chunks of the sea floor must have looked like over 4,000 years ago, when the buildings were erected.

Uhhh, no. The stone reveals what the seafloor looked like when the limestone was deposited, presumably a few million years ago.

6 posted on 05/01/2008 2:24:37 PM PDT by blowfish
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To: blam
I believe the old Spanish fort in St. Augustine is mostly coquina shell slabs, coral and lime stone. Stuff lasts!
7 posted on 05/01/2008 2:26:35 PM PDT by poobear (tagline is on a coffee break!)
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To: blam
“Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tons.”

They didn't. The UFO's did. BTT.

8 posted on 05/01/2008 2:26:57 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: mtbopfuyn
You are RIGHT about that!


9 posted on 05/01/2008 2:27:14 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: blam

Hasn’t this question been resolved? No? Send money, we need more study.


10 posted on 05/01/2008 2:27:28 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: buffyt

So say the locals.


11 posted on 05/01/2008 2:28:23 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: count-your-change
“There is no evidence known that suggests the ancient Egyptians had cranes,” he said. “Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tons.” ........... In other words, ‘if I can’t imagine it, it couldn’t happen’.

Where there's a will, there's a way.


Roman Siege Ramp at Masada

12 posted on 05/01/2008 2:28:53 PM PDT by Polybius
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To: RightWhale

Nope, that is what my daughter HydroGeology U.T. Dec 2006 says. A lot of the earth was covered by water at one time, that is why you find seashells in the wackiest places. Martin Luther found a whale fossil on the grounds at Wartburg castle in Germany.


13 posted on 05/01/2008 2:30:53 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: RightWhale
Martin Luther's room at Wartburg castle in Eisenach Germany, the whale bone is in the center of the room, it was his footrest.


14 posted on 05/01/2008 2:33:19 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: buffyt

The locals are standing right there. It’s kind of obvious.


15 posted on 05/01/2008 2:34:26 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: blam

Egyptian, Libyan groundwater dated million years old
afrol News, 4 March - It was known that the groundwater beneath the sands of Egypt and Libya was of old age, but a new technique has established that it was produced by rains one million years ago. At that time, the Sahara desert still was a fertile and green area.

The Mediterranean Sea was a desert, millions of years ago. In contrast, the Sahara Desert was once a lush, green landscape dotted with lakes and ponds. Evidence of this past verdancy lies hidden beneath the sands of Egypt and Libya, in the form of a huge aquifer of fresh groundwater.

An international team of geologists and physicists has found that this groundwater has been flowing slowly northward - at about the rate grass grows - for the past million years. Their findings have been accepted for March publication in ‘Geophysical Research Letters’, published by the American Geophysical Union.

Determining residence times and flow velocities of groundwater in aquifers is a vexing challenge, according to a news release issued by American Geophysical Union. The extremely rare radioactive isotope krypton-81 with a half-life of 229,000 years “could be an ideal groundwater chronometer on the million-year time scale, but it has been nearly impossible to measure because of its low abundance,” the release says.

The rare isotope is produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. There is only one atom of krypton-81 in a trillion atoms of atmospheric krypton, a rare gas to begin with, and krypton is absorbed only slightly by water. This has been used by US and Swiss scientist to determine the age of Egypt’s and Libya’s groundwater.

Recently, scientists at Argonne National Laboratory developed a laser-based method to count individual atoms of krypton-81 and measure its abundance accurately. Known as ATTA, for Atom-Trap Trace Analysis, this new, ultra-sensitive method “could revolutionise the scientific study of such topics as continental groundwater flow, long-term glacier motion, and seawater circulation through the ocean floor,” say the researchers.

In their ‘Geophysical Research Letters’ paper, Neil Sturchio, Zheng-Tian Lu, Roland Purtschert, Mohamed Sultan and others report the most extensive measurements yet made for krypton-81 in groundwater. In the first application of the ATTA method to a groundwater investigation, this team visited the Western Desert of Egypt to sample krypton from the Nubian Aquifer groundwater, which was reputedly old but of unknown age.

To obtain a sufficient amount of krypton for the ATTA measurements, the team had to extract dissolved gases from thousands of litres of groundwater in the field, using a device invented by the Swiss members of the team.

The gas extracted from each well was compressed into steel containers and shipped to Bern (Switzerland), where the trace amount of krypton in each sample was purified and delivered to Argonne for analysis of krypton-81. ATTA measured the ratios of krypton-81 to ordinary krypton, which ranged from about five to 53 percent of that in the air, corresponding to groundwater ages of 200,000 to 1,000,000 years.

- Based on these data, it is possible to estimate the direction and velocity of the groundwater flow, which is about one-to-two meters per year toward the north, and to determine the recharge location in southwest Egypt, the scientists conclude.

According to the study, this confirms results from some previous numerical hydrologic models, but refutes others. Isotopic characteristics of the water itself indicate that it was transported by air masses travelling long distances over North Africa from the Atlantic Ocean, thus reflecting climate conditions much different from the present during the past million years.

The transport of Atlantic air into North Africa caused what is now the Sahara to be a green and fertile land mass. Changing climate patterns turned this green oasis into today’s desert.


16 posted on 05/01/2008 2:35:16 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: RightWhale

And GREENLAND and ICELAND were named because of the way they used to be.


17 posted on 05/01/2008 2:35:55 PM PDT by buffyt (Glowbull Warming: The Greatest Hoax Since Y 2 K !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
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To: buffyt

Early property scam. Buy a homestead lot in Greenland, sounds great, doesn’t it!


18 posted on 05/01/2008 2:38:28 PM PDT by RightWhale (Repeal the Law of the Excluded Middle)
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To: mtbopfuyn

If we could only convince the yuppie set that zebra mussels are a rare delicacy.


19 posted on 05/01/2008 2:42:14 PM PDT by OeOeO (Sic Transit Gloria Mundi... Gloria get me a beer,and hurry..)
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To: buffyt
"A lot of the earth was covered by water at one time, that is why you find seashells in the wackiest places. Martin Luther found a whale fossil on the grounds at Wartburg castle in Germany."

So why do so many people refuse ro believe that the Biblical story of Noah's Ark is not historical? So much evidence actually points to the fact that the account is true.

20 posted on 05/01/2008 2:43:22 PM PDT by Apple Pan Dowdy (... as American as Apple Pie)
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To: count-your-change
“There is no evidence known that suggests the ancient Egyptians had cranes,” he said. “Without cranes, it is difficult to imagine how they could have lifted giant stones, some as heavy as 200 tons.”

In other words, ‘if I can’t imagine it, it couldn’t happen’.

Precisely.

The person who was cited as making the statement about the Egyptians not having cranes? Here you go: http://www.hiddenmysteries.com/xcart/product.php?productid=18165

The Aliens did it. ::rolls eyes::

I had a professor who, while lecturing on one ancient marvel or another was interrupted by a student who put forth the "aliens did it!" argument.

The professor turned to us, the class, and asked how we would have done it. Several people came up with credible answers, and the professor was careful to stop and correct us when something that wasn't possible at the time was suggested.

Then he asked about Stonehenge, and again, several credible answers as to it could have been done were proposed.

He asked about a couple of other "mysteries of the ancient world" and in every case, we managed to come up with ways that could have worked using technology and materials available at the time.

Then he asked why anyone would think that people just four millennia ago were so stupid as to not be able to think of the same things.

Of course, they weren't. They were as bright as we are, even if they weren't as advanced. People fall into the "our ancestors were backwards" trap all the time.

21 posted on 05/01/2008 2:44:09 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: blam

“To further their argument, the scientists say the X-ray patterns detected no presence of lime,”

“Egyptian pyramid blocks of limestone tend to contain fossil shells and nummulites, often huge quantities of them, many of them intact, and many of them of surprisingly large size.”


I’m lost. If they are limestone, how can they find no ‘lime’ in them?

Limestone is used to make concrete.


22 posted on 05/01/2008 2:45:53 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I reserve the right to misinterpret the comments of any and all posters)
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To: buffyt

“A lot of the earth was covered by water at one time, that is why you find seashells in the wackiest places.”

Like on top of Mt. Everest.


23 posted on 05/01/2008 2:47:33 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I reserve the right to misinterpret the comments of any and all posters)
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To: mountainbunny
Not only that but if aliens did it why didn't they build something more difficult than a pyramid.

People have suggested many reasons for a pyramid shape, and some sort of connection between Egyptian and South American Pyramids; but the simple fact is that using the technology of the time there is no imposing structure that you can possibly build that is not basically a Pyramid.

Simple Physics.

I read about this in L. Sprague DeCamp’s “the Ancient Engineers”; a truly fascinating study of the engineering marvels of antiquity. Some very bright fellows there, truly intellectual giants.

“For if I have seen further than other men, it was because I was standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Sir Issac Newton.

24 posted on 05/01/2008 2:52:25 PM PDT by allmendream (Life begins at the moment of contraception. ;))
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To: UCANSEE2

The top of Mt. Everest is indeed Marine Limestone.

It was once the bottom of a shallow sea between India and Asia, and was raised to it’s current height by the collision of India with Asia.


25 posted on 05/01/2008 3:16:13 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Apple Pan Dowdy
So why do so many people refuse ro believe that the Biblical story of Noah's Ark is not historical? So much evidence actually points to the fact that the account is true.

Because there's zero evidence the earth has ever been entirely covered with water simultaneously (certainly not within the time humanity has existed on earth) and the many marine fossils you find on land are rock obviously that formed at the bottom of seas and was raised upwards tectonically.

26 posted on 05/01/2008 3:17:52 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: buffyt

Not entirely true based on some accounts I’ve read. Greenland was apparently named so by the Viking who discovered it so that he could encourage immigration and settlement into a newly-discovered landmass with little or no land-based natural resources. If I remember correctly, Jared Diamond discusses this point in Guns, Germs, and Steel.


27 posted on 05/01/2008 3:26:02 PM PDT by indcons
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To: TigersEye

Interesting!


28 posted on 05/01/2008 3:35:28 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Doesn't share well with others so I could never ..... Keep it Sweet!!!!)
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To: indcons

I’d always heard that they named Greenland and Iceland backwards, as Iceland is relatively beautiful and Greenland is essentially a big snow and ice mass. They did it to discourage invaders from coming to Iceland. Of course, I could be wrong. It’s just something I heard when I was a kid.


29 posted on 05/01/2008 3:39:36 PM PDT by Richard Kimball (We're all criminals. They just haven't figured out what some of us have done yet.)
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To: Strategerist

“It was once the bottom of a shallow sea between India and Asia, and was raised to it’s current height by the collision of India with Asia.”

I have a question.

If the continental plates float about on the surface of the Earth like icecubes in a punch bowl,

where is the ‘water’ that we take most of the space up?

By ‘water’, I mean the liquid magma the plates ‘float’ on.

Since all the ‘plates’ meet at fault lines, and are already ‘jammed’ against each other, how do they move ‘nilly-willy’ all over the surface?


30 posted on 05/01/2008 3:43:46 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I reserve the right to misinterpret the comments of any and all posters)
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To: UCANSEE2

“where is the ‘water’ that WOULD take most of the space up?


31 posted on 05/01/2008 3:45:24 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I reserve the right to misinterpret the comments of any and all posters)
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To: buffyt
Is that an indication of the delicacies coming from the kitchen, lol?
32 posted on 05/01/2008 3:50:53 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn
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To: allmendream
Not only that but if aliens did it why didn't they build something more difficult than a pyramid.

Exactly. Plus the fact that there are many earlier, smaller, easy-for-humans-to-build step pyramids don't fit in with the whole "Aliens did it!" theory.

People have suggested many reasons for a pyramid shape, and some sort of connection between Egyptian and South American Pyramids; but the simple fact is that using the technology of the time there is no imposing structure that you can possibly build that is not basically a Pyramid.

Very true. I wanted to mention this, as it hasn't been mentioned this go-round yet, but pyramids have been built using ancient methods and techniques at least a few times in the modern era. PBS's "Nova" did it and filmed it in 1997 or so. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/transcripts/1915mpyramid.html

Simple Physics.

Occam's Razor and all that. Really, if there is a simple explanation, we should probably consider that before we consider the ridiculous. But the ridiculous sells books.

I read about this in L. Sprague DeCamp’s “the Ancient Engineers”; a truly fascinating study of the engineering marvels of antiquity. Some very bright fellows there, truly intellectual giants.

Oh, now I have to read this! Thank you. He's always been one of my favorite authors.

“For if I have seen further than other men, it was because I was standing upon the shoulders of giants.” Sir Issac Newton.

Excellent quote, very apropos.

33 posted on 05/01/2008 3:50:59 PM PDT by mountainbunny
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To: poobear
Actually, coquina is quite soft. It catches cannon balls, vice cracking.

The Castillo is only 500 years old and has had a lot of repairs. The soft coquina erodes too fast to be have been used in the Egyptian monuments. They are just sand stone I believe.

34 posted on 05/01/2008 4:01:47 PM PDT by SampleMan (We are a free and industrious people, socialist nannies do not become us.)
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To: UCANSEE2

What the plates float on is not something as liquid as water; it’s somewhat plastic, deformable rock.

A plate can have seafloor and continental rock on it. Seafloors are destroyed at subduction zones; they fall in towards the center of the earth. They’re made at mid-ocean ridges. The continental rock floats so highly it doesn’t subduct, and is never destroyed.


35 posted on 05/01/2008 4:51:02 PM PDT by Strategerist
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To: Strategerist

The seafloor is part of the continental plate.

The seafloor is destroyed in subduction zones, but isn’t that just where the seafloor is growing, and the expansion at the mid-ocean ridges overlaps the expansion on the other side?

IF the seafloor falls in towards the center of the earth, at such ridges, and the Continental rock floats so highly it doesn’t subduct, and is never destroyed, then there should be a large ‘gap’ between those continental rocks(plates) and the area where the seafloor subducts.

Isn’t it more likely the Earth actually is growing in circumference?

If one looks at the RING OF FIRE, it would seem there is a lot more GROWING, than there is SUBDUCTING.

If you look at a good graphic of the ocean floor, you can trace the expansion of the surface of the Earth, from the mid-ocean ridges.

The ring of fire encircles continental plates, and it grows new ocean floor all around all the continental plates.

Some appear to grow faster than others.

So, how do individual continental plates MOVE around on the plastic deformable rock, if the movement is UPWARD, from ALL SIDES?


36 posted on 05/01/2008 5:58:53 PM PDT by UCANSEE2 (I reserve the right to misinterpret the comments of any and all posters)
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To: pandoraou812

It is. Thanks for the ping.


37 posted on 05/01/2008 8:23:24 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin 1936. Olympics for murdering regimes. Beijing 2008.)
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To: blam; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1ofmanyfree; 21twelve; 24Karet; 3AngelaD; 49th; ...

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Thanks Blam.
Joseph Davidovits, professor and director of France's Geopolymer Institute, formulated the theory that natural limestone was cast like concrete to build the pyramids of Egypt. [he didn't -- he showed how the "limestone" blocks used to build the pyramid are actually cast artificial blocks] Davidovits told Discovery News that Liritzis and his team "should have taken into account the scientific analysis" conducted by himself and other researchers before backing the carved-not-cast theory.
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are Blam, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach
 

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38 posted on 05/01/2008 10:26:05 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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To: poobear
Down in Glen co Georgia a lot of the Buildings use something called Tabby, its cement mixed with sea shells. Really strong stuff.
39 posted on 05/01/2008 10:28:53 PM PDT by JimC214
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For those harping about the fact of no surviving Egyptian records of having cranes, take another look at these words, by these natural stone advocates:
They also point out that no references about molds, buckets or other casting tools exist in early Egyptian paintings, sculptures or texts.
Since no cranes are mentioned or portrayed, it's obvious that Temple was responding in like kind.

Moving large stones was done, of course, and some of the blocks used to make the corbelled Grand Gallery of the Great Pyramid are in that 200 ton ballpark I think; most of the Great Pyramid construction was in much smaller blocks, running from something under two tons to around four tons.
40 posted on 05/01/2008 10:51:04 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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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
The scientific proofs

41 posted on 05/01/2008 11:09:38 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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A new angle on pyramids: Scientists explore whether Egyptians used concrete
Boston Globe | April 22, 2008 | Colin Nickerson
Posted on 05/01/2008 11:04:55 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2010105/posts


42 posted on 05/01/2008 11:10:41 PM PDT by SunkenCiv (https://secure.freerepublic.com/donate/_______________________Profile updated Monday, April 28, 2008)
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To: buffyt

so was mount everest


43 posted on 05/02/2008 1:20:24 AM PDT by wafflehouse (How many boards would the Mongols horde if the Mongol hordes got bored?)
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To: SampleMan

When I visited there I remember the walls and grounds having those ‘little shells’ in them. So I looked it up. Below is a brief of the initial construction. But you are correct. Lots of renovations. It would never last thousands of years. Thanks for your post.

“Construction

The Castillo de San Marcos The Castillo is a masonry star fort made of a stone called “coquina”, literally “little shells”, made of ancient shells that have bonded together to form a type of stone similar to limestone. Workers were brought in from Havana, Cuba, to construct the fort. The coquina was quarried from Anastasia Island across the bay from the Castillo, and ferried across to the construction site. Construction lasted twenty-three years, being completed in 1695.”


44 posted on 05/02/2008 3:54:14 AM PDT by poobear (tagline is on a coffee break!)
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