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Physicists from the Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) and the University of Amsterdam have now discovered that the ancient Egyptians moistened the sand over which the sledge moved.
Wet sand, however, doesn't do this. In sand with just the right amount of dampness, capillary bridges—essentially microdroplets of water that bind grains of sand to one another through capillary action—form across the grains, which doubles the material's relative stiffness. This prevents the sand from berming in front of the sled and cuts the force required to drag the sled in half. In half.
And now you know that rest of the story.