First off: yes, this has been mentioned in an early episode of AA. But it's still a mystery, one that is unsolved up to this day. For those who think
this has already been debunked, please take a closer look at the ancient granite slab shown below (note the curved cut
at the top). It can be
found at Abu Rawash, Egypt
, close to the Pyramid of Djedefre, together with other artifacts
thought to be of ancient Egyptian origin.
Interestingly, this block shows a clear curved cut and striations which are more reminiscent of marks left by huge circular saws than bronze chisels
or anything else that ancient Egyptians are said to have had. Upon closer inspection, the outer cut (incl. the striations,
click here for a close up
) seems to have been created using a disc-shaped tool
with a diameter of 30-40 foot.
But not only that, the surface of the granite slab is also "concave", meaning that the cut is not only curved in two dimensions but also in "depth".
This is quite an accomplishment given the simple tools that were allegedly used to shape these kinds of blocks.
for an image with a superimposed blade matching the required diameter
to achieve the circular cut that can be seen in the first image.
According to some people, this is what would have been required to get the result we see on the granite slab:
Click thumbnails below for additional images of the granite block:
The most intriguing aspect of this story, however, is that today's Egyptologists don't entertain the possibility that such a tool even existed despite
the obvious tool marks that suggest otherwise. The striations are consistent with marks in other ancient Egyptian artifcats (eg. holes drilled in
granite). That circular saws were most probably used, was already noticed by Flinders Petrie, the founding father of modern Egyptology. He wrote about
similar tool marks, although in a different material, in one of his well-known publications from 1883:
The Pyramids And
Temples Of Gizeh (p. 76)
No. 6, a slice of diorite bearing equidistant and regular grooves of circular arcs, parallel to one another; these grooves have been nearly polished
out by crossed grinding, but still are visible. The only feasible explanation of this piece is that it was produced by a circular saw.
As we can see, the granite slab mentioned in the introduction is only one of several such artifacts found at various ancient Egyptian sites. Another
interesting example located nearby can be found here
So where is this tool that shouldn't exist? A possible answer would be that, if it indeed existed, it would probably have decayed over time and
somehow we're not able to find any traces of its existence nor the infrastructure that supported it (unless you count the boat pits
nearby as actual saw pits
used to mount the huge blades). On the other hand, whoever used such a tool would certainly have made sure not to
leave it behind and store it safely at a location yet to be discovered.
Alternatives: Chisel on a string? Pounding balls? Bent copper saws?
Given the unique geometry of this particular artifact, it seems unlikely that any of the proposed traditional methods would have been up to the task.
It's possible that experimental archaeologist Denys Stocks (expert in Egpytian stoneworking methods) may have written something about it in his work
"Ancient Egyptian Granite Working Methods in Aswan Upper Egypt"
but I couldn't access the document since it
seems to be behind a paywall.
So why does Egyptology not allow circular saws to have been part of the ancient Egyptian toolbox? Is it because whoever has circular saws would
probably also have invented the wheel (which they of course weren't supposed to have)? Pulleys, maybe... but wheels or circular saws? No way.
Questions upon questions! The most important being: Where is this tool and who 'dunn' it (pun intended)?
SOURCES AND LINKS:
01. Ancient Egyptian Technologies: Giant Circular Saws
02. Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharaohs
03. The Pyramids And Temples Of Gizeh by F. Petrie (PDF)
04. More about Abu Rawash and the Pyramid of Djedefre
05. Image Gallery: LAH Expedition 2011/Abu Rawash
06. Flinder Petrie: Comments on Mechanical Stoneworking
edit on 19-3-2017 by jeep3r because: text