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Ancient Organo-Mineral Geopolymer in South-American Monuments
A recent study has shown the presence of artificial construction materials in pre-Columbian monuments at Pumapunku-Tiwanaku, Bolivia. In addition to ancient geopolymer sandstone-concrete megalithic slabs, the Pumapunku site contains puzzling "H" structures made of andesitic volcanic stone. The SEM study of this gray andesite shows the presence of organic matter: carbon, nitrogen, and minerals: Na, Mg, Al, Si, P, S, Cl, K, Ca. Organic matter is very unusual, if not impossible in a solid volcanic stone and suggests ceramic-like man-made stone. Our research demonstrates that these architectural components manufactured 1400 years ago (ca. CE 600) were fashioned with a type of organo-mineral precursor.
It (...) supports the idea of artificial andesite stone. To make the organomineral precursor, the builders may have transported non-consolidated volcanic tuff, which is an andesite stony material having the consistence of sand from the Cerro Khapia volcano site, and added organo-mineral elements manufactured with local biomass.
The surface is very flat, without any trace of polishing action with abrasive grains nor cutting tools, but dotted with small holes that are 0.5–1mm in diameter and 0.2–0.5mm deep with clear edges.
A high level of understanding has consequently been reached of the diverse working steps and tools ap- plied. An exception is the reddish mud, “ llancac alpa ” in the quechua language, and the “ gold ”, mentioned by early chroniclers as mortar which fitted the stones and later disappeared. Such tech-niques were related to folklore and not taken seriously. This study tries to understand them and the question was asked: did Inca builders have access to very acid mud? They did, and used the acid mud from their mines, which generated sulphuric acid through bacterial oxidation of pyrite (fools gold). It reaches an acidity of up to pH = 0.5, which is 10^4 times more acid than humic acid which is known to weather silica containing rocks via silica gel to the clay mineral kaolin. This acid mud allowed dissolving and softening the rock material superficially to a viscoelastic silica gel. The process could be further enhanced more than tenfold by addition of (oxalic acid containing) plant sap, a skill suggested from popular tradition
originally posted by: surfer_soul
I highly reccomend reading the paper and the authors conclusions in full.
2. 7. Evidence for chemical treatment of Inca stone walls
A small sample from the Peruvian Inca site called Tetecaca has been collected from a limestone block showing a smooth overlayer. This smooth layer has been analized by the University of Utrecht, Holland. The surface layer, approximately 10 micrometer thick on top of the limestone (besides of Ca, C, and O showing only low amounts of trace elements) showed high concentrations of Si, Al and Mg. This indicates that a special material layer on silica-basis has been superposed.