New research strongly suggests the Giza pyramids were constructed using artificial stone

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posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:21 AM
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The majority of mainstream archaeologists and egyptologists hold to the accepted theory that the main Giza pyramid (Cheops) was constructed over an approximate period of 10-20 years and using 1000's of labourers



A construction management study (testing) carried out by the firm Daniel, Mann, Johnson, & Mendenhall in association with Mark Lehner and other Egyptologists, estimates that the total project required an average workforce of 14,567 people and a peak workforce of 40,000. Without the use of pulleys, wheels, or iron tools, they used critical path analysis to suggest the Great Pyramid was completed from start to finish in approximately 10 years. Their study estimates that the number of blocks used in construction was between 2-2.8 million (an average of 2.4 million), but settles on a reduced finished total of 2 million after subtracting the estimated area of the hollow spaces of the chambers and galleries. Most sources agree on this number of blocks somewhere above 2.3 million.Their calculations suggest the workforce could have sustained a rate of 180 blocks per hour (3 blocks/minute) with ten hour work days for putting each individual block in place. They derived these estimates from modern third-world construction projects that did not use modern machinery, but conclude it is still unknown exactly how the Great Pyramid was built.

Source: en.wikipedia.org...



Now, many years ago, I read a very interesting book that postulated an alternative method for the construction of the Giza pyramids that was radicaly different from the mainstream theory accepted by most egyptologists. The book was titled "The Pyramids: An Enigma Solved" by author Dr. Joseph Davidovits and co-author Margie Morris ( Publisher:New York : Hippocrene Books, 1988).
I found his theory extremely interesting and novel but didn't really look into it much further over the following years until I came across an article published last year (2008) in an MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) newletter. Apparently Linn Hobbs, professor of materials science and engineering and professor of nuclear science and engineering at MIT and students in the class, Materials in Human Experience (class 3.094), were



testing a controversial theory that some of the giant blocks that make up the great pyramids of Giza may have been cast in place from concrete, rather than quarried and moved into position.

Source: web.mit.edu...


This article reminded me of Davidovits' book and re-kindled my interest in his pyramid construction theory.
Being so very different from current mainstream views on how the pyramids were 'constructed', I decided to put this thread together for the benefit of other ATS members interested in the pyramids and their construction, and who may not have heard of this alternative theory before.

As far as I'm concerned, it's quite an eye opener and I personally believe that Davidovits' may not be too far of the truth ... anyway, have a read and make your own minds up.
However, it almost goes without saying that his ideas are not accepted by mainstream Egyptologists ... no surprise there !



Dr. Joseph Davidovits is a French materials scientist who carries out his chemical research at the Geopolymer Institute (north of Paris). He is a visiting professor at the University of Toronto (Canada) and the director of the Institute for Applied Archaeological Sciences (IAPAS) of Barry University, Florida. He holds the Ordre National du Mérite, is the author and co-author of more than 130 scientifical papers and conferences reports, and holds more than fifty patents.
His geopolymeric materials are the most important new materials since the development of plastics, and they are revolutionizing the construction, waste management, and material science industries.



Margie Morris is Dr. Davidovits' assistant and operates the administrative office of the IAPAS and studies ancient Egyptian history through a program at the University of Minnesota.



Summary of Davidovits' theory

Davidovits was not convinced that the ancient Egyptians possessed the tools or technology to carve and haul the huge (2.5 to 15 ton) limestone blocks that made up the Great Pyarmid. Davidovits suggested that the blocks were molded in place by using a form of limestone concrete. According to his theory, a soft limestone with a high kaolinite content was quarried in the wadi on the south of the Giza plateau. It was then dissolved in large, Nile-fed pools until it became a watery slurry. Lime (found in the ash of ancient cooking fires) and natron (also used by the Egyptians in mummification) was mixed in. The pools were then left to evaporate, leaving behind a moist, clay-like mixture. This wet "concrete" would be carried to the construction site where it would be packed into reusable wooden molds. In the next few days the mixture would undergo a chemical hydration reaction similar to the setting of cement.

Using Davidovits theory, no large gangs would be needed to haul blocks and no huge and unwieldy ramps would be needed to transport the blocks up the side of the pyramid. No chiseling or carving with soft bronze tools would be required to dress their surfaces and new blocks could be cast in place, on top of and pressed against the old blocks. This would account for the unerring precision of the joints of the casing stones (the blocks of the core show tools marks and were cut with much lower tolerances). Proof-of-concept experiments using similar compounds were carried out at Davidovit's geopolymer institute in northern France. It was found that a crew of ten, working with simple hand tools, could build a structure of fourteen, 1.3 to 4.5 ton blocks in a couple of days. According to Davidovits the architects possessed at least two concrete formulas: one for the large structural blocks and another for the white casing stones. He argues earlier pyramids, brick structures, and stone vases were built using similar techniques.


Continued next post ...




posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:21 AM
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Continued from previous post ...


The following quote is from the MIT study:



The materials and know-how needed to cast the pyramids' giant 2-1/2 ton blocks in place, rather than quarrying and moving blocks of solid limestone, was definitely available to the Egyptians, Hobbs explains. At least 90 percent of the material would have consisted of powdered limestone, and Egyptian limestone is especially fragile and can easily be reduced to finely divided sludge simply by soaking it in water. The rest--the binder or cement--could have been made from materials they were known to have had and used for other purposes.

The binder, known as a geopolymer, could have been made from lime, kaolinite (a kind of clay), a fine silica (such as diatomaceous earth) and natron (sodium carbonate). The same ingredients were used by the Egyptians to make self-glazing pottery ornaments, a material called Egyptian faience, and well known to archeologists. When fired at high temperature, the material produces a rich blue glaze on the surface. But if left for days or weeks at room temperature, it self-cures into a rock-hard material that could have provided a binder for cementing the disaggregated limestone together into cast blocks.

Hobbs suggests that some ancient craftsman may have inadvertently left some faience material unfired, and discovered by accident the hard material that resulted. In building pyramids, especially the higher layers as the structure grew, casting blocks in place would have been a far easier task than carving them to precise sizes and shapes and then moving them up long earthen ramps into their final positions -- a process that has never been described or pictured in any of the vast number of Egyptian texts and murals that have been found.



Crucial to Davidovits' theory is the process that he named Geopolymerization ...

Geopolymer is a term covering a class of synthetic aluminosilicate materials with potential use in a number of areas, essentially as a replacement for Portland cement and for advanced high-tech composites and ceramic applications. The name Geopolymer was first applied to these materials by Joseph Davidovits in the 1970s.

As well as the pyramids, he also considers that roman cement and the small artifacts, previously thought to be stone, of the Tiahuanaco civilisation were made using knowledge of geopolymer techniques.

In simple terms Davidovits has used various mixtures and chemical reactions via geopolymer chemistry to replace concrete. The main principle is akin to concrete in that the mixture starts out as a liquid and hardens to form 'solid' stone.

Davidovits presents a compelling case for the fact that the Egyptians understood this process when the Giza pyramids were built, but the knowledge was later lost. He has been able to reproduce the Giza stones using his process and has shown how simply it can be done.



'Egyptian workmen went to outcrops of relatively soft limestone, disaggregated it with water, then mixed the muddy limestone (including the fossil-shells) with lime and tecto-alumino-silicate-forming materials (geosynthesis) such as kaolin clay, silt, and the Egyptian salt natron (sodium carbonate).

The limestone mud was carried up by the bucketful and then poured, packed or rammed into molds (made of wood, stone, clay or brick) placed on the pyramid sides. This re-agglomerated limestone, bonded by geochemical reaction (called geopolymer cement), thus hardened into resistant blocks.

Source: geopolymer.org



Support for Davidovits' claim is gradually accumulating, even though conventional Egyptologists continue to refute the cited experimental evidence regarding the application of geopolymerization chemistry as evidence indicating the potential 'artificiality' of the construction blocks.




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.

Source: www.rexresearch.com...



Continued next post ...



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:22 AM
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Continued from previous post ...



According to Davidavits, the necessary raw materials for producing artificial limestone was available in abundance in ancient Egypt and that with repeated observation and experimentation with substances found in the environment, individuals of that time period would have been more than capable of producing geopolymeric stone in vast quantites.



Advanced technology plays no part in the production of geopolymers. This is the most basic prerequisite if the theory is to be feasible. An individual of the Stone Age could produce geopolymers if he or she astutely applied the knowledge that comes from intelligent, repeated observation and experimentation with substances found in the environment.

... suitable ingrediants were available in quantites of millions of tons. Mud from the Nile River contains alumina and is well suited for low-temperature mineral synthesis. The natron salt is extraordinarily abundant in the deserts and lakes. Natron reacts with lime and water to produce casustic soda, the main ingreient for alchemically making stone. An abundance of lime would have been available by calcining limestone in simple hearths. In ancient times, the Sinai mines were rich in deposits of turquoise and chrysocolla, needed for the production of synthetic zeolites. The mines also contained the arsenic minerals of olivenite and scorodite, needed to produce rapid hydraulic setting in large concrete blocks.

Source: "The Pyramids - An Enigma Solved" - Davidavits - pp69-70



Because these ingredients were commonly obtainable and in large quantites during this time period, all that would obviously be required to produce blocks of any required size would have been simple tools e.g. a hoe to scrape up fossil-shell limestone, a basket to transport ingredients, a ladder, a square, a plumb line, a level, a builder's trowel, and wooden molds.
Apparently all the above mentioned tools were in use as examples of these were actually found in the Sixth Dynasty pyramid of Pharoah Pepi II.



Ok, to finish ...

I've never been one to subscribe to the common held belief that's pounded into our heads of 1000's of sweating labourers, toiling for decades and hauling millions of train size blocks of limestone hundred of meters above the ground using nothing but muscle power, huge dirt ramps, wooden rollers and rope ... sure it might be possible, but just seems like such a ludicrous and not very cost effective way of building (at that time) the world's biggest/tallest stone structure.

And then along comes someone with the necessary scientific credentials and experience who proposes a much more feasible and realistic alternative ... and especially an alternative that was well within the capabilities of the technology of that time.

How neat is that !

There's lot more that could be said regarding the Davidavits' theory of pyramid construction ... for anyone interested, I highly recommend his book "The Pyramids - An Enigma Solved".



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:30 AM
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There has been at least one other thread on this subject which is quite interesting...in fact I may have posted a thread about it myself but my brain cell forgets.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:36 AM
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reply to post by grover
 


Ok, thanks for that .... looks like my "search" techniques could do with a spot of improvement


Ah, well ... if the moderators see fit, they can delete this thread if they think it's appropriate to do so.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:40 AM
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You still provide a lot of interesting information and that is good so it should stand and I hope for you that it thrives.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 06:57 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 

No don't delete your hard work, I found it very interesting and interesting to read so a S&F for effort mate well done ...




posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:05 AM
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This is interesting but I'm not wholly sure what the angle is exactly. Is it that it's now confirmed or is that the idea of Egyptians using 'concrete' is new? Hasn't this explanation been posited for a long time now?

It's been long known that the Romans also used similar techniques in what's often called the Concrete Revolution and they got quite clever with it too: the dome of the Pantheon &c.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:23 AM
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reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


The Romans supposedly developed concrete in and around 200 BC. If this hypothisis is correct then it would predate the Romans by over 2000 years.

BTW I am giving you a star for this thread.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by grover]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:32 AM
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Originally posted by Merriman Weir
This is interesting but I'm not wholly sure what the angle is exactly. Is it that it's now confirmed or is that the idea of Egyptians using 'concrete' is new? Hasn't this explanation been posited for a long time now?

It's been long known that the Romans also used similar techniques in what's often called the Concrete Revolution and they got quite clever with it too: the dome of the Pantheon &c.


Sorry for any confusion


This is not strictly a new theory as Davidavits' work on geopolymerization dates back to the 70's - but it was his book (published in 1988) that I believe 1st brought it to the publics attention in any significant way and offered a serious alternative to mainstream Egyptology's prevailing dogma on pyramid construction methods/techniues.

I 1st came across his book about 15 years ago but didn't hear much else until I came across that study/project undertaken by MIT last year which as far as I can see goes a significant way to corroborating his research and conclusions.

As far as I'm aware, mainstream Egyptology are still continuing to strongly resist and denounce his theories, almost as heresy ... but if you were in their positions with reputations (and necks) on the line, wouldn't you also tend to ridicule any serious opposition ?



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:33 AM
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reply to post by tauristercus
 


your presentation got me to thinking on the pyramid construction techniques....


about the 2 million blocks required;
If the builders used concrete slurry for almost 50% of the volume
then the number of laborers, stone cutters and haulers would be reduced significantly....

consider a checkerboard before you, and imagine that the black squares are Voids while the white squares are cut stone blocks from the quarry.
you can see that about 40% of the sizeable blocks are not required,

Instead, only a continuous line of water bearers and crushed stone haulers would need to mix the slurry and mix within the Void spaces between the solid stone blocks, which can continue on a 24 hr basis...
and these concrete makers would have their own paths to enter & exit the pour site which would not get in the way of the quarried block masons & stone setters.
I can see that 1/2 the projected costs of time/skilled labor/quarried stone transport & setting would be reduced- -& replaced by easier managed lowly laborers that tote gravel and water.

~ just some random musing & thought,
anyone's welcome to develop the idea further, if it seems solid enough


thanks, v musi

[edit on 27-9-2009 by St Udio]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:41 AM
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Originally posted by grover
reply to post by Merriman Weir
 


The Romans supposedly developed concrete in and around 200 BC. If this hypothisis is correct then it would predate the Romans by over 2000 years.

BTW I am giving you a star for this thread.

[edit on 27-9-2009 by grover]



Yes, it appears that this 'artificial limestone' technology may indeed pre-date the Romans by millenia. Quite possible it was once used extensively but over time, forgotten and slipped into obscurity.

In fact, it also mentioned that many of the stone jars/urns used by the Egyptians ... the ones with extremely narrow necks that increase into very bulbous main sections .... may also have been 'cast' rather than using a hunk of rock/stone that was hollowed out to form the jar/urn.
The main problem being that it's difficult to understand how the huge volume of rock/stone material from the inside of the jar/urn was removed if the only access was down the inside of the very narrow neck.
How would you go about grinding away that material to form the inside of the jar/urn ?



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:47 AM
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Very interesting OP, S&F. I have never really bought into the idea that the Egyptians hauled huge blocks up a ramp and have always thought that there was technology used that was advanced.

My only question is: What could have happened that this knowledge was lost for so many centuries?



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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Thanks for the read. You provide some interesting and credible information. Always great to read some structured alternative theories.

Starred and Flagged.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 07:58 AM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


There were several "dark ages" between the building of the pyramids and the Romans...

specifically there were 3 periods between the old kingdom...the middle kingdom and the new kingdom in which apparently the whole social order of ancient Egypt broke down.

Just like the dark age between the Mycenaean (Achaean) and the the people we know as the Greeks...much was lost in those centuries.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:01 AM
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Thanks for the great read.

As for your idea about casting, perhaps a sand or similar mold was made and the material was poured around it. Then after firing, water could be used to wash the sand out. A similar process is used to cast engine blocks.



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:07 AM
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Originally posted by abecedarian
Thanks for the great read.

As for your idea about casting, perhaps a sand or similar mold was made and the material was poured around it. Then after firing, water could be used to wash the sand out. A similar process is used to cast engine blocks.


Yes, I believe thats what the author was getting at .... that many of the very unusual jars/urns that have survived to this day, and that appear to have been made from what appears to be a stone/rock like material (and therefore NOT cast on a potters wheel out of clay), may have in fact been "molded" into that shape from a stone/rock slurry, then allowed to dry.
When fully dry, it once more would resemble rock/stone and confound future archaeologists who would scratch their heads in puzzlement as to how they managed to hollow out a hunk of stone into an urn that had a very narrow neck !



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:25 AM
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artificial stone. I guess, that's an artifical stone quary 1/2 mile away. and those copper chisel marks and rope handles were put their to confuse us modern men. - anything is possible I guess. and also concrete could be considered artifical stone.... now if my memory serves me correctly. it did have a bright white limestone coating applied to the outsides... humm, could he be testing the stucco layer perhaps... ?



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:36 AM
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Originally posted by grover
reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 


There were several "dark ages" between the building of the pyramids and the Romans...

specifically there were 3 periods between the old kingdom...the middle kingdom and the new kingdom in which apparently the whole social order of ancient Egypt broke down.

Just like the dark age between the Mycenaean (Achaean) and the the people we know as the Greeks...much was lost in those centuries.


Thank you for that. These dark ages are widely accepted as times when we lost knowledge of advanced technologies, no? If so, then why is it so difficult for the scientific community to accept that these technologies could have been used and the knowledge of them lost?

Is it just arrogance?




[edit on 27/9/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]



posted on Sep, 27 2009 @ 08:45 AM
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reply to post by Iamonlyhuman
 

Advanced technologies? No. There is no real evidence for advanced technologies if you mean anything like ours...but if you mean advanced technologies like having something like concrete 2000 years before the Romans then there is evidence...but then again I can make concrete from powdered sandstone...lime...a binder like crushed seashells (as in the case of the pyramids) and water...its not all that advanced...and all it takes is observation like sandstone rubble becoming hard when it dries out after the yearly flooding of the Nile.





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