First off, a familiar depiction with a somewhat 'new' comparison ... just to set the 'mood'
Top: Dendera, Bottom:
Do the depicitions above show something that the ancient Egyptians actually 'used' or rather something they just saw and couldn't interpret correctly?
Was it just symbolic? Fact is: we don't know ... and that's true for many things regarding ancient Egypt, so we need to ask more questions and dig
deeper! I discovered in many threads, though, that those who actually challenge
traditional findings are frequently confronted with questions
like: Which source did you use? Where's the evidence? Who said that? ... just to end up with a comment like: "That's not legit!" etc.
So I decided to present 3 key arguments that are derived from critical, well-researched papers & analyses. They point to alternative explanations as
to how advanced the ancient Egyptians must have been & provide a different view on dating 'some' of the architecture at Giza.
NOTE: The Point of this post is not to present something completely new (it's all been out there for quite a while) but rather to have it all in
one place/thread and encourage further discussion based on these documents.
... so here we go:
Argument 1: Ancient Egyptians used circular saws & lathes and a variety of other advanced tools to cut stone
Source: The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh, Pages 173 - 177 (Online Version
PDF - 18mb
by Sir William M. Flinders Petrie (Egyptologist)
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.
And when we find on the surfaces of the saw-cuts in diorite, grooves as deep as 1/100 inch, it appears far more likely that such were produced by
fixed jewel points in the saw, than by any fortuitous rubbing about of a loose powder. And when, further, it is seen that these deep grooves are
almost always regular and uniform in depth, and equidistant, their production by the successive cuts of the jewel-teeth of a saw appears to be beyond
The great pressure needed to force the drills and saws so rapidly through the hard stones is very surprising; probably a load of at least a ton or two
was placed on the 4 inch drills cutting in granite (...)
The principle of rotating the tool was, for sma!ler objects, abandoned in favour of rotating the work; and the lathe appears to have been as
familiar an instrument in the fourth dynasty, as it is in modern workshops. The diorite bowls and vases of the Old Kingdom are frequently met
with, and show great technical skill (...)
That no remains of these saws or tubular drills have yet been found is to be expected, since we have not yet found even waste specimens of work to a
tenth of the amount that a single tool would produce; and the tools, instead of being thrown away like the waste, would be most carefully guarded
Ironically, it was indeed Flinders Petrie
, an early Egyptologist and pioneer of systematic
methodology in archaeology, who noticed that something about the stonework found around the Giza plateau wasn't right.
It's good to know that even back in the 1870s & 1880s, people were asking the same questions about the remarkable tools the ancient Egyptians must
have used. For a more modern interpretation of how 'precise' the artifacts at Giza have been manufactured, I also recommend
this article by Chris Dunn
(very thought-provoking, though it's not an 'academic' essay).
Argument 2: Evidence suggests the use of 'ancient concrete' via reconstituted limestone blocks at Giza
Source: Microstructural Evidence of Reconstituted Limestone Blocks in the Great Pyramids of Egypt (PDF, 761kb)
by M. W.
Barsoum and A. Ganguly (Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
We believe (...) that our work presents enough evidence to entertain the possibility that crucial parts of the Great Pyramids are indeed made
of reconstituted limestone; only more research will tell. The conclusions reached herein, if confirmed by others on larger samples, clearly show
that the Ancient Egyptians were not only exceptional civil and architectural engineers but also superb chemists and material scientists. They would
also have to be credited with the invention of concrete, thousands of years before the Romans.
That a lime-based cement cast and cured at room temperature would survive for 5000 years — while the best our civilization has to offer, Portland
cement, which under the best of circumstances lasts 150 years or less — is both awe inspiring and humbling. Lastly, we note that the full
implications of our conclusions to history, in general, and Egyptology, in particular, have not escaped us.
The argument for the use of ancient concrete in the Great Pyramids had been heavily critized. Zahi Hawass insisted that the samples were taken from
concrete fill-ins & blocks that were used in the past to repair the Pyramids. ETA: Seriously? Did Barsoum & Davidovits risk their academic reputation
for 'contemporary' concrete in their analysis? Wouldn't they have easily recognized that as specialists in material sciences?
Oh yes ... and then there's also been a sea-shell-fossil discussion (found in the limestone) to rule out an artificial casting of the stones,
here's a link
if you're interested how that could be explained.
As of yet, the 'ancient concrete' theory cannot be dismissed and requires further consideration.
(continues in next post)
edit on 1-7-2013 by jeep3r because: text