To anyone with any knowledge of the Great Pyramids at all, the most obvious questions that occur are "How did they build them, and Why?"
To many, the answers once seemed obvious but there is now good reason for serious doubt and anyone who looks a little deeper will find the mystery deepens beyond measure. This is because any truly enquiring mind reveals not the answers they had hoped for but instead a whole barrel of new questions.
In the mid-19th century, authority figures within Archaeology believed the pyramids took 600 years to build. When an eminent researcher (Sir Flinders Petrie) showed evidence to suggest otherwise they simply chose to ignore the evidence.
However, over the years other evidence brought the figure down to 40 years (the reign of the Pharaoh) and now it is generally accepted the Second Great Pyramid (the nearest to us in time) was built in 20 years.
This would suggest the Great Pyramid, at 20% larger in volume, would have taken around 26 years to build which precisely matches the figure produced by Petrie.
However, although thePetrie's timescale is now largely accepted, there is still no demonstrated way the incredible precision and the speed of construction could both be achieved at the same time. The combination is still far beyond our present abilities. To top
As described by Petrie, the Great Pyramid is built to "optical precision" and is almost prefectly square and (after4500 years) is still aligned to the earth's axis to within 1/200tho. The precision in the alignment and detail of the Great Pyramid is so far beyond anything achieved in modern times that no one has yet been able to come anywhere near matching it with the techniques supposedly available at that time.
Even with unlimited manpower and the most modern machinery available, to actually build to this precision (not merely measure) would still be at the limits of our technology. Throw in the time constraints and it becomes so impossible it was obvious to me as a teenager, 50 years ago.
Searching around, I found the same precision in construction at many other sites around the world. Perhaps best known, is the extraordinary wall of the 15th-century fortress of Sacsahuaman, near Cuzco, where oddly-shaped, multifaceted granite blocks (some weighing up to 120 tons) are fitted together with no visible gap between them. It is beyond imagination as to how they were made or even why anyone would go to such extremes, unless there were a far simpler explanation that must lie in the techniques used in their construction.
Along with hundreds of smaller artifacts and numerous specific and puzzling examples, the only conclusion that seemed even halfway rational was that, as well as the ability to lift massive weights, the Ancients also had some means of softening the hardest stone and/or making it artificially. To top
We can now match some of the technology but we still have nothing remotely comparable to the scale demonstrated of making the granite blocks like those found at Cuzco and above the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid.
Over the years, the evidence has merely grown stronger, suggesting the blocks were made of artificial stone and that it was done with a sophisticated technology still largely beyond any now available. It is now over 25 years since the methods of making the simpler (limestone) blocks in the pyramids were rediscovered but the secret for making granite blocks is still largely a mystery.
Quite similar examples are found globally but the variations expressed in the use of this highly sophisticated ancient technology strongly imply that a far more technically advanced Third Party source was supplying the knowledge as part of a trading arrangement. To top
My own research, demonstrated in the construction of a number of buildings, has been limited to proving that form-working techniques could indeed have been used to produce both the speed and physical details of construction as demonstrated at Giza. Three critical details are highly relevant to the historical reconstruction.
Tongue-and-groove on the corner blocks
1. The discovery (c1835) of keystone locating grooves cut into the bedrock at each corner of the Great Pyramid. The grooves are well documented and were later used to prove the very precise alignment of the whole structure.
The underside of each corner stone was made with a protrusion on its base that locked the corner solidly into the block below, preventing the blocks from spreading outwards. This quite amazing 'keystone' technique was an extraordinarily sophisticated device obviously designed to ensure the buildings long-term integrity.
In considering the known speed of construction, it is impossible to believe the tongues could have been cut with such precision and on the face of natural stone blocks when there are a number of far simpler (and far more obvious ways) to achieve the same result, some of which were clearly used in later, less perfect pyramids. Whilst purists might argue that other blocks, elsewhere, could (theoretically) be placed together with almost perfect alignment, to make cornerstones to this precision would be all-but impossible. It is also quite clearly illogical. To top
2. The second anomaly, was the discovery of chisel marks in the granite blocks making up the roof of the King's Chamber. No tool known (even today) could repeatedly cut natural granite in this way and certainly not the copper tools available to the Egyptians 5000 years ago. How then, to explain the repeated chisel marks. As reported in detail by Sir Flinders Petrie in 1883, the same tool made repeated cuts in the stone, leaving tell-tale marks that prove the tool was not resharpened during this whole process.
As a rational, practical person, the evidence of the protrusions on the base of otherwise flat blocks was absolute proof-positive that these massive cornerstones (at least) were made using artificial stone and form work techniques. The chisel marks on blocks of granite merely extend the enormity of the discovery.
Carving massive blocks of stone with a protruding corner key on its base, to fit to this perfection is so totally irrational as to be beyond belief. However, it makes perfect sense to pour artificial stone (in semi-liquid form) into a mould, to lock onto a roughly-finished surface with a locating groove already cut into it. Leaving the bedrock slightly roughened would merely provide a stronger bond. Any gaps would be filled with a non-porous mortar.
Similar techniques can also be used to make the form work panels with a perfectly true face, polished to a high finish. The stone surface released from the mold will also be perfect. There is no need for finishing the surface and no need to move massive blocks to achieve a perfect result. The whole process is quick, easy and extremely accurate. To top
3. The final anomaly was discovered more recently at the Second Pyramid* where the whole top section of the mantle is still in place. Side to side, the blocks are placed to within 0.05mm (1/500inch) but they are also keyed together with an (additional) vertical tongue-and-groove joint not seen on the Great Pyramid. Although the innovation was merely a simple extension of using formwork techniques and geopolymers, to achieve the same result in any other way would all-but impossible without unlimited time.
*described in "The Complete Pyramids" (1997) by Mark Lehner
Although deduced in the mid-1950's, the key technology, and the proven solution emerged in 1984, at the "Science in Egyptology Symposia" (1984), in Manchester England.
Materials scientist, Frenchman Prof. Joseph Davidovits presented a paper on work he had recently completed. It involved, inter alia, analysis of the stone used to construct the Great Pyramid and other pyramids on the Giza plateau. Davidovits's paper specifically covered the examination of casing stones from three pyramids; the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Bent Pyramid and the Pyramid of Teti, near Saqqara. He also examined the the strange mortar and another sealer found on the face of certain stones, where they had been protected from the elements through the intervening centuries To top
Stone samples had been taken from10 quarries at Mokattam (on the east side of the Nile), long associated with supplying stone for the pyramids' construction and these samples were compared to others taken from the casing stones. A number of photographic cross-sectional images (micrographs) were also made.
Examination revealed that the actual geological limestone content, (ie the shells and other marine debris) of the casing stones, was identical to the stone from the quarries, fully in line with the Standard Theory. However, spectroanalysis and the micrographs revealed differences. Tthe stone samples contained 10% of impurities and other material, not present in the quarried, natural stone. The additional matter precisely matches (within 1%) that found in the highest quality artificial stone made by Prof. Davidovits. To top
The additional matter consists of a mix of alumina, soluble silica, and traces of (acidic) vegetable material (probably from citrus fruit, rhubarb or agave) that together make a zeolite bonding agent similar to those developed by Prof. Davidovits.
According to Davidovits, if the stone he examined was natural (the very remotest of possibilities) then it certainly did not come from the Mokattam quarries historically associated with this work. However, although spectral analysis was unable to completely exclude the possibility that the stone was natural, the visual analysis of micrographic (magnified) images of the stone would seem to settle the issue. To top
Having been almost solely responsible for the development of modern geopolymers, Davidovits is, without doubt, the acknowledged world expert on the subject: He is also a careful and meticulous scientist. Whilst not excluding the remote possibility that the casing stones are natural, from his vast experience, Davidovits claims he has only ever seen this type of inclusion in artificial stone.
Bubbles of any sort are extremely rare in natural stone and (to Davidovits' knowledge) flattened bubbles have never (previously?) been found. The plant fibres are even more difficult to explain. The normal processes of rock formation should reasonably exclude any possibility of plant fibres being found in natural stone but again, this is not the case with an artificial stone. The acid necessary to make a zeolite compound could quite reasonably have been introduced as fibrous plant material.
Three different geopolymers have so far been identified by Davidovits at Giza, including the casing stones. However, these examples do not include the granitic rock found in the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid at Giza (and the walls at Sacsahuaman, Peru). They represent an even greater mystery that Davidovits has yet to crack. However, the drill holes and chisel marks found by Petrie on the massive granite blocks at Giza leave little doubt that similar technology applied.
If Prof. Davidovits is still unable to offer a solution after 30 years of brilliant work in this area of technology, then just how advanced was the technology used by the Ancients? It would seem impossible to believe that such an advanced technology was repeatedly discovered, individually in Egypt, in Peru and elsewhere, by different, isolated tribes. It is far more rational to assume the technology was introduced as an item of trade by a third party who had expertise in the area. Who else, but the gods, precisely as the legends dictate .To top