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Weekender: Mysteries of the Pyramids Revealed?

The pyramids of Egypt are some of the most fascinating and enigmatic structures on the planet; to date the secret of their unique construction has yet to be determined.

The pyramids were built using massive blocks of stone, and one of the most unfathomable mysteries is how the early Egyptians managed to transport the blocks across the desert and lift them into place.

New theories are constantly being mooted by experts around the world, ranging from the complex to the fantastic, but a recent study conducted by the University of Amsterdam claims to have discovered a very simple and rather mundane method whereby the ancient people were able to achieve this amazing feat.

The researchers suggest that the Egyptians dragged the enormous chunks of granite across the Valley of the Kings on a sledge pulled by hundreds of men, facilitating their passage by pouring water in front of the sledge. Recreating the process, scientists reported that the damp sand reduced friction and enabled the heavy objects to be moved with less force.

According to study lead author Daniel Bonn, a physics professor at the University of Amsterdam,the hypothesis was inspired and substantiated by wall paintings discovered in the tomb of Djehutihotep, which appear to illustrate that 172 men are hauling a large statue using ropes attached to a sledge, with another figure shown standing on the front of the sledge pouring liquid over the sand.

Bonn's team carried out a laboratory experiment in which a smaller version of the Egyptian sledge transported weights ranging between 100 grams to a few kilograms in a tray of sand.

"When the sand was dry, a heap of sand formed in front of the sled, hindering its movement; a relatively high force was needed for the sled to reach a steady state," stats the study. "Adding water made the sand more rigid, and the heaps decreased in size until no heap formed in front of the moving sled and therefore a lower applied force was needed to reach a steady state."

The wetting of the sand had previously been associated with some form of ritual procedure, but Bonn claims that the results of the study discredit this explanation, and that the type of jar used in the painting suggests that the liquid being poured is definitely water and not oil or any other type of fluid.

The findings of the study, entitled "Sliding Friction on Wet and Dry Sand," were published in the journal Physical Review Letters, but its "wet sand" theory seems overly simplistic and fails to address other unanswered questions, including the most obvious: once transported across the desert, how were the huge blocks lifted into place?

For millennia, historians, philosophers and researchers have attempted to answer this question, but the most widely accepted theory is that ramps were used to haul the stones up the outside of the 146m high structures, either straight or in a spiralling fashion.
However, these theories are even doubted by the experts themselves:

Egyptologist Bob Brier once said to the media, "I've been teaching them myself for 20 years but deep down I know they're wrong."

It is very doubtful that this latest study has provided any new answers; in fact, as a theory it is not even a fresh example. Chris Dunn, a retired engineer, researcher and author of the "The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt" and "Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt: Advanced Engineering in the Temples of the Pharaohs," said he was surprised at the buzz the allegedly novel theory was receiving:

"This is not a new theory and the graphic of the statue being pulled on a sled with a presumed liquid poured from a jug has been referenced many times by Egyptologists and other more conventional orthodox scholars and researchers," he told Unknown Country.

"What we see in this experiment is a tray of sand with water poured onto it. That is a failed experiment in my opinion.

"The tray would contain both the sand and the water. The open desert would allow the water to soak deeper into the sand or spread out. Under the desert sun it would evaporate quickly also. Moreover, to argue that a 500 ton obelisk or a 600 or 1000 ton statue could be moved this way based on what this lab experiment has revealed is laughable."

Sometimes the simplest answer is the most effective, but to suggest that the mystery that has baffled experts for thousands of years is now solved by such an apparently banal theory tested merely with weights in a tray of sand is beyond reasonable belief. Perhaps if the researchers had managed to recreate the transport of a mega-ton block of stone then, to pardon the pun, the theory might carry more weight, but the riddle of the pyramids would still not be fully solved.

"As with any theory, new or old, demonstration of its efficacy goes a long way to support the theory," explains Mr. Dunn. "But even if a proper demonstration is made and is proven to work, it still ends up as just a theory. "

The issue is that there is no surviving historic evidence to support any modern-day presumptions, and for this reason, the mystery of the pyramids will endure.

"For it to be accepted as a fact, eye witness testimony from the time the pyramids were built would need to be questioned," commented Mr. Dunn." Of course, that isn't going to happen and those who prefer to maintain the status quo with respect to the level of technology available to the pyramid builders will happily accept this study.

"Myself, from a scientific perspective, it doesn't even address the central problem. That is moving multi-ton blocks of limestone and granite across the desert."

Pyramids have not only been constructed in Egypt, but are to be found all across the globe in a variety of different locations including Rome, Greece, Mexico, and Mauritius, and not always in desert locations; the "wet sand" method does not explain how pyramids could be constructed in grassland or rocky locations, for example. A newly discovered pyramid has recently been found in an underwater site between the islands of São Miguel and Terceira in the Azores of Portugal. The structure is said to be perfectly squared and oriented by the cardinal points, and current estimates obtained using GPS digital technology put its height at 60 meters with a base of 8000 square meters. It cannot be a coincidence that so many of these distinctly-shaped structures are found across the globe, constructed at different times by different cultures.

So, does the latest study reveal the mysteries of the pyramids' construction?

Doubtful. The true mysteries of the pyramids lie not only in their construction, but also in their still unfathomable purpose. When one considers the astounding legacies of these ancient cultures that still remain in the form of amazing monuments, , it seems to be an affront to their incredible achievements to assume that their methods were primitive just because they took place thousands of years ago. In fact, some of the buildings appear to be such incredible feats of engineering, whose construction would still pose a challenge to the most advanced modern-day engineers, that some suggest that these societies were assisted in their endeavors by off-earth civilisations. Whether or not alien help was received, it seems certain that highly advanced technologies have come and gone many times on this planet, their secrets lost along with the long-dead societies who used them.

The Egyptians were arguably the most advanced engineers to have ever lived, whether they had extra-terrestrial help or not, and we should respect their incredible accomplishments, not belittle them in order to remain within the confines of our limited understanding.

"I have often said that when faced with the riddle of the pyramids, we are like children playing in the sandbox," sums up Chris Dunn." Nobody knows the exact truth, but some of us give the ancient Egyptians more respect and acknowledgment for their genius."

As always, your own personal theories are always welcomed here at Unknown Country; subscribers can share their views on this fascinating subject, and listen to our astounding library of special interviews with some of the world's most knowledgeable and celebrated researchers

The power of levitation was used, that is what my guess would be. Only the high priest or shaman would have this skill. It would be highly prized and classified so that not just anyone could get this skill. Anther words it would not be written down. Those today who might be able to wield this power / skill would likely keep it close to their chest as it would make them a target of evil intentions. Anyone working on this in a lab would be targeted as well and have their work confiscated if they got to close to the formulae. Dr. Robert Schock postulates an ancient skill ( perhaps from Atlantis ) had survived the Great Flood and one outpost might have been Egypt. Please try to get him on Dreamland. This professor ranks right up their with Dr. John Mack. He has courage to think outside the box and is open to PSI.

Hey that was a bit of ESP. I just read some more of your page and you are having Dr. Robert Schock on Dreamland. Yeah!

I bought the book Forgotten Civilization where Robert Schoch claims that the sphinx is far older than anyone knew because he discovered water erosion on it's sides. Meaning when it was erected it wasn't built in a dry climate. He was interviewed by Linda Moulton Howe and the show was fascinating.

Where would all the water have come from to move a 10 ton stone? Not just one either. And over how great a distance?
It would take a lot of water constantly poured on very hot dry sand almost continuously. This seems a bit of a stretch to me.
If they used water, then how did they transport that much water over such a distance? That, by itself, would be almost as impressive as moving the monolithic stones themselves!

Sort of like the "eggs are bad for you", "eggs are good for you" flip-flop of scientists on so many issues, I am now completely puzzled about the constitution of the "blocks". Recently, there was a spate of articles in the media stating that the issue of how the pyramids were constructed was solved. These articles stated that the "stones" were not stones at all, but rather poured in place, like cement. These articles made it seem that the mystery of how they stones were put in place was solved, i.e., they weren't put into place, they were poured in place. I found the following on the internet, "The Ancient Egyptians built their great Pyramids by pouring concrete into blocks high on the site rather than hauling up giant stones, according to a new Franco-American study." The articles said that the stones were made from reconstituting liquefied lime. One article went on to say 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 molds 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." So, after reading the outstanding news article on Unknown Country's "Weekender: Mysteries of the Pyramids Revealed?" I really became baffled, as it seems that the scientists are back to the "stone" theory again. I did some reading on the internet and it seems that this "liquefying" theory is under tremendous fire from a variety of sources, one reason stated because of the length of time it would take to dry. One scientist stated, "If you had cast slaked lime, the centers of the blocks would take something like centuries to dry out, if ever, because of lack of carbon dioxide getting into the center. Something's not quite right here with regards to the proposed chemistry." They also say that the diverse shapes of the stones show that molds were not used. They add that a huge amount of limestone chalk and burnt wood would have been needed to make the concrete. It's very difficult for the layperson to keep on top of things when scientists make pronouncements with such authority, and not in the humble spirit of joint inquiry. However, as always, the Unknown Country article hits the nail on the head when it mentions, "The true mysteries of the pyramids lie not only in their construction, but also in their still unfathomable purpose." It is so astounding that with all our scientific bravado, in 2014 we still have no idea how the pyramids were constructed, nor why they were constructed. And at 60 years of age, that still sends chills down my spine! Thanks, Unknown Country.

Let's see: An estimate of a little over 2 million blocks make up the Great Pyramid. A little water, a little sand, a ramp, lots of cheap labor... hmmm...Yep, that makes sense to me!

I'm not sure why anyone thought this was some 'new' discovery. Maybe they should give credit to C.B DeMille---in 'The Ten Commandments' that's pretty close to the way he portrayed the way the monuments were built using large blocks of stone. What a genius!

Nope, I ain't buying this one. These researchers must think we are all stoopid or somethin'...:-)

Dolores Cannon, a regression hypnotherapist and author of many books, reported that one her subjects/clients was regressed to a point in time during the construction of the pyramids. The method mentioned that was used to levitate and move the massive stone blocks was with sound waves emitted by 3 or more so-called high priests. The keening noise they emitted vocally was maintained collectively ensuring a continuous sound even when one or more were taking breaths.

Ahh Yes, the great things civilizations accomplished back in the days when there was no TV or Internet to occupy our time with...

I think there are two considerations to account for if the idea that these great blocks of stone were transported (somehow) to the Giza site. The first, which has been analyzed to death -is how to get the stones to the building site. But the unasked question left is how do you get these monstrous objects into position?

If they were lifted by by ropes or even levers into place, how do the builders get the ropes out from under the blocks? There would be evidence of rope-like material pinched between the stones or cutouts/notches to allow access. It would be impossible to gather enough people or animals around a stone to push it into position. There is just not enough access no matter how many people were trying to push on it.

The theory that the blocks were poured in place always attracted me because it explains the fact of the close fit between the blocks as well as their accurate positioning. Regarding the internal structure of these blocks it seems very easy to drill a core sample and examine the results.

Now, that leaves only another -999 mysteries of the Pyramids left to be solved!

I think the pyramids and sphinx in Egypt, and the pyramids in other countries, were built by a prior superior civilization, such as the fabled Atlantis. This prior civilization probably was wiped out by some great catastrophe. Then in time, new civilizations arose and were credited with building the structures on their property. I doubt if anyone will ever know what technologies this prior civilization employed to build these structures. And I think it is ridiculous to credit primitive civilizations with the construction of these massive structures.

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