It's a theory that gives indigestion to mainstream archeologists. Namely, that some of the immense blocks of Egypt's Great Pyramids might have been cast from synthetic material - the world's first concrete - not just carved whole from quarries and lugged into place by armies of toilers. Such an innovation would have saved millions of man-hours of grunting and heaving in construction of the enigmatic edifices on the Giza Plateau."It could be they used less sweat and more smarts," said Linn W. Hobbs, professor of materials science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "Maybe the ancient Egyptians didn't just leave us mysteriousmonuments and mummies.
Maybe they invented concrete 2,000 years before the Romans started using it in their structures."That's a notion that would dramatically change engineering history. It's long been believed that the Romans were the first to employ structural concrete in a big way, although the technology may have come from the Greeks. A handful of determined materials scientists are carrying out experiments with crushed limestone and natural binding chemicals - stuff that would have been readily available to ancient Egyptians - designed to show that blocks on the upper reaches of the pyramids may have been cast in place from a slurry poured into wooden molds.
researchers at labs in Cambridge, Philadelphia, and St. Quentin,
France, are trying to demonstrate that Egyptians of about 2,500 BC
could have been thetrue inventors of the poured substance that is
humanity's most common building material - used in everything from
Rome's Pantheon to Boston's Big Dig.
At MIT, Hobbs and two
colleagues teach a course called Materials in Human Experience. Over
the years, undergraduates in the program have recreated from scratch
such artifacts as Samurai swords, tinkling Meso-American bells, and
even a swaying 60-foot plant-fiber suspension bridge like those built
by the Incas.
Now a scale-model pyramid
is rising in Hobbs's sixth-floor lab, a construction made of quarried
limestone as well as concrete-like blocks cast from crushed limestone
sludge fortified with dollops of kaolinite clay, silica, and natural
desert salts - called natron - like those used by ancient Egyptians to
The MIT pyramid will
contain only about 280 blocks,compared wit......
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Some of Egypt's most magnificent pyramids were deliberately designed to follow a pattern of invisible diagonal lines, an Italian study has concluded. According to Giulio Magli, professor of archaeoastronomy at Milan's Polytechnic University, these invisible lines would connect most of the funerary complexes raised by the kings of the Old Kingdom between 2630 and 2323 B.C. "Following these diagonals, it appears clear that the arrangement of the monuments was carefully chose...Egyptian temples followed heavenly plans
A new study covering 650 ancient Egyptian temples dating back as far as 3000BC has revealed that many were aligned with astronomical events so precisely that it was possible to setyour calendar by them. "Ancient Egyptian temples were aligned soprecisely with astronomical events that people could set their political, economic and religious calendars by them. . So finds a study of 650 temples, some dating back to 3000BC." View: F...Cave complex beneath Giza Pyramids ?
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Egyptian archaeologists have discovered an ancient necropolis containing dozens of beautifully preserved mummies dating back as far as 4,000 years. Excavations sponsored by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities revealed 53 tombs cut into rock south east of the Illahun pyramids in the oasis of Fayoum.Antiquities chief Zahi Hawass described four of the mummies, dating to the 22nd Dynasty (931-725 BC), as among the most beautiful ever discovered. Sitting in wooden coffins, the mummi...Pyramid building secrets unlocked
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