How Were the Pyramids Built?

by | Aug 1, 2018

pyramids-of-giza

The Pyramids of Giza

The pyramids are amazing. The pyramids at Giza we’re built by three different pharaohs about 4,600 years ago. That is a really long time ago! Humans had yet to domesticate draft animals. There was little use of the wheel and wheeled carts and wagons didn’t exist. Mathematics didn’t exist, just rudimentary counting. The pyramids are made of millions of precisely cut stones weighing over two tons a piece. The stones were quarried 12 miles away from the pyramids. The Great Pyramid is 481 feet tall and was the tallest man-made object for thousands of years. It faces north within one degree! Amazing. How could the Egyptians have possibly built the pyramids given their lack of technology? Some claim that humans could not have possibly built the pyramids and instead aliens built the pyramids: National Geographic on Ancient Sites Built by Aliens

While we are not quite sure of all of the details about how the pyramids were built, recent experiments, discovery of an ancient papyrus scroll, discovery of a series of canals,  and examination of drawings have shed light on how they were built. Here’s the updated and prevailing theory:

  • It took 10,000 – 20,000 workers about 20 years to construct the Great Pyramid. Archaeological evidence of animal bones suggest that the workers were well-fed and provided an inducement to working on the pyramids.
  • A series of canals was used in the shaping and transporting of the stones to near the pyramids.
  • A series of ramps were built to move the stones up the pyramids.
  • Without using wheels, how did they move the 2 ton stones? Recent experiments provide the answer: wet sand. “Evidence suggests that the blocks were first levered onto wooden sleds and then hauled up ramps made of sand. However, dry sand piles up in front of a moving sled, increasing friction until the sled is nearly impossible to pull. Wet sand reduces friction dramatically beneath the sled runners, eliminating the sand piles and making it possible for a team of people to move massive objects.” From JSTOR Daily: https://daily.jstor.org/scientists-have-an-answer-to-how-the-egyptian-pyramids-were-built/ Researchers have been able to recreate the pulling of 2 ton stones over sand using sleds and wetting the sand in front of the sleds. Writings and drawings of pouring water on sand in front of sleds supports this theory.

Check out this picture (I had no idea city of Giza was so close):

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