Skip to comments.This 4,500-Year-Old Ramp Contraption May Have Been Used to Build Egypt's Great Pyramid
Posted on 11/01/2018 7:37:06 AM PDT by ETL
Archaeologists have long wondered exactly how the ancient Egyptians constructed the world's biggest pyramid, the Great Pyramid. Now, they may have discovered the system used to haul massive stone blocks into place some 4,500 years ago.
They discovered the remains of this system at the site of Hatnub, an ancient quarry in the Eastern Desert of Egypt. The contraption would have been used to transport heavy alabaster stones up a steep ramp, according to the archaeologists working at the site, from the Institut français d'archéologie orientale (French Institute for Oriental Archaeology)in Cairo and from the University of Liverpool in England. And it was possibly how Egyptians built the Great Pyramid, in the name of the pharaoh Khufu.
"This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous post holes," Yannis Gourdon, co-director of the joint mission at Hatnub, told Live Science. "Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more."
The ropes attached to the sled acted as a "force multiplier," making it easier to pull the sled up the ramp, said Roland Enmarch, the other co-director of the Hatnub mission.
"This kind of system has never been discovered anywhere else," Gourdon said. "The study of the tool marks and the presence of two [of] Khufu's inscriptions led us to the conclusion that this system dates back at least to Khufu's reign, the builder of the Great Pyramid in Giza," he added.
(Excerpt) Read more at livescience.com ...
Interesting concept of weight and counter weight.
Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.
Fascinating indeed. I’ve always found Egyptology interesting.
It is a question as old as civilization itself.Ancient_seven_wonders_timeline.svg
How in the world, did primitive people built the Great Pyramid of Giza over 4,500 years ago?
How did they build something that was 481 feet tall and remained the tallest building in the world for 3,871 years until the London Cathedral was built in 1311?
How did they quarry 2 millions blocks of limestones and granite that weighed 10-30 tons each and transport them 500 miles to the construction site?
How did they amass a structure that weighed 6 million tons and can be seen all the way from the mountains in Israel?
How did they align the structure a fraction of a degree to true north and finely tune the 8 sides of the Pyramid to display shadows on a solar equinox? (Yes there are 8 sides to the Pyramid)
How did they create 3 massive chambers within this structure with millions of blocks above weighing down upon them?
And how did they do this all with only primitive tools of copper, stone, and wood in only 20 years?
In order to do this they would have had to place 12 blocks a hour, day and night. It was an operation that may have taken over 100,00 workers and countless resources for the ancient power.
There are no shortage of theories on the topic, from as strange as aliens and dinosaurs to as common as the giant pulley systems and cranes proposed by the 480 BC greek philosopher, Herodotus. The most accepted theory is that they quarried stone using rudimentary copper chisels and pickaxes and other tools made simply from harder stone than limestone. Once the stone was made into blocks, they transported them by water most of the way along the Nile and the rest of the way by wooden sleds pulled by men and livestock (the wheel was not yet invented in Egypt). Up to this point, there is little contention of the process. However, how they were then able to transport the blocks up the face of the pyramid is hotly debated. But in the Egyptology community, the consensus is that they used a large straight ramp that extended out from the pyramid site and allowed the workers to pull the sleds up a 7% incline. This ramp would have had to be at least a mile long and taken almost as many resources as the pyramid itself. The problem is time, the reign of Khufu was only about 20 years so the pyramid needed to be planned and executed during that time frame. 12 blocks a hour is already a steep order, adding on the construction of a mile long ramp as tall as the pyramid itself is only adding to the time crunch.
In order to fix this problem, a French architect, Jean-Pierre Houdin has quietly spent his adult life fine tuning a theory that more and more people are starting to believe is the answer.
Instead of a exterior ramp, the architect proposed a interior ramp that would require no additional materials and could just be built over after completion. If true, this ramp still hides below the thousands of limestones at the pyramid waiting to be discovered.
The interior ramp would spiral up the pyramid taking right angle turns at corner notches open to the air. It would be at these notches that you would have the pulley systems, referred to by Herodotus, in order to turn the stones as they ascend the ramp. Any theory using non-straight ramps has received criticism because it would not allow for the workers to pull the stones with proper leverage as they round the turn. But with the addition of these pulley systems, workers could pull the stones in straight lines and the pulley would do the turning for them.
3D models of the pyramids inner workings have shown that the ramp would have been possible and not intersected with any of the other known chambers.
Although, if this internal ramp does exist, where is the physical evidence? Is there any way we could uncover these ramps?
Unfortunately, the Egyptian government is extremely strict and allowing excavators to start taking blocks away from their most iconic cultural landmark is not high on their list of priorities. However, there is already a notch visible on one of the corners of the pyramid where we would expect a turn in the ramp. After some inspection, a small L shaped room was discovered attached to the roughly 30 foot corner platform. No additional scanning of the area was permitted, but the team is hoping for further permissions to be granted.
Previously to this discovery, a french surveying team used thermal imaging to discover any sort of hidden chambers. The results were very puzzling at the time, but after this theory was proposed, its diagrams of the internal structure became much more revealing. The data showed a decreased density pattern that was almost completely in line with the internal ramp theory, possibly validating Jean-Pierre Houdins lifes work.
The egyptology community at large is unconvinced of this theory as of yet. Theories abound on the construction of the pyramids, but the truth is that in order for any theory to be respected it needs the endorsement of the academic community and more specifically, one man.
Zahi Hawass is that man. He was the Chief of Antiquities in Egypt until the 2011 revolution took power away from former president Hosni Mumbarak, but he still stands as the thought leader. His views, along with mainstream egyptology are considered to be almost unquestionable. He is a dogmatic man, truly convinced of his beliefs.
The problem is that all theories should be questioned and scholars like Hawass are not tolerant of opposing views. He is a man so set in his ways that when he heard Graham Hancock propose that the sphinx might be thousands of years older than we think, he shouted rudely and stormed out of the debate.
This sort of close mindedness is hard to stomach; something that revolutionaries know too well. But beyond its annoyances, it does real harm to silence theories that may have some merit and gain steam if not for the fear individuals in the community of being ostracized. Objects like the sphinx and the pyramids are still very much a mystery. The Great Pyramid of Giza is at the end of a long tradition of pyramids. A total of 138 have been identified in the land. However the Egyptians did it, they had plenty of practice. In fact, it would be completely reasonable to assume that they had fine tuned a very complicated process by the time the Great Pyramid was built.
We are talking about the construction of something built thousands of years ago with very little description from its contemporaries. In fact, until recently, there have been no records discovered that described the building method of the Great Pyramid or even any inscriptions inside the pyramid at all. In 2013, a small piece of papyrus was discovered in a mountain cave along the Red Sea near Sinai. It described a water channel system that was used to transport the limestone from the quarries to the Giza plateau. The author was one of the boat captains that was involved in transporting limestone and he even mentions the pharaoh Khufu himself.
This description does a lot to solidify the transportation method and name Khufu as the definitive ruler at the time. However, it does not give us any more information on how the stones were placed once they got there. Houdins theory is still very much alive.
Such a strange thing that a pharaoh so boasting to call himself a god would not put his name on the pyramid itself. Furthermore, how could such a intensive process for building the pyramid not have been described on hieroglyphics anywhere in his kingdom. Perhaps Khufu was afraid of graverobbers taking his body from its final resting place, or perhaps he didnt want another pyramid to take his methods and outshine his own. As of now, no mummies have ever been found in the Great Pyramid; just an empty sarcophagus cracked on one corner and missing a lid.
Whatever the case may be, the lack of description lends to debate and it should. This internal ramp theory seems to have as much, if not more, data to support its claims and should be looked at seriously by egyptologists. If the Egyptian government does not allow for more scans of the pyramid to be done then perhaps we will just have to wait for father time to erode he pyramid enough to reveal one of these internal ramps. It might be a long wait; 4,500 years later and the Great Pyramid of Khufu still stands.
As always, I’m missing something.
“’Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more.’
“The ropes attached to the sled acted as a “force multiplier,” making it easier to pull the sled up the ramp, said Roland Enmarch, the other co-director of the Hatnub mission.”
I clicked on the article, and there is no more information.
The block is on a sled which has ropes.
The sled is on a ramp.
The ropes are tied to posts upslope.
Egyptians pull on the ropes.
In what way are the ropes “force multipliers”?
They didn’t say whether
(a) the posts were used as crude pulleys, or
(b) just as a way to keep the sled from backsliding in between pulls by the Egyptians.
the solutions archeologists come up with won’t work because they don’t understand engineering. Besides, the pyramids were possibly built 12,000 years ago.
Slope is lined with two staircases and wooden poles where ropes would be tied
Researchers say this would lightened the load for workers dragging huge blocks
Archaeologists may finally be a step closer to understanding how Egypts Great Pyramid was built thousands of years ago.
The remains of a 4,500-year-old ramp system have been unearthed in an ancient quarry in the Eastern Desert, according to Live Science.
Its design suggests the ramp was used to drag massive alabaster stones up a slope, using sleds and rope.
The ancient ramp was discovered at the site of Hatnub by researchers from the French Institute for Oriental Archaeology in Cairo and the University of Liverpool in England, Live Science reports.
Along its sides are two staircases lined with postholes, to which ropes were likely tied thousands of years ago to drag the huge stone blocks.
Such a design would have alleviated some of the burden for the workers who had to pull these huge loads.
This system is composed of a central ramp flanked by two staircases with numerous post holes, Yannis Gourdon, co-director of the joint mission at Hatnub, told Live Science.
Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more, the researcher said.
The researchers say the discovery is the first of its kind, according to Live Science, and shows clear indication that it dates at least to Khufus reign for whom the 481-foot Great Pyramid was built.
The find is just the latest in a growing body of research attempting to finally get to the bottom of the Great Pyramids many mysteries. ...
Aliens, and not the caravan types.
The Egyptians didn’t need to hide internal ramps. They could have started multiple ramps on the outside edge of the pyramid and not necessarily from corners. Once they got to the top, they’d pull apart and fill in the ramp with stone on the way down. They don’t need to turn the stones, once at a corner, they pull at the next right angle.
I’m missing something too. Doing it without wheels is my stumbling point.
How does any reasonably intelligent society NOT have a rudimentary idea of “wheel”?
I mean, all they had to do was have a tree trunk, and something fallen on it, to see that it is easier to push the thing with the tree under it, “rolling” along.
Native Americans never got the concept of the wheel. Well, actually the Maya used wheels on some objects which were probably children’s toys. But they never made the leap that “hey, maybe these round things can help us move stuff!” That sort of eluded them.
The anthropological theory as to why there is no use of the wheel (other then toys - maybe!) is because there is no domesticated pack animal large enough to pull it. Remember the horse didn’t arrive until the Spanish came. I guess trying to domesticate the buffalo didn’t work (Besides the NA tribes were mostly migratory even without the horse!). In SA, they largest animal would be what - the Llama?
Maybe it makes sense!
Yeah, I’m guessing basically they were like pulleys. Rope goes up the ramp to the nearest post above it, then the rope goes down the side of the ramp and around another post on the bottom. Then a team on the bottom of the ramp can just pull the rope along straight ground instead of trying to drag it up an incline.
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