Was Concrete Used in the Egyptian Pyramids?

Egyptian Pyramids
Egyptian Pyramids

The research of the construction process in the Egyptian Pyramids has attracted the attention of scientists and archaeologists. For this reason, many scientists on the Egyptian Pyramids have made publications within universities. “Is Concrete Used in the Egyptian Pyramids?” directed to mainstream archaeologists. ” is not widely accepted by them.

We want to talk about the idea that some of the huge blocks of Egypt's Great Pyramids may have been cast from synthetic material, not simply carved whole from the quarries and put in place by armies of laborers.

In other words, the world's first concrete may have been used in the Egyptian Pyramids.

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Such an innovation would have saved millions of man hours in the construction of mysterious structures on the Giza Plateau.

"They might be using less sweat and more intelligence," said Linn Hobbs, a professor of materials science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Maybe the ancient Egyptians didn't just leave us mysterious monuments and mummies. The Egyptians may have invented it 2000 years before the Romans started using it in their buildings," he explains.

This is a concept that will significantly change the history of engineering.

Although the technological part came from the Greeks, it has long been believed that the Romans were the first to use structural concrete on a large scale.

A handful of seemingly determined materials scientists are conducting experiments with crushed limestone and natural binder chemicals (materials readily available to the ancient Egyptians) designed to show that the blocks at the tops of the pyramids may have been poured from a slurry.

Cambridge, Philadelphia, and St. These researchers at laboratories in Quentin, France, are trying to show that the Egyptians around 2500 BC were the true inventors of spillage, humanity's most common building material.

A scale-model pyramid rises in Hobbs' lab at MIT.

It forms a building pyramid consisting of concrete-like blocks poured from quarried limestone, as well as crushed limestone mud fortified with kaolinite clay, silica, and natural desert salts such as natron.

The MIT pyramid contains only about 2,3 blocks, compared to the 280 million blocks in the largest of the Great Pyramids.

In the applications made within the university, the newly mixed "Egyptian" concrete was filled into wooden molds in the size of cobblestones marked "King Tut Plywood Co".

The purpose of such applications and courses given is to teach engineering innovation. But the project could also prove that the ancients could, at least in theory, cast pyramid blocks from dried riverbeds, desert sands, and similar materials that could be obtained from quarries.

Hobbs has described himself as "agnostic" on the subject, but he thinks that he is too dismissive of the work of mainstream archaeologists that suggests the tangible possibility of other scientists. Archaeologists say there is no evidence that the pyramids were built from anything other than huge blocks of limestone.

"The blocks were quarried locally and dragged into the area by sledge," said Kathryn Bard, an Egyptologist at Boston University and author of a new book called An Introduction to the Archeology of Ancient Egypt.

"There is no evidence for making concrete, and no evidence that the ancient Egyptians used the materials," he said.

The idea that some pyramid blocks were cast from concrete-like material was put forward by the French chemical engineer Joseph Davidovits in the 1980s.

Joseph's approach was one that claimed the builders of Giza had pulverized soft limestone and mixed it with water to harden the material with natural binders.

For example, the Egyptians are known to use this approach for their famous blue glazed ornamental sculptures.

Joseph Davidovits said that such blocks can be poured into molds on top of the pyramids with the help of wet cement sacks.

st. "That's the problem, great archaeologists and the Egyptian tourism industry want to preserve romantic ideas," said Davidovits, who does research on ancient building materials at the Geopolymer Institute in Quentin.

Research by Michel Barsoum at Drexel University in Philadelphia in 2006 found that stone samples from parts of the Khufu Pyramid were "microstructural" different from limestone blocks.

Barsoum, a materials engineering professor, suggested that a microscope, X-ray, and chemical analysis of stone debris from the pyramids suggested that "a small but significant percentage of the blocks in the higher parts of the pyramids were cast from concrete."

He stressed that many of the blocks in the Khufu Pyramid were long believed to have been carved in the way archaeologists had suggested. “But concrete was used on 10 or 20 percent of the blocks,” he said.

Barsoum, an Egyptian-born, said he and his colleagues were caught off guard by the angry criticism of the peer-reviewed journal publication by Drexel's Adrish Ganguly and France's National Center for Scientific Research Gilles Hug.

Ancient drawings and hieroglyphs are cryptic about pyramid construction. Theories about how the Egyptians built huge monuments to dead pharaohs are largely conjectures based on the remains of rubble ramps.

These assumptions are based on evidence that nearby limestone quarries contain roughly as much stone as found in the pyramids.

Zahi Hawass, the head of the Supreme Council of Antiquities in Egypt, stated through a spokesperson that the idea of ​​using concrete was very stupid.

“The pyramids are made of solid blocks of quarried limestone. To say otherwise is stupid and insulting.”

Hobbs and his students were not swayed by this debate. "It's fascinating to think that the ancient Egyptians could have been not only great civil engineers but also great materials scientists," Hobbs said.

“Although pouring concrete is less mysterious than moving giant blocks, none of this diminishes the achievements of the ancient Egyptians. But it really shows that these people have achieved more than anyone imagined.”

Source: NYTimes

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