Published on May 7th, 20140
Mystery Solved: How the Egyptians move the huge Pyramid Stones?
For thousands of years, people have wondered how the ancient Egyptians managed to carry for long distances huge blocks of stone (weighing 2.5 tons) used to build the pyramids.
Although there are several theories on the method of transport used, researchers at the University of Amsterdam say they have finally learned the correct answer. The method used is simple and ingenious.
The ancient Egyptians used sledges to carry the stone blocks through the desert, say researchers.
This theory face a glaring problem: heavy objects will lead the sled to get stuck in the sand, so it should always be cleaned as the sled moves.
A solution to this impediment must be found, and Dutch scientists say it is water. Wet sand is ideal for transporting heavy sled because it reduces friction, and thus the sand hardens and doesn’t block the sled.
Furthermore, the effort required to push a sled on the wet sand is reduced by half.
Researchers conducted a laboratory experiment, noting the amount of water and the force that was needed to move the sled.
The University of Amsterdam press release explains,
The physicists placed a laboratory version of the Egyptian sledge in a tray of sand. They determined both the required pulling force and the stiffness of the sand as a function of the quantity of water in the sand. To determine the stiffness they used a rheometer, which shows how much force is needed to deform a certain volume of sand.
Experiments revealed that the required pulling force decreased proportional to the stiffness of the sand…A sledge glides far more easily over firm desert sand simply because the sand does not pile up in front of the sledge as it does in the case of dry sand.
In addition, Dutch scientists theory is supported by a painting found in the tomb of Djehutihotep, where many slaves are portrayed on a sled carrying a huge statue. In front of the sled, a person pouring water on sand.
The discovery was published in the journal of the American Physical Society.
Source: From Quarks to Quasars