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Pyramids: Cast, Poured, or Both?

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Author Topic: Pyramids: Cast, Poured, or Both?  (Read 8143 times)
Davita
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« on: May 21, 2007, 09:21:15 pm »

Solving the Mysteries of the Pyramids
Drexel Materials Professor Uses Scientific Research to Prove the Use of Early Lime-Based Cement in Pyramids




Dr. Michel Barsoum


For more information, visit http://www.materials.drexel.edu/Pyramids/


   
Blocks that appear to have been cast (top); blocks most likely not cast (bottom)



Dr. Michel Barsoum
 
Professor Michel Barsoum, Distinguished Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University, and colleagues have found scientific evidence that parts of the Great Pyramids of Giza were built using an early form of concrete, debunking an age old myth that they were built using only cut limestone blocks.

The results of his study have been published in the December issue of The Journal of the American Ceramic Society (“Microstructural Evidence of Reconstituted Limestone Blocks in the Great Pyramids of Egypt,” by M. W. Barsoum, A. Ganguly, G. Hug).

Although this discovery does not solve all of the construction mysteries of the pyramids, the impact of these findings has great potential for developing countries and for the construction industry. The basic raw materials used for constructing these “geopolymers,” as this early form of concrete has been dubbed, can be found virtually any where in the world. Replicating this method of construction would not only be cost effective and long lasting, but would also produce less carbon dioxide than the process used for creating Portland Cement, the current building material of choice.


 
Blocks that appear to have been cast (top); blocks most likely not cast (bottom)
 
Professor Barsoum presented his findings at a news conference on November 30 at 5:30 P.M. at Le Palais de la decouverte in Paris, France.

An article about this discovery appeared in the November 30, 2006 issue of the New York Times and was syndicated in the International Herald Tribune, Chicago Tribune, Houston Chronicle, Dallas Morning News, San Francisco Chronicle, Indianapolis Star, Arizona Republic (Phoenix), Hamilton Spectator (Ontario), DeseretNews.com, a USA Today blog, Kansas City Star, and Gainesville Sun (FL). Other articles were published in The Times (London), whose story was syndicated and published on TheAustralian.com, Rediff.com, Technocrat.net, and NowPublic.com; and Philadelphia Inquirer, whose article was also published in the Philadelphia Daily News and The Wichita Eagle (Kansas). Radio France International and WTIC-AM (Hartford and New Haven, CN) broadcast a story. Other stories were published by Nature.com, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Middle East Times, 7Sur7.be BitsOfNews.com, the Turkish Daily News, Azom.com, YubaNet.com, New Scientist, Daily Star (Egypt), Reforma (México), and The Discovery Channel online. A United Press International story was published by MonstersAndCritics.com, EarthTimes.org, and DailyIndia.com. TF1 (French cable television) and France2 (French public television) broadcast stories.

http://www.materials.drexel.edu/News/Item/?i=948
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Davita
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« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2007, 09:25:00 pm »

Dr. Barsoum's Blog

Monday | December 04, 2006
Pyramids
Dear Reader:


I decided to start this blog to shed some more light on the research that we recently published in the J. of the American Ceramic Society and funded by the Ceramics Division of the National Science Foundation. It is important to emphasize the following:
a) our technical results are unambiguous: the pyramid stones have regions with chemistries and other feature that not only we did not find in the natural samples collected and examined from the vicinity of the pyramids, but more important, chemistries and features that do NOT exist in sedimentary rocks, such as limestone! As far as I am aware, no geologist has come out saying that the chemistries and features we reported can exist in natural limestone. If you are aware of such a study - published or otherwise - please let me know.
b) the samples we looked at are NOT recent renovations for two simple reasons: First, they do not remotely resemble Portland cement or concrete. Second, and much more important, I am not aware of anybody that can actually make this kind of reconstituted stone at this time. There is no doubt or debate.  One of the samples had a layer of calcium phosphate that can be obtained from bones - on the surface!  If anybody can show me a microstructure that even comes close to what we reported, published or not, please let me know.
c) The presentation that can be found at http://www.mse.drexel.edu/max/PyramidPresentation.htm is not the evidence we are talking about. That can be found in - highly abbreviated form - the last 4 slides of the presentation. It is not a substitute to the technical paper.
d) The purpose of the presentation is simply to add, what I call additional circumstantial evidence to the case.
e) Over the past 4 years we looked at chemical analyses, over 1000 photomicrographs (scanning electron microscope pictures) and other characterizations.
f) Before putting words in my mouth, it is imperative that the facts be checked and double checked. And the facts can be found in the scientific paper - solely. It is not what was published in the NY Times or the Philadelphia Inquirer or any other paper or blog. The presentation is not evidence; it only becomes evidence when the rocks are tested and found to be not natural.
 I want to make an analogy.  If this were a murder case, do you think we provided enough evidence to re-open the case? If you think that is so, then I have accomplished my mission. That is all we are asking. Let me emphasize again: I think more work needs to be done by us our others. If our work is confirmed by others, that represents progress; if not then we need to understand where the discrepancy comes from.  I am a scientist: I have no problem changing my mind if new evidence proves me wrong. I am not married to my conclusion. If anything, our current work shows the danger of falling in love with your own theory.
Our work in no way diminishes what the Ancient Egyptians accomplished. To reconstitute a stone that not only fools generations of experts, tourists and scientists, but does so even after 4500 years is simply stunning.
Now, if you are still looking for a huge mystery, try and figure out how the Ancient Egyptians cut natural granite with nothing harder than copper. How they dragged roughly 70 ton granite blocks (the weight of a locomotive!) without wheels and placed them on top of the King's chamber is ......   I have run out of superlatives; your turn.... 
Lets for a minute ASSUME we are wrong - that will become clear with time. However, geopolymers are absolutely real; we make them in the lab reproducibly. We add dirt, dirt, dirt to water and we get a concrete that rivals Portland cement concrete. In contradistinction to the latter, we produce very little CO2. So if our work educates the world about this green cement, then I have done some good. Finally, if this technology is used by the destitute of the world - it is, after all,  a 5000 year old technology, how complex or expensive can it be? - to build esthetically pleasing and long lasting homes and shelters, then I plead guilty.  Ironically then, this study of 4500 year old rocks is not about the past, but about the future. 

http://pyramids.blog.com/

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« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2007, 11:08:54 pm »

Hi Davita
That's too funny!  I posted the same "blog" in AR because Catastrophe and I have been going at this debate hammer and tongs, but he gets so rude and insulting that I gave it up for a bit.  It's like he's blaming ME that there's even a "cast" theory out there.  I offered to e-mail him Prof. Barsoum's peer reviewed work, but he calls me a "cultist wierdo" and doesn't give out his e-mail address.  I have noticed that more and more scientists are agreeing that the "cast" theory is a possibility, whereas the "egyptologist" die-hards won't budge an inch.  I e-mailed Prof. Barsoum because I had heard that he is preparing a new paper, but he says it won't be public for a couple of months. 

What I find facinating is that there are bubbles in these so-called "solid" rocks.
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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

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« Reply #3 on: May 22, 2007, 02:04:01 pm »




Qoais:

I hope you feel vindicated!!!


Love and Peace,
B

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 The Surprising Truth Behind the Construction of the Great Pyramids Sheila Berninger
and Dorilona Rose
LiveScience.com
Tue May 22, 1:24 AM ET
 


This Behind the Scenes article was provided to LiveScience in partnership with the        National Science Foundation.

“This is not my day job.” So begins Michel Barsoum as he recounts his foray into the mysteries of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. As a well respected researcher in the field of ceramics, Barsoum never expected his career to take him down a path of history, archaeology, and “political” science, with materials research mixed in.

As a distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Drexel University, his daily routine consists mainly of teaching students about ceramics, or performing research on a new class of materials, the so-called MAX Phases, that he and his colleagues discovered in the 1990s. These modern ceramics are machinable, thermal-shock resistant, and are better conductors of heat and electricity than many metals—making them potential candidates for use in nuclear power plants, the automotive industry, jet engines, and a range of other high-demand systems.

Then Barsoum received an unexpected phone call from Michael Carrell, a friend of a retired colleague of Barsoum, who called to chat with the Egyptian-born Barsoum about how much he knew of the mysteries surrounding the building of the Great Pyramids of Giza, the only remaining of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

The widely accepted theory—that the pyramids were crafted of carved-out giant limestone blocks that workers carried up ramps—had not only not been embraced by everyone, but as important had quite a number of holes.

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Burst out laughing

According to the caller, the mysteries had actually been solved by Joseph Davidovits, Director of the Geopolymer Institute in St. Quentin, France, more than two decades ago. Davidovits claimed that the stones of the pyramids were actually made of a very early form of concrete created using a mixture of limestone, clay, lime, and water.

“It was at this point in the conversation that I burst out laughing,” says Barsoum. If the pyramids were indeed cast, he says, someone should have proven it beyond a doubt by now, in this day and age, with just a few hours of electron microscopy.

It turned out that nobody had completely proven the theory…yet.

“What started as a two-hour project turned into a five-year odyssey that I undertook with one of my graduate students, Adrish Ganguly, and a colleague in France, Gilles Hug,” Barsoum says.

A year and a half later, after extensive scanning electron microscope (SEM) observations and other testing, Barsoum and his research group finally began to draw some conclusions about the pyramids. They found that the tiniest structures within the inner and outer casing stones were indeed consistent with a reconstituted limestone. The cement binding the limestone aggregate was either silicon dioxide (the building block of quartz) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral.

The stones also had a high water content—unusual for the normally dry, natural limestone found on the Giza plateau—and the cementing phases, in both the inner and outer casing stones, were amorphous, in other words, their atoms were not arranged in a regular and periodic array. Sedimentary rocks such as limestone are seldom, if ever, amorphous.

The sample chemistries the researchers found do not exist anywhere in nature. “Therefore,” says Barsoum, “it’s very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block.”

More startlingly, Barsoum and another of his graduate students, Aaron Sakulich, recently discovered the presence of silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres (with diameters only billionths of a meter across) in one of the samples. This discovery further confirms that these blocks are not natural limestone.


Generations misled


At the end of their most recent paper reporting these findings, the researchers reflect that it is “ironic, sublime and truly humbling” that this 4,500-year-old limestone is so true to the original that it has misled generations of Egyptologists and geologists and, “because the ancient Egyptians were the original—albeit unknowing—nanotechnologists.”

As if the scientific evidence isn’t enough, Barsoum has pointed out a number of common sense reasons why the pyramids were not likely constructed entirely of chiseled limestone blocks.

Egyptologists are consistently confronted by unanswered questions: How is it possible that some of the blocks are so perfectly matched that not even a human hair can be inserted between them? Why, despite the existence of millions of tons of stone, carved presumably with copper chisels, has not one copper chisel ever been found on the Giza Plateau?

Although Barsoum’s research has not answered all of these questions, his work provides insight into some of the key questions. For example, it is now more likely than not that the tops of the pyramids are cast, as it would have been increasingly difficult to drag the stones to the summit.

Also, casting would explain why some of the stones fit so closely together. Still, as with all great mysteries, not every aspect of the pyramids can be explained. How the Egyptians hoisted 70-ton granite slabs halfway up the great pyramid remains as mysterious as ever.

Why do the results of Barsoum’s research matter most today? Two words: earth cements.

“How energy intensive and/or complicated can a 4,500 year old technology really be? The answer to both questions is not very,” Barsoum explains. “The basic raw materials used for this early form of concrete—limestone, lime, and diatomaceous earth—can be found virtually anywhere in the world,” he adds. “Replicating this method of construction would be cost effective, long lasting, and much more environmentally friendly than the current building material of choice: Portland cement that alone pumps roughly 6 billion tons of CO2 annually into the atmosphere when it’s manufactured.”

“Ironically,” says Barsoum, “this study of 4,500 year old rocks is not about the past, but about the future.”

More to Explore

Michel Barsoum’s pyramid Web site
Department of Materials Science and Engineering website
A presentation on the pyramid discoveries by Michel Barsoum

Editor's Note: This research was supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF ), the federal agency charged with funding basic research and education across all fields of science and engineering.�

Original Story: The Surprising Truth Behind the Construction of the Great Pyramids

« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 02:07:17 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

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Bianca
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« Reply #4 on: May 22, 2007, 02:25:23 pm »





http://www.avire.ca/myimages/url/f04342f0a74bdb175fa73ae909c47a31/images/inter_Pyramid_egypt.jpg
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« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2007, 02:29:28 pm »





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« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2007, 03:57:22 pm »

Not quite yet Bianca!  I'm waiting for Dr. Barsoum's latest paper to be approved!  However, I do think there had to be a "poured" product, especially when they get near the top.  And inside some of the chambers as well.  In one, there's a domed ceiling and those blocks couldn't just hang there in mid-air all by themselves.



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« Reply #7 on: May 22, 2007, 04:03:07 pm »





Hang in there, girl.  I think you are right!!
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« Reply #8 on: May 22, 2007, 04:27:26 pm »

These blocks have perfectly straight sides and sharp corners.  I can't see anyone getting this perfection with a bronze age tool, along the whole length of the block.





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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

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« Reply #9 on: May 22, 2007, 04:49:28 pm »




You know what I think, Q?

Today's so-called "experts" will NOT admit that man was smarter in antiquity
than what THEY have deemed.........they would rather believe in fantastic
theories they have made up. I am sick and tired of them trying to prove them
on TV programs, too.

Give it time, and these "experts" will find "egg on their faces" AGAIN.

Too bad they never learn.
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« Reply #10 on: May 22, 2007, 06:26:58 pm »

I am so 100% in agreement with you. 

What I don't understand is that they are not open to possibilities.  No one has duplicated the feat yet, so what's wrong with trying to figure it out?  Mr. Lehner could not even duplicate a small pyramid without using modern equipment like trucks, front-end loaders, and helicopters, and STILL he didn't succeed, and we're supposed to still swallow that old line?  Not me.  I'm open to all possibilities.  I think the grand gallery itself was a type of ramp, as it has "peg" holes in the sides and a little shoulder on each side at floor level.  I can see them winding a rope around a log at the top, and around the block at the bottom, and having men pushing as well, then when they get a few feet along, they place a large beam in the peg holes to keep the block from sliding back.



« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 06:38:15 pm by Qoais » Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

"Intellectual brilliance is no guarantee against being dead wrong."
Qoais
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« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2007, 06:45:25 pm »

This look like it's been "molded" to me.

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An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

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Bianca
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« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2007, 06:47:21 pm »




Q:


One word :  MONEY!!!


YOU DON'T UPSET THE APPLECART BECAUSE THE 'POWERS THAT BE' WILL

NOT LIKE IT AND THE MONEY WILL STOP FLOWING TO YOUR VENTURES.


Think about it:  You prove that no HEBREW SLAVES were used to build the
pyramids - although Zawi always says "workers" and never "slaves" - and
TWO of the largest Religions are proved wrong:

NO EXODUS.........

I'll stop there because I don't want to discuss religion on this board.  There are
other places for that.

Always look for the motive, when in doubt.  It is usually GREED......

Hugs,
B
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« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2007, 06:50:27 pm »

King's Chamber - Great Pyramid - Solid Granite

Like - how do the die hards figure this was cut with copper tools.  It's perfect.  I'm not saying it's "reconstituted" granite  Grin but it would indicate to me that someone had some pretty fine tools back then.

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« Reply #14 on: May 22, 2007, 06:56:27 pm »

TOODLE OO DEE DO!!!!!!!! AND NOW HERE ON THE INSIDE - WE PROUDLY DISPLAY FOR THE VIEWING PUBLIC - THE FABULOUS TOOLS USED BY THE ANCIENTS TO ACCOMPLISH THESE MAGNIFICENT WORKS. 

A flint stone knife found in the boat fit and now in the museum.

« Last Edit: May 22, 2007, 07:10:59 pm by Qoais » Report Spam   Logged

An open-minded view of the past allows for an unprejudiced glimpse into the future.

Logic rules.

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