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Architect Claims to Solve Pyramid Secret

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the that's-one-way-to-do-it dept.

Science 209

Alreadybutnotyet writes "A French architect claimed Friday to have uncovered the mystery about how Egypt's Great Pyramid of Khufu was built — with use of a spiral ramp to hoist huge stone blocks into place. The construction of the Great Pyramid 4,500 years ago by Khufu, a ruler also known as Cheops, has long befuddled scientists as to how its 3 million stone blocks weighing 2.5 tons each were lifted into place. 'The most widespread theory had been that an outer ramp had been used by the Egyptians, who left few traces to help archeologists and other scientists decode the secret to the construction. Houdin said he had taken into account the copper and stone tools available at the time, the granite and limestone blocks, the location of the pyramid and the strength and knowledge of the workers.'"

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History Channel (3, Informative)

StarWreck (695075) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570145)

This is old news to me. I saw the "Spiral Ramp" idea on either the History Channel or The Discovery Channel at least a couple years ago. The show even had a CGI model of the spiral ramp.

Re:History Channel (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570165)

rtfa.

According to his theory - shown in a computer model available at http://www.3ds.com/khufu [3ds.com] - the builders put up an outer ramp for the first 140 feet, then constructed an inner ramp in a corkscrew shape to complete the 450-foot structure.

Re:History Channel (5, Interesting)

ravenshrike (808508) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570461)

And none of this explains the many anomalies within the pyramid. Or the fact that the only stones that have been dated from the pyramid have been from the sheathing, which may or may not be the same age as the rest of the pyramid itself. Or why when the anomalies were to be fully explored the egyptian government shut down outside exploration of the pyramid.

Re:History Channel (0, Troll)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570517)

Yet they allowed the bodies to be removed? Since when is grave desecration ok if the grave in question happens to be "really, really neat."

Evidence of homosexuality surfaces at Slashot HQ (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570201)

Green garbage bags filled with feces-stained used condoms were found by a cleaning crew at the curb of the head-quarters of self-proclaimed web news site slashdot. The cleaning crew immediately contacted the FBI to report their find.

The US government is expected to file charges in federal court against the editors of Slashdot under the patriot act for homosexual behavior.

The Bush administration, worried about the possibility of losing the war in Iraq, has devised a plan for victory comprised of fielding more troops in Iraq to fight insurgents, and banning homosexuality in America to stop angering God and put him on the side of the coalition.

In related news, the watertag for this Politzer winning post is "condom".

Pulitzer (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570431)

That's spelled "Pulitzer" [pulitzer.org] , you insensitive clod.

Re:History Channel (5, Insightful)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570217)

If you go to the site, you'll see where he debunks previous ideas. One of those ideas is an *external* spiral ramp. But it would be twice the volume (I think...watch the movie for the exact multiplier) of the pyramid itself, which is infeasible for a 20 year project and harder to leave no evidence of after dismantling.

This guy's internal spiral ramp theory uses known tunnels that allow the pyramid to be built inside out while helping to keep laborers out of the sun.

He doesn't simply CGI all of this. He computer models it with physics to show how it could have been done with materials present for the time, and a reasonable workforce size, inside of 20 years.

ATTN: Windows/Linux refugees! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570267)

Still looking for the "maximize" button when your Mac has "zoom" instead? Take the hint, switcheurs: If you can't deal with multiple windows at once, GTFO of our platform. The Mac wasn't designed for one-track minds.

Re:ATTN: Mac refugees! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570317)

Still looking for the "zoom" button when your PC has "maximize" instead? Take the hint, switcheurs: If you can't deal with multiple windows at once, GTFO of our platform. The PC wasn't designed for one-track minds.

Re:History Channel (2, Informative)

Oligonicella (659917) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570283)

Nope. The one on Discovery wasn't a huge, gently sloping mound, it used the limestone to create a mortar and wound around the pyramid. They even duplicated the mixture and had men haul a rock up it.

Re:History Channel (1)

catbutt (469582) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570369)

I don't get why an external spiral ramp would add much to the volume, if any.

Couldn't they just leave some of it unfilled in, with the ramp being subtracted from the volume rather than added?

Then, when they have reached the top, they would start filling in the ramps from the top down. The small rocks and rubble that were used to make the actual inclines could then be moved into spaces within that were left unfilled.

PBS: This Old Pyramid (1)

jackb_guppy (204733) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570407)

They took the stone mason from this "This Old House" and in 30 days built like 10 meter tall Pyramid. They used a simple outside ramp and "turning" posts at the corners. Hardest part was placing the cap stone.

Was a great show, I guess it sis not make it to France.

Re:History Channel (1)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570445)

Whatever happened to the concrete theory were Core samples showed signs of bacterial growth that can only be present on the outside of the pyramids?

My understanding is that In mortar mixes, this bacteria can be inside the finished stone too. I thought it was used to explain the exact levelness of each layer and all too. Or am i Thinking of another pyramid?

Re:History Channel (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570865)

Layers of rock form over time. You could quite easily have bacteria at the center of a solid chunk of stone.

Re:History Channel (2)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570227)

Much older than that. There was a Nova "This Old Pyramid" special about ten or fifteen years ago that talked bout the spiral ramp pyramid building method. There have been reasonable explanations of why this was probably not the method used for just as many years, too.

Re:History Channel (5, Informative)

jeffasselin (566598) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570255)

I thought the same thing, then read the FA and realized he's proposing that they built a spiral ramp INSIDE the pyramid, instead of outside. Advantages being keeping the workers out of the sun, and it could have been much smaller. It's certainly the first time I see someone proposing an interior ramp.

Re:History Channel (1, Informative)

Seumas (6865) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570335)

Right, but the interior-ramp method isn't exactly solving the secret of the pyramid. It's a minor (but important) tweak on a pre-existing theory. The article (at least the title in the article that is linked to) is rather hyperbolic. And while it may present a realistic method of doing it, until we find some blue-print, manual or a home video from back in the day, nobody can ever claim to have "solved" it, unless they're just looking for a lot of attention.

Re:History Channel (4, Informative)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570655)

You seem to be confused about what the word theory means. Merely dreaming up a scenario with an external ramp is not so much a theory as speculation.

Anybody can come up with an idea like the external ramp, it's a nice story but meaningless if it can't be verified. In other words, to call the external ramp idea a scientific theory, you'd have to show exactly where you think the remains of the ramp infrastructure are located, directly on the pyramid. You could also show places where you think the material of the external ramp was put, show stones which look to you like they were cut to form part of the ramp, etc. In other words, you'd have to connect the idea of the ramp to the physical evidence, so that other scientists could agree or disagree. Merely making a drawing of a spiral ramp in a book and waffling about it does not constitute a preexisting theory.

On the other hand, the internal ramp idea does constitute a real theory, because it actually makes a lot of engineering claims that can be checked by other scientists, like where the ramp actually is/was inside the pyramid etc.

Re:History Channel (2, Interesting)

Spy Hunter (317220) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570839)

If they built the ramp inside the pyramid, it is probably still there. So if we find it, we can in fact claim to have "solved" the mystery. And if we look for it thoroughly without finding any traces, we can probably rule out the idea. This theory is better than the average pyramid construction theory because it *is* actually falsifiable.

Re:History Channel (0)

gopla (597381) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570657)

he's proposing that they built a spiral ramp INSIDE the pyramid, instead of outside. Advantages being keeping the workers out of the sun, and it could have been much smaller.

The question arise that who built the out side? and how was it built? You cannot have any thing inside that is protected from sun unless there is something out side.
Obviously I have not read TFA, these might have been answere there.

Gopla

Re:History Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570687)

The question arise that who built the out side? and how was it built? You cannot have any thing inside that is protected from sun unless there is something out side.
Obviously I have not read TFA, these might have been answere there.


You bring up a question and then answer it at the end of your paragraph with what you need to do next. Why did you even post?

Actual, recent, "news" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570325)

Didn't somebody announce in the last month or so that the Egyptians simply used concrete?

Re:Actual, recent, "news" (1)

ozmanjusri (601766) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570493)

Yeah, the current discussion is abbout how they put in the formwork, and where they parked the mixing truck. I'd like to know how they got those big trowels up there too.

Re:History Channel (5, Funny)

coredog64 (1001648) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570397)

Hey, I saw that too. I think the show was titled "This Is Spiral Ramp" and there was a bit about how Khufu wanted his pyramid to go to 11...

Re:History Channel (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570579)

PSH! we all know this is an april fool's joke!

damn editors.... can't think of something original?

pyramids were put there by aliens of course! ..... an entire sunday of nothing but OMG PONIES! left me jaded.

Re:History Channel (1)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570723)

No no . this is completely different because of X Y and Z. That's why this guy is a genius, the fact he has no proof or evidence doesn't matter he's a genius and deserves tons of credit.

I agree with the parent, this theory was there for a while, he might have fine tuned the ending, but nothing groundbreaking here. Using the workforce and all the known data we can prove all major theories for the pyramids. The solution isn't the "easiest way" they could have built the period, it's for the ACTUAL way and this guy doesn't have any serious proof to my knowledge. Good for evolving theories, but yet again no theory is the winner yet.

Seriously wouldn't an internal ramp leave at least a little mark? You know, somewhere that we can see?

Re:History Channel (1, Insightful)

kcelery (410487) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570953)

It is interesting to find from the website that the Egyptian were using translational method instead of rotational method. Some findings had shown the heavy rock were so heavy to be pulled. The builders prayed to their god. And so their god sent the primitive engineers to help the Egyptian. And it was the scarab.

If you happened to move an metal barrel of 2' in diameter and a height of 4', you would notice that there are two ways to do it. Either slide along the floor or lay it horizontally with the axis along the floor. It is much easier to roll it than sliding.

The exact structure of how the rectangular block was made into a cylinder is not known, and it should be studied further.

The scene around the pyramid construction site should look like scarabs pushing the 'shxt' with their hind legs.

And it was the scarab who first laughed at those who don't know what a wheel is and those who reinvented the wheel. The Egyptians were so impressed by the saving in effort, they made scarab an immortal figure.

Oh, is this a real story? (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570147)

I saw the condensed version (due to my preferences) and clicking it just said "Nothing to see here; move along." It would have been funny if it had stayed like that....

Goatse! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570241)

http://www.goatse.ch/ [goatse.ch] april fools, you sucker!

mod parent up (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570373)

it is april fools day heh

Re:Oh, is this a real story? (3, Funny)

rivaldufus (634820) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570435)

I clicked on the "full 20 year realtime version." It's a little boring.

Waitasec... (-1, Redundant)

Ron Harwood (136613) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570153)

This one is a real article... what's a real article doing here today of all days? The holiest of holies on slashdot?

Re:Waitasec... (1)

Kandenshi (832555) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570161)

Eh, well considering that the content of the article isn't really "new"...

Perhaps it's a joke to see if people will be excited at a theory that's been bandied about for a long time now?

Besides, I thought that we'd stop getting April Fools stories now that it's April 2nd GMT.

omgponies (5, Funny)

xLittleP (987772) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570199)

Wow you guys are dumb. This is obviously NOT a real article.

Everybody knows the pyramids were created by giant aliens.

Re:omgponies (2, Funny)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570251)

> Everybody knows the pyramids were created by giant aliens.

    You obviously haven't met them. I don't know how many times I've hit my head when I haven't ducked enough through their doorways. Freakin' superintelligent intergalactic species, you'd think they would be able to build a doorway more than 5' tall.

Re:omgponies (4, Funny)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570375)

Who do you think you are, Daniel Jackson?

Bleh! ;)

That's what disgusts me about scifi (1)

jd (1658) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570481)

There are hundreds of series that cover how aliens built the pyramids. But they're all different aliens! What, was Egypt this gigantic watering hole for trans-galactic marauders? How did they all get along, if they were all trying to enslave Earth? Timeshare?

My theory is that there can only be one true Science Fiction series, and the rest are all bunk. However, which one is true depends on which of the alternative universes you live in. Universes involving ponies (OMG! Ponies!) are, of course, wholly exempt from alien marauders, on account of being obnoxiously cute.

Re:omgponies (1)

kitsunewarlock (971818) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570659)

PSH! We all know that aliens came HERE and stole OUR ideas of the pyramids without paying us a dime (earth being the salvation army of the universe for ideas, MP3s and pron).

And I for one welcome our new stealing-from-earth, DRM free overlords.

Mystery? (1)

Bin Naden (910327) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570155)

Any sort of ramp would do. I really don't see why he has to specify that it's a spiral ramp.

Re:Mystery? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570197)

Because the ponies (OMG!1) liked spiral ramps better. Smart people, the ancient Egyptians.

Re:Mystery? (2, Insightful)

Score Whore (32328) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570351)

Because he has damned 3D technology to confirm his theory as the absolutely proven method used. Goddammit! He modeled it on his computer, it is the inviolate truth.

Re:Mystery? (1)

FrameRotBlues (1082971) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570505)

Because when it's internal to the footprint of the building, a straight ramp could only be as long as the building, so the higher you went, the steeper you'd have to make it. With a spiral ramp, you can keep the ramp's slope the same for however tall you want to make it.

I Expect to see PINK next April 1st on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

buswolley (591500) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570157)

That was the best April 1st Slashdot ever had.

Re:I Expect to see PINK next April 1st on Slashdot (1)

captjc (453680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570327)

Personally, I thought this was one of the worst...it was so...tame. Last year was great. It is as if they aren't really trying this year.

All i have to say is: (0, Troll)

iamstretchypanda (939837) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570353)

OMGPONIES... I did my part, please tag appropriately.

Thanks

Re:I Expect to see PINK next April 1st on Slashdot (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570367)

I MISSED THE PINK!! Is there any way I can see the pink via a cache website or something...

Re:I Expect to see PINK next April 1st on Slashdot (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570403)

Archive.org seems to have missed it, too

You can see part of the homepage at
http://mitternachts-lied.net/blog/images/posts/kik ooslashdot.jpg [mitternachts-lied.net] , or
http://www.desiringmachine.org/blog/wp-content/upl oads/2006/04/pink_slashdot.jpg [desiringmachine.org]

enjoy

Re:I Expect to see PINK next April 1st on Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570821)

The slashdotter plugin for firefox will let you change the css for any page to the omg ponies theme (i currently have it set for anything linux)

Where's the evidence? (3, Insightful)

arbie (995367) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570163)

Seems like this would be easy to verify. There should be the remnants of the tunnels still in place. HAs he found any?

Re:Where's the evidence? (1)

Baby Duck (176251) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570223)

A quick trip to Google Image search for Khufu tunnel [touregypt.net] .

Re:Where's the evidence? (1)

discontinuity (792010) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570675)

Seems like this would be easy to verify. There should be the remnants of the tunnels still in place. HAs he found any?

From TFA: "Houdin said he plans to verify his theories through non-invasive tests on site."

I'd be surprised if he has no info at all about what is inside the pyramid, but sounds like he's short of being able to convince a skeptic.

Alien aid for a third-rate planet (5, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570177)

A far off alien culture sees a third-rate planet called EARTH inhabitied by primitive beings. After a few open atmosphere concerts (Earthling Aid) and a telethon (Dough for Doh!), they raise enough money to send an engineering fleet to ask the earthlings what they want built.

Due to some translation errors, and an over active project manager's ego, a simple request for a small pond to keep water for a herd of goats gets "innovated" into a series of pyramids that can be seen from far away. The rest is history.

Re:Alien aid for a third-rate planet (1)

slayermet420 (1053520) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570713)

A far off alien culture sees a third-rate planet called EARTH inhabitied by primitive beings. After a few open atmosphere concerts (Earthling Aid) and a telethon (Dough for Doh!), they raise enough money to send an engineering fleet to ask the earthlings what they want built. Due to some translation errors, and an over active project manager's ego, a simple request for a small pond to keep water for a herd of goats gets "innovated" into a series of pyramids that can be seen from far away. The rest is history.
To me, this theory seems to make the most sense.

Probably a true story (2, Informative)

GFree (853379) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570179)

Doesn't have that SlashRating© bullshit on the side of the article. The horror has ended!

Re:Probably a true story (2, Insightful)

Sneakernets (1026296) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570189)

So this means I can't get modded insightful for no reason?


Damnit, I guess I'll have to try next year.

Re:Probably a true story (4, Funny)

neoRUR (674398) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570249)

And this means I can't get Modded Funny for no reason also.

Re:Probably a true story (-1, Troll)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570611)

And this means I can't get modded troll for no reason also. ...NO wai-!

Re:Probably a true story (3, Insightful)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570293)

The meta comment has been modded higher than the comment?

Next year can I be modded higher for the meta meta comment?

Re:Probably a true story (1)

chebucto (992517) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570479)

Next year can I be modded higher for the meta meta comment?
Be not hasty, young grasshopper. What you ask would require that you reach the mythical moderation of +6, something beyond the province of mortal users. Post often, and insightfully, and you may one day reach the true Zen of UID=0. Only then can you achieve +6 Funny.

Re:Probably a true story (1)

normuser (1079315) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570209)

The horror has ended!

Has it?
Or are they just trying to fool you into a false sense of security before striking?
I mean there is still two hours left.

Re:Probably a true story (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570737)

i heard its available fort subscribers.

This Is News (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570225)

RTFA

This isn't the same spiral pyramid idea you've seen on Discover Channel. This spiral is on the INSIDE.

3D Presentation (1)

lunadude (449261) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570273)

Nicely done narration of the process. The 3D technique allowed some exploration for the viewer. A passive video would not have been as effective for this.

Took a bit to accept the virtual scientist, but it worked.

Feasible... (2, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570301)

So what we have here is a feasible theory with no supporting physical evidence. I don't know I would call this "uncovering" or "discovering", since it is completely speculative.

Personally, I think the most "obvious" method would be correct. The Egyptians would not have been able to do a computer simulation to determine if their building plans were feasible. Thus I would think they would have gone with the most obvious, full-proof method, even if it would have required more resources. The article is short on details, but any building techniques beyond a certain level of complexity would likely have been too much of a gamble for them to attempt.

Dan East

Re:Feasible... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570365)

First, if you had bothered to RTFA, you'd have noticed that it's specifically referred to as a hypothesis, which is the correct term, unlike theory, and that the man intend to go looking for evidence using "non-invasive techniques".

Second, the Egyptians may not have had computer simulations, but they did have a lot of experience. The problem with the "obvious" method is (obviously ;-) that it requires much more material (more in the ramp than than what's in the pyramid) that you have bring there *and* get rid of once the thing is finished. And while it is safe to assume they thought about it, and probably tried it on smaller ones, it would have been very obvious to them that it just wouldn't work for bigger projects.

Re:Feasible... (2, Insightful)

SnowZero (92219) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570719)

I don't think you are right. I RTFA, and "theory" is used 3 times and "hypothesis" is used once. You can form a hypothesis that "the pyramid could be built this way", since you can test it. What you can't do is form a hypothesis that "the pyramid was built this way"; That will always be a theory since we can never know for sure. Just like mass extinction of Dinosaurs, which is a theory even though we have some pretty strong evidence it occurred.

The reason the story is annoying is that alongside "theory", the article contains claims that this work is "Ending eight years of study on the subject", and "Houdin used 3D technology to have his theory confirmed". That is more than you should claim for a theory you have yet to find physical evidence for.

Re:Feasible... (4, Interesting)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570381)

It looks like a gimick to get people to download their 3D viewing software (but I'm not sure, as I'm on Linux/Firefox, so all I know is that the required plugin is not available for me.) At least, that is the interest of the hosting company - the architect story may be legitimate.

Re:Feasible... (1)

wolf369T (951405) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570699)

I did download it on XP and IE7. First, IE7 crashed. Then, just showed and empty brownish screen. No 3D whatsoever. Maybe a 3D brown-hole, but no pyramid.

Re:Feasible... (2, Funny)

linatux (63153) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570405)

The most obvious method would be top-down. Stick one block there, then dig away the sand underneath. Slot some more in around the sides..... repeat .... Then level the desert around your new pyramid =)

Re:Feasible... practice? (3, Insightful)

victorl19 (879236) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570413)

Unless the great pyramid was the first one they ever built, some of these methods (especially rope twisting scaffold to raise the capstone) may have been tried on smaller pyramids. Thus, the gamble might not have been as big.

Re:Feasible... (1)

saskboy (600063) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570449)

I think the concrete theory is most plausible from what I've heard so far. It's a lot easier to pour a pyramid than lift formed rocks.

Re:Feasible... (4, Informative)

WrongMonkey (1027334) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570485)

The Egyptians didn't have simulations, but they did have a lot of trial and error. The pyramids at Giza are only the most famous. There were many other projects that show a refinement of methods. These were sophisticated people with generations of engineering experience, so the "obvious" method may not be not correct.
That said, you are correct about this article being speculation. The author is making quite a claim without any physical evidence.
Examples of other pyramids: http://www.egyptologyonline.com/pyramids.htm [egyptologyonline.com]

Re:Feasible... (1)

Verte (1053342) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570615)

The most obvious, full-proof method is that they just lifted the rocks on their own. I suspect we were a lot, lot stronger all those eons ago.

No shortage of sand in Egypt (4, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570319)

The sphynx was covered to its neck in blown in sand not so long ago. Some other buildings bear evidence of using sand to cover the site as they built up with rough stone, then as they dug it out again, the stones were dressed nicely from the top down. Egyptians are used to sand - it is everywhere - there is no shortage of it. This architect clearly could not see the forest for all the sand...

Re:No shortage of sand in Egypt (1)

Michael Woodhams (112247) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570395)

All you need do is assemble a Great Pyramid sized pile of sand, stop it from blowing away for 20 years, make it firm enough to carry huge stones on rollers and remove it afterwards.

Other articles (3, Funny)

dcam (615646) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570355)

There was an smh article [smh.com.au] about this. Choice quote:

"This is better than the other theories, because it is the only theory that works," Houdin said after unveiling his hypothesis in a lavish ceremony using 3-D computer simulation.


You'd never guess he is French would you.

Re:Other articles (1)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570875)

Right. Based on that description, I'd have guessed he's a web startup CEO desperate for funding.

Simple calculation -- one block every 100 seconds (2, Interesting)

Jeff1946 (944062) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570379)

Let's see 3,000,000 blocks / (365*20)days = 420 blocks/day. Assuming an average of 12hrs of daylight we get 35 blocks an hour which is about 100 seconds / block. Just the cutting and shaping this many blocks with simple tools is amazing, not to mention transporting then raising them. A truly astounding feat.

Re:Simple calculation -- one block every 100 secon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570417)

If you get enough people together, you can fill the Great Lakes with urine in 5 seconds flat.

Rates aren't really all that amazing for processes which are embarrassingly parallel, and putting rocks on a pyramid is one of those kinds of processes.

The construction of the pyramids is still impressive, but more from an economic than engineering point of view.

Re:Simple calculation -- one block every 100 secon (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570441)


    And when you have tens of thousands of slaves (err, employees) doing it, that sounds like a bunch of slackers. And ditch the 12 hour day idea, our employees will happily work by torch light! :)

Re:Simple calculation -- one block every 100 secon (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570483)

Actually, it's already been proven that they were not slaves. They were actually employed to do the job.

Re:Simple calculation -- one block every 100 secon (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570511)

You can't actually think that it only took 20 years.

I think 35-40 years is more accurate.

Re:Simple calculation -- one block every 100 secon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570625)

Ever heard of pipelining?

Eh... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570393)

Here, you missed this part in your copy/paste...

Ending eight years of study on the subject, architect Jean-Pierre Houdin released his findings and a computerized 3-D mockup showing how workers would have erected the pyramid at Giza outside Cairo.

...

According to his theory - shown in a computer model available at http://www.3ds.com/khufu [3ds.com] - the builders put up an outer ramp for the first 140 feet, then constructed an inner ramp in a corkscrew shape to complete the 450-foot structure.

Houdin also postulated that King's Chamber was hoisted into place through a system of counterweights.

Houdin said he plans to verify his theories through non-invasive tests on site.


If you're going to copy half the article word for word, at least do the whole damn thing.

The horror is over!!! (0, Offtopic)

i_wanna_be_a_scienti (1042298) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570399)

|-||_|RR4!! |\|() |\/|()R3 ()F 7|-|()53 5L45|-||)()7715! \/\/3 4R3 FR33 F()R 4|\|()7|-|3R '/34R!!! system wouldn't let me yell, so i typed it in yell 1337 script

cool (-1, Troll)

f1055man (951955) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570443)

When's the updated edition of "Find Waldo Now?" coming out?

Re:cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570803)

When the Americans stop calling him Waldo! He is Wally in the UK original. Why did you change it?

Assuming his theory is correct... (1)

Blaede (266638) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570465)

...and the pyramids were built spirally, how do you then get rid of the spirals?

Reed Punks (3, Insightful)

hhawk (26580) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570491)

Sci Fi set in the age of steam is called Steam Punk... Set in the age of Pyramids we would have to call it Reed Punk... This wasn't the first Pyramid built; however they built them, clearly the scaled up from job to job... It wasn't like they programmed "hello world" one day and the next started to create a complete OS from scratch. My guess is his solution is a little bit too neat, and relies on technology more than brawn.

Has there been any Peer review of this "discovery?"

This "prof" seems more than anything to be shilling for some 3D modeling software. The software is certainly quite impressive. The scene where the cap stone is raised by turning it, so that ropes attached to it twist and thereby lift it, is quite impressive as well; the ropes are suspended from a teepee like structure of wooden poles. I'm sure it would work once you got it moving the first ½ rotation; up to that point I'm sure you really had to push very hard...

Our good "prof" set out to find out how he could build a construction project (of the great pyramid) using only the materials of the day, based on whatever evidence there is, and of course on his modern understanding of the world.

The scenes where wooden carry frames transport major stone blocks by the aid of counter weights seemed straight out of Indiana Jones. It's certainly possible so he claimed, but the technology seems really pushed to the limit(s).

What happened to the idea that the stones were "wrapped" by four pieces of 90 degree "curves" so that when all tied together the stones could be rolled around like "wheels."

Download the website's soundtrack (1)

tsa (15680) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570607)

On the website that explains it all, http://khufu.3ds.com/introduction/ [3ds.com] , there is a link to download the website's soundtrack. I'm sorry but I can't take them seriously anymore if they pull off crap like that.

Geopolymer Concrete (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#18570619)

There's a better explanation that this, and its been around for about ten years. (another) French theorist, Joseph Davidovitz, has shown how the Kufu pyramid could have been made of a limestone polymer: a kind of concrete. His theory has the blocks being cast in reusable molds, in situ, rather than carved or moved.

All the mineral materials were nearby and easily mined. Given enough skilled teams, blocks could have easily been cast in place at what we now consider an astonishing rate. It also explains why the joints between the blocks are perfectly fitted. Transportation costs could have been kept low, because only small batches of material needed to be moved at a time: in relay chains rather than massive hauling projects.

http://www.geopolymer.org/archaeology/pyramids/are -pyramids-made-out-of-concrete-1 [geopolymer.org]

Incidentally, It's no surprise that the French are always coming out with theories on the Pyramids. They invented Egyptology during the Napoleonic era.

Re:Geopolymer Concrete (1)

CaptainCarrot (84625) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570883)

"Better" in the sense of more appealing to a modern mind? Or "better" in the sense that it uses technology we know from independent evidence they actually possessed?

Space Aliens (0, Redundant)

OldChemist (978484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570631)

Actually I think it has been pretty well established that the pyramids were built by space aliens....

Alien Pyramids (1)

xaositects (786749) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570667)

If the pyramids were built by super-intelligent aliens, wouldn't they have Linux installed?

Re:Alien Pyramids (1)

OldChemist (978484) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570835)

No, they were just normal aliens who used Windows... (Couldn't resist)

Re:Alien Pyramids, Alien Linux (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570873)

If the pyramids were built by super-intelligent aliens, wouldn't they have Linux installed?
They did; it's in one of the concealed chambers. Did you also fall for the hoax that Linux was made by humans?

Whatever it really is, i for one... (1)

El Icaro (816679) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570673)

It is common knowledge for all of us educated folk who watch the SciFi channel's documentaries that it is a landing pod for Goa'uld Ha'tak motherships. I, for one, welcome our welcome our overdressed alien symbiote overlords.

Pharaoh (1)

Randwulf (997659) | more than 7 years ago | (#18570917)

So, where can I get a patch for my Pharaoh PC game? My subjects are still building external spiral ramps.
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