One hundred thousand slaves tug multi-ton blocks across the desert. A complicated series of pulleys lifts each hand-cut stone into the perfect place. This is history's image of ancient Egyptian pyramid construction.

What if the Egyptians were using an easier, more efficient method? Recent theories and scientific evidence suggest that people assembled cement blocks on site to construct the exterior of the pyramids. Here's why everything you thought you knew about how we built the Great Pyramids is probably wrong.

Top image: via sculpies/Shutterstock.

What are the Great Pyramids really made of? X-raying the Pyramids

Materials scientist Joseph Davidovits suggests a more realistic way to look at how the pyramids were built. Unconvinced of Egyptian abilities to construct and move large blocks to create the pyramids, Davidovits posits that Eqyptians molded blocks from limestone and vegetable matter available nearby. These blocks, built on site, are then used to build the pyramids. Existing only as a hypothesis, Davidovits later supported his idea using X-Ray Diffraction data, a technique common in chemistry and material science.

Analysis of Casing Stones

Scientific inquiries revolve around the "casing stones" used on the pyramids – the outer layer of polished stone. In the paper X-Ray Analysis and X-Ray Diffraction of Casing Stones from the Pyramids of Egypt, and the Limestone of the Associated Quarries, Davidovits looks at stones from six different sites.

Through analysis, the casing stones at the sites contain air bubbles. This is stark contrast to rocks from the quarries, quarries the casing stones are typically associated with, with the quarry rock containing no bubbles. The presence of air bubbles in the casing stones supports the "cement" theory. Davidovits also wrote a journal article describing how a cement-like substance could be made using local fauna and tools like antlers and bone.

Evidence for Cement Technology   Read More>>>>>>>>>

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