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How the Pyramids Were Built — 23 Comments

  1. So you think composite blocks answer the tough questions, do you? Many of the blocks, especially in the New World, are not composites; they are blocks of stone, whose perfect fit is not explained by mixing up a batch of them. You have also failed to address the issue that pyramids do not consist merely of piles of blocks. They have chambers and channels, perfectly cut, of a size much smaller than humans can enter, and which change direction. Were they built first and then installed, or was machinery used. Simplistic modern answers do not even come close to answering the mysteries.

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  6. A good point – at least the residue or ruins or whatever left behind will still be limestone (as opposed to concrete). In theory, if could be used again by someone else.

    Doug

  7. This is a fascinating idea, and I’m looking forward to testnig it myself (limestone and kaolin are relatively easily available locally). It does raise one significant question though, in that one of the ecologically sound aspects of building with earth is that the end product will, given enough time without maintenance, go away. The whole “once nobody is using it anymore, it eventually goes back to the earth” thing is one of the appeals (to me at least) of building with earth. If this is, in fact, the technology that built the pyramids, we have some terrific evidence at Giza that buildings built with geopolymers may be permanent in ways that concrete can only dream of. Something to ponder.

    Doug

    • That’s an interesting viewpoint. The way I see it is the loose limestone used to be solid limestone and we’re returning it to it’s natural state to repeat the cycle. It will eventually crumble apart and be like it is now. How long that would take is anybody’s guess.

  8. Hi! this is really awesome! Do you know if there is some kind of idiots guide on how to build a home out of this material? and what states it would be legal in? im sure it probably wouldnt be considered up to code in california…they are strict…

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  12. Watch for my upcoming blog post Earthbag Stone Dome. We’ve been planning a bedroom dome in the backyard. This would be a great opportunity to experiment with geopolymer cast stone to make the first ever earthbag stone dome. The mountain range near our home consists of limestone, so the materials are readily at hand.

  13. More interesting information here: The Pyramid Heretic http://www.philipcoppens.com/davidovits.html There’s a good diagram of the building process.

    “Professor Davidovits is an internationally renowned French scientist, who was honoured by French President Jacques Chirac with one of France’s two highest honours, the “Chevalier de l’Ordre National du Mérite”, in November 1998. ”

    “Furthermore, his idea that some Egyptian artefacts, specifically some vases, were geopolymers, has been accepted by Egyptologists. Thus, it is accepted that the Egyptians had the necessary chemical and technical knowledge (of copper, alkalis and ceramics) to mould them in this way. Davidovits argues: “So if the Egyptians knew how to make such a high-quality cement for vases and statues, what was there to stop them adding aggregates such as fossil shells to produce a high-performance reagglomerated limestone? Clearly, nothing.”

    “In 2006, research by Michel W. Barsoum at Philadelphia’s Drexel University confirmed Davidovits’ conclusion that samples of stone from parts of the Khufu Pyramid were microstructurally different from limestone blocks.”

    “he has shown that several stones have weathered unnaturally: one single block was sometimes left unfinished for the day, and thus hardened over night, before being brought to the desired height the following morning. This meant that one block was made in two phases, with slightly different materials and created under different circumstances. Six millennia later, it means that sometimes the lower section of a stone has weathered badly, but the higher section has not, even though the stones next to it, did not reveal such lower weathering. Such weathering is not conform to the traditionalist point of view of quarried blocks. ”

    “At several places in the Great Pyramid, remains of 4500 year old cements are found, and are still in excellent condition. This ancient mortar is far superior to the cement used in modern buildings, as well as the cement used to restore the ancient Egyptian monuments, much of which has already degraded and cracked after only fifty years. “

  14. Watching that gives the feeling of infinite possibilities as to what could be made with such materials.

    I’ve been very interested in building my own water tower or lookout tower. That is, something 30-50ft in height that can hold several hundred pounds in weight at it’s top. But with a slightly larger base, much like any guard tower would be able to.

    Can you provide any tips on how to do this with earth bags Owen? With enough rebar, can legs be made with filled mesh bags covered in limestone?

    • Have you seen my Tower House design?
      http://earthbagplans.wordpress.com/2010/11/01/earthbag-tower-house-2/

      The techniques needed to build like this are already well known and accepted practice by using cement or lime to stabilize the fill material. But the techniques likely used to make cast stone for pyramids are definitely intriguing. This would take earthbag building to a whole other level. Your house would literally turn to stone after a few months. I’m still reading up on this. It’s looking more and more promising. Use the same technique as shown in the video except the fill material is put in earthbags. The edges of the bags can be tamped to form a taper if desired.

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