Scientists say pyramids could be concrete

April 23, 2008

Scientists are taking a new look at Egypt's pyramids to see if some of the blocks could have been made from concrete.

Linn W. Hobbs, a materials science professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The Boston Globe there is a chance ancient Egyptians could have cast the blocks from synthetic material instead of carving them from quarries. Scientists have long believed Romans were the first to use structural concrete.

Undergraduates in MIT's Materials in Human Experience class are building a scale-model pyramid made of quarried limestone and blocks cast from crushed limestone sludge fortified with clay, silica and natural desert salts.

Archaeologists say there is no evidence the pyramids are built of any synthetic material, the newspaper said. Hobbs said the concrete theory, advanced in the 1980s by French chemical engineer Joseph Davidovits, is fascinating because it would mean the ancient Egyptians were great materials scientists as well as great civil engineers.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Dwarf planet Ceres offers big surprises for scientists

Related Stories

Ancient Egyptians transported pyramid stones over wet sand

April 30, 2014

Physicists from the FOM Foundation and the University of Amsterdam have discovered that the ancient Egyptians used a clever trick to make it easier to transport heavy pyramid stones by sledge. The Egyptians moistened the ...

Fluorescent jungle gyms made of DNA

March 17, 2014

(Phys.org) —The 1966 movie Fantastic Voyage presented a vision of the future that includes tiny machines gliding through the body and repairing injuries. Almost 50 years later, scientists are figuring out how to form building ...

Quantum dots provide complete control of photons

January 31, 2014

By emitting photons from a quantum dot at the top of a micropyramid, researchers at Linköping University are creating a polarized light source for such things as energy-saving computer screens and wiretap-proof communications.

Touch to feel the virtual world (w/ Video)

July 2, 2013

Haptic technology, which simulates the sense of touch through tactile feedback mechanisms, has been described as "doing for the sense of touch what computer graphics does for vision." Haptics are already common in devices ...

Recommended for you

Just how good (or bad) is the fossil record of dinosaurs?

August 28, 2015

Everyone is excited by discoveries of new dinosaurs – or indeed any new fossil species. But a key question for palaeontologists is 'just how good is the fossil record?' Do we know fifty per cent of the species of dinosaurs ...

Fractals patterns in a drummer's music

August 28, 2015

Fractal patterns are profoundly human – at least in music. This is one of the findings of a team headed by researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Dynamics and Self-Organization in Göttingen and Harvard University ...

1 comment

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

sheber
5 / 5 (1) Apr 23, 2008
I saw this theory or read about it months ago. Why is this news now?

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.