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: Probing Question: How were the Egyptian pyramids built?

Related Stories

Probing Question: How were the Egyptian pyramids built?

March 27, 2008

The Aztecs, Mayans and ancient Egyptians were three very different civilizations with one very large similarity: pyramids. However, of these three ancient cultures, the Egyptians set the standard for what most people recognize ...

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 ...

Recommended for you

Roman theater uncovered at base of Jerusalem's Western Wall

October 16, 2017

Israeli archaeologists on Monday announced the discovery of the first known Roman-era theater in Jerusalem's Old City, a unique structure around 1,800 years old that abuts the Western Wall and may have been built during Roman ...

Human speech, jazz and whale song

October 13, 2017

Jazz musicians riffing with each other, humans talking to each other and pods of killer whales all have interactive conversations that are remarkably similar to each other, new research reveals.

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.