Particles could reveal clues to how Egypt pyramid was built

Particles could reveal clues to how Egypt pyramid was built
This file Aug. 19, 2011 photo shows tourists as they leave the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur, about 25 miles south of Cairo, Egypt. An international heritage research group says scientists will begin analyzing radiographic muons, or cosmic particles, collected from the ancient Bent Pyramid built by the Pharaoh Snefru. (AP Photo/Coralie Carlson, File)

An international team of researchers said Sunday they will soon begin analyzing cosmic particles collected inside Egypt's Bent Pyramid to search for clues as to how it was built and learn more about the 4,600-year-old structure.

Mehdi Tayoubi, president of the Heritage Innovation Preservation Institute, said that plates planted inside the pyramid last month have collected data on radiographic particles known as muons that rain down from the earth's atmosphere.

The particles pass through empty spaces but can be absorbed or deflected by harder surfaces. By studying particle accumulations, scientists may learn more about the construction of the pyramid, built by the Pharaoh Snefru.

"For the construction of the , there is no single theory that is 100 percent proven or checked; They are all theories and hypotheses," said Hany Helal, the institute's vice president.

"What we are trying to do with the new technology, we would like to either confirm or change or upgrade or modify the hypotheses that we have on how the pyramids were constructed," he said.

The Bent Pyramid in Dahshur, just outside Cairo, is distinguished by the bent slope of its sides. It is believed to have been ancient Egypt's first attempt to build a smooth-sided pyramid.

The Scan Pyramids project, which announced in November thermal anomalies in the 4,500 year-old Khufu Pyramid in Giza, is coupling thermal technology with muons analysis to try to unlock secrets to the construction of several ancient Egyptian pyramids.

Tayoubi said the group plans to start preparations for testing in a month in Khufu, the largest of the three Giza pyramids, which is known internationally as Cheops.

"Even if we find one square meter void somewhere, it will bring new questions and hypotheses and maybe it will help solve the definitive questions," said Tayoubi.

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Jan 18, 2016
All pyramids are not created equally. Most Egyptian pyramids are made of brick. In fact, pyramids that were built after the three at the necropolis were made of brick, as were the very first pyramids such as the Dashur pyramid. The necropolis ones are really the only ones made of large stone blocks. There are theories that suggest those blocks are actually concrete and that they were cast on site. On the one hand, that is a simple solution to the logistics of moving huge stone blocks from quarry to site (some weigh 70 tons) since the Egyptians did not have the wheel until early into the 2nd millennium BCE. On the other hand, it is claimed that the sophisticated casting technology to make those stones is lost. Either way, we still don't know how they did what they did.

The stones at Baalbek, Lebanon are definitely not concrete, and some of those weigh 1,500 tons.

Jan 18, 2016
Thanks for the link on Baalbek - it is a site I had not heard of, and it is very interesting!

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