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No. 34: Jul-Aug 1984

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Pouring A Pyramid

The ancient Egyptians may have been more clever than we thought. Instead of chipping away laboriously in limestone quarries to precisely shape the stones constituting the pyramids. they may have cast the stones from a slurry of crushed limestone and a special mineral binder. Polymer chemist Joseph Davidovits has examined the limestone casing stones that were used to face the some of the pyramids. (Most of the facing stones were removed for use in modern construction projects.) Davidovits claims that the casing stones contain minerals not found in the quarries, and that they contain as much as 13% binder material. In addition, the casing stones have a millimeter-thick coating of binder. This theory might help explain the precise fitting of the stones. Others have also analyzed the stones and oppose the claims of Davidovits.

(Peterson, I.; "Ancient Technology: Pouring a Pyramid," Science News, 125: 327, 1984.)

From Science Frontiers #34, JUL-AUG 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss