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No. 54: Nov-Dec 1987

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Egyptian pyramids actually made of synthetic stone?

The assertion of the title above has been around for a while, but now it has been detailed in a paper before the American Chrmical Society.

"An authority on ancient building materials reported evidence Friday that the Egyptian pyramids were built of a remarkable synthetic stone that was cast on the site like concrete.

"The new theory challenges the widely accepted belief that the pyramids were built from natural stone obtained from quarries and laboriously moved to the site on wooden rollers.

"Dr. Joseph Davidovits said that the synthetic pyramid stone was made with cement far stronger than modern portland cement, which binds together the rock and sand in concrete. Portland cement has an average span of about 150 years, he said, but cements like those used in the pyramids last thousands of years.

.....

"Davidovits said that a new deciphering of an ancient hieroglyphic text now provides some direct information about pyramid construction and supports his theory that synthetic stone was the construction material.

.....

"Davidovits said the cement used in the pyramids binds the aggregate and other ingredients together chemically in a process similar to that involved in the formation of natural stone.

"Portland cement, in contrast, involves mechanical rather then molecular bonding of the ingredients. Thus, pyramid stone is extremely difficult to distinguish from natural stone.

"He cites a number of other pieces of evidence to support his theory. Chemical analyses of stone from the pyramids, for example, show it contains minerals not found in Egyptian quarry stone.

"Laboratory analyses have also revealed indications of organic fibers -- possibly human or animal hair -- inside the stone used to built the pyramids. Davidovits said he believes the materials accidentally fell into the forms when ancient Egyptians were casting the stone."

(Anonymous; "Pyramids Made of Synthetic Stone, Researcher Reports," Orange County Register, April 11, 1987. Cr. S. Yaple via L. Farish.)

From Science Frontiers #54, NOV-DEC 1987. 1987-2000 William R. Corliss