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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

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987