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Archaeology & History

4,500-year-old ramp system discovered in Egypt

By T.K. Randall
November 1, 2018 · Comment icon 266 comments

Did the Egyptians use a ramp system to move stone blocks ? Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 Nina Aldin Thune
Unearthed in an alabaster quarry, the ramp may have been used by the builders of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The question of how the ancient Egyptians managed to move the huge stone blocks used in the construction of the pyramids has long remained one of archaeology's most enduring mysteries.

Now though, the discovery of a ramp system dating back to the time of the Great Pyramid may have finally helped to shed some light on the methods used by Egypt's ancient builders.

Unearthed in Hatnub - a quarry in Egypt's Eastern Desert - the ramp mechanism appears to have been used to transport heavy alabaster slabs up a steep incline.

It consists of a ramp with two staircases on either side and multiple holes where posts once stood.
"Using a sled which carried a stone block and was attached with ropes to these wooden posts, ancient Egyptians were able to pull up the alabaster blocks out of the quarry on very steep slopes of 20 percent or more," said joint mission co-director Yannis Gourdon.

"This kind of system has never been discovered anywhere else."

"As this system dates back at least to Khufu's reign, that means that during the time of Khufu, ancient Egyptians knew how to move huge blocks of stone using very steep slopes."

"Therefore, they could have used it for the construction [of] his pyramid."



Source: Live Science | Comments (266)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #257 Posted by Kenemet 6 years ago
You should get some more!  I have LEGOs!  Build your own star destroyer, or something even bigger!
Comment icon #258 Posted by Windowpane 6 years ago
Hull exhibition shows history of the world in Lego
Comment icon #259 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 6 years ago
I wonder if you can build a pyramid with legos!?
Comment icon #260 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
FINALLY! Somebody else comes out! 
Comment icon #261 Posted by Kenemet 6 years ago
When I volunteer at the paleo lab, I use the LEGO minifigs (my "avatar" is the LEGO paleontologist) to show people on my Facebook feed the size of things I'm working on.  Very useful metric and more interesting than a coin! Like this one of using a pin vise on some very hard Alaskan rock to remove matrix around a hornlet from a ceraopsian.
Comment icon #262 Posted by John n b 6 years ago
They probably worked on all four sides of the pyramid at once, may be working from the centre outwards with the blocks being fed at a high rate from the bogey system they had rigged up in what they call the grand gallery, I think the internal ramp would have only covered maybe two or three levels and who knows, if they built up the middle section of the pyramid first, the ramp could have been used to slide the blocks down into the corners and not up, would have been a lot easier. Just a thought.
Comment icon #263 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
It won't show me the pic. 
Comment icon #264 Posted by Harte 6 years ago
You're not holding your mouth right. Harte
Comment icon #265 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
Maybe there is drool on my screen. 
Comment icon #266 Posted by MWoo7 6 years ago
HEY Now! Now here`s! a pic for ya    just being silly LATERZZZZZZZZZZZZZ and to all a good NIGHTERZZZZZZZZZ


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