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

Posted on Thursday, 1 November, 2018 | Comment icon 212 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 (212)

Tags: Pyramid, Egypt, Ramp

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #203 Posted by John Bastien on 16 November, 2018, 3:40
He no know you or me LOL. I  myself work with Geophysical systems. LOL GPR, Induction, Resistivity, Sounding, LOL. As well as IR.  Muon scans will give you a density value that you may interpreted as a void. However in rock targets there are voids, density of material issues. That is why there are issues with the latest findings. G1 has a rough cut fill full of voids. The only uniform and hard fit elements are the casing, outer blocks, and internal infrastructure.  That is why GPR would be a mess in that environment. For all I know the Muon scan could be finding a chamber or a very loose area ... [More]
Comment icon #204 Posted by John Bastien on 16 November, 2018, 3:51
They could use cobalt sources and map easier that way but the local population would not like it o much. Sounding qould not be too good for the old gal either.
Comment icon #205 Posted by M. Williams on 16 November, 2018, 3:53
The Bui scan indicates large ramps were built on the core of the pyramid. These ramps were later filled in with material of slightly different density. This matches the small approach ramps sound at Giza. These ramps were not static but evolved over time as the pyramid grew.    The thermal scan the French tried to hide in the Red Pyramid shows the same kind of material change.    The core, chambers, and all large interior stones are laid from these core ramps. Then. the casing is installed with an exterior spiral ramp made from the same stone that now comprises the top of G1. This ramp is smal... [More]
Comment icon #206 Posted by Lord Harry on 16 November, 2018, 4:04
One thing is certain, the pyramid was built using ramps of some kind or another.  But wouldn't an exterior spiral ramp obstruct the setting of the casing stones, resulting in an uneven appearance? The casing stones were set with remarkable precision, this would seem to preclude the use of an exterior spiral ramp.
Comment icon #207 Posted by John Bastien on 16 November, 2018, 4:08
If you look at the way the casing of the bent pyramid's was lade. The casing was put on before the fill.
Comment icon #208 Posted by M. Williams on 16 November, 2018, 4:12
We picture the ramp as  very small and nearly all used in the top of the pyramid. It's in the graphic below. The corners are bridged over leaving a small hole along all necessary sight lines.
Comment icon #209 Posted by John Bastien on 16 November, 2018, 4:16
There is a good application in the nuclear geophysics field that may help. Sources can be placed inside. These are low output. Then you can density map the whole girl in 3 D. As you have internal access no need for bore holes. Survey in the source then GPS the receivers. Then with GPS plotting you are off to modelling the guts. Just keep moving the reception points and GPS. 
Comment icon #210 Posted by Lord Harry on 16 November, 2018, 4:22
Interesting article.  Though one of the archaeologists cited mistakenly assumes it is a mystery as to how the ancient Egyptians cut through and transported granite.  Copper bow drills with quartzite abrasives were likely used for the task.  The granite blocks would then be transported by river from Aswan to Giza.  But that is neither here nor there.  If they did use a ramp as you have described, it will likely be found soon since operations at the Great Pyramid are still ongoing.
Comment icon #211 Posted by M. Williams on 16 November, 2018, 4:35
The moment they didn't find the hallways we won. Now it's what kind of structures exist inside G1 and the other pyramids . Thats another theory of mine.,585331,585451#msg-585451   Yuki Kawae is a brilliant egyptologist researching the notch and how it relates to the ramps i described. The real treasure would be to discover another pyramid inside G1. But, my name is Mason ,I'm also a stonemason and they dont like that in Egypt. I'm banned. 
Comment icon #212 Posted by John Bastien on 16 November, 2018, 4:41
They should just go to the corner room and pull the blocking. Then bingo. Another tick in the box. Or insert a fiber optic probe through the packing.

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