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Originally Posted by Dave
The technology to even create a machine to do such things didnt even exist.
These stone structures were made before any Iron or Bronze age.
You cannot cut stone like this without some kind of metal or high-pressure water.
Explain how they were created. I can't.
Intelligent life. Its a theory. What is your theory?
What do you mean the technology didn't exist? Of course it did. Humans have been cutting stone for a long long time.
Here's an exerpt from a good informative site on pyramid construction:
The main idea that most people use to support the theory of alien pyramid builders is—and I quote—that ancient man was ‘primitive’, ‘living in mud huts’, and too ‘stupid’ to build such sophisticated constructions. One website states: ‘In the period 2500 BC man did not have the tools or knowledge necessary to build the pyramids, so only aliens could have done it. The angle of the slope of the sides is so precise only aliens could achieve this. The blocks are so heavy and the pyramid so tall only aliens could achieve this. How the aliens built the pyramids is not known, but they would have employed the use of advanced construction equipment.’
First of all, these ancient peoples were nowhere near as stupid as the people who make such statements. While we may have accumulated knowledge over the centuries, our species’ brains haven’t changed at all in the past few thousand years and ancient people were just as intelligent as we are today.
Before the pyramids were built, the Egyptians had developed agriculture, writing, religion, astronomy, mathematics, metal-working and semi-precious stones, sophisticated artwork and monumental stone architecture, and had managed to unite the various people throughout the country under the rule of one king. This was a true civilization, not a motley band of savages. The pyramids of Giza were incredible achievements for the time—expert Mark Lehner calculates that 9 million tonnes of limestone were quarried between the reigns of Sneferu and Menkaure alone.
When you really learn enough about them, it’s not difficult at all to imagine that the Egyptians were capable of such architectural sophistication. They had a certain expertise in stone working that we lack today. By the time of the pyramids, a corps of craftsmen had been developing their quarrying and building skills since the Early Dynastic Period. We have evidence to support the Egyptians’ responsibility for all the construction stages of the pyramids.
A similar claim for the sudden appearance of the pyramids from nowhere, out of the supposed dark ages that proceeded civilization, is made in a Discovery channel programme about the alien theory (!) in which the voiceover states: ‘For two and a half million years our prehistoric ancestors had been living in caves, passing the time by bashing stones together, when suddenly everything changed and people began to build huge monuments all over the planet. But how? And why?’
They blatantly ignore the fact that we have clear evidence for the evolution of the form and building process of the pyramids. These perfections of architectural engineering did not just appear from nowhere and the Egyptians actually got it wrong in a number of early pyramids before they were able to create the Giza masterpieces.
The first pyramid ever built, the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, started off as a completely different style of building. Originally, a traditional mastaba was built for the Third Dynasty king Djoser. The architect Imhotep then began to make innovative changes by enlarging the basic structure to be a square and then building a smaller mastaba-like square on top. But he didn’t stop there; inspired, Imhotep expanded the building once again and added a fourth, fifth, and sixth level to eventually form the Step Pyramid.
A remarkable structure with an extensive surrounding complex and subterranean palace, it was still not a true pyramid with smooth sides. After a few other stepped pyramid projects were abandoned by short-lived kings, the first attempt at a true pyramid finally developed out of the stepped pyramid of King Sneferu at Meidum.
The Meidum pyramid was originally intended to be a 7-step pyramid and was then expanded to 8-steps and completed in the 14th year of Sneferu’s reign. In his 28th or 29th year though, the workers were sent back again to fill out the rest of it into a true pyramid. Stripped of its outer casing, the remains of the pyramid stand in three large steps. Before he did that though, the ambitious builder Sneferu began building another pyramid at the site of Dashur that was the first pyramid intended to be a true pyramid right from the start. Unaccustomed to building such a structure though, construction began at too steep an angle, a slope of 60°. When severe structural problems were noticed, the architects took emergency measures and altered it to 55°. Still having problems though, they changed it again to a more gradual gradient of 44°, resulting in a rather odd looking pyramid, which has appropriately been dubbed the Bent Pyramid.
Some alien advocates actually try to use this pyramid to support their theory by claiming that the Bent Pyramid was just a shoddy imitation built by humans to copy the aliens who build the Giza pyramids. However, the pyramid is very conclusively dated to years 15-30 of Sneferu’s reign. This first attempt at a true pyramid was so problematic though that Sneferu abandoned it too, and started another pyramid at Meidum. Learning from previous mistakes, the North pyramid continued to build on the developments of Sneferu’s previous efforts, resulting in the first truly successful and magnificent true pyramid.
Pyramids did not suddenly appear out of nowhere, beamed in by alien technology. Only after all of these less successful attempts, and all the experience gained by architects and workers, could the stage be set for the construction of the greatest of world wonders.
How did the ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids?
Pyramid building was a long and complex process that took many different stages and and an amazing amount of resources, but was well within ancient Egyptian capabilities.
The Great Pyramid is composed of roughly 2,300,000 blocks and was likely built in 23 years or less (the length of its builder King Khufu’s reign according to the Turin papyrus). Stadelmann has calculated that to do this, the builders had to lay c. 340 blocks a day. The general figure suggested for the annual workforce is in the range of 20-30,000. Although it needed a great deal of stone, the bulk of it would have been more easily moved as it would have gone into the base of the pyramid, and even though the Great Pyramid was the best constructed, the core itself was also rather sloppier than the exterior, including many irregular stones and debris fill.
I will break down my discussion of the building process into the various stages:
The Egyptians were careful and precise architectural planners. Even buildings much older than the pyramids were laid out using an exact measuring system based on a unit called a cubit (about 52.5 cm, which could be further divided into smaller units called palms). Representations of foundation ceremonies for temples show this measuring process, called the ‘stretching of the cord’, being done using ropes tied to wooden pegs pounded into the ground. Many round holes that may have been for measuring pegs have been found cut into the bedrock around the foundations of pyramids and their temples.
The angle of inclination (seqed in Egyptian) for the sloped faces of the pyramids was clearly calculated by the Egyptians using a simple and precise method. The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus shows that seqed was defined as the relation between the horizontal setback of the wall and the vertical rise of 1 cubit. Pyramid alignment is further discussed below. There is also evidence that they produced miniature architect’s models, much like is done today, as part of the planning. Rainer Stadlemann found a small limestone architect’s model for the innovative substructure of Amenemhat III’s Hawara pyramid.
We know that local limestone was used for the pyramid cores and the mortuary and valley temples, while finer limestone and granite were brought along river from Tura and Aswan to use for the smooth outer casing.
The quarry used for Khufu’s pyramid is located on the plateau itself, 300m south of the Great Pyramid, a huge horseshoe shaped chunk out of the plateau, dug up to 30m below the original surface. Khafre’s quarry gives a good example of how the blocks were actually quarried. In the open limestone quarry just north of his pyramid, there are still the stumps of 3x3m blocks that were removed thousands of years ago with trenches in between them where the stonecutters would have worked.
Stone tools were used for quarrying. Blocks were cut by pounding channels into the limestone using hammer stones to separate them from bedrock and then detached using large wooden levers. Traces of these channels remain and there are still a number of unfinished quarry blocks that lie almost detached from the bedrock not far from the Sphinx, and in Menkaure’s quarry, where huge lever sockets are also visible.
In an interview with NOVA, Mark Lehner explains the strongly human and flawed side to these monuments:‘A pyramid is basically, most basically, two separate constructions: it’s an outer shell of very fine polished limestone with great accuracy in its joints…and the other construction is the inner core, which filled in this shell….The core was made with a substantial slop factor, as my friend who is a mechanic likes to say about certain automobiles. That is, they didn’t join the stones very accurately. You have great spaces between the stones…. And so they’d jam down pebbles and cobbles and some broken stones, and slop big quantities of gypsum mortar in there….
We saw in many places, even on the giant pyramids of Giza, the first pyramid and the second pyramid and the third one, fragments of tools, bits of pottery that are clearly characteristic of the Old Kingdom…. So you see the pyramids are very human monuments. And the evidence of the people who built them, their material culture is embedded right into the very fabric of the pyramids. And I think I could take just about any interested person and show them this kind of material embedded in the pyramids as well as tool marks in the stones and say, hey, folks, these weren’t lasers. These were chisels and hammers and you know, people who were really out there.’
There is actually a lot of evidence left of the ordinary people who performed the strenuous building work, who weren’t aliens, but most definitely Egyptian. While the total number of the workforce is speculative, we do know about the division of the work force and the size of these groups. The work force was organized by crews, each of roughly 2000 conscripted peasants, comprising two gangs of 1000. Each gang was divided into five groups of 200 men called zaa, also known by the Greek name ‘phyle’. Within each phyle were ten divisions of twenty men. The gangs seems to have been competitive and had names relating to the reigning king, for example ‘Friends of Khufu’ or ‘Drunkards of Menkaure’, and they actually graffitied their names on the buildings!
The stones from some of the Middle Kingdom pyramids have rough hieroglyphs inscribed on them as notes for either scribes or controllers. These notes consist of the date of transport, the workmen in charge of the block, and the stage of transport. Some state ‘brought from the quarry’ or ‘removal from the quarry’, delivered at the mereyt (harbour or embankment), ‘brought from the embankment’ and delivered to ‘storage enclosures’. Other notes records that they were ‘brought’ or ‘dragged’ to the pyramid, or ‘delivered to the ramp’. Herdsmen are also mentioned, who may have been responsible for driving oxen pulling the stone.
The stones also have team marks written on them to record the name of the team responsible for them. They may have been written and read by the basically illiterate workmen themselves, since some involve true hieroglyphs and others invented signs. Felix Arnold believes that the signs related to the worker’s hometowns—which weren’t in outer space.
There are also written documents that deal with the pyramid builders. Several of the Lahun papyri from the town associated with the pyramid builders of Senwosret II document the dragging of stone blocks by groups of workers.
The Nile River was the highway of Egypt and any finer stone that was quarried from further away was transported to the pyramid site by boats. Most of the stone was quarried nearby though, and wooden sledges were probably used to transport the blocks over land. A 4.2m long sledge was found by the pyramid of Senwosret III. At least some of these sledges would have been drawn by oxen. A number of tomb and temple wall paintings depict the transportation of stones by water and by sledges drawn by men or oxen.
Roads and tracks were made to pave the way for these sledges. Worn wooden beams were reused like ‘railway sleepers in tracks’ for dragging heavy stones on sledges overland. Such tracks have been found at Lisht near the Twelfth Dynasty pyramids of Amenemhat I and Senwosret I. Transport roads, which also survive at Lisht, measure up to 36 ft in width. They were made with a foundation consisting of a fill of limestone chips and mortar with wooden beams inserted, over which a layer of limestone chips and white gypsum was used to provide a smooth, solid surface. Water used as a lubricant for the ground to make it easier to pull the sledges.
Transporting immense quantities of stone was not an impossible task that would have required space ships, but well within the ancient Egyptians’ capabilities.
Laying the blocks
When the stone blocks were finally being moved into place, to preserve the precise alignment of the walls, corner blocks would be set first and then other blocks would be brought in on rollers but only levermoved into their precise final placement using levers. For example, one of the casing blocks of Khufu’s pyramid shows a lever hole in the base of the block that was then filled in with plaster. But lacking in ‘alien perfection’, sometimes since there were different teams working to lay blocks from each of the pyramid’s corners, they could end up with a gap in the middle, which would need to be filled with smaller blocks, as is the case with the pyramid of Meidum.
It is generally thought that ramps were used to move the blocks to the higher levels of the pyramids. Certainly some of the proto-pyramids, the step mastabas of the Third Dynasty show evidence of having had building ramps on all sides. For true pyramids, using such ramps blocks could have been towed to a height of 30-50 m, and at least 50% of blocks could have been lifted that way. The Meidum pyramid shows traces that indicate a steep ramp was applied to the outer casing. These ramps would not have been difficult to build or dismantle since they would have been made from an amalgam of limestone chip, tafla, and gypsum, rather than stone blocks.
All sorts of ramps have been proposed, from single or multiple straight ones to ones that would wrap around the structure or zigzag up the face or even internal ramps. Just because we don’t know for certain how the upper reaches of the pyramids were built, doesn’t automatically mean that they couldn’t have been built and are therefore alien constructions. There are a number of different ways it could have been done, but sadly we aren’t just able to ask the Egyptians which one is right. There probably isn’t even one simple answer—a number of different methods could have been used.
But…pyramids would have been really hard to build!
A lot of website comments display a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of pyramids. One states: ‘There is no way that primitive man built the pyramids. Even with modern equipment (i.e. cranes) we could not duplicate that feat, those are megaton (1million ton) rocks. You could surround the entire rock with men and it wouldn’t budge 1″. There’s no way with simple ropes & pulleys that they moved those stones… absolutely NO WAY.’
While, yes, the pyramids would have been incredibly difficult to build and required incredible expertise, they are not miracle structures. People seem to think that you’d practically need magic to build them! They’re amazing feats of engineering, but they’re certainly not inconceivable as human creations. The blocks were certainly not a million tonnes each! On average, they weighed about 2.5 tonnes. And the suggestion of lifting the entire weight of the blocks with cranes would probably actually be more difficult than the Egyptian approach, which was to drag the stones over wooden rollers or slippery mud lined surfaces. We even have the remains of the smoothed roads that they built to move them. Just think about it—while I can barely lift my suitcase when it’s stuffed to the brim and weighing almost 30 kg, it’s relatively easy to move when it’s on wheels! By surrounding the blocks with teams of men, it wouldn’t have been that difficult to move them, and the Egyptians often used cattle to help as well. The NOVA pyramid-building experiment found that 20 men could easily pull a two-tonne block along lubricated tracks. Building the pyramids would have been difficult, but people can be pretty clever when it comes to making work easier.
There's a ton of really good info on this site if you're interested. It answers a lot.