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Thursday, September 25, 2014


PRACTICAL NOT PRIESTLY--The answer to the massive stone block hauling had been staring us in the face for a long time. In a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep (schematic above), you can see a worker pouring water on the sand in front of a sled that’s carrying a colossal statue. The sleds were little more than large wooden planks with upturned edges. “Egyptologists had been interpreting the water as part of a purification ritual," Bonn says, "and had never sought a scientific explanation.”

HOW THE EGYPTIANS DID IT—The method used by ancient Egyptians to haul those massive stones to the site of the big pyramids is the same idea used by toddlers building sandcastles at the beach.

When you haul a 3 ton block of stone on a sled across the Egyptian desert it is best to pour water in front of the sled as you go along.  The water halts the pile up of sand in front of the sled.  Scientists estimate using the water as you go method cut in half the number of paid or unpaid workers pulling the stones.

The picture painted on the wall of the tomb of Djehuihopep showing the transport of a huge statue solved the mystery.  Only problem it took millenniums to see what was right in front of scientist’s noses.  For the longest time, they thought pouring water ahead of the sled was a religious purification ceremony.

For the entire story go Janet Fang’s article posted on the iflscience blog:

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