Theories of Construction of Pyramids at Giza | Essay
The great Pyramids of Giza hold plenty of mysteries. There are mysteries about who made the pyramids, the time at which they were made, their purposes, as well as the methods employed in their constructions (Malkowski, 2010). Although it can be assumed that the pyramid was built by King Khufu in the Fourth Dynasty, how the pyramid was made remains a mystery. Therefore, there have been many theories regarding how the pyramids at Giza were constructed. Most whizzes approve that they were made as burial shrines for pharaohs, but “how” these ancient individuals constructed monuments of such prodigious size without modern equipment is a mystery that is still being pondered.
Dr. Joseph Davidovits together with Margie Morris presented a theory on how the pyramids were constructed. The pyramid’s construction theory according to the two geologists was presented in “The Pyramids: An Enigma Solved.” A notable argument revealed by this theory is that there were no blocks involved in the construction of the pyramid. This theory upholds the argument that synthetic stones were cast directly in their respective places. Their argument further expounds that the construction blocks consist of limestone rubble at approximately ninety-five percent and cement at circa ten percent. The blocks are thus facsimiles of natural limestone. Owing to the assertion by this theory that the blocks were cast at their respective places; therefore, stone cutting, heavy hauling or hoisting was not involved.
Furthermore, the theory emphasizes that there was no involved quarrying, no need for cutting or finishing the limestone block (Roma, 2007). The blocks were thus made by buckets of slurry, toted buy men up the pyramid and poured into a wooden mold. By introducing the idea of minimum shrinkage property of geopolymer concrete in this theory, the notion explains the reason as to why there was no fusing together during the casting and the maintained shape of the blocks. Through the explained minimum shrinkage property of the geopolymer concrete, the close fit observable in the pyramids are explained.
According to a theory developed by a historian called Herodotus in his writings, the pyramid is said to have been made in a set of stairs called battlements or altar steps. The construction started by building a base followed by the stones by the use of timber made short levels. This theory was based on personal feelings as is evident from the writings of the originator. This theory combined religion and science in its development with the famous claim “The Philosophy of God, the science of man by Delta-K (1987)” as recorded by Roma (2007). This theory fails on the grounds of lacking archeological evidence to the activities and its speculative sources of information including fables and fancies.
Another theory on how the pyramid of Giza was made is the Internal Ramp Theory by Jean-Pierre Houdin (a French Architect) (Malcom, 2009). According to Malcom (2009), the ramp theory admits that huge blocks of stones were quarried from a distant and somehow hauled all the way to the constructed site and then hoisted for construction purposes. This theory, therefore, set to explain the technologies used the expertise employed by King Khufu in the Fourth Dynasty (Malkowski, 2010). In the efforts of explaining the construction, the theory expounded on the conflicting theories of the shape and form of the ramp used in hoisting the blocks up the pyramid, namely; the spirals and the straights.
Arguing that the required length for a straight ramp was not practically possible due the inclination or the distance to the top of the pyramid, the theory asserts that a spiral ramp has employed that wind it’s way up of the pyramid. The theory claims that due to accuracy concerns, the ramp for the first forty-six meters was built from the outside of the pyramid as evidenced by the small notch opening on the pyramid’s outer façade opening, approximately ninety meters above the ground. For the rest of the height of the pyramid, the ramp was built from the inner side of the pyramid to avoid disruptions to the edges, so as to maintain the required accuracy. This was after the lesson learned in the failure of the preceding pyramid of Pharaoh Sneferu., which took years to rectify and yet it remained bent (Malcom, 2009).
Just as is common with the other theories, the theory by Davidovits is objectionable. First, he failed to explain the fact of the evidenced quarry sites. Secondly, the use of wooden molds is objectionable, since the blocks have evidence of discrepancies in the size and shape safe the fact that there has never been evidence of any archeological wooden piece. Finally, the theory does not explain the use of the discovered tools in the Third and Fourth Dynasties as well as the decrease in the quality of the pyramid after the Fourth Dynasty (Malkowski, 2010). But the Internal Ramp Theory is able to explain such criticisms hence it is more acceptable than Davidovits theory.
Moreover, this theory does not rely on speculative sources of information such as fables and fancies like the Herodotus’ theory. At the same time, the Internal Ramp Theory admits the fact of stones being quarried from the largely evidenced quarries. This congruency with the observed facts and hypothesis makes this theory more acceptable.
Although the theory of the Internal Ramp is seen as being resent and supported by resent archeological discoveries, debates on how Giza Pyramid has not ended and more theories continue to be developed (Malkowski, 2010). It is clear that the mysteries surrounding the purposes of the pyramids and their builders are decisive factors because they form the basis of an argument for or against the theories.
Malcom, J. (2009, April 09). Building the Great Pyramid of Giza: Jean-Pierre Houdin’s Internal Ramp Theory. Heritage Key. Retrieved October 25, 2011, from http://heritage- key.com/egypt/building-great-pyramid-giza-jean-pierre-houdin%E2%80%99s-internal- ramp-theory
Romer, J. (2007). The Great Pyramid: ancient Egypt revisited. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Malkowski, E. F. (2010). Ancient Egypt 39,000 Bce: The History, Technology, and Philosophy of Civilization X. Rochester: Inner Traditions / Bear & Co.