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Old 12-20-2008, 06:40 AM   #2
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Default Re: Pyramid Building Solved?

Modern Techniques for Synthesizing Limestone

Then at last, someone came to the fore with a radical new theory in the now familiar form of Prof. Joseph Davidovits of the Geopolymer Institute, who also proposed the plant extract theory in the Mayan process and again, all credit must be given to the man. Ten Points! Prof Davidovits wrote a fascinating report in 1998 in which he proposed the idea that the pyramids were indeed constructed using aggregated limestone rather than by manipulating quarried blocks. His theory was then finally published in 1999 in a book entitled: "The Pyramids: an enigma solved”.

In the book he put forth the very sound, though academically radical theory that outcrops of relatively soft limestone could simply have been quarried and easily disaggregated with water and then the muddy limestone sludge (including the fossil-shells) mixed with lime and some kind of tecto-alumino-silicate forming material such as kaolin clay, silt, or the Egyptian salt ‘Natron’ which is a basic sodium carbonate. The limestone mud could then easily have been carried up by the bucketful and then poured, packed or rammed into formwork molds made of wood, stone, clay or brick that had been erected on the pyramid sides. The re-agglomerated limestone, thus bonded by basic geochemical reaction into a substance known as geopolymer cement, would then have hardened into resistant Limestone blocks as it dried actually solidifying into a substance a great deal harder and stronger than the original starting material.

Critics of this theory argue that Davidovits has never proved that Giza limestone really is geopolymer (and of course this is impossible to do because neither he nor anyone else is ever permitted to remove any material for testing) and they firmly state that the fact that the limestone blocks at Giza contain intact fossil remains substantially proves that they can not be manufactured stone or geopolymers but are in fact hewn blocks of natural limestone.

Interestingly, no-one specifies exactly why they think that intact fossil shells in the pyramid blocks prove that they are not manufactured blocks as even the most fundamental knowledge of Davidovits cast-stone theory clearly suggests that it was the Giza quarries themselves (where else?) that provided the limestone rubble for the aggregates of the pyramid blocks. Such intact fossils actually exist in abundance in the limestone of the Giza quarries.

Since that time, scientists at the Geopolymer Institute have successfully managed to manufacture and cast re-agglomerated limestone. Because it is (of course) prohibited to remove any material from the site of the actual pyramid for testing, for the purpose of the test the scientists selected a soft material containing a high percentage of fossilized shells from a quarry in France to ensure the geological material used in the experiment was very similar to that which is found in the quarries of the Giza plateau in Egypt. The purpose of the test was to demonstrate that this type of soft limestone material is indeed perfect for re-agglomeration.

The scientists then disaggregated the material with water, they then mixed the muddy limestone and its fossil shells with kaolin clay and a basic geopolymeric binder. The limestone mud was then packed into a pyramid shaped mould. The re-agglomerated limestone they created, bonded by geochemical reaction, then hardened into a resistant geopolymer limestone block (fig.85,86) that turned out to be a great deal harder than the original starting material exactly as they had predicted it would.

It was very notable that the whole process had the effect of strengthening the softer stone thereby making it more resistant to such things as weather, pollution, acid rain, temperature
variations and all those things that will generally just mess up your megalithic monument. Because the Institute was not authorized to sample original materials from the Giza plateau quarries (naturally), they were not able to use the exact formula described in the ancient Egyptian text. The French limestone that was used in the test is very similar but unlike the Giza limestone, had no reactive clay in it and the team was forced to add some. Nevertheless, the final result was extremely close to the constituency of that which is found in Egypt both chemically and geologically.

According to Davidovits, with the Egyptian formula, the result is also slightly different because it requires bigger blocks for a better cohesion and is not particularly suitable for smaller items. However even with the slight change of formula due to differences in the materials, these ground-breaking tests have clearly demonstrated that the process is quite possible and the only real key to the complete success of the procedure is in using the appropriate raw materials to begin with.

During a Television special filmed in 1991 called ‘This Old Pyramid’, Prof. Davidovits had the opportunity to demonstrate his cutting-edge theory and in the process, to also demonstrate a unique property of the Giza limestone that further supports the idea. In the presentation a chunk of limestone taken from the nearby Giza quarry was very easily disaggregated in water within 24 hours, leaving the clay and the other constituents gently separated from each other.

This demonstration showed that the existing fossils in the limestone would naturally remain intact as it would not have even been necessary to crush the stone during the manufacturing process as unlike other limestone, material from the Giza quarry simply breaks down in water all on its own.

As I mentioned before all credit must be given to Prof. Joseph Davidovits of the Geopolymer Institute for his groundbreaking study into this process and I highly recommend reading his work on the subject.

This certainly may go a good deal in helping explain how these ancient masses of stone may have been constructed but again we are still left with the question: By whom were they made and for what purpose?

Geopolymer Institute
Category: Archeology

Geopolymer Science Applied to Archeology
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