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Pyramids Theory Points to Wet Sand
May 1, 2014

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Wet sand was the key to helping the ancient Egyptians build the Pyramids, new research suggests.

A study out of the University of Amsterdam has put forth the hypothesis, based on modern evidence, that the Egyptians transported a large number of giant stones on wooden sleds, helping pave the way by wetting the sand.

The trick, the researchers said, was just how much water to use to make the sand pliant but not prohibitive. The modern study employed a a lab version of a sled and a rheometer, a device used for determining the force needed to change an amount of sand. The results showed that too much water made the sand even harder to maneuver through (more friction) but that just the right amount made the journey easier (less friction) and required fewer people to do the job.

The researchers, in conjunction with the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter and led by the university's Professor Daniel Bonn, also cited as evidence a wall painting discovered in the tomb of Djehutihotep, one of Egypt's most powerful figures during the Middle Kingdom reigns of three pharaohs, Amenemhat II, Senusret II, and Senusret III. The painting (below) shows a large statue atop a wooden sled, with a person in front pouring water on the sand.

The research was published in Physical Review Letters, a journal.

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