Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Pyramids: Seashells in the Desert

A recent article in Discovery News reveals that archeologists have just discovered great quantities of intact fossils in the limestone blocks that make up the pyramids at Giza. The fossils are seashells and the remains of extinct organisms, including ancient starfish and sand dollars. This discovery adds fuel to the debate over the origins of the pyramids and deepens the mystery surrounding them.

Recently, the leading theory among Egyptologists has been that the blocks that make up the pyramids were created by casting limestone in vast molds. This theory allows us to accept that the peoples of ancient Kemet, which we call Egypt, could cast the limestone at each layer of the construction, allowing them to make the blocks on the spot and maneuver them into place without the need to first lift the blocks up the wall of the pyramid. However, the presence of intact fossils in the limestone lends credence to an older theory, and suggests that the limestone was actually carved from natural rock (rock that had once been at the bottom of the sea).

This leaves us back at the riddle we started with: if the ancient Egyptians did carve the stones out of natural rock, then how did these people, who had no cranes, lift those massive stones up the walls of the great pyramids? Some of these stones exceeded 200,000 tons in weight. How did they manage this wonder of the ancient world?

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