Egyptians moved pyramid stones over wet sand
|Average core blocks of the Great Pyramid weigh about 1.5 tons each, and the granite|
blocks used to roof the burial chambers are estimated to weigh up to
80 tons each [Credit: Mgiganteus1/WikiCommons]
The physicists placed a laboratory version of the Egyptian sledge in a tray of sand. They determined both the required pulling force and the stiffness of the sand as a function of the quantity of water in the sand. To determine the stiffness they used a rheometer, which shows how much force is needed to deform a certain volume of sand.
|A large pile of sand accumulates in front of the sledge when this is pulled |
over dry sand (left). On the wet sand (right) this does not happen
[Credit: Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)]
The Egyptians were probably aware of this handy trick. A wall painting in the tomb of Djehutihotep clearly shows a person standing on the front of the pulled sledge and pouring water over the sand just in front of it.
|Wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep showing a large statue is being|
transported by sledge. A person standing on the front of the sledge wets the sand
[Credit:: Al-Ahram Weekly/Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM)]
Author: Ans Hekkenberg | Source: Fundamental Research on Matter (FOM) [April 30, 2014]