EGYPT’S Great Pyramid of Giza was built using very different methods to those outlined in long-held theories, an expert has told Express.co.uk after viewing the results of a new scan.
Most archaeologists believe the 4,500-year-old ancient monument was constructed for the Pharaoh Khufu over two decades. Among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it is the only one still largely intact and is estimated to weigh approximately six million tonnes, from the 2.3 million blocks of limestone used. There have been varying theories about the Great Pyramid’s construction techniques, but the most accepted hypotheses are based on moving each of these stone blocks from a nearby quarry and lifting them into place.
But, Peter James says that is “nonsense”.
The structural engineer has spent the last 14 years working on preserving the historic buildings and temples of Egypt with his company Cintec, most recently the Step Pyramid which reopened this year. He told Express.co.uk: “If you build a house, what happens is you go to the site and put the foundations in, then they determine the shape of the house.
“They start in the four corners, they go up, then they fill in between.
“The whole building goes up in mass and it’s level. That’s exactly what they did with the Great Pyramid.
“Everyone gets pi involved, the stars and the outer angles, but it’s so simple that it’s laughable.”
Mr James, who is the author of ‘Saving the Pyramids: Twenty First Century Engineering and Egypt’s Ancient Monuments,’ explained why he believed the Egyptians were not much different from builders today.
He added: “The Great Pyramid is 230 metres long and approximately 150 metres high.
“As long as a block goes in and is the same height up, you can start on all four corners and go all the way up at the same 45 degrees.
“It’s exactly what masons do today, they make sure it’s square. As the pyramid went up the top got smaller.”
“The Egyptians believe there are 2.6 million blocks in the Great Pyramid.
“That means that if you took these from the quarry, one at a time, you would need one every six minutes to do it in 25 years. That’s absolute nonsense.”
The former Royal Navy lieutenant-commander outlined his own theory for Express.co.uk.
He said: “No builder would ever put squared blocks inside.
“If you just build the outside foundation you can fill it with much smaller blocks quicker.
“I suspect what happened is they started on the corners, went up, had ramps put inside and got to the burial chamber about 50 metres up.
“As they went up, they would have got to a point where they put support beams in which would have created gaps.
“They would have left these empty or filled them with a material that is a different density to the outside.”
Even more incredibly, the Newport-based Egyptologist says he has seen evidence of this through a new project he has recently undertaken at the Bent Pyramid.
He said: “What is more significant is when we started work on the Bent Pyramid, the Ministry of Antiquities wanted to scan it with ground-penetrating radar to make sure there were no voids inside that we might be breaching.
“If you look at them, they show the blocks up to about four metres are fairly large, after that they break up into small sections.
“This ground-penetrating radar proves they made the outer casing quite big, but inside they reverted to smaller blocks.
“It makes complete sense, nobody in those days would want to carry that many heavy stones.
“Of course they could do it in much quicker time and they would not need as many people.”
Mr James has spent his career strengthening and restoring historically significant structures all around the world, from Windsor Castle to the White House.
In ‘Saving the Pyramids,’ he puts forward a unique perspective to the structural engineering of ancient Egypt, giving his opinion on common theories surrounding the pyramids – along with new and innovative projections on their construction.
The book, which is published by University of Wales Press, is available for purchase in bookstores throughout the UK, as well as online here.