A new archaeological dig has led to an important discovery about how the Egyptians built the Great Pyramids.
It seems that the Egyptians could have used a system of ramps and pulleys to make work easier for builders of the Pyramids. The picture below indicates a ramp structure that could be used to pull blocks up with ropes. This 4,500-year-old ramp was unearthed in an ancient quarry in the Eastern Desert. Ancient Egyptian architects probably realized that an incline plane can decrease the amount of force required to pull up these blocks. Each block can weigh around 2.3 tons, which is equivalent to 4,600 pounds!
The Great Pyramids are one of the last surviving Wonders of the World today, built during the reign of Khufu, and we still do not know exactly how they were built. This graphic could lead to more discoveries into the building of the Pyramids.
The workers would have used wooden poles which they pulled ropes around to hold the blocks. These poles acted as pulleys showing that the Egyptians understood more than one way to decrease workload.
Dr. Roland Enmarch of the University of Liverpool says:
‘The arrangement allows people to be spaced up and down the ramp, and all the force to be exerted in the same direction’
- Mount the block onto a sled
- Tie ropes around sled and drag ropes around wooden poles
- Have workers above and below the sled pulling on ropes to move the block
The reason it has taken so long to discover these ramps is that they would have been removed immediately after construction. Now that we see the Egyptians did indeed use ramps, we can make more conjectures about exactly how these 481-ft Great Pyramid were built. The workers probably mounted a block onto a sled which was tied with ropes wrapped around the wooden poles. The ramp was probably at a gradient of 20 percent relieving as much work as possible to allow the blocks to slide easily up the ramp into place.