Pyramid builders could have used rolling blocks | Science News

Real Science. Real News.

Science News is a nonprofit.

Support us by subscribing now.


Pyramid builders could have used rolling blocks

New solution proposed to problem of transporting massive stone bricks

1:30pm, September 9, 2014
Egyptian pyramids

LONG HAUL  The heavy stone blocks ancient Egyptians used to build the pyramids thousands of years ago could have been rolled along the ground like makeshift wheels.

Egypt’s pyramid construction plans could have included a little rock ‘n’ roll.

Ancient Egyptians might have rolled giant bricklike stones to pyramid building sites by strapping wooden rods to each rock, researchers suggest in a paper posted August 14 at

The method offers a new take on a herculean task that has long puzzled people. The rolling hypothesis could even dodge potential complications with the leading theory: that Egyptians slid blocks along slippery paths.

Physicist Daniel Bonn of the University of Amsterdam, who has studied the mechanics of the sliding technique, thinks the rolling method could probably work. “Technically, I think what they’re proposing is possible. But technically, a lot of things are possible.”

Over 4,000 years ago, ancient Egyptians hefted over 2 million limestone blocks into place to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Each massive stone

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now.
Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content