Ancient Secrets of Super-Cement

Joseph Davidovits (born 1935) is a French materials scientist who has posited that the blocks of the Great Pyramid are not carved stone, but mostly a form of limestone concrete. He holds the Ordre National du Mérite, is the author and co-author of more than 130 scientific papers and conferences reports, and holds more than fifty patents.

Davidovits was not convinced that the ancient Egyptians possessed the tools or technology to carve and haul the huge (2.5 to 15 ton) limestone blocks that made up the Great Pyramid. Davidovits suggested that the blocks were molded in place by using a form of limestone concrete. According to his theory, a soft limestone with a high kaolinite content was quarried in the wadi on the south of the Giza plateau. It was then dissolved in large, Nile-fed pools until it became a watery slurry. Lime (found in the ash of ancient cooking fires) and natron (also used by the Egyptians in mummification) was mixed in. The pools were then left to evaporate, leaving behind a moist, clay-like mixture. This wet “concrete” would be carried to the construction site where it would be packed into reusable wooden molds. In the next few days the mixture would undergo a chemical hydration reaction similar to the setting of cement.

This would account for the unerring precision of the joints of the casing stones (the blocks of the core show tools marks and were cut with much lower tolerances). Proof-of-concept experiments using similar compounds were carried out at Davidovit’s geopolymer institute in northern France. It was found that a crew of ten, working with simple hand tools, could build a structure of fourteen, 1.3 to 4.5 ton blocks in a couple of days. According to Davidovits the architects possessed at least two concrete formulas: one for the large structural blocks and another for the white casing stones. He argues earlier pyramids, brick structures, and stone vases were built using similar techniques.

Joseph Davidovits sweeps aside the conventional image which cripples Egyptology and delivers a captivating and surprising view of Egyptian civilisation. He charts the rise of this technology, its apogee with the Pyramids at Giza, and the decline.

What I would like to know, is how could they know this technology almost 5,000 years ago? Was it the remnant of an even older (Global) knowledge which was used to build The Trilithon at Baalbeck (12,500BC) as well as other structures and cities in Egypt, Mesopotamia, South America? How did this knowledge come to be lost? If it was something the ancients knew, why, in this modern scientific age has it taken us so long to figure it out? 

1 Comment

  1. koskesh 7 years ago

    …I think there is a more human element to Davidovits skepticism, which is that the French inherently question anything that was successfully built by Arabs…let alone when its considered an architectural masterpiece.

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