New Insight into Pyramid Construction

A tomb relief and the discovery of special stones during excavations of the site of the Cheops Pyramid have led to new insights into the construction of the Egyptian pyramids.

The relief
The relief is from the tomb of Djehutihotep and shows 172 men dragging along a huge statue of the occupant. The statue rests on a sledge, probably made of wood, which is being pulled by men with ropes. Another man at the foot of the statue is pouring a liquid under the sledge runners, probably for lubrication purposes in order to facilitate the work of the rope-pullers.
The grooved stone
Stone objects displaying grooves and a circular drill hole were found near the site of the Cheops Pyramid in Giza. These features suggest that they were used as tools. The grooves were presumably for ropes which could be used for pulling loads, such as sledges. The rounded grooves would have made it possible to deflect the ropes and the drill-hole would have allowed fixture to a support installation.

Human pulling power

Both the relief and the grooved stones provide an indication of how the pyramids might have been built. The time-tested method of transporting loads over a level surface with the aid of sledges, ropes and human pulling power simply needed to be refined and applied to the sloping flanks of the pyramid. What could have been more obvious? If the sledges are angled and the ropes deflected by means of grooved stones, then, with the aid of ballast sledges, a lift system is created. Human pulling power is stored in the form of weight in the ballast sledges, and serves to pull the sledges and their stone blocks upwards with the aid of gravity.

The book, with its illustrated drawings and calculations of technical feasibility, describes exactly how all this works in practice. In conclusion, the practical application of the construction method is demonstrated by a functional model.

A TV programme about the pyramids sparked off Hans Weigele's interest.
The building methods it presented were technically unsatisfactory and made him realise that no convincing solution has yet been found.
Look at two short videos to find out more about the book, author and background.
Take a look inside the book.
Reconstruction of the Egyptian pyramids
Choose between the following chapters:
- The one-sided zig-zag ramp.
- The core construction.
- The team in the ballast work cycle.