Could the Pyramids really have been built according to the records of Greek historian called Herodotus in the 5th century B.C.? Existing theories have failed to provide a convincing solution or simply ignore this precious historical record. This book presents a case for rediscovered ancient technology and explains how the pyramids were built exactly as Herodotus described; using a levering method and without ramps.
The proposed solution is the "Archimedes Jack", so called because it combines the lever, a simple machine, with a new mechanism using the properties of negative displacement in sand. This incorporates existing technology, the load support prop, but now using sand as an active component for load lifting.
The new jacking machine extends the capability of the lever as a simple machine and the existing load support prop as a simple mechanism. So a combination of low technology devices, well known to the pyramid builders, together with sand available in abundance, represents a significant breakthrough in the levering method and a missing link in load lifting technology. This type of jack works with gravity rather than against it, improving efficiency and worker ergonomics; optimised by limiting each workers effort to no more than bodyweight.
Having a jack capable of lifting stone blocks of several tons, vertically and by over a metre in height, opens up new possibilities in pyramid building techniques thought improbable before. Each jacking machine lifts a stone block vertically which is then transferred horizontally onto an identical machine on the next level; "step by step" with "short timbers" as Herodotus described. Greater loads are simply handled by introducing more jacks, using one worker per jack, so that daily work rates and ergonomic benefits are conserved.
By using a regular stepped ramp on all four sides of the pyramid, adjacent rows of jacks maximise the available delivery routes. This not only enables efficient use of all resources, workforce and materials but also facilitates a building method compliant with the description by Herodotus of finishing the pyramid from the top downwards.
The Archimedes Jack is also proposed as a solution to other mysteries like, how to raise an obelisk; with greater loads and long slender shapes. Here, applying the principle of uniformly distributed lift simply means more jacks spaced along the length of the load. The obelisk may also be rotated from ground level about a hinge point on the pedestal so that the actual load to be overcome is much less than its total weight. Once again, the use of Archimedes Jacks provides a simple and effective solution to a problem which seemed almost impossible before.
Following many years of studies from an engineering perspective, including analysis and modelling, work has culminated in this book titled "Rediscovering Pyramid Technology", which includes, not only a full account of the proposed new pyramid building system with Archimedes Jacks, but also compares this solution with ramps as a leading current theory and therefore used as a suitable benchmark. An unbiased analytical approach from first principles not only confirms the superior mechanical and ergonomic efficiency of the Archimedes Jack system but also exposes new issues with ramp operation.
A pyramid building system that complies with the writings of Herodotus and provides a solution superior to the ramp method is worth considering as a practical solution to this ancient mystery from Egypt.
"Rediscovering Pyramid Technology" (Approx. 50,000 words)