Title: Ancient Egyptian Pyramids--Concrete or Rock
Author(s): Donald H. Campbell and RobertT L. Folk
Publication: Concrete International
Appears on pages(s): 28, 30-39
Keywords: archaeology; geology; granite; limestone; microscopy; petrography; pyramids; General
Reports evidence the authors feel invalidates the theory of a cast-in-place origin for the building stones of the Egyptian pyramids. Observable geologic evidence in the pyramid stones includes ripple lamination, repeated layering in many tiers of blocks, calcite-filled tectonic fractures restricted to individual blocks, numerous sharp cross sections of clams, fragile calcite worm tubes, and burrows formed by sea-bottom dwelling organisms. Pores in the blocks are highly irregular, not oval as theorized. Nearby quarry rocks match lithologically most of those in the pyramids and temples. Quarrymen's tool marks are obvious in the Giza pyramid blocks and Khufu boat-pit stones, the marks appearing very similar to those found in ancient and modern quarries. Gypsum-based mortar occurs between many of the pyramid blocks. The stratification is vertical in some blocks. A zeolitic cementitious material, called "geopolymer" by Davidovits, was neither observed by light microscopy nor detected by XRD, DTA, SEM, EDXA, or chemical analysis in the sample examined. Neither was an aggregate-cement fabric observed. Seepage of "geopolymeric concrete" into the open joints between almost all underlying pyramid blocks is obviously nonexistent. Shapes and sizes of pyramid and temple blocks seem too diverse to have been cast in molds. Xenoliths and dikes were found in the granitic Khafre Valley Temple stones.