Unfortunately the problems of pyramid building and the examinination of the technical and physical problems connected with this is mostly ignored in Egyptologic literature. The most common answer is of the sort "Well, they are there so they must have built them somehow". So it is no wonder that ideas about helping aliens or moulded stones are flourishing. In the last years I examined different angles of the problems, partly with experiments, partly by examining the underlying physics.

Problem analysis

Many problems are very complex. If you only take a look at the whole thing it often seems to be impossible to find a solution.
The first thing you learn when studying physics is therefore trying to break down the big problem in smaller, individual solveable parts. At the same time you have to decide how important the individual parts are for the whole problem. Often it is possible to explain the the whole problem even when you have only solved 80, 60, even less than 50% of the isolated parts. With the question of pyramid building you can for example ignore all questions about who when and why someone planned the whole thing, or questions about architecture and religion.

Problem groups in pyramid building

The whole problem of pyramid building can be broken down into 3 main parts, each of which can be seperated into smaller parts. The 3 main groups are:

The next few pages are only dealing with transport problems. Quarry work will later be discussed in a special section on this site.

Transport problems

We can sort the individual transport problems top down from primary problems (no solution found -> the rest of the problem is not solveable) to less important ones:

  1. Is the transport of 6 Mio. tons - that is the whole mass of Khufu's pyramid - possible with muscle power?
  2. Is the transport of a typical building block up an inclined ramp possible with a moderate number of workers?
  3. Is the transport of the needed 2.3 Mio. blocks up a ramp possible in the time frame of 20-30 years?
  4. Is it possible to build and maintain a ramp?

  5. Is it possible to supply the needed work force with food and water?

Most of these problems will be discussed on the next pages.

All pictures and texts © Frank Dörnenburg