To make sure you never miss out on your favourite NEW stories, we're happy to send you some reminders

Click 'OK' then 'Allow' to enable notifications

Physicists think they've finally figured out how Egyptians built the pyramids
Featured Image Credit: Marco Di Lauro / Stringer/Kitti Boonnitrod

Physicists think they've finally figured out how Egyptians built the pyramids

After all, it's not like they had forklift trucks back in those days

A team of scientists have revealed how they believe the Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

With no forklift trucks or tower cranes to help them on their way - and the Great Pyramid of Giza measuring a whopping 481 feet when first built - it's always been a bit of a mystery how the Ancient Egyptians managed to build their pyramids.

However, a team of physicists at the University of Amsterdam think they may've cracked it.

Led by Dr Daniel Bonn, the team of scientists focused on a wall painting in the tomb of Djehutihotep - the 'Great Chief of the Hare Nome' - which showed a certain building technique.

The painting - which dates all the way back to around 1900 B.C. - depicts 172 men moving a statue with ropes attached to a sledge. And in front of the sledge, water can be seen being poured over the sand.

So, the physicists decided to give the process a try for themselves, although not by jetting off to Egypt to build another pyramid themselves but on smaller scale of course.

How do you think the pyramids were built?
Getty Images/ Rasit Aydogan/ Anadolu

The team discovered if sand is dry it can end up developing clumps that makes moving objects more difficult, but if you add just the right amount of water, the liquid prevents clumps and makes the sand smoother.

Bonn told Live Science at the time: "If you use dry sand, it won't work as well, but if the sand is too wet, it won't work either. There's an optimum stiffness."

Prior to this discovery, it was thought the pouring of the water in the painting was a purely ceremonial act, rather than a key part of the construction process.

The findings seemingly put to bed endless speculation about how the pyramids were made - at one point, some even speculated that it was the work of aliens.

They certainly didn't have tower cranes back in those days.
Getty Images/ Rasit Aydogan/ Anadolu

According to the research, 'sliding friction on sand is greatly reduced by the addition of some - but not that much - water'.

This was so remarkably simple that even the physicists admitted that the discovery, which was published in Physical Review Letters, took them by surprise.

"I was very surprised by the amount the pulling force could be reduced - by as much as 50 percent - meaning that the Egyptians needed only half the men to pull over wet sand as compared to dry,” Dr Bonn told The Washington Post in another interview.

The university resolved: "In the presence of the correct quantity of water, wet desert sand is about twice as stiff as dry sand.

"A sledge glides far more easily over firm desert sand simply because the sand does not pile up in front of the sledge as it does in the case of dry sand."

Well, there you have it!

Topics: World News, Science, Technology