Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ancient Egypt's pyramids: Norwegian researcher unlocks construction secrets

Date:
September 24, 2010
Source:
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU)
Summary:
Scientists from around the world have tried to understand how the Egyptians erected their giant pyramids. Now, an architect and researcher from Norway says he has the answer to this ancient, unsolved puzzle.

The precision system of Khufu's Great Pyramid.
Credit: Ole J. Bryn / NTNU

Scientists from around the world have tried to understand how the Egyptians erected their giant pyramids. Now, an architect and researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) says he has the answer to this ancient, unsolved puzzle.

Related Articles


Researchers have been so preoccupied by the weight of the stones that they tend to overlook two major problems: How did the Egyptians know exactly where to put the enormously heavy building blocks? And how was the master architect able to communicate detailed, highly precise plans to a workforce of 10,000 illiterate men?

A 7-million-ton structure

These were among the questions that confronted Ole J. Bryn, an architect and associate professor in NTNU's Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art when he began examining Khufu's Great Pyramid in Giza. Khufu's pyramid, better known as the Pyramid of Cheops, consists of 2.3 million limestone blocks weighing roughly 7 million tons. At 146.6 meters high, it held the record as the tallest structure ever built for nearly 4000 years.

What Bryn discovered was quite simple. He believes that the Egyptians invented the modern building grid, by separating the structure's measuring system from the physical building itself, thus introducing tolerance, as it is called in today's engineering and architectural professions.

The apex point a key

Bryn has studied the plans from the thirty oldest Egyptian pyramids, and discovered a precision system that made it possible for the Egyptians to reach the pyramid's last and highest point, the apex point, with an impressive degree of accuracy. By exploring and making a plan of the pyramid it is possible to prepare modern project documentation of not just one, but all pyramids from any given period.

As long as the architect knows the main dimensions of a pyramid, he can project the building as he would have done it with a modern building, but with building methods and measurements known from the ancient Egypt, Bryn says.

In a scientific article published May 2010 in the Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, Bryn discusses aspects that can explain the construction of a multitude of the Egyptian pyramids by taking the building grid, and not the physical building itself, as the starting point for the analysis.

A new map

If the principles behind Bryn's drawings are correct, then archaeologists will have a new "map" that demonstrates that the pyramids are not a "bunch of heavy rocks with unknown structures" but, rather, incredibly precise structures.

Ole J. Bryn's findings will be presented and explained at the exhibition The Apex Point in Trondheim from September 13th to October 1st. The exhibition is an official part of the program to celebrate the centenary (1910-2010) of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

About the author:

Ole J. Bryn is a former practising architect, and currently holds a position as Associate Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Fine Art, the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, Norway.

The development of Bryn's theories on the building grids used in Egyptian pyramids has benefited from cooperation with Dr. Michel Barsoum, Grosvenor and Distinguished Professor at the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Drexel University, Philadelphia.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ole J. Bryn. Retracing Khufu's Great Pyramid. Nordic Journal of Architectural Research, 2010; 22 (1/2)

Cite This Page:

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Ancient Egypt's pyramids: Norwegian researcher unlocks construction secrets." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 September 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100924084615.htm>.
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). (2010, September 24). Ancient Egypt's pyramids: Norwegian researcher unlocks construction secrets. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100924084615.htm
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). "Ancient Egypt's pyramids: Norwegian researcher unlocks construction secrets." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100924084615.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Fossils & Ruins News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Gerbils, Not Rats, Might Be To Blame For The Black Death

Newsy (Feb. 24, 2015) The "black death" that killed tens of millions of people has been blamed on rats for years, but now researchers say they may have gotten a bad rap. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

Timbuktu Manuscripts Face an Uncertain Future

AFP (Feb. 23, 2015) Two years ago a large number of manuscripts were taken from Timbuktu for safe keeping. Now the question is whether to return them. Duration: 02:50 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

How Did A Mummy End Up In A 1,000-Year-Old Buddha Statue?

Newsy (Feb. 23, 2015) A CT scan has revealed a mummified Chinese monk inside a Buddha statue. The remains date back about 1,000 years. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Rare First Folio Arrives at Shakespeare's Globe Theatre

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Feb. 23, 2015) A rare First Folio discovered in a French library arrives at the Shakespeare&apos;s Globe Theatre in London, where the Bard&apos;s plays were first performed. Elly Park reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins