18. PYRAMID CONSTRUCTION
Before getting into the difficulties of nuclear technology there are still the more mundane puzzles of mechanical construction. How did they actually build the pyramids?
How did ancient Egyptians quarry, transport, lift and precisely place all those enormous stone blocks into a pyramid towering up to 147 meters? Regrettably, there is no new information but there is a new light on some old and forgotten facts.
It is difficult to appreciate the scale, both temporal and physical.
The time-sequence evolution of pyramid structure has been clearly illustrated by Harvard Prof. Lehner, showing a coherent developmental sequence of design from simple mastabas, to step pyramids, to true smooth-sided pyramids, to finally a standard pattern.  It’s all very logical and admirable – but the staggering aspect is that the main sequence encompassed about 500 years. The progressive evolution of design – toward an optimised outcome – implies a unified purpose, plan and implementation management over a very long period. This was obviously not a democracy. Today our attention span is reduced to a sound-bite. We can scarcely credit the intellectual capacity or organisational resolve to make a plan extending over hundreds of years, let alone the management capacity and rigour to carry it out.
The timescale of the totality of the ‘pyramid age’ was staggering. It did not just happen in a haphazard fashion, at the whim of individual pharaohs – it developed over hundreds of years in some sort of planned and managed system, toward a singular purpose. To make a mist go up.
The physical scale is also incredible – as in difficult to believe.
The ‘big five’ pyramids of the 4th dynasty, including the Great Pyramid, were built in about 110 years. The extant pyramid bodies alone comprise about 8.6 million cubic meters of stone; adding the [now missing] pavements, causeways and outer walls takes the total to at least 10 m cubic meters; equivalent to at least 25 million tonnes. That’s 250,000 tonnes per year, for 100 years. That’s around 800 tonnes of quarried stone blocks per day assuming an arduous 300 working days pa. Obviously more if there was time off in the harvest season.
To visualise that – it’s equivalent to at least 20 semi-trailers per day, or 2 per hour in a 10 hour day. Of course, they didn’t use semi-trailers – they used boats. So they must have had a lot of boats, a lot of labourers, and a very good logistic control system. Wonderful bureaucracy. It’s just very difficult to believe all that could be accomplished by noble peasants in loin cloths – no matter how hard they were whipped by the brutish overseers of the TV documentaries.
But those ‘scale’ calculations are only true if the stone pyramids were solid – composed of solid stone blocks right through – which is not necessarily the case. Modern investigation has suggested that if the Great Pyramid is solid then there should be a pile of quarry waste (from chippings when the stones were squared) up to 2-3 times the volume of the pyramid. But there isn’t. On the other hand, it is known that the very small pyramids adjacent to the Great Pyramid are not solid – they have an outer skin of solid blocks and an inner ‘fill’ of rubble. If that is also the case for the Great Pyramid itself it would make the scale calculations and practical engineering much more feasible – and believable. But to find out would entail partially dismantling the pyramid which is not going to happen.
Anyway, it’s not just the sheer total volume of stone that is a difficulty – but the size of individual blocks and the precision of quarrying and construction.
While it is true that the cores of the pyramids may be composed of fairly rough, moderate size limestone blocks – which is soft stone ‘easy’ to quarry – it is also true that there are many examples of massive individual blocks, of very hard granite and extremely hard basalt. The foundations of the so-called ‘portal temples’ included blocks of granite or basalt that are estimated at 1-200 tonnes each – placed in exact alignment – defying credulity for a ‘man-handling’ scenario. The ceiling structure of the upper chamber of the Great Pyramid – about 75 m above ground level – is composed of five layers of nine granite beams, each estimated at 50-80 tonnes. That’s 3-4000 tonnes in the ceiling alone, all precisely engineered. Again defying belief in the muscular capacity of peasants, no matter how hard they were encouraged by the lash.
The precision of the engineering is astounding and incompatible with the orthodox scenario of manual labourers armed with wooden mallets and copper chisels. Yes, they could have roughly hewn soft limestone blocks for the internal ‘filling’. But there are many examples of precisely cut blocks of more resilient granite, and even of intractable basalt which may not be cut at all with mere metal tools. The external casing blocks of the Great Pyramid, estimated to weigh about 15-16 tonnes each, are shaped to an exact slope of 52 degrees and placed so precisely that the joints will not admit a razor blade – according to Petrie. The succession of blocks along each side are placed so accurately that the overall deviation in the lengths of the sides is only 0.02%. 
The accuracy inside the pyramid was even more remarkable. From the original entrance, a ‘descending passage’ inclines downward at 26 degrees, leading to a 90-degree junction into an ‘ascending passage’ and ultimately to a ‘well’ in the bedrock. The alignment of the upper section (measured by Petrie) has a maximum deviation in the sides of only 1/50th of an inch over a length of 150 feet – only 0.001 %. That absolute accuracy is amazing, but what is really staggering is that it is achieved at an angle of 26 degrees running down through multiple layers of block masonry. It implies each block of several tonnes was pre-measured and cut at an angle, delivered to exactly the right spot, and laid faultlessly in 3-dimensional alignment. Or it was later internally machined into alignment! In parts of the ‘ascending passage’, the walls were formed by ‘ring stones’ where the entire passage dimension was pre-cut in perfect 3-D alignment from one monolith and laid in perfect alignment. How was it possible to do that, and why? Why was such technical precision and strength required? It is as if the passages were engineered – as if they were parts of a mechanism.
As long ago as the late 1880s Petrie also provided hard physical evidence of ‘machine technology’ from the Great Pyramid. He drew and published examples of drill cores and toothed-saw cuts in hard stone – and even sent samples back to London – but that was inconvenient to the orthodox Christian view of history. Early British explorers were funded by the Society of Biblical Archaeology and the British Museum was established with a charter for ‘the manifestation of the glory of God and confutation of atheism’. So Petrie’s samples of machine drill cores and diamond-saw cuts were inadmissible and are not displayed in the Petrie Museum.
The dark granite sarcophagus of the Great Pyramid showed regular saw grooves, the arc of which implied a saw length of 8-9 feet (2.5 m); and the interior was hollowed out by the use of tube drills, from which traces of grooved cores were still visible. The drill cores showed a uniform spiral groove pattern implying the drill was driven by a consistent substantial force – it was mechanical, not manual. Vyse in 1837 also reported the coffer in the 3rd Giza pyramid showed remarkably clear saw marks – in basalt – as did the basalt pavement outside the Great Pyramid. Petrie illustrated several other examples of basalt and diorite from the Giza plateau which showed regular grooves of fixed-point tube drills, and both linear and circular saws. He wrote of a drill core in red granite where ‘every crystal [of] quartz or felspar has been cut through in the most equable way, with a clean irresistible cut’. A diorite bowl exhibited two sets of eccentric grooves indicating it had been re-centred on a lathe.
The ancient Egyptians of the period may very well have used an army of unskilled peasant labourers to do grunt work – though it remains extremely challenging to envisage how they manhandled 100-200 tonne blocks of stone. But the bottom-line on all this is that someone in the Old Kingdom pyramid building age also possessed anomalous technology. Out of place and out of time. It’s not even a debatable issue – there is physical evidence.
That was acknowledged long ago before political correctness set in. Flinders-Petrie refused to believe primitive hunter-gathers had any role in the construction of the pyramids, but he pointed to an immigrant ‘New Race’ of much taller long-headed people with origins to the East – the Sumerians. Even up to the early 1940s conservative establishment Oxford Egyptologist Dr J.W.S.Sewell was moved to write that the observed science [of Egypt] was not a ‘dawn’ but a remnant of some prior unknown civilization. 
Someone – the monogene lords of Sumeria – possessed anomalous mechanical technology … and also the technology to manifest heat using a nuclear device. How they did that remains to be revealed by the Pyramid Texts.