Friday, May 2, 2014

Sand and sledge

It was a long time coming, considering it was depicted in the 4000-year-old tomb painting above, but scientists have finally confirmed how the ancient Egyptians moved the large blocks of stone from the quarry to the site of the construction of the pyramids. In the lab, researchers at the University of Amsterdam determined that watering the sand in front of the sledge prevents a mound of sand from building up, reduces friction, doubles the sand's stiffness, and cuts the force required to drag the sled in half. Which begs the question, how did they stack the blocks up once they got them there?

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