Egyptian Pyramids 'impossible to build as history claims', engineer

23rd Dec 2013

Millions of holidaymakers on group tours to Egypt have looked up in awe at the huge pyramids and thought: "How did they do that?"

For centuries it has been believed the ancient Egyptians constructed these iconic structures by hauling hefty granite blocks up specially crafted ramps.

Now a Newport engineer has offered a simple explanation: they didn't.

Peter James has branded academics' established building method "impossible".

He has, instead, forwarded an alternative theory: that pyramid-makers built an inner core of zigzagging ramps.

They used smaller, lighter blocks, while the bigger outer casing stones were placed on the outside using scaffolding.

This means the pyramid was built up incrementally and the summit would have been constructed using exterior scaffolding.

The pyramids are one of several cultural sites that entice holidaymakers to Egypt in their multitudes each year. Many artefacts from the tomb of Tutankhamun are housed in the Egyptian Museum, a "must-see" destination for holidaymakers on city breaks to Cairo.

Mr James and his specialist construction firm Cintec have been restoring these pyramids for 18 years.

He told the MailOnline: "Looking at the pyramids from a builder's point of view, and not an archaeologist's, it's clear that the current theories are nonsense."

Mr James said that once the rest of the pyramid was built, the highest blocks would have had to have been placed from the outside, but would affix together like "Lego".

He devised his alternative theory when asked to look again at the Step pyramid after its burial chamber had collapsed.

It has traditionally been thought the Egyptians built this as a stairway to the heavens and gods.

But Mr James said: "On timber and lashing scaffolding, the Egyptians would not have wanted to go higher than 10 metres (32ft 9in) at a time, so they built 10 metres, took a step inwards and built another 10 metres. It's not symbolic, it's practical."

Mr James added: "There's a builder's story to be told here. Not an academic one."

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