How Did Egyptian Pyramid Builders Haul those Huge Stones?
Physicists at the University of Amsterdam investigated the forces needed to pull heavy objects on a giant sled over desert sand, and discovered that dampening the sand in front of the sled reduces friction so movement is easier. The findings help answer one of the most enduring historical mysteries: how the Egyptians were able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of constructing the famous pyramids. A wall painting discovered in the ancient tomb of Djehutihotep, which dates back to about 1900 B.C., offers clues. It shows 172 men hauling an immense statue using ropes attached to a sledge. In the drawing, a person standing on the front of the sledge is pouring water over the sand, said study lead author Daniel Bonn, a physics professor at the University of Amsterdam. [Photos: Amazing Discoveries at Egypt's Giza Pyramids] Read the livescience.com story by Denise Chow in the Christian Science Monitor