Measured Against Reality

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Egyptian Concrete

A piece of news claiming that the Egyptians used a form of concrete to make some of the stones in the Pyramids has been floating around the internet lately. The researchers are saying that the chemistry of some blocks is totally unique, not like natural limestone, but it fits with concrete.

I’m rather doubtful about this. Granted, the Egyptians didn’t leave much of a record about how they built anything, but concrete is supremely useful. If they knew how to make it, and did use it to make blocks, why didn’t they use it for buildings, bridges, and temples? It also seems strange for something like that to be lost. Builders who knew how to use it would almost surely have passed the knowledge down, even between the stable Kingdoms.

Either the claims that Egyptians used concrete are wrong, or they really didn’t know what they had. Or everything else they built out of concrete was lost to history, which is improbable. Until there’s some more confirmation, I’m going to be doubtful about this claim.

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