No spaces between stones indicates they may have been cast in place with geopolymer.

No spaces between stones indicates they may have been cast in place with geopolymer.


This photo shows the near impossible to make perfect fit between stones that indicates they may have been cast in place with geopolymer. One source said iron tools were not available at that time, only copper. Ever tried chiseling and cutting hard stone? I have and I can tell you it’s ridiculously slow even with modern diamond embedded power tools.

Geopolymer is the latest hot topic here at our Earthbag Building blog. There’s a groundswell of interest already building as you can see in the Comments section of the previous blog posts listed below. Obviously people want to learn more about how to build a cast stone house with earthbags that has all the advantages of stone houses without the expense. Bit by bit the pieces are coming together, but unfortunately there is no book available on geopolymer house construction and so it’s going to take a while to do experiments and build a prototype.
How the Pyramids Were Built Excellent video!
Earthbag Building May be Thousands of Years Old
Ancient Stonework

Image credit: Travelpod.com


Comments

No Spaces Between Stones — 16 Comments

  1. Aliens?…hmmm.
    Cutting granite with soft metals? …hmmm.
    Acid use on that large and complex a scale? …hmmm.
    Hauling big rocks with all the complicated labors that would take?…hmmm.
    Flying stones into place using hot air balloons or kites…possible…but doesn’t explain how close the blocks got placed.

    But Geopolymers?
    Heck, I’ve been promoting that idea since the 1950’s
    …it’s scalable, uses materials widely available, and translates to other continents pyramid and monolithic structures–which also have very closely placed “rocks”.
    Ancient cultures had concrete & also hydraulic cement sunk in barges to build piers.

    IMHO, humanity has lost more information on how to build long-lasting sustainable structures over thousands of years, than it’s gained during the last several hundred years…same goes for medicine, and many other subjects.

    SO much information has been lost over time, as shifts in civilizations, education, & population bottle-necks happen
    [consider: what happens to knowledge when huge catastrophes happen–how many of the few possible survivors would know how to make glass, find/choose/prepare or grow food, filter water, & more complicated technologies? How many ages would it take to regain that information, as we went thru cycles of “Dark ages”, etc.?].

    IMHO, ancient civilizations knew how to use various rock dusts to create something like cements/concretes; casting those in bags or forms would make sense. Humans largely strive for ways to do things that take less work/resources.

    Fabrics have not always been terribly labor intensive or difficult—flas fibers & papyrus got pounded into fabrics & paper by criss-crossing soaked fibers, for instance. Nothing says “bags” used for casting had to be made of woven cloth as used in the Middle Ages in Europe.
    OTH, ancient civilizations also DID have huge bandsaws capable of doing huge rock cutting; those have been found, and the cut marks of those saws seen in the huge rocks they cut.

    Yet, all that can’t explain Puma Punku in S. America…neither could casting geopolymers…Puma Punku stones look more like laser-cut units!

    One fundamental flaw in European models of world history is, even now, ancient technologies & advances made in far-flung regions & cultures are often NOT placed in context with European advances/timelines & technologies.
    Ancient advanced technologies are almost entirely ignored still, except for a few brave souls willing to risk their credentials, credibility & tenures.

    I.e.: the oldest COPIES of Ayruvedic texts are about 5000 years old. These books described nuclear battles. They described complicated surgeries & procedures, used low-tech methods to view things going on inside the body; described viewing astronomical movements; had ways to track time in fine measures, etc.
    The Dogon tribe traditionally track stars they cannot see, yet somehow know all about, & had been doing that long before anyone else could give them that information…..
    Hmmmm…so MAYbe there COULD be something to Aliens interjecting knowledge…? ;-]

  2. Geopolymenr is a great idea, and one I will certainly investigate further, however, after doing a bit of digging around on the internet about the pyramids, I am not convinced that they were built with cast stone.

    Here is a page from the website of the archaeologists who sent the first robots into the narrow shafts of the Cheops pyramid

    http://www.cheops.org/startpage/thefindings/thelowersouthshaft/lowersouth.htm

    It shows about half way down that page how the stones were joined with virtually no gap by running a saw between the chiselled stones to take off bumps and then pushing them further together. There are photos of evidence of the practice. Btw. it is a very interesting website to explore.

    On that website there are also lots of details of how stones were shaped to form the shafts. If they could pour the stone, why take the huge bother to make shapes which are very difficult to make when they could have just poured a more monolythic shape in situ in lifts the way any solid concrete structure is made? They could have poured a perimeter wall and gradually decreased the shuttering toward the centre and poured successive strips as previous ones were firm enough to hold the next lot without bulging out from the pressure. Then go on to the next lift. Any shafts and chambers could have been shuttered off from the rest of the pour.

    It doesn’t make sense to make individual “bricks” unless you have to make them where conditions are more suitable and transport them for assembly, and then you wouldn’t make them so big that you can’t move them easily. Cutting large stones would be a plausible compromise to cut down on the amount of surface dressing they would require if they were smaller.

    • I’ve seen this information before. The best info I’ve found has been Dr. Barsoum’s research, which is based on solid science — years of electronic microscope analysis and carbon dating. He thinks about 90% of the stones were cut by hand and the outer casings and top were cast stone.

  3. Fabric was time-consuming and expensive to prepare, spin, and weave- I’d lean a lot more toward the use of a reusable form. I know a lot less about the economy of ancient Egypt than I do Elizabethan England- but clothing in Elizabethan England was a significant investment, and fabric got used and reworked and resold and cut down and remade until the fibers themselves started falling apart, at which point it went to the papermakers.

    I’d guess a wooden form, with the curved edges perhaps being formed by chinking of some sort to keep the form from leaking. I’d imagine the fit/joinery of the form would get looser and looser as it was repeatedly assembled and disassembled.

    • That makes sense. Much easier to find wood. Much easier to reuse. Much easier to create different shapes. They probably chipped away at the stone to hide the form lines.

  4. What strikes me is the rough surface texture of the stones. If they were carved to fit so closely, why leave such a pitted surface? IMO, the pits are the result of outgassing or porosity in the geopolymer mix. Prof. Davidovits in his book relays that in some of the pyramids in Egypt, there is a consistent porosity in the upper layer of every stone, which implies a poured substance. Now, as far as the curvature of the blocks are concerned, I think that is more of an artifact of a wooden mold, not the use of a fabric bag, but I could be wrong. As far as the protuberance is concerned, it’s color and texture are different, leading me to suspect a patch of some kind.

    • I agree about the texture. It could very well be part of the outgasing and natural weathering.

      Wooden forms would explain how each one is different. Bags would likely be more uniform. Maybe they carved soft wood to create the curved surfaces. I wonder if some of the molds were reused? Imagine finding two stones exactly alike!

      And I still think the forms were removed fairly quickly so the stone could be touched up before it got too hard. This is particularly evident at the edges. This is the stage where they could add texture, ‘erase’ form lines and sculpt protruberances.

  5. Note the protuberance sticking out. This is pure speculation on how it was made. Maybe they cut a hole in the bag and let some geopolymer bulge out to create a more natural appearance.

    Some believe these protuberances were left in the stone to help move and maneuver them into position. But to my eye they don’t appear natural. They look as if they’ve been added on. And besides, if they are ‘handles’ for moving the stones, why are there relatively few prottuberances?

  6. Even if they could have been carved with existing tools, it would be mind-bogglingly difficult ti achieve such a fit. One would have to lift the top stone up and keep carving and re-fitting until the seam was perfect.

    If they cast them in bags, might there still be remnants of fabric between the stones?

    • Exactly. Well said.

      Not sure about bags surviving between stones. Seems like they would have rotted away. Interesting possibility: There’s an average 1/50th of an inch between the stones. Maybe that is from the bags?

  7. Geopolymer? Bah!

    Aliens. I tell you… it’s aliens. ;)

    I know it’s true, I saw it on X-Files. And we all know that TV never lies. ;)

    All kidding aside, it just makes good SENSE that these “stones” were cast. Think of the possibilities. And the ease by which it could have been accomplished. I mean really, if I can do it…. then trained monkeys could. And we all know that early man was at least that smart, huh?

    I’m waiting for someone to take this conversation to the next level and shoot a documentary on the History Channel, demonstrating how it would have solved most of the problems attributed to early building.

    Gotta go, I need some more tin foil. Headgear, don’t ya know… ;)

    Nanoo nanoo.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.