Q:

How were the pyramids built?

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Quick Answer

No historian knows for certain how the pyramids were built, so there are a few different theories about how Egyptians completed the different phases. Typically, historians agree that workers pulled blocks on skids, though how they kept the sand smooth enough for transport is still up for debate. Ramp and pulley systems were also important, according to Richard Koslow.

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Full Answer

To build the pyramids, workers had to cut large blocks from quarries, transport the blocks to the building site and build the actual structure by moving the blocks into place. After the blocks were placed on skids, they had to be pulled across sand to barges or the building site. One possibility is that the skids were rolled along large logs placed beneath the skids. However, in 2014, a study announced that water may have been used to keep the sand firm and prevent the blocks from sinking or the loose sand from bunching up in front of the skid.

A wheel and axle, counterweights and pulley systems were used to move the blocks onto barges, along ramps and between different height levels. Using multiple towers and sand as a counterweight, Koslow suggests that the workers were easily able to move the blocks.

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