Revealed the secret of the ideal location of the pyramids

(ORDO NEWS) — For centuries, the pyramids of Giza have puzzled researchers not only with their mysterious voids and hidden chambers, but also with how exactly the ancient Egyptians built such impressive structures without modern technology.

One of the biggest questions is how the structures became so perfectly aligned.

Although it is slightly skewed, on the whole the square sides of the 138.8-meter-high Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Great Pyramid of Khufu, are almost perfectly aligned with the cardinal directions, from north to south.

“The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy better than four minutes of arc or one fifteenth of a degree,” explained archaeologist and engineer Glen Dash in a study published in 2017 in the Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture.

In fact, all three of Egypt’s largest pyramids – two at Giza and one at Dahshur – are amazingly aligned, something you wouldn’t expect in an era without drones, blueprints, and computers.

While there are many hypotheses as to how the ancient builders did this using the pole star to align the pyramids, or the sun’s shadow it has never been entirely clear how.

Dash came up with another simple idea. His research showed that the Egyptians, approximately 4,500 years ago, could have used the autumnal equinox to achieve perfect alignment.

The equinox is considered to be the moment twice a year, when the plane of the earth’s equator passes through the center of the solar disk, and the duration of day and night is approximately the same.

Previously, equinox measurements were ignored as a possible alignment method, as it was assumed that it would not provide sufficient accuracy.

But Dash’s work showed it could work – with a rod known as a gnomon.

To find out, Dash ran his own experiment, starting on the first day of the autumnal equinox in 2016 – September 22, 2016 – and using a gnomon to cast a shadow.

He traced the dots of the shadow at regular intervals, forming a smooth curve of the dots. And at the end of the day, with a taut rope wrapped around a pole, he intercepted two points of the curve and created an almost perfect line running east to west.

“On the day of the equinox, the surveyor will find that the tip of the shadow runs in a straight line and almost exactly from east to west,” wrote Dash.

He also showed that the degree of error is similar to the small error found in the alignment of the Pyramids of Khufu and Khafre at Giza and the Red Pyramid at Dahshur.

The experiment was done in Connecticut, USA, but Dash said the same should work in Egypt.

In fact, all ancient Egyptians needed to align the pyramids, as Dash explained to Live Science, on a clear sunny day.

He added that the Egyptians could calculate the autumnal equinox by counting 91 days from the summer solstice.

But while his paper shows that this method could have been used to flatten the pyramids, we still don’t have conclusive evidence that this is indeed the case.

“The Egyptians, unfortunately, left us few clues. No engineering documents or architectural plans have been found that provide technical explanations showing how the ancient Egyptians built their temples or pyramids,” Dash wrote.

While we may never know what actually happened, this hypothesis makes an interesting conclusion: something as simple as mapping shadows around the autumnal equinox could be complex enough to align some of humanity’s most recognizable ancient structures.


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