A researcher believes he may have finally discovered the secret used by the ancient Egyptians to align the Great Pyramid of Giza with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc or one-fifteenth of one degree.
The Great Pyramid of Giza has puzzled experts and tourists for centuries. The mysterious voids, hidden chambers, and massive stones, as well as its purpose, are just some of the most debated mysteries when the Great Pyramid of Giza is discussed.
Even today in the 21st century, we are still unsure as to how the ancient Egyptians managed to build such an impressive ancient monument without the use of modern technology.
However, the incredible size of the stones used in its construction, and the various chambers that have eluded experts until recently are just some of the mysteries of the great pyramid of Giza.
Its geometric perfection, location on the planet (geodesy) and orientation with the cardinal points, have conferred qualities that go beyond conventional architecture.
Now, an archaeologist and engineer believe to have solved the mystery as to how the ancient builders managed to align the Pyramids located on the Giza plateau with such mind-bending precision.
“The builders of the Great Pyramid of Khufu aligned the great monument to the cardinal points with an accuracy of better than four minutes of arc or one-fifteenth of one degree,” Glen Dash, an engineer who studies the Giza pyramids, wrote in a paper published recently in The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture, reports Live Science.
As noted by Dash, the Great Pyramid of Giza isn’t the only monument that contains a high degree of accuracy.
The Pyramid of Khafre, also located at the Giza plateau, and the Red Pyramid located in Dashur were also built with an extreme level of accuracy, notes the researcher.
“All three pyramids exhibit the same manner of error; they are rotated slightly counterclockwise from the cardinal points,” Dash wrote.
Over the centuries have researchers proposed a number of different theories as to how the ancient builders of the pyramids managed to build the pyramids along these cardinal points with such accuracy.
According to Dash, the ancient Egyptians used ‘shadows’ cast during the equinox in order to align the Great Pyramid with Cardinal points; north-south-east-west. This new theory may shed light on how the ancient builders managed to accurately align the great pyramids walls without resorting to modern technology.
Dash concludes that the ancient Egyptians used a technique known as the ‘Indian circle method’ to position the ancient monument with such accuracy.
As reported by Live Science, Glen Dash tested the method in Connecticut, United States.
On September 22, 2016, the day of the autumn equinox, he placed a rod onto a wooden platform and marked the positions of the wood’s shade throughout the day.
“On the equinox, the surveyor will find that the tip of the shadow runs in a straight line and nearly perfectly east-west,” Dash wrote. The degree of error is slightly counterclockwise, similar to the error found in the Great Pyramid, Khafre Pyramid, and Red Pyramid, Dash found. The tilt of Earth on the fall equinox allows the shadow to run in this east-west direction, Dash wrote.
But, did the ancient builders of the Pyramids really use this technique?
Well, that’s something we cannot know for sure.
Despite the fact that Dash conducted the experiment in Connecticut, this method should work the same way at the Giza plateau. All that the ancient Egyptians needed was practically a sunny day, notes Dash in the interview.
Whether or not the ancient builders used this method is something we may never know since there are little to no surviving records that suggest how the pyramids were built, nor how the ancient Egyptians managed to accurately align them.
“The Egyptians, unfortunately, left us few clues. No engineering documents or architectural plans have been found that give technical explanations demonstrating how the ancient Egyptians aligned any of their temples or pyramids,” Dash wrote in the article. In fact, it’s possible that multiple methods were used to align the pyramids, Dash told Live Science.