How did Egyptians build the Great Pyramid?

 “The Great Pyramid has lent its name as a sort of by-word for paradoxes; and, as moths to a candle, so are theorisers attracted to it. The very fact that the subject was so generally familiar, and yet so little was accurately known about it, made it the more enticing; there were plenty of descriptions from which to choose, and yet most of them were so hazy that their support could be claimed for many varying theories.” 
— Sir Flinders Petrie, The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh

How did Egyptians build it?

There are many theories about how the pyramids were built. One of the most outrageous theories it that aliens built the pyramids. Fortunately we have proof that the Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids. Unfortunately there are many theories about how the Egyptians built the pyramids. Below we present few of the most popular ideas about how were the pyramids built.

For years, scientists and explorers have debated over the question: How did the Egyptians build the pyramids?  Now a new solution has been found by Italian researcher Elio Diomedi that may provide answers in this controversial documentary. The following video video  courtesy of UFOTV) presents extremely likely scenario of how did they do it…

The following seem to validate the ideas of Elio Diomedi:

How were the Pyramids built?

The Following articles are © Larry Orcutt
Reprinted with permission

Moving a limestone block
© Copyright Dieter Arnold, Building in Egypt, p. 278

The pyramid blocks were hewn from quarries using stone and copper tools. There are examples of each stage of block extraction at existing ancient quarries. Granite was quarried using pounding stones of dolerite, some of which have been found laying about the quarries. The blocks were transported to the pyramid site from remote quarries using barges, and from local quarries using wooden sleds. The Egyptians did not use the wheel during the Pyramid Age, an invention that would have been of limited used on softer ground under heavy loads. The sleds were dragged manually, sometimes with the help of beasts of burden, over smoothed roads. Some of the existing pathways were equipped with transverse wooden beams to lend support to the sled. A lubricant may have been poured upon the road to reduce friction. (For more information, see Moving Large Objects.)

wooden sled
Cedar sled from Lisht.
© Copyright Dieter Arnold, Building in Egypt, p. 276

How the massive blocks were raised to the height of the rising pyramid is not understood for certain. Earthen ramps were used at least in the initial stages of construction. Extant ramps have been found at the pyramids of Amenemhat I and Senwosret I at Lisht (see photos below), as well as at several other sites. Traces of disassembled ramps at pyramid sites are even more common. The ramps were made of brick or earth and rubble dressed with brick for strength. They were built up as the pyramid progressed upward, and removed as the pyramid was finished downward.

 construction ramp construction ramp
Inclined brick construction ramps with transverse
timbers at the pyramids of Amenemhat I and Senwosret I.

© Copyright Dieter Arnold, Building in Egypt, pp. 87, 88

The ramps likely took the form of an inclined plane at the beginning of work, but the configuration in later stages has long been a matter of conjecture. Some Egyptologists propose a straight, gently sloping, linear ramp, some propose a steep staircase ramp, and others propose a ramp that spiraled up the four sides of the pyramid. In most ramp scenarios, the volume of the ramp exceeds the volume of the pyramid structure itself, raising the possibility that the stones of the upper reaches were placed using levers, or perhaps a modified ramp of some sort. In the case of the Great Pyramid at Giza, the upper half of the total vertical pyramid height represents only 12.5% of the mass of the entire pyramid. The mass of the top quarter of the pyramid’s height is a mere .0386% of the whole. Thus the mass of the ramp is in inverse proportion to the mass of building material it is meant to convey. Extending a ramp to the upper reaches of a pyramid to service such a small volume of stone would appear to be inexpedient.

But whatever the configuration of the ramps, the fact remains that the Egyptians successfully completed the most massive building projects in all of history. There is nothing magical or supernatural in the means by which they achieved their goals. By all indications, they retained their knowledge of construction throughout their history, but they were limited after the Fourth Dynasty not by the lack of technology but rather by the lack of the abundant resources that were previously available. More than two thousand years later, the Romans would move huge stones, some weighing nearly 1,000 tons, using similar techniques at Baalbek.

More impressive than the mechanics of moving huge masses of building material are the logistics involved: choreographing teams of foremen, multitudes of workers, and a profusion of supplies, all within the rigid constraints of a blueprint for design and a timetable for completion. It is hard to imagine that such a feat could be possible, but the pyramids themselves provide mute testimony that it was not only possible but actually accomplished. There remains no known written record hinting at how the pyramids were built, nor have any reliefs depicting the procedure been found. Most of what Egyptologists believe to be true of the methods involved is based on tangible archaeological evidence. Some is based on theory and is open for debate. What is known for certain is that the Egyptians used simple but effective tools to quarry the stones, to move them to the pyramid site, and to place them in the desired location.

For a more detailed and technical treatment of pyramid construction techniques, see Bonnie Sampsell’s articles on the role of accretion layers in pyramid design and on how the Egyptians managed to control the shape of the pyramid while building it.

© Larry Orcutt,  Catchpenny Mysteries
Reprinted with permission

Jean-Pierre Houdin Theory

3D Unveils the Mystery of the Great Pyramid

The secret of the construction of the pyramid of Khufu in Egypt has always held people in fascination. Numerous theories have been put forward but none has yet stood up to analysis. Eight years ago, the architect Jean-Pierre Houdin had a flash of intuition and developed a revolutionary theory. Considering Khufu’ monumental undertaking as the first industrial construction project in history, he turned to Dassault Systèmes technology to test his hypotheses and feed his thought processes. So it was that he joined the ‘Passion for Innovation’ programme. Having demonstrated the validity of the theory with the aid of their scientific 3D solutions, Dassault Systèmes invite you to enjoy an extraordinary journey through time and space. Relive the Great Pyramid construction project in real-time 3D!

The Grand Gallery Counterweight

 The Bob’s Room


JP Houdin – Cheops Revealed


Jean-Pierre Houdin Theory –  Summary:

Jean-Pierre Houdin wrote an absorbing document compiling a set of 34 clues supporting his theory.
Learn more about Jean-Pierre’s in-depth study of the pyramid (View or download 7MB PDF):

For full details visit

Internal Ramp Spiral

This thermal photo reveals internal ramps and confirms Houdin’s theory.

Summary of other construction theories:

Subject Related Links:

PS Geopolymers Theory

Are the pyramids made out of concrete, an artificial re-agglomerated limestone?

Joseph Davidovits and the Geopolymer Institute crew shows that only few people is able to rapidly and easily produce several tons of pyramid stone blocks.


  1. Ernie says

    If “scientists” will watch “Revealing God’s Mysteries”DVD, by Ron Wyatt, how the pyramids were built is explained God revealed this to Ron Wyatt how they were built, and it is a very simple method. Watch the DVD and learn what God led Ron Wyatt to discover: Sodom and Gomorrah, Noah’s ark, Mount Sinai, the Red Sea crossing, the actual place where Jesus was crucified, the Ark of the Covenant. True knowledge and love and more comes from following God.

  2. says

    Dear Sir,

    One point of criticism I did not mention in an earlier comment. It is a very logical idea to roll the very heavy stones too when this is clearly a much more efficient way to move smaller stones. But to make the rollers as stable as possible it is best to make the rollers not bigger than strictly necessary and to make it possible to change directions you’ll need either a third wheel in the middle or a turning stone under the center of gravity to free the two rollers. This last option is probably best because the flatness of the road would not prevent that the center disk would have to carry almost the entire weight at a given moment. For more detailed information see my website:
    Kind regards,
    Ben J Hendriks

  3. BmeupTeleport says

    A known stone mason within our time (died 1951) built a limestone structure comprising of somewhere between 1,000 to 1,500 tons of stone all by himself. He stood a little over 5 ft. and weighed slightly over 100 lbs. He not only quarried all the rock, shaped it and created the structure, he also dismantled it, moved it 10-15 miles down the road and reassembled it – again all by himself, with the aid of a flat bed truck for moving the distance (he performed the loading and downloading). He started his construction in 1927 using tools he developed from the neighboring junk yard and dump. Yes he obviously used leverage, ropes, and even a bock and tackle which are still displayed in the structure. the chains had a weight limit of close to 3 tons (remember this 1927) and his first rock quarried was a rectangle 3x3x10 (about 8 tons). This rock and all others have corners of 90-degrees which limestone cannot be breached from the quarry with 90-degree corners, it needs to be sawed out to achieve this. This stone mason said the Great Pyramid of Giza, could have been built by one hundred men in one year. Is it feasible? Do the math and yes possible if they were using a different set of tools and understood a different science – remember he said men Humanity!!!!

  4. Bob says

    A theory about building the pyramids. I was thinking about this the other day and came up with this hypothesis. So, I decided to find a blog like this and submit it.

    If the Egyptians knew how to move the blocks laterally, and how to use a block and tackle, using pulleys, very strong ropes, and manpower or horsepower, they could have built a huge cube or box with relatively easy engineering. Once the cube was finished, they could have sort of carved out the pyramid by removing, and lowering down, block by block, the blocks that didn’t belong. Again, this would be relatively easy. This would result in a pyramid with a square base. All of this could have been accomplished if they had the technology to build strong ropes and sturdy pulleys. No sliding would have been necessary.

    Labor was maybe cheap enough to lift all those blocks and then lower, what would it be, 2/3 of them, back down?

    Crazy but workable hypothesis. I am not really interested in pyramids, by the way.

  5. Rich says

    I will never believe these were made alone. Forget the quarry and the ramps. How about the math behind them. How did they get it so precise to true north. How is is set in the center of all land mass. There is no way that man alone built this. These pyramids have zero inscriptions. Even Howard Vise lied about the room of caous. Do you realize that when he supposedly found it nobody was with him. He didn’t even mention the finding until later. He falsified the graffiti.

    It’s the great stone of God.

    • says


      • Jonathan says

        Whitney, I think you need to calm down. Most white people (including myself) are very capable of believing that Africans could build the pyramids, we’re just not sure how because it doesn’t seem like anybody could build the pyramids without modern construction equipment. It has nothing to do with the location of the pyramids. It would be a feat anywhere.

      • Joan Jones says

        Not really. The real reason why they’re upset about it and refuse to give credit where credit is due is because it requires them to acknowledge a Creator. Saying man did this alone means that we started out as intelligent beings rather than idiotic apes. For some reason, many people refuse to accept anything that goes against evolution and the fact that the pyramids were built with man’s bare hands nips evolution in the bud!

        • Tony says

          Why does everything have to do with race? Also, smart one….. the correct way to phrase that last line is, “We’re too smart; beyond your comprehension.”. Also, your use of exclamation points and caps is exhausting. The knowledge on building these structures was lost… Thank goodness you don’t speak for all Africans, your comments justify ignorance, nothing more.

          • Mark Graham says

            One thing is certain. The Africans of today could never build such pyramids. I suppose they built the so-called Valley Temple (built with blocks weighing 200 tonnes apiece and raised up to 40ft into the air). If Africans built the latter they could also manipulate gravity and probaably have space travelling potential. Africans did not build the Giza pyramid complex.

  6. says

    There are more famous ancient sites in Egypt or elsewhere in the world , the Great Pyramids of Giza. They are, without doubt, the icon most associated with Egypt. They have been both the main destination for tourists, and a source of imaginative thought to the world for over three thousand years.

  7. says
    Demonstrating RACK & PINION MECHANICS – circa 2600 BC with the ancient Egyptian four-lobe pinion-pulley. The four sides of square based Giza Pyramids consist of Stone Racks of steps (comparison – four racks of gear teeth) – wooden pinion-pulley lobes (comparison with gear teethed cogs) engage and step-walk the stone racks when hoisted. All four sides of these Pyramids would be used with as many pulleys in use as required, all working independently and simultaneously, easily building Khufu’s Great Pyramid within just twenty years as documented and now proven beyond doubt.

  8. says

    So far, I haven’t seemed to be able to complete the scaled down model counterweight mimicking the one expressed in Jean-Pierre Houdin’s 3D Animatronic, “Khufu Reborn” Documentary. According the J.P. Houdin, it would have been used in The Grand Gallery setting as a trolley that could raise the beams and rafters into their final position above The King’s Chamber in Khufu… So far, I’ve run into several snags. Some financial and some seem to be some sort of design flaws. It’s currently a little over half way done. I hope to be able to accomplish a complete scale down replica of the counterweight system and demonstrate it to the world soon! I think that instead of just computer animation, someone with the right tools should have been able to construct of model counterweight that functions the way J.P. has said.

    I’m looking for a little bit of assistance as I would love to be able to play with the thing. I have some theories of my own I would like to work out!!! I’m having a hard time finishing the job working inside a one bedroom apartment. Anyone interested in a little banter, brainstorming on the subject, or maybe just learning some lessons about it’s construction that I’ve figured out the hard way please contact me? I think the idea of a project is a good one and I would love to see one out on the market somewhere for viewing… Check me out on facebook at or watch some youtube footage at Kurt R. Burnum

  9. Gary Schoenung says

    I’ve replaced the smaller videos that I had posted with the entire original video that the material was taken from. It is called “From the Brink of Extinction (Ruins of Old Earth)”. Watching it will reveal the purpose of the pyramids. Here is the link.

  10. Gary Schoenung says

    The Egyptians and the Mayans simply used what they found there. I’ve posted a video called Synchronicity 2 that you may enjoy seeing.

  11. Ab Asaff says

    This notion that Ancient Egyptians moved great monolithic stone blocks using animal greased cedar track and sleds is currently by far the best Academic theory to surface on the Great Pyramid construction. That said, I am not completely convinced it was the way it was done. There are still some mysteries that need to be considered.

    First I would say it is a non starter with the academic postulation and belief The Great Pyramid was built as Pharaoh Khufu’s tomb. This is a myth that has never been proven and remains as speculation. The reliance on Khufu’s name scratched on the wall of The Great Pyramid along with other graffiti as evidence is specious. Khufu was a Pharaoh who left a very small footprint in Egyptian History. Some Egyptologists believe that Khufu gained the throne by marrying into the royal family and by benighted his biological mother with an extraordinary title. There are very few hints about his life and his ruler ship. The only contemporary portrait of the king that actually and for sure depicts the ruler, is a mere 7.8cm high ivory figurine found in an official’s Mastaba at Abydos. The notion that a society would go to such great lengths to build a stupendous monolithic structure just to entomb an obscure, in-illustrious and negligible Pharaoh is absurd. That along with the fact that not even one thread of burial linen was ever found in that Pyramid should make any rational mind stop and think. The Ancient Egyptians were great historians and kept a good record of their enemies, battles, social life, mythology and their Kings, etc. That they make no mention of their stupendous achievement in great pyramid construction is a profound mystery indeed.

    Further, there is the topless so called sarcophagus in the so named Kings Chamber. What happened to the top? If it was lifted to rob the tomb, it should still be there as no one would have use for a heavy old granite slab, a slab that would be too large to fit out through the small passage entrance. If it was a topless sarcophagus then it was the only one in Egypt or indeed in all of the Ancient World, East and West. The obvious tradition of beautifully adorned sarcophagus and burial chambers for all of the Pharaohs except this one is very suspicious. The whole pyramid is void of any art work making it unusually and extremely plain for such a perceived great King’s tomb.

    Now it would be extremely expensive, arduous and time consuming to cut and transport the required amount of cedar from Lebanon and build the massive amount of track, etc. to transport the stone. Also, I wonder how many animals would have to be continuously slaughtered to keep all those miles of track greased. The man power alone to maintain the progression of the project would be astronomical and difficult to supervise. With that, one also must consider the amount of time and effort it took to build up the Plain of Giza to create a solid base for the Great Pyramid to sit on. If that is not enough to ponder, go figure this. The Great Pyramid is actually 8 sided. Though very hard to see with the roving eye, each side is split slightly convex down the middle. It is difficult enough to build the perfect structure but to engineer this into the construction makes that task so much more daunting. What could have ever driven the builders to incorporate such a difficult facet to the monument? Certainly it adds no enhancement to it as a tomb. Assuming they only worked in daylight, it is difficult to imagine how they could accomplish such a feat in twenty years while stopping frequently to cut numerous blocks to certain precise fitting measurements using ancient copper tools and diorite stone.

    In the video, they show how the cap stone was lowered into place. They don’t allude to how they would have got that large heavy gold pyramid cap up and lifted onto the top of the support posts without the wheel and pulley system. Also, what ever happened to the gold capstone? No one dead or living has ever said or even whispered. Considering the weight of gold, if that massive heavy object was lifted away, you can bet it was not grave robbers that climbed up and stole it. I can’t fathom how ancient humans could scale that structure then lift and bring it to the ground. While the pyramids were built using 3 or 4 ton stone, there is more at Giza than just the pyramids. There are the linked valley temples that are amazingly constructed of 100 to 200 ton blocks. The Academic old school Egyptologists are reluctant to postulate how those were cut and set into place. It would be quite a stretch to believe those blocks were hauled up on a track and sled.

    Evidence has been discovered that Ancient Egyptian’s used high technological tools in their stone work. Stone tool marks such as concrete saws, drills and lathes have left their marks on certain structures. Consider a granite obelisk that has the flower of life symbol stamped into it showing no tool marks and Laser like engraved to a precise minuet metric fraction that modern technology would be hard pressed to copy. There are numerous intricately designed patterns perfectly cut into granite and the harder basalt showing no chisel or cutting marks. In the late 19th Century, the British Archeologist Sir. Flanders Petrie found in the Great Pyramid a tubular granite drill that was carved with precisely grooved lines a millimeter apart that today could only be done using a diamond tool. That is quite a mystery considering diamonds have never been discovered in Ancient Egypt. Recently, deep cuts in granite rock discovered by architect and engineer Chris Dunn could only have been done with a 25 foot diameter saw.

    To build with megalithic stone one would have to have big instruments. For example, the largest man produced blocks in the Middle East are found at Balbek Lebanon, a few miles from my birth place. They weigh about 1200 tons each, well over 2 million pounds. It has been determined that to pick up and move one of these rectangular blocks would take at least 21 of today’s heaviest lift cranes. So much for sleds and rail.

    According to main stream archeologists, we are supposed to believe that the people who built the pyramids did so without the use of a wheel, pulley or iron. The evidence does not fit the context. It is preposterous to think that such blocks could be cut, transported and lifted into place using mainly copper chisels, ropes, sleds and brute force. Egypt is not the only place in the world where evidence of high stone work machinery is apparent. Just one example of many is Ollantaytambo in Peru. The pre- Inca builders quarried from the top of a mountain stone blocks showing deep saw cuts weighing up to an incredible 500 tons then somehow transported them down and across a river and up the other side to the Temple of the Sun. Clearly, greased wooden tracks and sleds would not work there.

    I don’t believe the hard rational academic Egyptologist mind will ever be able to produce a viable answer as to how great ancient stone work was accomplished. They need to examine the evidence put forth by alternative Egyptologists such as John Anthony West, Robert Bauval, Christopher Dunn and others. I concur with those great researchers that the Ancient Egyptians and other high ancient cultures possessed an esoteric spiritual science lost to us. They had a profound knowledge of energy and gravity manipulation we are only beginning to understand.

  12. Richard Perry says

    How they moved blocks of stone up the pyramids.
    The machine they talk about is on a wall at one of the pyramids, it uses short beams as they say. The wall painting/carving show about 8 machines, the writings say many where used. I will try to explain it in words. For each machine they built two multi short saw horses(it has 2 rows with about 10 short beams on each row). Then you would fasten one on each side of the block you are to move. The short beams would be about the height of the blocks you are to move up the pyramid, looking at the ends it would look like a letter X with a square (the block)in the centre. With these two saw horses attached to the block you can now role the block up the side of the pyramid. June 1, 2012

  13. says

    The explanation of the internal ramp .. is missing on every big point… How did the builders know the design process he says they used.. the level of engineering knowledge would have been extra ordinary.. and how the hell did they get that knowledge.

  14. ali says

    dear sirs or madam
    please if it may for you send us some articles about the secrets of perspoolis in IRAN
    Thanks a lot


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