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Here's How Egyptians Moved Huge Pyramid Stones

Update Date: May 03, 2014 11:26 PM EDT

A new study is providing a plausible explanation of how Egyptians managed to move those colossal pyramid stones which weighed several tons. According to study, the stones were dragged over wet sand. 

"For the construction of the pyramids, the ancient Egyptians had to transport heavy blocks of stone and large statues across the desert. The Egyptians therefore placed the heavy objects on a sledge that workers pulled over the sand. Research ... revealed that the Egyptians probably made the desert sand in front of the sledge wet," the university said in a press release

Researchers based their study on a wall painting from the tomb of Djehutihotep, which depicts a person standing in front of a wooden sledge and wetting the sand.

"When the sand was dry, a heap of sand formed in front of the sled, hindering its movement; a relatively high force was needed for the sled to reach a steady state. Adding water made the sand more rigid, and the heaps decreased in size until no heap formed in front of the moving sled and therefore a lower applied force was needed to reach a steady state," researchers noted in their synopsis.

However, they used the optimum amount of water because if the sand was too dry or too wet, it would hinder the movement of the sledge, added researchers. 

"Once there is enough water, these bridges act like glue, keeping the grains in place. This is great for sand castle building, and also, it turns out, for sand transportation," researchers noted.

The study has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

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