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Author traces rediscovery of great pyramid-era binder.

A new book describes a silicate rock, made without heat or pressure, as a potential aggregate-binding substitute for portland cement in a range of building and infrastructure concrete conditions. The Great Pyramid Secret: Egypt's Amazing Lost Mystery Science Returns claims the artificial rock, when mixed with aggregates, "forms concrete that has fooled geologists," and concludes that the silicate compound represents "an ancient lost art rediscovered by modern science."


A 25-year student of Egyptian antiquities, author Margaret Morris reports that a Great Pyramid Secret draft compelled Drexel University Department of Materials Science and Engineering Professor M.W. Barsoum to conduct an investigation covered in a 2006 Journal of the American Ceramic Society article, "Microstructural Evidence of Reconstituted Limestone Block in the Great Pyramids of Egypt." Micrographic observation, he contended, a) revealed that some Great Pyramids of Giza blocks exhibit properties of pre-cast concrete versus carved limestone; and, b) pyramid samples contain silicate-bearing constituents combined with calcium and magnesium in ratios that do not exist in the ancient structures' probable limestone sources. Confirmation of certain blocks' lime binder and companion mix constituents, he added, would "clearly show the Ancient Egyptians were exceptional civil and architectural engineers [and] superb chemists and material scientists. They would have to be credited with the invention of concrete, thousands of years before the Romans."

Additionally, Morris notes that her book corroborates and expands on theories of former Pennsylvania State University Professor Dr. Joseph Davidovits, who identified the branch of materials science in which rock forms at room temperature. In "Microstructural Evidence," Prof. Barsoum cites Dr. Davidovits' mid-1980s proposal that the Great Pyramids were cast in place using a mixture of granular limestone and alkali alumino-silicate-based binder.

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Title Annotation:NEWS AMERICAS
Publication:Rock Products
Date:Nov 1, 2010
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