Promoting research, discussion, and debate about technologies used in Ancient Egypt

Giant circular saws

Ancient Impossible

There are hundreds of examples of saw cuts all over the ancient Egyptian sites, but there are only a few that have the most extraordinary feature of continuously-curved cut marks. The fact that these cut marks are on the extremely hard stones – granite and basalt – that make this story so intriguing and create such a surprising conclusion. They must have been cut with a giant gemstone-tipped circular saw.

Two examples are particularly good, one at Abu Roash on a granite slab, fig 1, and one on a basalt block at Abu Sir, fig 2; both have curvatures of around 5M radius, with continuous cut marks running for at least 100 mm, fig 3, indicating that the hard stone was could only be cut by a “gemstones”. The Abu Roash slab was first brought to my attention by Christopher Dunn in his book “Lost Technologies of Ancient Egypt” and was featured in the TV series “Ancient Impossible” and the Abu Sir block I studied and photographed myself during a visit in November 2014.

The saw not only had to be operating at a radius of 5m – it could just be one vertically mounted pendulum or a horizontally mounted arm, but the very best solution, to give the structure the lateral stiffness required is a wheel structure. The detailed analysis that leads to this conclusion is dealt with in the Saw Technology section.

It would be enough to accept this circular saw arrangement alone, but another most important additional corroboration to this theory is that of the need for a saw pit to mount the saw in, and, at Abu Roash there is a pit that exactly matches the needs of a 5m radius saw right next to the sawn slab. Unfortunately, Egyptologists see all slots and pits in the ground as “Boat Pits”, associated with funerary rites (“solar Boats”) but I believe there are several key pits that are actually Saw Pits.

A detailed analysis of this work is already well underway and it will form part of the Crowd Research work in this website.

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