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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Building the Pyramids

In “Creators of the Paranormal” (May/June 2016), Joe Nickell refutes Erich Von Däniken, partly relying on the Egyptians’ supposed use of “great earthen ramps” of which “traces still exist.”

It is my understanding that the great ramp scenario has been overturned as wildly impractical (if not practically impossible), and there is no reliable evidence of such ramps.

In any case, there have been convincing demonstrations of a much more practical technique. A small group of laborers levers a stone block upward, alternating ends of the block and inserting cribbing, until the stone is just above the next course. The stone is then moved horizontally onto that course (actually onto a first layer of cribbing), and so on. Not only is this method inherently more efficient (no extraneous material and no moving or compacting it), but the process can be scaled up indefinitely, just by adding more work groups.

In any case, I certainly agree that space aliens weren’t needed to build the pyramids.

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