The ancient Egyptians have left us nothing in writing about the state of their knowledge when it comes to physics and particularly about the laws that govern movement on earth.
The hieroglyphs that have come down to us being mostly extracted from tombs or from temple engravings, are of mystical, poetic nature or the idealized description of everyday life.
It would be futile to look for the theory of relativity in Einstein’s coffin or Newton’s laws of gravity in his grave!
Faced with this absence of texts, we have tended to consider that their knowledge could not be superior to that the Greeks expressed through their most famous scholars like Aristotle, Ptolemy and Archimedes, to name but three, all formed in Egypt.
But this is a serious mistake, the ancient Egyptians also had their “century of enlightenment” and of the laws of nature, knew more than we imagine today. The 7 great pyramids bear witness to this.
The writings of the Greeks served as a scientific viaticum to the civilizations of the Mediterranean basin and northern Europe until the sixteenth century when a Polish monk, Copernicus, put the sun in the center of the universe and consequently the earth and planets moving around the sun, something that had to be explained by introducing the notion of gravity, a notion reformulated a century later by Galileo and finally put into mathematics by Newton in the eighteenth century. As a result, we have tended to deduce that the ancient Egyptians knew nothing at all concerning gravity.
The existence of a very precise calendar (which would still work today) can convince us that the ancient Egyptians had a good level of knowledge in astronomy.
Who says astronomy says mathematics.
A feeling that turns into certainty when we see the very precise orientation of Cheops’ pyramid, the polar star of the time we call Thuban today was not unknown to them but at the same time not quite exactly pointing to the true north.
The perfection and balance of their monuments leave us in no doubt about their knowledge of geometry, static equilibrium and physical measurement techniques.
The size of the lintels protecting narrow corridors, their double-pitched roofs and their corbelled vaults to protect larger volumes, all these devices still intact after 4,500 years of stay, may lead us to believe legitimately that they knew a means of calculating: and the stress = the weight that a pile of stones can apply and the resistance of the materials = what a block of stone could sustain without getting broke, because the solution used varied according to the constraint applied:
Narrow corridor < 1.2 m => lintel, corridor >1.2 m or room => roof or vault.
Having built and navigated boats of all kinds, we can be certain that they had at least an empirical knowledge of the so-called “Archimedes” principle, who, having studied at Alexandria, could very well have inherited from the Egyptians.
Nothing is known of their “scientific” knowledge of the fall of bodies, that is, the laws of gravity and inertia of the masses.
However, we can lend them easily, and this will be my case, at least a knowledge part empirical and part theoretical in this area, because from the pyramid of Djoser to that of Mykerinos, they have not been able in nearly 200 years to carve, transport and pile up 30 million tons of stones, without knowing anything about gravity or inertia.
The builders realized that the eternal forces of nature around us were available to carry out their work as long as they knew enough about it and submitted to it.
Water is elusive but well understood and well used, it can lift a float capable of vertically raising any stone, even the heaviest of megaliths.
A mass set in motion in a controlled way becomes a force as big as its weight and at the same time a reservoir of energy which it will nevertheless be necessary to refill.
The force is in the nature: quiet it can be an obstacle: like a pond, a stone too heavy to move, but when it is unleashed in a storm or an avalanche better not to be there!
Domesticating the force of nature, making it an ally, was the secret of of the pyramids’s builders .
If, as in ALL the theories presented so far, they had been satisfied with a static and direct use of the weak human force to extract and move the stones, the pyramids would never have been built.
Throughout this study, the reader will see the repetition of the same basic scheme:
The weight of a mass makes the force, the men produce the energy.
The force is generated by the gravity, a moving mass, the fall of a body, the oscillation of a pendulum, or the buoyancy of Archimedes the water raising a float
The energy comes from the man in the form of his potential energy previously acquired by climbing on a height, thus exchanging his muscular energy against the potential energy of gravity, then released to a moving mass simply by making a controlled fall on it with it.
The power station of the site was simply the kitchens of the workers’ city!
There was energy conservation in the movement everywhere, from potential to kinematic and vice versa. The kinematics eliminate friction as much as possible.
This dynamic mastery of the force of nature had a requirement, which will be reflected in the whole of this study: Accuracy in execution, not only in the dimensions and orientations, but also in the operating modes.
The operators were weighted to weigh exactly known in advance, the loads had an adjusted weight using ballast, the execution times were rhythmic, the forces exerted were known, the energies delivered exactly measured, the amplitudes of movement adjusted.
The numbers were everywhere.
Nothing was improvised, everything was fixed in advance.
Nevertheless, there remains for me an unresolved mystery, how could men, whose information support out of their brain was only speaking or the papyrus, knew how to record and communicate on such a long period of construction, with such precision, a so huge quantities of information about designs and execution instructions?
How to control the storage, classification and dissemination of information as complex as precise to thousands of performers, some of which were 1000 km from the monument, with an effectiveness attested by the success of the project, using only these means so basics as information processing?