Response to Margaret
Morris's 'Pour Theory'
From Chris Dunn
Dunn: There are many theories about how the pyramids of Egypt were built. From bashing stones with stones, rubbing stones with copper and sand, to pouring the stones with a cement-like geopolymer and even shaping stone using focused light from the sun. In writing the Giza Power Plant, I attempted to present to the reader an engineer's and machinist's view of some of these artifacts. My interpretation of the artifacts is clearly in conflict with many of the theories that have been presented in the past. This disagreement I have with them is based not just on the act of cutting hard stone, such as granite, diorite and basalt, but also takes into consideration all the available evidence, particularly the precision of the stones and the geometry of their final shape.
Proponents of the conventional primitive method, as well as proponents of the more daring and controversial method of pouring the stone, have challenged my conclusions. Some of these challenges have been professional and thoughtful, while others have been insulting, arrogant, unprofessional and self-serving.
There is always room for honest disagreement, but if the disagreement dissolves into insults, personal attacks, close-mindedness and lies, my general instinct is to shut down and ignore the perpetrator. Though to do so, one runs a risk. "A man who does not defend his honor is assumed not to have any."
With the above quote in mind, it occurred to me that being silent when attacked in this manner might send the wrong signal to honest inquiring people who read the comments made about my work and me. They may interpret my silence as an indication that I cannot respond, and in effect lend weight to the veracity of such attacks. This is far from the truth.
Ms. Margaret Morris, who co-authored the book, "The Pyramids, an Enigma Solved" with French chemist Joseph Davidovits, has recently challenged my work. Her initial contact with me was cordial and cooperative. We had agreed to conduct a debate on our respective theories on how the ancient Egyptians produced stone. When circumstances did not allow me to engage her in this debate in a time frame she found acceptable, she chose to crusade against my work and against me personally.
Her latest attacks have appeared against my book in the review section of Amazon pulled two previous heated "reviews" from their database, because they were deemed to be inappropriate and not within Amazon guidelines. Morris has persisted and again posted another attack on Amazon, this time more vociferous and heated. Her professionalism (or lack thereof) is reinforced by a blatant promotion of her own book.
Though tempted to redress her baseless and unfounded comments in kind, I will respect the rules and guidelines of posting reviews on Amazon, and take this "less traveled" road towards the truth... Truth that reveals Morris to be dead wrong! She is wrong in her approach, wrong in her interpretation of the artifacts, and wrong in her understanding my work. But I will let the reader make up his or her own mind.
**** Morris Poor Research! Bad Methodology! Unnecessary! Incorrect!, October 15, 2000 Reviewer: Margaret Morris, Detroit, MI USA. Copyright 2000
The claims of Christopher Dunn's 'The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt,' are so outrageous as to warrant that potential readers (at least those looking for real knowledge instead of science fantasy!) have a chance to witness a debate that will spare them from reading this misleading book! Perhaps Dunn's anticipation of such a result explains his neglecting to attempt to defend his book in a debate with me, despite accepting my debate challenge in June of 2000!
*** Dunn The truth is I am quite willing to clarify my opinion of the poured stone theory and point out evidence that essentially disproves it. Until reading Morris's reviews, I was willing to engage in a cordial and professional debate with her. Now that she has demonstrated her lack of objectivity and obvious selfish motivations for engaging in such a debate, I am withdrawing my agreement. My interest is in learning the truth-not seeing who can shout the loudest and play nastiest.
*** Morris 'The Giza Power Plant' omits the scientific research proving that ancient machine tools were unnecessary, although Dunn has known about this research for several years.
*** Dunn In my book I admitted research that proves machine tools WERE necessary. If Morris is talking about the research that supports the poured rock theory, I rejected that method based on the evidence.
*** Morris "What Dunn's book fails to report is that the ancient Egyptians did not need power tools or a power plant because they, like certain other civilizations (see E. C. Stone, et al., "From Shifting Silt to Solid Stone: The Manufacture of Synthetic Basalt in Ancient Mesopotamia," Science, July, 1998), made artificial rock. That is, without applying heat, the Egyptians made rock-concrete (with water and simple and abundant earthen materials) that is so close to natural stone that it has fooled geologists into assuming it is natural rock. This high early-strength rock-concrete (today called geopolymerized rock) can be shaped to perfection with primitive tools while still in the soft stage of setting. This technology is much more simple than the glassmaking and faience production the ancient Egyptians mastered, and it explains the construction of monuments and artifacts that have baffled researchers since the inception of Egyptology."
*** Dunn Of course I did not report that the ancient Egyptian did not need power tools or a power plant. That was the whole premise of my book! Also, perfection is a condition that does not exist in manufacturing. It is an absolute that is never achieved and should be used carefully when describing man-made artifacts. But now that Morris has made this claim, and assuming that when she shaped the geopolymer to perfection a desired surface had been defined in three-dimensional space, to what tolerance, with her primitive tools, was she allowed to deviate from the theoretical perfect shape?
*** Morris "Dunn's book does not even whisper about this body of research, published over the past 30 years in the scientific, technical and Egyptological literature (see Morris, M., 'The Egyptian Pyramid Mystery is Solved!', Margaret Morris Books, 2000, and related previous books and patents and several published, peer-reviewed scientific papers by Dr. Joseph Davidovits [who discovered the artificial nature of pyramid stone and re-created pyramid stone], myself, and others). The veracity of this finding, which destroys the premise of Dunn's book, is independently confirmed by the work of archaeologists who discovered similar (different in that it required heat) stone-making to have in existed in Mesopotamia (E. C. Stone, et al., "From Shifting Silt to Solid Stone: The Manufacture of Synthetic Basalt in Ancient Mesopotamia," Science, July, 1998)."
*** Dunn There is ample material on the Internet to form an opinion about my work and conclusions. Abbreviations of my research at are mirrored on several sites. Ms. Morris obviously did not read my book! As you will read, I more than whisper my objections to the poured stone theory, as it pertains to creating the artifacts that I cite as evidence of machining. My comments on this particular method of building are also applicable to other cultures.
From page 106-108 of The Giza Power Plant: Technologies of Ancient Egypt:
"'Such a revisioning occurred in 1986 when a French chemist named Joseph Davidovits rocked the world with a startling new theory on pyramid construction. Davidovits proposed that the blocks used to construct the pyramids and temples in Egypt were actually cast in place by pouring geopolymer materials into molds [moulds for you Brits]. In 1982, Davidovits analyzed limestone, given to him by French Egyptologist Jean-Phillippe Lauer, which was taken from the Ascending Passage of the Great Pyramid and also the outer casing stones of the pyramid of Teti. In his book The Pyramids: An Enigma Solved, co-authored with Margie Morris, he reported:
'X-ray chemical analysis detects bulk chemical composition. These tests undoubtedly show that Lauer's samples are man-made. The samples contain mineral elements highly uncommon in natural limestone, and these foreign minerals can take part in the production of geopolymeric binder.
The sample from the Teti pyramid is lighter in density than the smaple from Khufu's pyramid (the Great Pyramid). The Teti sample is weak and extremely weathered, and it lacks on of the minerals found in the sample from the Great Pyramid. The samples contain some phosphate minerals, one of which was identified a brushite, which is thought to represent an organic material occurring in bird droppings, bone, and teeth, but it would be rare to find brushite in natural limestone. (reference 4) '
Davidovits' theory received worldwide attention, and I was challenged to reconcile the theory that I was proposing with his. I have no difficulty reconciling my analysis of the cutting methods of the ancient pyramid builders with what Davidovits proposed. And I am sure that he will see our individual efforts in the same light.
Davidovits cited Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh, in which Petrie devoted an entire chapter to the tool marks found on various artifacts made of both igneous and sedimentary rock. These artifacts were found both inside and outside the Greeat Pyramid. The tool marks on the stone tell us that they were cut not poured. Nevertheless, this oversight should not entirely discredit Davidovits' findings. Construction technology today employs many techniques-cutting, forming, and pouring to name a few. Thus I believe it is shortsighted for me, or for anyone else, to discover one method of manufacture or construction and present it as the only method used by the pyramid builders.
Davidovits made a strong argument for his cast-in-place theory by pointing out the impossibility of the Egyptians having moved the huge monolithic blocks of stone that were used to build the pyramids. In most construction projects, if there is an option to do so, it does make sense to prepare a mold, or form, and pour the material, the alternative is lifting and moving large masses weighing up two hundred tons. Davidovits claimed that he had solved the problems associated with moving such huge stones with his cast-in-place theory. However, evidence that argues against the casting of igneous-type rock can be found in the rock tunnels at Saqqara. These are the giant granite and basalt boxes that weigh in at around eighty tons each. The existence of a roughed-out box and more than twenty finished boxes, situated underground essentially disproves the argument that they were cast. We can speculate that when the craftspeople finished working the rough box, which is now wedged in one of the underground passageways, they would have had to move it into place without the benefit of hundreds of workers. That in and of itself is an impossibility. Furthermore, the very fact that this one box is rough cut belies the use of a casting method. If the Egyptians had cast these objects, they would not have chosen the characteristics of the roughed-out box for their mold. The product would be much closer to the finished dimensions of the other boxes, and more than likely the surfaces would be flatter than they actually are. These speculations do not mean that the ancient Egyptian did not use geopolymers. They simply mean that there may have been more than one method used to build the pyramids. '"
I could have said more, and will do so in this article. At the time I wrote The Giza Power Plant, my comments on Davidovits' work were tempered somewhat by the unfair treatment he received from Mark Lehner in the documentary, This Old Pyramid. It was not my intention to trash the research and theories of others, just to add another perspective on the subject. Back to Morris:
*** Morris Instead of performing professional research, Dunn proposes elaborate, complicated, and fantastical high technology, which goes sharply against the vast archaeological record.
*** Dunn I don't know what Morris means by saying I did not perform "professional research." It is true that my conclusions go against the vast archaeological record. If this is why it is viewed as unprofessional, then so be it. I have been criticized before for not consulting with archaeologist, Egyptologists, and their "primary source material," though the sources I rely upon in my book come from the most reliable Egyptological source material available. Sir William Flinders Petrie, who I used extensively as source material, was the first archaeologist to specialize in Egyptology. Because his honest research left him with many unanswered questions, I attempted to provide answers for those questions from a different perspective that was based on many years of experience and study. The conclusions I made from this study were articulated in an objective and professional manner, without trying to shove them down anyone's throat. I am not a crusader, nor am I proselytizing a pet theory to sell books. I have looked at serious objections to my conclusions and attempted to correct misunderstandings thereof, but it is difficult to impart an understanding that is born of a lifetime of work. I will briefly summarize the experience I applied in my analysis:
· Ten years as a machinist, working in all major manufacturing industries, including aerospace, in both England and the US. · Ten years as a precision tool & die maker, working in all major manufacturing industries, including aerospace. · Ten years as an manufacturing engineer in the aerospace industry with special emphasis on evaluating and implementing advanced manufacturing technologies, such as high powered laser processing, electrical discharge machining, water-jet cutting, ultrasonic machining, and all their associated control technologies. · Nine years as a manager leading to senior management at a major fabrication supplier to the aerospace industry.
I may not have advanced degrees, but one thing I have learned in my career is that patience and good manners (i.e., interpersonal skills) are critical in affecting change and advancing one's career. Without these attributes, no matter how educated you may be, you do not get anywhere in life.
*** Morris "Dunn goes from bad to worse by claiming that the Great Pyramid was the power plant for running machine tools. Such tools, of course, did not exist in the first place, as real archaeological research shows.
Christopher Dunn's lack of regard for proper research removes the Great Pyramid from its true historical context, which has long been well established in genuine Egyptological literature."
*** Dunn To the extent that my involvement in real-life for-profit research has taught me, I was engaged in proper research, and, like many other similarly equipped experts, found my conclusion to be more genuine than Egyptological literature. Egyptological research contains no technically valid explanation for the building of the pyramids, and this fact becomes abundantly clear when reading this "genuine literature." Even more pronounced is this fact when field research uncovers critical information that is not addressed in the literature. While Morris holds Egyptological research up to me like a bible to swear by, she has been publicly trashing it when it suited her own agenda. Morris has posted similarly discourteous and unseemly reviews against Dieter Arnold and Egyptologist Mark Lehner's books and videos on Amazon, while not passing up the opportunity to advocate her own book. Though I have to agree with her when she wrote in her review of Mark Lehner's book, The Complete Pyramids: "The bottom line is: Egyptology does not know how the pyramid blocks could have been quarried, shaped or elevated."
Moreover, it is possible that the literature Ms. Morris refers to is distorted by the external chauvinistic views of other cultures. Historically, nationalism, chauvinism and close-mindedness have existed since the dawn of time. It existed when Herodotus visited Egypt, and when the French, German and English were attempting to benefit from their invasions. It is complacent to believe that a race of people, such as those residing in the U.S., could not be reduced to a primitive society. A paper released by the Office of Technology Assessment to the White House in the 1970s described such a consequence if there was an all-out nuclear war,Ķ Though any global disaster would do it. There is an offensive chauvinistic and racist underpinning to Western conclusions regarding the history and heritage of Africa. It is founded on a Greco-Roman understanding of civilizations and in our more enlightened culture, we have an opportunity and responsibility to correct this mistake.
*** Morris "Dunn's book follows the example of other poorly researched popular books of the past 30 years claiming (without offering solid evidence and while presenting distorted information)that high technology existed during antiquity. Although Dunn recognizes that there is no evidence--no writings, no drawings, and no scrap of direct physical evidence whatsoever--of ancient machine tools, this does not deter him or alert him that something is seriously wrong with his theory. He instead incorrectly uses the artifacts themselves as proof of method, omits the real method used, and tosses aside the vast archaeological record that defies his theory. The result is a forced theory that is illogical and unsupportable."
"Although Dunn recognizes that there is no evidence--no writings, no drawings, and no scrap of direct physical evidence whatsoever--of ancient machine tools,Ķ" This is a presumptuous statement. It depends on what evidence you are seeking, or are able to recognize. "
"In all fairness, the manufacture of certain monuments and smaller artifacts has long been a vexing problem even for serious researchers. Chris Dunn deserves some credit for helping to demonstrate and popularize features of certain artifacts that could not possibly have been made the way many Egyptologists presumed. Dunn has in this sense furthered the work of Sir W.M.F. Petrie, one of the founding fathers of Egyptology, who argued with Alfred Lucas for 30 years about certain features of artifacts (artifacts incorrectly presumed to be natural rock in their day). It is also fair to say that Petrie would be aghast at Dunn's terrible methodology and unwarranted, unscientific theories and wild speculations."
*** Dunn I would venture to say that Dr. Davidovits would be even more aghast at his pupil's behavior.
*** Morris "'The Giza Power Plant' contributes to the dumbing-down of the average reader, who does not have the very specialized educational and/or professional Egyptological training and experience needed to know exactly what is wrong with Dunn's theory and those of other popular books that assert a similar premise of high technology during antiquity. At the heart of Dunn's book and the others alluded to here are supposedly unsolved ancient mysteries, especially the construction of the Great Pyramid and certain other monuments and artifacts. The contents of Dunn's 'The Giza Power Plant' provoke the on-going clash between pseudoscience and genuine science, and the struggle of Egyptology to prevail against the proliferation and popularization of books that entertain a great deal of nonsense similar to that presented by Dunn."
*** Dunn The average reader of my book is not as dumb as Ms. Morris makes them out to be. Nor have they become dumber by reading it. The average readers of my book have selected it to read because they know exactly what is wrong with Egyptologist's theories and are dissatisfied with them. Those who see the most value in it do have the specialized education and experience in the relevant fields to understand it. Unfortunately, those fields are not orthodox Egyptology or archaeology, which, on the subject of engineering in ancient Egypt, continue to issue forth pseudoscience, cloaked in the respectability of 'proper research.'
*** Morris "While researching and writing 'The Giza Power Plant' Chris Dunn had options. He could have used his training as a machinist to examine certain artifacts that cannot be explained by the conventional methods proposed by Egyptology (these methods are rendered outdated by the discovery of the production of man-made stone during antiquity)."
*** Dunn Morris is correct in saying that certain artifacts cannot be explained by the conventional methods proposed by Egyptology, but again she shows her glaring lack of knowledge of what is contained in my book. Her entire premise is founded on the man-made stone hypothesis, and she is blissfully unaware of how I disproved this theory.
*** Morris "A purely analytical book of this type would have been equally entertaining while making a genuine contribution to scholarship. But Chris Dunn has machined his poor historical research and his observations as a machinist into an untenable theory that sinks to the level of other similarly poorly researched popular books that fail to apply scientific methodology and mock or misuse modern scholarship, all of which books will ultimately and appropriately be swept into the dust heap of history once the public learns the demonstrable truth."
"As the success of several popular books of the past 30 years about so-called ancient monuments shows, millions of people are eager for real answers to certain ancient 'enigmas' in stone. But 'The Giza Power Plant' not only fails to supply well researched answers, it further misleads the general public about fundamental aspects of human history."
*** Dunn My intentions in writing The Giza Power Plant were to write a book that gave a different perspective on the artifacts in Egypt. I do not disagree that Petrie may have disagreed with me, but I also know that the development of technology and machine tools since his time have reached a point where many of his confounding questions can be answered. From my discussion with other engineers and craftspeople, and having endured misleading, unworkable and ridiculous theories about how the artifacts in Egypt were crafted for decades, it seemed, to me, that it was time for those with our experience to be heard.
I read about the poured rock theory in 1986. I thought at that time that there might have been something to it. That is until I actually began looking at the evidence. The poured stone theory does not explain all the artifacts in Egypt. To know this, all you have to do is look at the evidence with an understanding of how materials are poured, shaped and cut.
If we look at the artifacts I describe in my book, and allow that they were made by pouring cement, or any other mixture that sets and hardens, there is one inescapable consideration that has to be made. The mold or form that is used needs to have the same shape as the final object. With respect to the contoured granite blocks on the Giza Plateau, these molds would need to be machined to a high precision. Considering, also, that the blocks are extremely heavy, weighing more than 6 tons in some cases, the form would need to be robust and able to withstand the pressures against their surfaces. A weak form, such as one made out of wood, would buckle under the weight and the precision would be lost. So what were the forms made of-and how were they created with such precise surfaces? Certainly not with primitive tools.
Morris claims that the stone "can be shaped to perfection with primitive tools while still in the soft stage of setting." However, she doesn't describe the means necessary to guide the tool and produce a three-dimensional contour with a precision of .005 inch. Nor does she address how this precision is measured. Metrology is a huge part of the interpretation of these artifacts. To say, "such tools, of course, did not exist in the first place, as real archaeological research shows," may illustrate Morris's understanding of archaeological research, but it also demonstrates a woeful lack of understanding of the artifacts and precision manufacturing. I doubt that she would be able to machine through this ignorance with her primitive tools.
Putting all that aside, if we allow that Morris is able to pour her cement into a precision mold (notwithstanding the fact that she needs to be able to create one in the first place), and the product came out of the mold to the required perfection, it would have characteristics that clearly identify it as being poured, not cut.
To simulate the granite artifacts at Giza, the mixture would need to have 55 percent silicon quartz crystal. The binder would have to simulate the felspar, but the crystal would need to be added and mixed in with the binder. In the soft stage of setting, only the binder will change in hardness. The quartz crystal will be just as hard going into the mold as it is after the product has set.
Similar to granite, a concrete aggregate contains a percentage of material that does not change in its hardness. These are small rocks, pebbles, or crushed gravel. As the concrete is molded in a form the original stones are held back against the surface of the mold and retain their original, usually rounded, shape. No matter how hard the concrete is during the setting stage, these stones retain their original hardness. Therefore, any tool used to cut and shape the concrete in the setting stage, needs to be able to cut through these small stones also. Another characteristic of this kind of geopolymer is that by percentage, there are few pieces of original stone that show at the surface. Where they do, it is the tip of the stone.
There is more! When cutting through a concrete slab with a diamond saw, the saw will slice cleanly through the rocks and pebbles, and the fact that they were cut becomes clearly obvious when you look at the surface. Like an apple that has been cut in half, pebbles that were once rounded now have flat surfaces.
The granite artifacts in Egypt, show clearly that they were cut not poured. All one has to do is look at the surfaces and see that the quantity of quartz is abundantly visible and cut to the same shape as the felspar.
There are other examples of machined rock in Egypt that more clearly illustrate the above. At Abu Ghurob, there are several artifacts that are made out of alabaster. Alabaster is a sedimentary rock that is usually fine grained and is selected for sculpturing because of its beauty. This particular alabaster has pronounced strata running through it. Some strata have the appearance of concrete with rounded pebbles. The tool that cut the alabaster sliced cleanly through all strata without variation. Moreover, the rounded "pebbles" exhibited a flattened surface that was of the same finish and accuracy as the other strata.
There are many examples in Egypt of stone work that, similarly, militate against the poured rock theory. To name a few:
¬ The giant granite beams above the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid. If they were poured in place, their topside would be flat rather than rough and of varying shapes with holes gouged into them. Also, they would not need identifying inscriptions on them that indicate to the installers where they need to be positioned in the pyramid. ¬ The so-called sarcophagus in the same place has tool marks on the inside and outside that indicate the use of machine tools. The outside of this box is also dish-shaped on three sides. ¬ The obelisks weighing up to 400 tons were not poured. They were quarried. An example of the quarrying method can be found by the 1200 ton unfinished obelisk in the Aswan quarry. A large diameter hole is drilled into the bedrock. ¬ The gigantic granite and basalt boxes in the rock tunnels at the Serapeum near Saqqara. The unfinished box has a lot of material to be removed from its surfaces before it would come close to the precision of the other boxes. This box did not come out of a mold. If it did, its surfaces would be much flatter and closer to the net shape required. ¬ The many granite, diorite and basalt artifacts in the Cairo Museum. Bearing tool marks and the characteristics of being machined, many have features that would be impossible to produce in a mold.
Morris also applies her theory to other ancient cultures that moved monolithic blocks of stone. While I have not read her recent book, so therefore do not know what she presents as evidence, my observations of the 1200-ton blocks of limestone at Baalbek, Lebanon indicate to me that they were quarried and transported to the site-not poured in place. While there is one of these gargantuan blocks installed in the wall at Baalbek, another is still lying in the quarry. It is tilted at an angle, and waiting to be transported to its final resting-place.
Morris has made a classic mistake in her adherence to accepted Egyptological paradigms. Davidovits may have indeed found evidence that some of the pyramid stones were poured, but taking this finding too far, both he and she are applying this method to all artifacts while ignoring evidence that argues against it. That Morris has taken to argue her beliefs in such a acrimonious and passionate manner indicates that they are founded more on ideology than science.

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