Were The Pyramids Artesian Wells?

I don’t want to think about Brexit. And I bet you don’t want to either.

So instead I’ll think about the Pyramids of Egypt.

Several interesting things about the pyramids at Giza:

First, they all have long causeways, with stone embankments, leading away from them, sloping down towards the river Nile from the raised Giza plateau.

Second, they all have large internal chambers and tunnels.

Third, less well known, is that they have a maze of tunnels deep beneath them.

A vast network of underground chambers and water tunnels have been discovered beneath several of the world’s most well-known pyramids, including the Great Pyramid on Egypt’s Giza Plateau.

Fourthly, all the pyramids – including the earliest Step Pyramid of Djoser to the south, which also has shafts and tunnels beneath it – are located on the west bank of the Nile, just south of the fertile Nile delta.

Fifth, the Sahara desert, which extends for hundreds of miles to the west, was several thousand years ago a fertile land covered with rivers and lakes and plants and animals. But it gradually dried up, leaving the desert we see today. But there remains a lot of water under the Sahara, some of which can be seen at the various oases (e.g. Siwa) dotted across it.

As the Sahara dried out, the Nile remained the only river flowing through a dry and barren land. The Nile was a river which regularly flooded, and it was these floods which allowed its flood plains to cultivate crops.

But sometimes the Nile floods failed, and when that happened there was famine (and perhaps also drought) in Egypt. So another source of water was used: the water deep under the Sahara desert. The Egyptians built artesian wells to bring it to the surface.

An artesian well is simply a well that doesn’t require a pump to bring water to the surface; this occurs when there is enough pressure in the aquifer. The pressure forces the water to the surface without any sort of assistance.

The earliest natural artesian well in Egypt may have been at Siwa, which has a large natural rock plateau, applying pressure to the ground;

The pyramids of Giza may have been copies of the Siwa “pyramid”, and applied pressure to the ground to force up water from below. It was like squeezing a damp sponge. This water rose up through a network of tunnels and shafts to the surface, where it flowed out into the causeways to reservoirs or the river below.

As water was pumped out of the ground, and the water table below slowly fell, more and more pressure was needed to bring up water. So more and more rocks were added to the pyramids above, and pyramids rose higher and higher, and got heavier and heavier.

The first pyramids were probably quite small, because not much pressure needed to be applied to the ground to force up water. But as the water table fell, bigger and bigger, and heavier and heavier pyramids were needed. Giza was somehow or other a place where there was (and still is) a lot of underground water.

The pyramids probably also had to have stopcocks and safety valves to stop water flowing out of them when there was plenty of water in the Nile, and pyramid water wasn’t needed. Hence the elaborate chambers in the pyramids.

Pyramids might also have been dismantled and rebuilt. When one pyramid ran dry, the Egyptians simply carried the rocks away, and re-erected them elsewhere. This is why there are several pyramids that have vanished (e.g. Abu Rawash).

One notable fact about the pyramid at Abu Rawash is that the upper most part of the pyramid has seemingly disappeared, revealing the internal passage that runs down into the bedrock. Explanations to why this pyramid is missing its top vary. The second point of interest that this pyramid provides is that it is built on top of a hillock.

Eventually, perhaps after many hundreds of years, these artesian well pyramids stopped working, and the pyramid building era came to an end (perhaps in the reign of the Pharaoh Unas, the causeway of whose pyramid is shown below).

The chaotic First Intermediate Period in Egyptian history followed shortly after the reign of Unas.  Perhaps this was because the pyramids ceased working, and famine and drought returned to Egypt.

Wasn’t that better than Brexit?

 

About Frank Davis

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6 Responses to Were The Pyramids Artesian Wells?

  1. Algernon Struthers says:

    More theologically, an ancient Pharoah lamented, roughly paraphrased: “In the future they will not know the meaning / reasons for this.”
    Ancient Egypt was the origin of the Jews, therefore, the origin of the schisms of Judaism which are Christianity and Islam, which of course, can be argued ^^
    Artesian bores / wells, indeed. I wouldn’t put money on it, but it’s 100% better than mfing Brexit, as you say Frank! Great work again.

  2. Rose says:

    OT
    More memorable quotes from Dame Sally

    Ban everyone from eating or drinking on trains and buses to end snack culture, says chief medical officer

    “It is about changing the culture so snacking is no longer normalised.”
    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2019/10/09/ban-everyone-eating-drinking-trains-buses-end-britains-snack/

    “She said it would be up to the Government how this would enforced, but added: ‘We are a law abiding nation. The vast majority of people would observe it, as they did the smoking ban.”
    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7554765/Ban-snacks-buses-says-outgoing-nanny-chief-Dame-Sally-Davies.html

    • roobeedoo2 says:

      They’ll have to go after the train and bus companies, like they did with landlords, for a snack ban were to get any traction.

      • Rose says:

        Yes indeed, it’s not so much that we are law abiding, even though we are, it’s that we don’t like getting other people into trouble.

        Pub landlord fined for flouting smoking ban
        2007

        “A pub landlord who allowed smokers to light up on his premises has been fined in court for flouting the smoking ban in public places.
        Hamish Howitt today became the first publican in the country to be convicted of breaching the smoking legislation, which came into effect on July 1.

        The 55-year-old was fined £500 and ordered to pay £2,000 prosecution costs at Blackpool Magistrates’ Court, after District Judge Peter labelled Howitt’s campaign “silly, misguided and pointless”.

        “Owners and managers of pubs, clubs and cafes are legally bound to enforce the ban and face fines of up to £2,500 if they fail to do so.
        Howitt, who changed his plea to guilty before the start of a scheduled two-day trial, had faced a maximum penalty of £30,000 after he received 12 separate summonses.”
        https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1568388/Pub-landlord-fined-for-flouting-smoking-ban.html

        Fines and penalties

        “Businesses can be fined up to £2,500 if they don’t stop people smoking in the workplace or up to £1,000 if they don’t display ‘no smoking’ signs.

        In Scotland, there is a fixed penalty fine of £200, which can go up to £2,500 if the fine isn’t paid.”
        https://www.gov.uk/smoking-at-work-the-law

        I wonder what you’ll get for eating a small Kit Kat on a bus.

        • roobeedoo2 says:

          ‘Many local public transport services, such as municipal bus or rapid transit systems (two notable exceptions being the Beijing Subway and the New York City Subway), prohibit passengers from consuming food or beverages or carrying open food or beverage containers while on board a vehicle or in a station.’

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prohibited_activities_on_public_transport#Eating_and_drinking

          That’s not very specific. Kinda sweeping. The only concrete examples given are Megabus in Canada and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. The WHO’s Americas region office in Washington.

  3. beobrigitte says:

    An artesian well is simply a well that doesn’t require a pump to bring water to the surface; this occurs when there is enough pressure in the aquifer. The pressure forces the water to the surface without any sort of assistance.
    There is a well like that on Cyprus privately owned (thanks to inheritance). Cyprus is an island that has constant water shortage and the BIG bottled water companies (those that told us we HAVE to drink at least 2L of THEIR water/day and who have been buying up springs all over the world) are more than keen to lay their paws on it.

    Eventually, perhaps after many hundreds of years, these artesian well pyramids stopped working
    That’s why bottled water companies are after these wells. Hundreds of years….. Who cares? The current CEOs and companies will profit excessively.

    The chaotic First Intermediate Period in Egyptian history followed shortly after the reign of Unas. Perhaps this was because the pyramids ceased working, and famine and drought returned to Egypt.

    And….
    I don’t want to think about Brexit. And I bet you don’t want to either.
    You’re right. All we will hear on 1.11.19 about Brexit is that you now can buy and bring into the country 250g Tobacco (overpriced) at a duty free shop (hidden away, of course) at airports.

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