Pyramids of Giza – Leveling the Foundation

Every construction project begins with site preparation. Leveling a building terrain of the size of the great pyramid of Khufu was no job for amateurs. The foundation is leveled so precise that claiming it is done with primitive tools is unsustainable and even unscientific. The claims are induced by self-appointed experts who have no education nor any experience in construction principles and how errors accumulate in both measuring and construction processes. This series of articles will shed a new light on a long kept mystery.

The Levelness of the Foundation of Khufu

The levelness or horizontalness of the great pyramid of Khufu is so high that even after 4,500 years it still outmatches the highest ambitions of any construction engineer. | © 2017 by Buildreps.

Astounding Accuracy Even After Many Milleniums

We have thanks to Flinders Petrie for his survey work on the pyramids of Giza around 1880 reliable data of the pyramids to work with. Besides surveying the pyramids had Petrie also ideas as to how the builders might have achieved such astounding high precisions. He suggested that the builders leveled the terrain by cutting a grid of trenches, flooded them with water, using the water surface as a guide for leveling.

This was an assumption based on speculation, since nothing of a kind of grid was found. Moreover, it is an assumption that water leveling could achieve such a precision. After all, archaeologists are no engineers, and since archaeologists are often too conceited to take professional advices from engineers, and since surveying the pyramids is a monopoly of archaeologists, none of the mysteries is ever solved.

Only some hundred years later began Mark Lehner to produce a similar mapping of the pyramids, only with contemporary more precise equipment. Based on this measurements suggested Lehner that the builders only leveled a perimeter casing on the circumference of the pyramid.

Both, Petrie and Lehner, have measured the structure with increasing precision, leaving not a single doubt about the dazzling high accuracy with which the builders crafted their pyramids some 4,500 years ago.

Suggesting primitive means like water leveling, simple wooden tools, and cutting rock with copper chisels don’t seem to clarify the mysteries surrounding the pyramids. These simple explanations make the mystery only more complicated. Because the pyramids are dated some 2,500 BC, and the ruling paradigm insists a Stone age, Copper age, Iron age there seems no way to explain anything, except mindless propositions that fit the ruling paradigm.

Nubian Plate Movements

The plate on which the pyramids of Giza are built is called the Nubian plate. Every movement that this plate made after the pyramids were built in regard to the geographical pole (orientation) or to the center of the Earth (levelness) results in a deviation of the structure.

The precision with which the pyramids were built are baffling. But what everyone seems to forget is that the age of the structure adds a significant portion to its current deviations, while they are still standing with an admirable precision. To find out how precise the pyramids were built, before you can establish any measuring or building methodology at all, you need to be aware of the Nubian plate movements over the last 4,500 years. The original precision has to estimated by the plate movement corrections first.

There is little to no knowledge about the tilt movements of the Nubian plate over the last few thousand years, but the more about the drift and the Eulerian rotation of the plate. The term Eulerian rotation refers to a virtual point on the plate around which it seemingly rotates. We cannot correct the levelness or horizontalness of the pyramids by any accurate means, so we leave the levelness uncorrected. But we can correct the orientation of the pyramids.

Based upon several measurements over the last decades it is quite certain that the Nubian plate moves consistently counterclockwise about 13” (“=arc seconds) per thousand years. Assuming it is true that the pyramids are 4,500 years old we can assert that the Nubian plate has rotated around 59” counterclockwise, which is about 1′ or 0.0167°. If the pyramids are older, the grade of rotation was larger.

Break Even Point

The theoretical breakeven point is an age of 13,816 years BC – an age of 15,833 years. At this age are the pyramids theoretically spoken exactly oriented to the current geographic pole, which did not move anymore at about 50,000 years ago. But if we hold on to the official age of 4,500 years, the correct orientation of the pyramids at the time they were built, was approximately -0.041° or 0.041° West of North. Today it is -0.057°.

If you want to make the best estimate of the age of the pyramids, you must combine the above mentioned oriental breakeven point with the most likely star alignments, and not rely on star alignments alone. In the future we will publish proof for the correct age of the pyramids based on a set of converging data.

All theories based upon uncorrected data will be ipso facto wrong. One thing is for sure – the plate has moved. It has rotated, it has shifted, and it has tilted. The slightest changes have significant impact on the already very precise alignments of the pyramids. We cannot correct the tilt angle of the pyramids but we can correct the rotation angle up to a certain degree. We will pay attention to orientation in the next article.

Common Errors Made by Archaeologists and Historians

Scholars, historians, and scientists who try to reconstruct how the pyramids were built try to do this by reconstructing possible measuring principles with relative simple tools. They have no choice simply because the paradigm doesn’t allow any other more sophisticated methods. By not allowing themselves to think outside the box they make major errors in their approaches and assumptions.

  • Error #1: The pyramids were surveyed by Petrie and Lehner by using high-tech instruments. The produced outcomes are used to reconstruct possible measuring methods the builders could have been used. We are not talking about measuring methods they had used but a factual construction that is produced within this range of error. The measuring equipment the pyramid builders used was therefore more accurate, at least by a factor of two. All engineers agree with the fact that the instrument must be more accurate than the construction specs. The levelness of Khufu is about 0.2″. That is the kind of instrumentation we are dealing with here. In case of leveling the pyramid builders used an instrument capable of measuring with a tolerance of less than ±0.1”. Most modern surveying instruments like theodolites are able to measure within this kind of accuracy, typically less than 5” or even less than 2”. But to measure 0.1” requires the best available theodolite. How can we reproduce such modern instruments with simple means? The bar is set at a very high level.
  • Error #2: None of the official theories accounts for the accuracy of the original construction by correcting for geological movements of the area or the whole plate. They must when they want to be taken seriously.
  • Error #3: Solving questions with improper means, that is to say, the ruling paradigm dictates how questions must be solved instead of how they should be solved, which is scientifically. Leave any possibility open whether they had advanced equipment or whether they knew advanced mathematics. We shall see what is possible and what not. Cutting granite with copper tools is simply impossible while some Egyptologists keep persisting they did it this way. Who is irrational and who is to trust on their expertise? Archaeologists or engineers?

Leveling With Water Trenches

Using water trenches is accurate but far from accurate enough to explain the levelness of Giza’s pyramids.| © 2017 Buildreps.

Possible Techniques to Measure Levelness or Horizontalness

There are several proposed techniques with which the pyramid builders could have leveled the construction site. If that would be true, why do we need such costly equipment and academical trained engineers to do our contemporary surveying?

  • Method #1 – Water Trenches: When it comes to leveling the pyramid of Giza some Egyptologists tend to agree it could have been done by using a water trench close to the casing. The surface of the water in the trench surrounding the casing would serve as the level they had to plane away to get at the same level as the lowest point. Everyone can easily see this must be done in several stages from coarse to fine. The problem is that there is never any evidence found of such a method. Another problem is the accuracy which is not better than ±0.1% of the distance between the two sample points. In the case of Khufu are we dealing with a deviation of just 0.006%. So, that is still more than 16 times more accurate than we possibly can level with water trenches. And that levelness is even uncorrected because we’ve no data about the tilt movements of the Nubian plate. It’s easy to see how impossible this proposed technique is.
    Hydrostatic leveling is good at registering changes between two sample points.

  • Method #2 – Communicating Vessels: Also referred to as hydrostatic leveling is quite an accurate method. This method can be accurate to distinguish fluctuations within ±0.05% of the distance between the two levelers. It can be used as an instrument independent from the site, hence one of the possible reasons why no evidence of hydrostatic leveling is found. Due to the combination of robustness and accuracy is hydrostatic leveling even used in nuclear plants or particle accelerators to guard their stability. But hydrostatic leveling is especially good at registering variations between two positions, and not directly good as a measuring device itself.  If there is one method to level the great pyramids this could be the one, but there are some major problems with it, from which accuracy is the major one. With this method, the levelness of the great pyramid of Khufu would still deviate some ±115 mm, which is still around 8 times off the scale.
    This ridiculous, unscientific idea how the builders must have leveled the pyramids is proposed by Egyptologists. This method comes not even close.

  • Method #3 – Right-angled Isosceles Triangle: It is said by most established scientists that the Egyptians only had the isosceles triangle to their disposal to level the pyramids. If this device would be so accurate why don’t surveyors use it today? It would save a lot of money. In fact is this a laughable and completely unscientific attempt to explain something magnificent. The best achievable accuracy of this instrument is only about ±0.1% of the distance between two sample points. It can be accurate, yes, but not accurate enough. Not even by a factor of 15. The best achievable leveling of the pyramids would be not less than ±230 mm or ±3.6”.  A clear impossibility.
This Leica 500 is capable to level up to 0.05″ accurate. This is the kind of instrument we need to level the great pyramid of Khufu.

None of the three possible methods are accurate enough to explain the current observed level, let alone the level at the time the pyramids were built. That means we have to come up with some other methods that equals the capabilities of a modern Leica theodolite. Science is not about believes or generating mindless assumptions like Egyptologists like to do, it’s about explaining the facts without being bothered by paradigms.


It is said that the pyramid builders had no advanced instruments to their disposal but the fact is there is no way to explain the current found leveling with the methods #1 to #3, let alone if we correct the orientation or levelness with the movements of the Nubian plate over the last 4,500 years. Egyptologists have a problem with the proposed methods, a problem which isn’t even properly defined up to this day.

The used measuring and building methods are still wide open for all possible speculations. Whether alternative options are considered as ridiculous is not the right question. The mystery of the pyramids of Giza are scientifically not solved yet, except somewhat amateurish attempts by archaeologists. It’s time that engineers take their place and solve these questions as it should be – unbiased and scientifically.


© 2017 by Mario Buildreps

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