It’s little wonder, mind you, that the question of how the Great Pyramid’s construction materials were brought in has remained so contentious. Just look at the raw statistics of the structure. Some 2.3 million blocks of stone were used to build it, with the largest weighing up to 80 tons each. An estimated six million tons of limestone and nine million tons of granite were needed. And the granite had to be brought in from Aswan, some 420 miles away.
Now the man who has brought us closer to understanding the construction methods of the ancient Egyptians is Pierre Tallet. He’s a French archaeologist who studied at the prestigious École Normale Supérieure in Paris. Tallet’s links with Egypt started when he worked as a teacher in the country. But his scholarship isn’t exclusive to the Great Pyramid itself. In his work, he has in fact specialized in studying less well known ancient Egyptian sites.
Tallet’s first breakthrough came when he found a series of horizontal underground passages at a location beside the Red Sea. The passages had long ago been sealed up. What the archaeologist established, though, is that these chambers had actually been used by the ancient Egyptians as places in which to store boats.