How did Ancient Egyptians bore holes into solid granite without electric tools?

A Russian engineer felt unsatisfied with ideas about lasers and aliens. So he studied images of ancient Egyptian workers and copied their tool.

In this video he tests it and explains its construction.

It’s not the metal that drills granite, it’s the abrasive substance. That could be anything, even sand. Egyptians actually had something better – corindon.

Nicholas made an 11 kg flywheel of gypsum, but Egyptians used something even simpler – just two weights, like in this picture.

The metal is a piece of a copper tube.

A wooden stick was taken from a park.

You can see Nicholas putting a wooden plank on granite. It facilitates the start of drilling. But he said Egyptians used to just chisel granite out a little bit.

And don’t forget to add water.

Aside from drilling the granite itself, Nicholas has also discovered some interesting effects:

  • The top of the hole is slightly wider than the bottom (exactly like in Egyptian samples). It happens if the tube is one-piece. The heavier the flywheel, the less pronounced this is.
  • The bottom can be wider than the top if you use a tube with a cut.
  • Drilling had a self-sharpening effect on the drill.

Last but not least: if you are going to repeat his experiment – invite your friends. It’s extremely time and energy consuming.
This experiment took 2 days to complete with the help of the whole filming crew (8 hours of non-stop drilling to get a 5 cm hole).

A detailed video version of the experiment is here.