Giza pyramid’s nearly perfect alignment may have involved a rather simple method 

There’s no shortage of astounding feats achieved in the making of the Great Pyramid of Giza, and among them is the structure’s nearly perfect cardinal alignment. 

Scholars have spent decades delving into what techniques the builders could have used to position the pyramid’s sides so they face almost absolute north, south, east, and west, but it turns out the means may not have been all that complex. 

Engineer and archaeologist Glen Dash suggests the planners would have needed little more than a straight stick and sunny skies. 

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The Great Pyamid of Giza at the Giza plato, Egypt on January 1, 2010. (Photo by Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images)
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Experiments conducted in Connecticut during the fall equinox of 2016 showed that pushing a pole into the ground and tracing its shadow throughout the day reveals the requisite directions. 

He writes in a paper published by ‘The Journal of Ancient Egyptian Architecture,’ “On the equinox, the surveyor will find that the tip of the shadow runs in a straight line and nearly perfectly east-west.” 

Dash further notes that the slight discrepancy between the east-west axis indicated by the moving shadow tip and the true line is similar to the small alignment error exhibited in the pyramid’s placement. 

He also points out that his finding is only a suggestion and comments, “The Egyptians, unfortunately, left us few clues. No engineering documents or architectural plans have been found that give technical explanations demonstrating how the ancient Egyptians aligned any of their temples or pyramids.”

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