I see granite blocks in ancient Egyptian temples with perfect holes drilled into them. The historians say at that time (2500BC) they did not possess iron tools or the wheel and certainly no electricity. The most capable metal tool was made of copper.

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One theory suggests that a two-man saw with a flat copper blade was used to make horizontal cuts in granite by throwing sand at the cut line; the silicon quartz pushed by the blade make cutting granite possible. But this process yields something like a 1/2 inch deep cut after many hours of sawing (impractical).

I assume they may have employed a copper hole-saw or tube-like tool using the above method. But it still seems very tedious and impractical.

There is a video here: "Lost Ancient High Technology In Egypt: Saw Marks And Drill Holes".

  • $\begingroup$ The cutting is as you describe , it just requires a bunch of people and time. $\endgroup$ Nov 28, 2020 at 16:51
  • $\begingroup$ The extra-terrestrials used lasers to do it for them, check out some of the literature... $\endgroup$
    – Solar Mike
    Nov 28, 2020 at 16:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ People today have relatively low level of patience because human labour is the most expensive thing in the world. But in aincent times things were in reverse, labour was cheap, and resources expensive. A lot of things change once you understand that they could probably employ teams of people for simple tasks like this. Having thousands of people toiling on stuff like this wasnt a problem. $\endgroup$
    – joojaa
    Nov 28, 2020 at 17:06

2 Answers 2


They had jeweled points set into bronze tube drills. Artisans used generations of experience and secret grinding methods with a good knowledge of metallurgy.

This is a related article old Egypt drilling methods

"In 1996, this tube-drilled piece of granite was on display in the Cairo Museum"

Cairo museum art

  • $\begingroup$ Secret grinding method? $\endgroup$
    – Samid
    Apr 9, 2021 at 13:04

If I got a long steel cylinder with a cutting head on it and the other end like a ball joint

I’d have 2 holes in opposite sides of the cylinder. I can put a knot in the rope on the inside, take the rope and wrap it several times around the cylinder. Then with the other hole, I do the same but wrap it in the other direction.

Then a lubricated plate would fit into the ball joint where pressure was applied.

Now I’d have 10 people pull each rope in opposite directions and 10 people push into the plate.

People used teamwork to quickly do one task at a time. I’d think drilling a hole in granite could take only 5 minutes at most

Probably have someone chisel the start so it doesn’t slip outward

Also steel only takes 500 years to rust to nothing, obviously they had steel tools.

Also wheels have existed since the first tree fell over, don’t fool yourself.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ This answer would be greatly improved if you could provide evidence of steel being made & used during the ancient period in question. $\endgroup$
    – Fred
    Jan 17, 2023 at 6:37

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