•  The recent discovery of a steep ramp in the Eastern Desert of Egypt to lift ancient quarry stones is significant in that it suggests that the Old Kingdom Egyptians may have utilized a true, if rudimentary, pulley for construction of the Great Pyramid.  
  • Just interviewed for "Illinois Innovators" --
  • The article, "Reinventing the Egyptian Pulley," was selected for the EXARC Journal Digest print issue (2014, Issue 3). The Digest (peer reviewed) is the journal of experimental archaeology. Go to and click on "Reinventing the Egyptian Pulley."
  • S. Blakely presented a paper, "Demonstration of a Full Scale Egyptian Pulley," at the 8th Experimental Archaeology Conference, Oxford University, UK, January 10, 2014.
  • Stephen Blakely was accepted into the membership of EXARC.  EXARC’s goal is “the investigation, contextualisation, presentation and interpretation of archaeological and experimental archaeological heritage.”
  • The full scale Pulley used in the successful 5,000 pound weight lift was on display in the Egyptian Gallery of the Spurlock Museum on the campus of the University of Illinois, summer of 2013.
  • See article at
  • See an article on page A6 of the April 15, 2013 issue of The Daily Illini:
  • An article appeared in April 22, 2013 issue of The Daily Egyptian:
  • The full scale tests described in above articles were completed successfully on April 15, 2013 (test facilities courtesy of Marcal Rope & Rigging, Alton, Illinois).  The photo below shows the (first) full scale Egyptian Pulley (of limestone) used in the successful test, in lifting a ~5,000 weight up a 52 degree incline.  The Roller is 12 inches in diameter.  A video clip of this successful full scale pull is on YouTube at:

Egyptian Pulley prior to the first 5,000 pound lifts