Pyramids expert takes crack at Grand Mesa find

Dave Bailey of the Western Investigations Team splits away a chunk of rock to be sent out for study at Drexel University in Philadelphia.

It could be that the floor that was found nearly a century ago on the north side of Grand Mesa could have something in common with the Great Pyramids of Egypt.

Chunks of sandstone from the floor, which was excavated by the Western Investigations

Team four years ago, were sent this week to Drexel University in Philadelphia for study by Michel Barsoum, distinguished professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

Barsoum has theorized that the Great Pyramids at Giza were made not from carefully chiseled native stone, but were manufactured on site.

“I found evidence a few years ago that some of the blocks in the Great Pyramids in Egypt were synthetic,” Barsoum wrote as he asked for more information about the floor being studied by the Western Investigations Team.

Geologists who studied the floor on Kimball Creek concluded that what seemed to be carefully inlaid tiles were better explained as a natural occurrence.

Barsoum disagrees. He said he believes the Grand Mesa floor is manmade and that he has an “almost foolproof” technique that can determine whether the tiles are natural or were put there.

That was enough to intrigue Dave Bailey, director of the Western Investigations Team and curator of history at the Museum of the West.

“We’re still open to new interpretations,” Bailey said, noting that the investigations team is dedicated to using the “latest in scientific techniques and historical research.”

Bailey Wednesday afternoon chipped off chunks of the Grand Mesa floor and packaged them for more analysis by Barsoum at Drexel.

Unlike shales that split easily into layers when separated with a knife or chisel, the yellow-tinted sandstone of the floor resisted Bailey’s efforts to split it off with a hammer and chisel.

When he rubbed chunks of the rock between his forefingers, it collapsed into a fine-grained sand, however.

The floor will figure in a new exhibit being put together by the museum, “The Search for Lost Kingdoms.” The exhibit will include investigations by the team into structures along Kannah Creek on the south side of the mesa.

Bailey has long theorized that Spaniards and others who traveled through western Colorado before the Dominguez-Escalante expedition of 1776 were looking for a lost colony along the banks of the Colorado River.

The Western Investigations Team got its start by studying artifacts from Cannibal Mesa, where Alferd Packer survived a brutal winter on the remains of his traveling companions.

Using the Center for Electron Microscopy at Mesa State College, the team determined that Packer was likely telling the truth when he said he killed one of his companions in self-defense after the man murdered the rest of the party of prospectors.

This story first appeared Wednesday as a Mobile Junction item at


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