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        Prehistoric Drilling:

It was claimed by Petrie that early dynastic Egyptians used drills for some of their constructions. The following images suggest he was right.

In 1996, this tube-drilled piece of granite was on display in the Cairo Museum without any associated identifying information. The photo clearly shows spiral grooves on the visible portions. The grooves can be seen to be of regular depth and spacing, and occur in all of the holes in this piece. These grooves seem to support Petrie's conclusion of "jewelled points" set into bronze tube drills.

4th dynasty drill-marks (UC 16036), . Petrie museum.

The ancient builders used a tube drill to hollow out the sarcophagus in the King's chamber of the Great Pyramid - they drilled off course and left a tube drill mark on the top inside of the box on the east side. Although the masons tried to disguise the marks, they can still be seen today.

Unfinished travertine stone vessel split longitudinally to reveal remaining drill core fragments partially attached, possibly 4th Dynasty (height. 6.9 cm, The Petrie Museum (UC44993), Photograph by Jon Bodsworth The Egypt Archive)

(Other Examples of Extreme Egyptian Masonry)



   Prehistoric Surgical Drilling:

Although not directly connected with construction, evidence for drilling goes back several thousand years, as testified by the numerous examples of prehistoric dentistry and Trepanning, both involving drilling procedures.


Article: MSNBC (2006) - Proving prehistoric man�s ingenuity and ability to withstand and inflict excruciating pain, researchers have found that dental drilling dates back 9,000 years.

Primitive dentists drilled nearly perfect holes into live but undoubtedly unhappy patients between 5500 B.C. and 7000 B.C., an article in Thursday�s issue of the journal Nature reports. Researchers carbon-dated at least nine skulls with 11 drill holes found in a Pakistan graveyard.

(Link to full article:


Trepanation: Skulls with signs of trepanning were found practically in all parts of the world where man has lived. Trepanning is probably the oldest surgical operation known to man: evidence for it goes back as far as in 40,000 year-old Cro-Magnon sites. The Egyptians invented the circular trephine, made by a tube with serrated borders, which cuts much easier by means of rotation, and which was then extensively used in Greece and Rome, and gave origin to the "crown" trephine, used in Europe from the first to the 19th century.

(Link to full article: )

(More about Prehistoric Surgery)


   Other Examples of Prehistoric Drilling:

Hundreds of drilled holes on the stones at Mnajdra, Malta.


Les Pierres Plates, Morbihan, France.

Les Pierres Plates, France.

The Cap-stones of the Pierres Plates tumulus have what appear to be drill-marks on the top-sides.

The 'Drill-marks' on some stones match those on others, suggesting they were split in half.

(More about Pierres Plates, France)


It has been suggested that there is evidence of machining at Puma-punka, as the following photo demonstrates:

A close inspection of the stone above reveals that there are regularly spaced drill marks along the length of the precision-cut 6mm groove

(Construction Techniques)   (Extreme Masonry)





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