The Naked Scientists

The Naked Scientists Forum

Author Topic: Pyramid Construction  (Read 18181 times)

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Pyramid Construction
« on: 20/05/2006 11:58:46 »
Is it possible that the pyramids could have been built without the use of ramps?

I have been conducting practical experiments with real megaliths up to 12 tons in weight and believe that there are far easier ways to build a pyramid.

See; www.stonehengetheanswer.com [nofollow]

G W Pipes


 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #1 on: 22/05/2006 11:39:55 »
Interesting. I'll read through it again when I have more time.

Brand new forum at
http://beaverlandforum.y4a.net
More than just science
 

Offline xetho

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #2 on: 12/06/2006 00:03:50 »
I have an idea :D

Take a hill with some rocks naturally occurring on top. Break the rocks into the desired shapes like the Egyptians did with wood pegs and water. (I think that'd be called hydraulics)

Once the rocks are broken, move them a bit by rolling or something and dig away the hill beneath them. Dig so as to lower one end and eventually bring all the monoliths upright.

"The meaning of life is growth"
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #3 on: 12/06/2006 01:00:18 »
Very interesting idea.

Some of the advantages claimed may not necessarily have been as relevant to the people involved.  Generally, manpower and time were not as expensive as they would be today, and health and safety was rarely an issue.

The method does seem to be useful in precision positioning, but I would have thought that for travelling long distances over level ground, rollers would be faster.

The extensive use of wood for the final positioning of the stones I would have thought would have left some traces (as would any other tools used) on and around the stone.  The wood itself would not survive, but it would, I assume, leave identifiable marks on the stone, as well as leaving some decomposition products in the vicinity.

I would have also thought that using wood for the levers would apply considerable local friction at the fulcrum, and at the point where the wood lifts the stone, which would quickly wear away the wood.  This could mean that the life of any given lever could be quite short, requiring extensive wood supplies, as well as having to add the time and manpower costs of collecting that wood into the manpower requirements for the method in use.  It is true that rollers would also require wood, but the friction on the wood would be more evenly spread, and so the life of the wood would be longer.

As for the controllability of the rollers, you suggest the use of rails, and I would suggest that a logical extension to this would be to place grooves aligned with the rails to guide the rollers (although the use of rails, in any form, would again tend to localise friction forces and increase the wear on the rollers).

The other question is how much wood was available to the Egyptians in building the pyramids?  The method you suggest, of build wooden platforms rather than mud ramps, although quite elegant in many ways, is demanding of large supplies of wood, which is not a resource commonly associated as a primary construction material in that part of the world, primarily because of its scarcity (far more so than any scarcity of labour).



George
« Last Edit: 12/06/2006 01:05:30 by another_someone »
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #4 on: 12/06/2006 06:51:32 »
Hi, It's a misconception that the Egyptians suffered from a shortage of timber, ample supplies were available in nearby Lebenon. Most of the the river craft on the Nile were made of wood.

As regards the use of rollers the practical problems are many, the surface over which they must roll has to be completely smooth with no dips or hollows, each roller must be uniform in size and each one has to be the same diameter throughout it's length, each roller must be laid in front of the moving stone at exactly 90 degrees to the direction of travel, I could continue.

However, the biggest problem is not with the practicality of rollers but the frailty of the human body. Stones can only be moved by the use of energy. The work done by an animal or man is due to chemical energy. While work is being done there is slow combustion or wasting of the animals body, this is repaired by feeding. The kind of work we are concerned about when dragging stones on rollers is unlike the kind of work we are used to today. Moving stones on rollers requires explosive energy, (the kind of energy used by a sprinter)irrespective of the amount of manpower available. Using this kind of explosive energy results in a rapid build-up of Lactic Acid in the muscles which can only be dispersed by rest. A workforce that spent more time resting than working could not have built the pyramids in the timespan required!



G W Pipes
 

Offline DoctorBeaver

  • Naked Science Forum GOD!
  • *******
  • Posts: 12656
  • Thanked: 3 times
  • A stitch in time would have confused Einstein.
    • View Profile
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #5 on: 12/06/2006 09:05:48 »
quote:
Originally posted by another_someone


I would have also thought that using wood for the levers would apply considerable local friction at the fulcrum, and at the point where the wood lifts the stone, which would quickly wear away the wood.  This could mean that the life of any given lever could be quite short, requiring extensive wood supplies, as well as having to add the time and manpower costs of collecting that wood into the manpower requirements for the method in use.  It is true that rollers would also require wood, but the friction on the wood would be more evenly spread, and so the life of the wood would be longer.




George




That problem could easily be solved by inserting smaller pieces of wood between the stone & the lever. That would then only necessitate the replacement of the smaller pieces hence saving on both wood & manpower to collect it.

Brand new forum at
http://beaverlandforum.y4a.net
More than just science
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #6 on: 12/06/2006 13:23:02 »
quote:
Originally posted by GordonP
It's a misconception that the Egyptians suffered from a shortage of timber, ample supplies were available in nearby Lebenon. Most of the the river craft on the Nile were made of wood.



There was ample wood throughout the Mediterranean area, Lebanon being only one source, but it would require importation.  It is true that Egypt was a rich country, nonetheless, I am not aware of wood being used in construction in any other context in Egypt, and conversely, one does not see anything akin to pyramids being built in those countries where wood is abundant (I have less of a problem with your arguments regarding the northern megaliths).

Most of the river craft were made of papyrus, not wood.  Wooden craft did exist, but wood was not a native material (at least for most of the history of Egypt – the very Egyptians may still have had some native wood available to them).  The lack of wood would be one reason why Egypt never became a major maritime nation – unlike the Phoneceans, who had the cedar forests on their own back yard.

quote:

As regards the use of rollers the practical problems are many, the surface over which they must roll has to be completely smooth with no dips or hollows, each roller must be uniform in size and each one has to be the same diameter throughout it's length, each roller must be laid in front of the moving stone at exactly 90 degrees to the direction of travel, I could continue.



I accept the precision issues, but for all the lack of technology that the ancients were encumbered with, they certainly did not lack the skills to apply their crafts with a very high degree of precision.

quote:

However, the biggest problem is not with the practicality of rollers but the frailty of the human body. Stones can only be moved by the use of energy. The work done by an animal or man is due to chemical energy. While work is being done there is slow combustion or wasting of the animals body, this is repaired by feeding. The kind of work we are concerned about when dragging stones on rollers is unlike the kind of work we are used to today. Moving stones on rollers requires explosive energy, (the kind of energy used by a sprinter)irrespective of the amount of manpower available. Using this kind of explosive energy results in a rapid build-up of Lactic Acid in the muscles which can only be dispersed by rest. A workforce that spent more time resting than working could not have built the pyramids in the timespan required!



I do not quite understand your argument here.  Clearly, if the project is undermanned, then one can well imagine that the individuals will burn themselves out quickly; but assuming there is enough manpower (or a sufficient number of oxen) amongst which to distribute the load, then I do not see such a constraint.  In a large and powerful slave owning economy, such as existed in ancient Egypt, there would always be more than ample manpower to do that kind of work.

Although I do not know the actual prices paid, but I would imagine that one could not buy a great deal of cedar for the price of a single slave.  I think you risk applying 20th/21st century economic values to ancient civilisatiuons.

Ofcourse, in ancient times, the most common form of long distance transport was always over water, and the issue here is only about how the material was moved from the water front to the construction site.




George
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #7 on: 12/06/2006 16:44:34 »
Hi, it's generally accepted that the labour force used for the pyramids was not slave labour but even if it was the following facts still apply.

To move a 12ton stone on rollers requires a pulling team of around 50 men (I've done this experiment for real), the team pulled in the manner of a tug-o-war team, short bursts and short rests. After about 20 mins most of the team were about ready to quit. Energy was burnt rapidly.
Double the pulling team and you will probably almost double the distance covered before burn-out, making a working shift of perhaps 40 mins. A long rest will then be required while the men lose the build-up of Lactic Acid in the muscles. I would estimate a maximum of perhaps 2 working hours per 10 hour shift.

The distance from the quarry used for the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza is several kilometres overland (no water available)
To build this pyramid in a 20year time-span requires the delivery of one block to the building site every 2 mins 365 days per year for 20 years.

I don't believe this could have been done if the men have to keep stopping for a rest. See Egyptian Stone Conveyor, www.stonehengetheanswer.com [nofollow]

G W Pipes

G W Pipes
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #8 on: 12/06/2006 23:54:24 »
http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/timelines/topics/means_of_transportation.htm
quote:

Sledges


Wheeled vehicles were never widely used and for heavy loads they were not strong enough anyway. Giant statues and the like were loaded onto wooden sledges and dragged by large numbers of men. Smaller loads were also often transported by sledge. In the tomb of Petosiris (ca.300 BCE) there is a depiction of a mummy being transported to its tomb on a wheeled hearse, which was, even in this late era, unusual. The little naos following the hearse on the other hand was loaded onto a sledge.
    To facilitate the movement of sledges on packed, sunbaked soil, small amounts of water were poured on the ground before them, turning the top layer into a slick, smooth surface. More rarely the sledges were placed on rollers.



http://www.imh.org/imh/kyhpl1b.html#xtocid2243620
quote:

The Wheel


Early Man has the Cart Before the Horse in the Near East

Oxen had already been yoked to the pole of a plow, probably early in the forth millennium BC, in the Near East. Towards the end of the millennium they are yoked to sledges, the latter being eventually mounted on rollers, then on wheels. Vehicles with disk wheels appear near the beginning of the third millennium BC and are depicted as drawn also by equids - either onagers or asses hybrids. The four-wheeled war wagon depicted on the "Standard" from Ur, in southern Mesopotamia, of about 2,500 BC, is pulled by a yoke team of four equids with nose-ring control. The composite disk wheels are made up of two crescent-shaped pieces of wood held together by slats, and very likely by a rawhide tire, shrunk on wet, of which some material evidence has been found. Apparent hub and axle ends and linch-pins seem to point to wheels that already revolved on affixed axles. By the time numerous horses were brought in from the barbarian north to the civilization of the Near East, a light chariot with spoke wheels had been developed for war and hunting. Yoked to it, the horse rapidly superseded other equids in harness for these purposes - although not for the less glamorous types of draft.



Someone else who speculates on the same issue that you do, has the following comments to make (I am copying them here for comparison, not because I either agree or disagree with them).

http://members.aol.com/aditt48670/pyramid.html
quote:


I'm not an Egyptologist nor a scientist.  I'm a part time inventor (Invention Website) who is intrigued with ancient Egypt, specifically with the construction of the Great pyramid of Egypt at Giza.
Theories abound as to how this incredible structure was built.  Some people contend it was built by thousands of slave laborers; others believe it was the result of the extraordinary intelligence of extra-terrestrials.
The Great Pyramid is composed of 2.5 million limestone blocks that weigh two to thirteen tons each.  The largest and most elaborate pyramids were built in a 160-year span between 2650 and 2490 B.C.; the Great pyramid was built during the 23-year reign of Pharaoh Khufu.  Evan Hadington, writing about Pyramids in the "Atlantic" magazine, calculated that to complete the Great Pyramid in 23 years, it was necessary to set one block in place every two minutes during a ten hour work day, 365 days a year.
How did an ancient civilization move the gargantuan blocks UP to the heights necessary?  What ingenious block transportation methods did they use to accomplish this placements of limestone blocks in assembly line efficiency in order to complete construction during a Pharoah's reign? Most Egyptologists agree that the wheel was not yet around (no pun intended).  The most popular theory is that flat-bottomed, two rail sledges (basically oversized wooden snow sleds) were used to pull the limestone blocks up clay/mud ramps (Fig. 1). Some theorists go farther and attempt to explain in detail how the sledges were moved. Currently there are two popular camps of sledge moving theories. One involves the use of long rollers to help move the sledge. Another entertains the notion that either water or oil was used to lubricate wooden planks that sledges slid across on their trek up the ramp.  
The Use of water or oil to lubricate sledge rails has merit as long as the sledge is on solid/level concrete ground as shown in the Egyptian "relief" in Fig. 2. The problem with this transportation method for pyramid building is that a clay/mud ramp would become dangerously slippery and wouldn't be practical for moving large objects weighing thousands of pounds up to great heights.  Logic says that these narrow earthen ramps were hazardous when dry; they would have been treacherous when wet and muddy.  To further complicate matters, most Egyptologists agree that a wrap-around coil ramp was probably used for the largest of the Pyramids at Giza (Fig. 3).
Another theory suggest Egyptians used long rollers, but this seems impractical also.  Men would have had to continually carry rollers from the back to the front of the sledge as it moved forward on a long, coiling ramp (Fig. 1).  This method of roller use would be cumbersome because the rollers could easily roll askew (at angles that are not 90 degrees to sledge rails).  This technology seem inefficient and crude for the ancient Egyptians who were ingenious and very precise with pyramid construction at Giza. Ancient Egyptian precision was of such caliber that, on many of the remaining casing stones still left on the pyramids, a razor blade cannot be slid between the stones after 4,500 years.  Engineering of this degree hardly suggests inefficiency.                                
I have a theory that is based on tools and simple technology that was probably available at the time of the Old Kingdom in ancient Egypt (3100-2181 B.C.).  I believe the Egyptians used modified rollers and a modified sledge.  The modified sledge, which was either "arc rail" or "four rail", would allow the rollers to "automatically" reset by gravity (roll back into place down the ramp incline to roller stops) after they were rolled over (Fig 3).

The modified sledge and rollers would allow the limestone blocks to be towed up the ramp with less manpower and in a much more time efficient manner.  This method would also help prevent damage to the earthen ramp from water or oil being poured continuously as proposed in one theory.

I believe the rollers were spaced equally apart and utilized "roller stops" to reset the rollers for the next sledge or sledge rail.  Gravity would automatically reset the roller after the sledge released it.

U-Shaped channels, built into the earthen ramp, would constitute the roller track.  The track would be laid out to cover the length of the wrap around ramp.  The channels might also have strengthened by the insertion of wooden beams.  The "U-Channels" would house the rollers and help guide the sledge up the ramp.

My initial attempt at a "roller reset" theory used rollers that were longer than the width of the sledge rails.  The problem with rollers this long that it would be very difficult to get them smooth and straight, in large quantities, and to maintain uniform diameter over the entire length of the roller.  In other words, it would have been a rough ride all the way up the ramp.  Using shorter rollers would have afforded the Egyptians a much greater chance of finding sections of tree trunks that were smooth, straight, and a uniform diameter-especially in an era when wood was probably in fairly short supply.  The "U-Channels" would keep the rollers and sledge rails ona straight path.  I have not found an existing roller theory that has considered the use of the short roller possibility.

Arc Rail Sledge  The arc rail sledge (Fig 3.) would ride on two rollers at a time, within the top part of the U-Channel, and thus produce a fairly smooth ride.  The ride could be smoothed further by stabilizer bars in front and rear.  If the sledge was tilted to front or back, the stabilizer bar would slide on top of the U-Channel to smooth out the ride until stabilization occurred.

Four Rail Sledge  The four rail sledge would have ridden on four rollers at all times and would have delivered a smooth ride.  The key to the four rail sledge lies in the two rails on each side; the notch between the two rails allows the roller at the front ail to be released as the two front rails roll up onto he next set of rollers (Fig. 3).  This would allow the released roller to roll back to the roller stop, and the back rail would automatically have its next roller available as it journeyed forward.

Flat-Bottom Two-Rail Sledge   Most Egyptologists agree that the flat bottom two rail sledge existed during the Old Kingdom pyramid era.  However, these sledges would not have worked very efficiently with a roller configuration like the one proposed in my theory.  The rollers would bunch up rather quickly because they are not released in sequence. This bunching would ultimately result in the sledge sliding over the rollers instead rolling smoothly.                  
Direct supporting evidence for any theory as to how the huge blocks were moved is sparse at best.  To date, no text or relief (chiseled drawings) have been found describing how the Great Pyramids were built.  Most Egyptologists agree that the wheel had not yet been invented, and the first recording of large blocks being moved with wheels is dated about 750 B.C.-some 2000 years after the Great Pyramid was built.  The first wheeled transportation was introduced until the Middle Kingdom when the Hyksos brought chariots to Egypt between 2040 and 1786 B.C.
One must use indirect evidence to formulate theories as to how large objects might have been transported.  A relief from the tomb of Djehutihotip (Fig. 2) dating to 1800 B.C. (800 years after the Great Pyramid was built) show 172 men pulling a huge statue on flat ground with a two-rail, flat-bottom sledge.  Some type of liquid is shown being poured in front the sledge, presumably a lubricant.  Another relief (from 1580-1588 B.C. 1000 years after the building of the Great Pyramid), known as the Tura Stele, show three oxen pulling a block of stone on a two-rail flat-bottom sledge across flat ground.  Remains of clay ramps have been found at Giza and a mud ramp has been found at the Saqqara pyramid.  Thus, sufficient evidence exists to conclude that ramps were used to some extent.
The two sledge reliefs provide compelling indirect evidence of how the blocks might have been moved.  One problem, as previously eluded to, is that both reliefs date about one millennium after the Great Pyramid was built.  The construction of the Great Pyramid appears to be the crowning technological achievement for the ancient Egyptians, since most later Egyptian construction pales in comparison.  This supports speculation that technological advancement slowed considerably after the building of the Great Pyramid and supports the assumption that relief evidence must be considered indirect.  It suggests that some technology was lost in the 1000 years between the building of the Great Pyramid and the time that the two sledge reliefs were engraved.  David McCauley, author of PYRAMIDS, and other Egyptologists have proposed that easily movable wooden rockers (much like my suggested two-rail arc-bottom sledge) were used during the final shaping of the stone at the top of the pyramid.  The stone was transferred from the flat-bottom sledge to the rocker.  One can easily ask why it would not make more sense to simple use my theory's arc-rail sledge to pull the stone up, thus eliminating the step of transferring the heavy blocks from transportation device to another at the top of the pyramid.
A flat-bottom 2-rail sledge can easily be notched in the middle to make my proposed 4 rail sledge, and would also work nicely with my roller theory.  My theory of two modified sledge possibilities and auto-resetting rollers could have easily been forgotten or lost to time during the thousands of years that passed before the first hard evidence (reliefs) of sledges emerged.  My idea of two modified sledges is not dramatically different from the sledges and rockers most Egyptologists believe existed during the Old Kingdom.  The use of rollers would have logically preceded the invention of the wheel.
Even today, modern logic is diminished in the presence of a great pyramid.  Exactly how the pyramids were built is still a mystery which endures after 4,500 years and humbles the modern mind when we consider our "progress".



http://nefertiti.iwebland.com/timelines/topics/canals.htm
quote:

Canals


His majesty sent (me) in order to dig 5 canals in Upper Egypt and in order to build 3 barges and 4 tow-boats of acacia wood of Wawat, the rulers of the Medja hills Irtjet, Wawat, Yam, Medja were cutting the wood for them. (I) did it entirely in one year, floated and loaded with very large granite (blocks) for the pyramid 'Merenre [1] -appears-in-splendor' . Indeed, I made a saving for the Palace with all these 5 canals.
From the autobiography of Weni the Elder
Translated by Mark Vygus

    The first major shipping canal was constructed under Pepi I (6th Dynasty), when the rocks of the first cataract were pierced. This helped the Egyptian army to extend their hold on Nubia, from where raids had been conducted against Upper Egypt. The canal was also of economic significance, enabling the transport of blocks of granite and obelisks downriver on sizable ships. The canal had a length of 90 metres, was ten metres wide and nine metres deep, carved through granite.
    Senusret III (12th dynasty) ordered the excavation of a 75 metre long canal at the first cataract which had to be repaired eight years later





George
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #9 on: 13/06/2006 00:24:34 »
quote:
Originally posted by GordonP
Hi, it's generally accepted that the labour force used for the pyramids was not slave labour but even if it was the following facts still apply.



Although I can understand that for skilled work, such as dressing the stone, you may not want to use slaves; but for unskilled work, such as the brute force of carrying the stones, this seems to be the ideal role for them.

Ofcourse, there still remains the possibility that beasts of burden, rather than manpower, was used to shift the sone.

quote:

To move a 12ton stone on rollers requires a pulling team of around 50 men (I've done this experiment for real), the team pulled in the manner of a tug-o-war team, short bursts and short rests. After about 20 mins most of the team were about ready to quit. Energy was burnt rapidly.
Double the pulling team and you will probably almost double the distance covered before burn-out, making a working shift of perhaps 40 mins. A long rest will then be required while the men lose the build-up of Lactic Acid in the muscles. I would estimate a maximum of perhaps 2 working hours per 10 hour shift.



Even if taken at face value, that simple means upping the labour force by a factor of 5.  As I said, I am not aware of any labour shortage in this era.

quote:

The distance from the quarry used for the building of the Great Pyramid at Giza is several kilometres overland (no water available)
To build this pyramid in a 20year time-span requires the delivery of one block to the building site every 2 mins 365 days per year for 20 years.

I don't believe this could have been done if the men have to keep stopping for a rest. See Egyptian


Although this kind of schedule does seem very dramatic, I would have thought the real limiting factor is not the delivery of the stone at that rate so much as the ability to place the stones in position as fast as they come on site.

Have you tried to calculate how long it would take, using your method, to raise each stone into position; and how many stones could be being manoeuvred into position simultaneously; and, as I have queried up until now, how much wood would need to be used in the operation?



George
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #10 on: 13/06/2006 19:50:46 »
First of all let's be clear about one thing, NO-ONE knows HOW the pyramids were built, NO-ONE.

Official wisdom states the stone was probably moved on wooden sledges pulled by men, not beasts, and elevated to whatever hieght the pyramid had reached by means of a mud and brick ramp.

I say this theory (which is totally untested)is utter rubbish.

I'll go back to the experiments I conducted last summer. Although you say you are prepared to accept the results of these experiments at face value, I can assure you they were witnessed by several eminent archaeologists and recorded by a film crew for National Geographic Channel.

Apart from these experiments I also have copies of unpublished researh papers from a study of the stone moving techniques of the people on the island of West Sumba in Indonesia where they still move heavy stones on rollers.

Both my own experiments and the evidence of the research papers suggest a distance of around 100 metres per day as a reasonable estimate of the distance that might be achieved by a team of 100 men pulling a stone of around 12 tons.

The distance from the quarry to the site of The Great Pyramid is stated as several kilometres, I don't know the exact distance be I'll be generous and say several kilometres could be as few as three.

So, let's do some simple arithmatic, 100 men =100 metres so 1000 men =1 kilometre and 3000 men = 3 kilometres, to move one stone from the quarry to the building site.

To build the pyramid in 20 years around 365 stones must have been transported each day.

So, 3000 men multiplied by 365 = 1095000 men.

More than a million men working 10 hours per day 7 days per week 365 days per year for 20 years and that's just for the transport. At the same time each of the stones had to be cut free from the quarry and dressed to shape using only stone or copper tools and at the building site each of the stones had to be laid carefully in place. I won't dwell on the fact that two smaller pyramids were also built at the same time.

Archeaologists have recently unearthed the village which housed the workers. Whoever heard of a village which housed more than 1 million inhabitants? To say nothing of the butchers, bakers and candlestick makers that made the village work.

To my mind the Eygptians must have had some kind of infrastructure in place for moving this amount of stone, some kind of infrastructure that made it possible for a reasonably sized workforce to move the stones with relitive ease.  





G W Pipes
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #11 on: 13/06/2006 22:31:00 »
Firstly, let me just say that when I say I will take your reported observations at face value, this is not to cast any doubt on your honesty, it is merely to state that since I have not seen it with my own eyes, and have no other corroborating evidence, I must allow for a greater degree of doubt than if I had seen such corroboration.  This is in no way a comment upon yourself, it is just my natural caution, and nothing more.

As you say, we are speculating on that for which no-one has any direct evidence; and I am certainly not trying to say that you are WRONG, only trying to challenge what I see as weaknesses in your proposition (but then, it is in my nature to always look for risks and weaknesses, and that is nothing particular to you or your suggestions).

You say that the island people of West Sumba still move heavy stones by rollers – why do they do things this way if you believe there is a much better way for them to do it.  Is it just down to human stupidity?  Is there some other constraint upon them?

Going back to the discussion about how far the stones could be moved by sled, the real issue over level ground (the matter is very different once one is looking at slopes) is not so much the weight of the rock as the amount of friction.  I accept that friction is related to weight, but weight is not the only factor the dictates friction (I am sure that in the ridiculously hypothetical scenario that the the Egyptians had access to Teflon surfaces, it would not have been at all difficult for even one man to shift the stones the whole distance with great ease).  The real question must be what friction reducing technologies did they have at their disposal?  What was the nature of the surface they were moving over.  Whether correct or not, most commentators seem to believe that the sleds carrying the stones were moved over a thin layer of wet clay (not deep enough to sink into, but sufficient to lubricate the surface).  I could also imagine the the Egyptians could have used various oils to further lubricate the roads.  When you tried your experiment that suggested a mere 100 metres a day was the maximum distance the stones could be moved, what surface was it being moved over?

The other factor is that you talk of the amount of effort to move stones of 12 tons; yet my understanding is that this was the largest of the stones, and more typical were stones of about 2 to 4 tons.  It is clearly erroneous to extrapolate manpower requirements based upon how much manpower is required to shift 2.6 million rocks of 12 tons, but rather one should look at what is required to shift 2.6 million rocks typically of about 3 tons, with some number being as heavy as 12 tons or more.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza
quote:

The pyramid was constructed of cut and dressed blocks of limestone, basalt or granite. The core was made mainly of rough blocks of low quality limestone taken from a quarry at the south of Khufu’s Great Pyramid. These blocks weighed from two to four tonnes on average, with the heaviest used at the base of the pyramid. An estimated 2.4 million blocks were used in the construction. High quality limestone was used for the outer casing, with some of the blocks weighing up to 15 tonnes. This limestone came from Tura, about 8 miles away on the other side of the Nile. Granite quarried nearly 500 miles away in Aswan with blocks weighing as much as 60-80 tonnes, was used for the portcullis doors and relieving chambers.
The total mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5.9 million tonnes



Clearly, at 5.9 million tonnes, and 2.4 million rocks, we are talking about an average weight of rock of 2.95 tonnes.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Pyramid_of_Giza
quote:

The casing stones of the Great Pyramid and Khafre's Pyramid (constructed directly beside it) were cut to such optical precision as to be off true plane over their entire surface area by only 1/50th of an inch. They were fitted together so perfectly that the tip of a knife cannot be inserted between the joints even to this day.



If such levels of smoothness were achievable, then as pure speculation, one would have to ask how a roadway paved with such a smooth surface would perform, especially if then topped with some lubricant?



George
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #12 on: 13/06/2006 23:20:16 »
Looking a little more at this matter.

Firstly, it seems I was in error to regard the transport of the rock to have been over a level surface.  It seems that Giza is atop a cliff overlooking the Nile, possible 60 metres above it (although one has to ask how much lower is the Nile than it was 4000 years ago?).



On the other hand, it does seem that the cliff itself is limestone, the primary building material of the pyramids (although, clearly some of the cladding is better quality limestone than would have been available on-site, one has to wonder how much of the core material (which would not be visible on the surface) did not require to be transported at all?

What also seems clear is that some of the great pramids were build on the site of older structures, and one could have imagined that material from the older structures were reused in the new structures.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/giza.htm
quote:

Though the three Great Pyramids are the most famous and prominent monuments at Giza, the site has actually been a Necropolis almost since the beginning of Pharaonic Egypt. A tomb just on the outskirts of the Giza site dates from the reign of the First Dynasty Pharaoh Wadj (Djet), and jar sealings discovered in a tomb in the southern part of Giza mention the Second Dynasty Pharaoh Ninetjer. But it was the Fourth Dynasty Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) who placed Giza forever at the heart of funerary devotion, a city of the dead that dwarfed the cities of the living nearby. In order to build his complex, he had to clear away many of the old tombs, filling in their shafts or even totally destroying them. His pyramid, the largest of all the pyramids in Egypt (though it should be noted that it surpasses the Red Pyramid at Dahshur built by his father Snefru by only ten meters), dominates the sandy plain.



It also seems incorrect to say that there was no means of water transport to Giza, since it appears there was a wadi running right through the complex.

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/giza.htm
quote:

Giza can be subdivided into two groupings of monuments, clearly defined and separated by a wadi. The larger grouping consists of the three "Great" pyramids of Khufu, Khephren (Khafre), and Menkaure, the Sphinx, attendant temples and outbuildings, and the private mastabas of the nobility.  



Although, ofcourse, the rocks would still have to have been raised up from the wadi to the plateau.



George
« Last Edit: 13/06/2006 23:53:10 by another_someone »
 

Offline xetho

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 28
    • View Profile
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #13 on: 14/06/2006 08:16:49 »
Instead of wood rollers, could they have used smaller rounded stones, like bearings? Or somehow left their stone blocks rounded, until they'd moved them to the site and then squared them?
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #14 on: 14/06/2006 08:58:54 »
Hi George
Thanks for the info, some of which was new to me.

First the island of West Sumba, I presume the people decided that for the movement of one stone creating an infrastructure was not worthwhile.

For the movement of 2.6 million stones I would suggest some kind of infrastructure would be essential.

My main objection to dragging stone about (very often uphill) is that it is extremely tiring whatever the weight of the stone, be it 2 tons 12 tons or in the case of the largest 60 tons.

Xetho, yes many stones have been found in the quarry at Aswan which are almost perfectly round and could have been used as you suggest, I believe these stones may have been used at the quarry to extricate the blocks from the clifface and also at the pyramid to position each block. See my website, pyramid casing stones, www.stonehengetheanswer.com [nofollow]

G W Pipes
 

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #15 on: 14/06/2006 12:19:43 »
Hi Gordon
I think your simple arithmatic is very flawed. You are assuming that the speed you can move a block is inversely proportional to the number of people pulling it, this is obviously wrong - at one end if you have one person pulling it will not be 100th of the speed of 100 people - it just won't move. At the other, surely the maximum speed you will be able to pull it is walking pace. What happens in between is almost certainly not linear either. Surely at some point you will get to a number of people pulling where they don't have to stop. I would have thought that this is at least 10-20kg of pull per person -

I have no idea what the coeeficient of friction is using rollers...

from your experiment you are using 100 people on a 12 tonne block so each man is pulling 120kg of stone. I would guess if you were only just moving it each person was pulling 40-50kg, so double or triple the number of people and they could probably have just walked with it - maybe doing the distance in an hour or so.

- out of interest what kind of wood did you make the rollers out of, and how big were they as a coeficient of friction of .3 seems high. (the slope is about 3% so quite small compared to this friction so can be pretty much ignored)

at which point 300 people could probably move 6 stones in a day, so 360 odd stones a day would need a workforce of about 18000 which is high, but not so ridiculous.
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #16 on: 14/06/2006 15:14:53 »
Hi Dave
You're probably right about my simple arthimatic but you are taking no account of the tiredness factor. Try this little experiment, take a childs sledge load it with a small load, say 100lb, then see how long you can drag it back and forth across a lawn. I think you will be surprised how soon you begin to tire. If you can find a decent slope then try it uphill, very tiring.

Also bear in mind that the problem grows expotentially with the weight of the stone. Just because you can drag 100lb it doesn't follow that ten people can drag a 1000lb (although they probably can these figures are just for the sake of arguement).

When my dad was a young man in the 1920s he used to lead a team of horses taking lumber to the sawmill. He used to say "It kills horses you know" meaning, if you work a horse to hard it will drop dead. The same thing applies to men.

All I am saying is that the Egyptians must have had a way of moving heavy stones that was much less phyically tiring than dragging. How else were they intending to move the Unfinished Obelisk (estimated wieght 1100tons)that still lies in the Quarry at Aswan?  


 


G W Pipes
 

Offline daveshorts

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2583
  • Physics, Experiments
    • View Profile
    • http://www.chaosscience.org.uk
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #17 on: 15/06/2006 03:57:19 »
I think what I meant is that you can do work at a certain rate without tiring, if you increase the amount of work above this you will tire, and it doesn't take much to tire very quickly. So the trick of the overseers would be to get the workers at just below this rate of work and keep them there.

quote:
Also bear in mind that the problem grows expotentially with the weight of the stone. Just because you can drag 100lb it doesn't follow that ten people can drag a 1000lb (although they probably can these figures are just for the sake of arguement).


True, although there are ways of minimising this problem. I have an image in my head (probably from films) of lots of Egyptian workers pulling on ropes, the whole thing was synchronised using some sort of very rhythmic chant. The efficiency with which they were doing this gave the impression that it was a common local practice and not just for the camera, and feels like the sort of thing that could be ancient.

I am not saying that levers aren't immensely useful things, and definitely the method I would choose for accurate placement of the blocks, and probably lifting them up the pyramid itself, but I think you are overestimating the problems involved with using rollers
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #18 on: 15/06/2006 20:18:42 »
Hi again, Dave

Let us imagine work in a different way, let's use athletics as a comparison. Sprinting = explosive energy or work that will tire you quickly. Marathon running = measured energy/work-rate or work that can be sustained for long periods.

Both are tiring.

Now back to dragging stones, use explosive energy and stones can be moved by a small workforce, perhaps 20 men per ton, but not for long.

Increase the workforce to perhaps 100 men per ton and you are useing measured energy, the team will move the stone further before they have to stop.

The problem is, Academics and Archeaologists who have bothered wonder how the stones were moved have based all their calculations on experiments that measured the best results using explosive energy over a short period and exptrapolated the results over a long period.

I do have some personal experience of hard labour, believe me, what can be sustained for 1 hour cannot be sustained all day and what can be sustained for a day cannot be sustained for a week. Likewise what can be sustained for a week cannot be sustained for a year.

Hard work kills horses.
 


G W Pipes
 

another_someone

  • Guest
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #19 on: 16/06/2006 00:42:11 »
quote:
Originally posted by GordonP
Now back to dragging stones, use explosive energy and stones can be moved by a small workforce, perhaps 20 men per ton, but not for long.



It is true that if a few men are sharing a high workload between them, that the muscles you use will be very different from that which you would use if you were exerting less energy (I believe the proper term for these are fast and slow twitch muscles).

What you have not explained is why, if you share the workload amongst a sufficiently large workforce, you cannot bring the load for each person to a sufficiently low level that they can sustain their effort by use of slow twitch muscles alone.



George
 

Offline GordonP

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
    • View Profile
    • http://www.stonehengetheanswer.com
Re: Pyramid Construction
« Reply #20 on: 16/06/2006 08:05:50 »
For the work to be made easy enough for a man to work all day the workforce would number anything from 250,000 to 1 million men.

To quarry, transport and erect the amount of stone we are talking about I consider that a conservetive estimate.

I believe the total population of Egypt at that time was 3 million.


G W Pipes
 

Offline Ashtari

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 46
  • The truth will set you free
    • View Profile
Pyramid Construction
« Reply #21 on: 19/06/2007 10:21:09 »
Good morning Scientists

The answer = the stones were laser cut and teleported by the Pleiadians from their spacecraft whilst on a visit to this planet because this pyramid structure was needed to be used as a transmitter to/from/with other planets and would have a 'strong' quantum effect upon all of the universes quantum movements.

Consider the construction of the Pyramids as a hack into the original Elohim program, if you like.


Ashtari :P
 

Offline ukmicky

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
    • View Profile
    • http://www.space-talk.com/
Pyramid Construction
« Reply #22 on: 19/06/2007 17:43:02 »
The new theory is that the blocks were cast on site in moulds
 

paul.fr

  • Guest
Pyramid Construction
« Reply #23 on: 19/06/2007 17:49:20 »
The new theory is that the blocks were cast on site in moulds

come off it, Michael. (note i use you sunday name), when you have read this:

Good morning Scientists

The answer = the stones were laser cut and teleported by the Pleiadians from their spacecraft whilst on a visit to this planet because this pyramid structure was needed to be used as a transmitter to/from/with other planets and would have a 'strong' quantum effect upon all of the universes quantum movements.

Consider the construction of the Pyramids as a hack into the original Elohim program, if you like



your "theory" is laughable.
 

Offline ukmicky

  • Moderator
  • Neilep Level Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3011
    • View Profile
    • http://www.space-talk.com/
Pyramid Construction
« Reply #24 on: 19/06/2007 18:36:27 »
Seriously Paul ,some scientists have supposedly microscopically looked at the blocks and found there structure to be that of a cast. There's loads of information on the web

Quote
After one and a half year research involving also extensive scanning electron microscope (SEM), Barsoum's team discovered that the tiniest structures from the inner and outer parts of the blocks were indeed a reconstituted limestone.

The binding employed for the limestone cement was silicon dioxide (the quartz mineral) or a calcium and magnesium-rich silicate mineral. The high water content of the blocks does not fit the normally dry, natural limestone encountered on the Giza plateau, either. Moreover, the blocks have an amorphous structure (with atoms disposed in irregular arrays), while natural sedimentary limestone is normally crystalline (with atoms disposed in a regular pattern). "Therefore, it's very improbable that the outer and inner casing stones that we examined were chiseled from a natural limestone block", said Barsoum.

The presence of silicon dioxide nanoscale spheres in one sample clearly showed it was not a natural rock.

The finding responds to many questions: why the blocks are so perfectly fitted that not even a human hair can be inserted between them; and why, if the blocks were carved, no copper (ancient Egyptians discovered the iron only very late) chisels have ever been discovered on the Giza Plateau.
http://news.softpedia.com/news/Scientists-Prove-the-Pyramids-Were-Cast-of-Cement-55105.shtml
 

The Naked Scientists Forum

Pyramid Construction
« Reply #24 on: 19/06/2007 18:36:27 »

 

SMF 2.0.10 | SMF © 2015, Simple Machines
SMFAds for Free Forums