Just Ancient Egypt

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,052
Australia
This hilarious aspect makes me think to Mountain Everest. Now they are just underlining that tourists leave a loot of poop around ... [this is a serious problem, imagine to reach the base camp at about 5,000mt and to have to ... you know what, where are you going to do what is necessary? Around ...]. Actually the "normal way" on Mountain Everest is fool of sh*t.
Yes, so many people have 'been' at the top that it is now 3 meters higher than previous .
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,052
Australia
I would however like to know about any evidence of animals being used in the building of the pyramids. I like to believe myself smart, but due to the narrative of 20 men pulling ropes, I've never once stopped to consider if oxen/equines could have been used to help move these big stones.

Mammoths ... weren't they ? :think:
 

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
25,617
Italy, Lago Maggiore
The problem here, and we all know it, is that they left no record, either visually or by documentation, of how they built pyramids. It's true that the first depiction of oxen pulling blocks dates from the early 18th Dynasty, but no depiction, to my knowledge, exists of men hauling heavy weights until about 700 years after G1 was built, and that is the depiction in the 12th Dynasty tomb of Djehutihotep showing a large gang of men hauling a monumental statue.

While clearly men would have to be used on steeper slopes, as in the 20 degree slope shown above, and for managing tight turns, which would certainly be needed on a spiral ramp, I see no reason to discount the use of oxen for pulling stones from the quarry to the pyramid, which involves only a 6 degree slope until 50% of the total mass of stone needed has been delivered and placed. We do have depictions of oxen pulling ploughs in the 4th Dynasty, so there is no issue of them not being able harness and control oxen.

However, for all that, it's still surprising that Lehner has worked out that a team of 20 men could move a 4 tonne block uphill from the quarry to the pyramid in less than 20 minutes. That is probably less hassle than using oxen, even if oxen would probably do the journey faster. I think the choke point is not getting blocks to the pyramid, which may have been the easiest part of the entire operation, but in the time it took to cut a block in the quarry.
I have spent some thoughts about this. Near to my home there is a historical quarry of marble [a well stronger stone than limestone]. Now, they exploited that cave in Middle Ages making blocks of marble travel on barges to reach the construction site of the dome in Milan. The cave is still in activity, but it's at high altitude, it's not at the level of the street. And marble is well more difficult to be cut than limestone. So they had to solve two problems: to cut marble, to make it go down to the lake [under the cave].

They did it. The Dome in Milan exists, so they did it.

To ask today to the engineers running the quarry is useless [they will talk about science fiction techs ...]. But how did they do this in Middle Ages?

I have noted something: having less manpower than Pharaohs [let's use this term] they took a century to build a Cathedral [which actually contains well less stone than a pyramid, overall less than the Great Pyramid!].

So the point is ... logistics.

From the quarry near to my home to the construction site of the Cathedral there was [and there is] only a navigable way ... a little canal. Well, River Nile is not a little canal, it allows a lot of barges to navigate in the same time.

In other words, I think that Nile [not geisers!] was the key factor for the construction of the pyramids.
 

specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,052
Australia
If the new discovery of how the Egyptians used ramps and poles is right, so I think IMO that it looks as if it would be easier to use people than oxen.
However, I must admit I've never tried driving a yoke of oxen up a ramp. Maybe it's possible?
But in this scenario, some of the oxen should go down ? Shouldn't they?

View attachment 16146

Thats it ! A little model - great stuff. I tried to encourage Cladking for AGES to make a mini model of his ideas . I would love to see a vid of that :D
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,555
Crows nest
Yes, but I think it was dismissed on the grounds that while the Egyptians were good at making ropes, what was needed for this idea was a bit beyond their rope technology, and other issues about casing stones. This is from hazy memory as these things come and go as mushrooms sprout. I think it's now part of fringe ideas. Houdin's internal spiral ramp from a few years later is a more likely solution, and the best one at this time.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,555
Crows nest
A thought on this issue of two way traffic on ramps. You only need a ramp to drag the stones up to the pyramid, not down, and I think that certainly men can come down by a more direct route than going against the flow on the ramp. This could even be the case for oxen as I'm thinking of maybe a short wooden zigzag ramp for return traffic. It would be steeper than the approach ramp, but if you're going down, and not dragging a heavy stone, I see no problem for man or ox.

I don't see too much of an issue for the ramps on the pyramid either. No oxen of course, but men can make their way back down in single file. Or, not go down until the end of their shift if there was a relay system. We tend to think of a gang of men hauling their stone from the bottom to the top, but they don't have to at all, only a short distance and hand over to the next gang and then walk back to get the next stone.
 
Jan 2016
385
Ohio
Or.. simply sliding down the side of the pyramid. Surely it was smooth enough then with the facings. A small dugout of water at the bottom to break the fall when reaching higher elevations.

Yall gotta be much more creative.
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,555
Crows nest
I have spent some thoughts about this. Near to my home there is a historical quarry of marble [a well stronger stone than limestone]. Now, they exploited that cave in Middle Ages making blocks of marble travel on barges to reach the construction site of the dome in Milan. The cave is still in activity, but it's at high altitude, it's not at the level of the street. And marble is well more difficult to be cut than limestone. So they had to solve two problems: to cut marble, to make it go down to the lake [under the cave].

They did it. The Dome in Milan exists, so they did it.

To ask today to the engineers running the quarry is useless [they will talk about science fiction techs ...]. But how did they do this in Middle Ages?

I have noted something: having less manpower than Pharaohs [let's use this term] they took a century to build a Cathedral [which actually contains well less stone than a pyramid, overall less than the Great Pyramid!].

So the point is ... logistics.

From the quarry near to my home to the construction site of the Cathedral there was [and there is] only a navigable way ... a little canal. Well, River Nile is not a little canal, it allows a lot of barges to navigate in the same time.

In other words, I think that Nile [not geisers!] was the key factor for the construction of the pyramids.
I'm sure they made some arrangements to get boats as close to the plateau as possible, and we know they did bring in stone by boat, the granite used in the King's chamber and relieving chambers for instance. Actually, to me a more interesting question is now they got massive stones on and off of boats without cranes. I can imagine a system of rollers to slide them on, but it's the manhandling involved. A much later period, but how did they handle 1,000 tonne obelisks, it makes moving 2,5 tonne pyramid blocks look easy.

I know they were not cleverer than us, but it's as you say, the logistics thing. Another example of comparatively slow building by us, well, Middle Ages. G1 probably took not much nore than 20 years to build, Salisbury Cathedral took 25, and that of course was really fast for those days, and they had iron tools and cranes.