Just Ancient Egypt

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,406
Italy, Lago Maggiore
From a scientific perspective, the construction of the biggest pyramids is just a matter which proves that history cannot be experimental. Are we going to hire 20,000 workers to build a copy of the Great Pyramid with the methods and the techs of Ancient Egypt to see how many years will they need to finish the work?

It's impossible.

So we have to make a work of reverse engineering.

* The great pyramids exist. Fact.
* No one can prove that aliens were around. Fact.
* Even geisers weren't around. Fact. [I won't annoy you with geological analyses of Giza plateau].
* Deities have never showed a particular interest in building pyramids. Fact.

At the end we have to accept that common humans built the pyramids, as disappointing this can be for someone.
 
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Todd Feinman

Ad Honorem
Oct 2013
6,609
Planet Nine, Oregon
There were imperfect attempts to create pyramids before the Great Pyramid; human engineering not aliens. No one has explained the alien love of creating monumental stonework for humans. Did they help construct chariots too? :D
 
Jan 2016
393
Ohio
I loved that game.

I think there is ultimately only one thing to do.

Take a group of children and put them in a controlled environment like ancient Egyptians.
See what they come up with.
 
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specul8

Ad Honorem
Oct 2016
3,500
Australia
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.
In the Merer's Boat doco they used a little crane , but their boat was a LOT smaller than Merer's and the single block was small. It was too heavy though for the boat, it sunk to near below the water line so they had to lift it off, trim it, re load and try again , then it floated higher .

Big blocks would have to be slid off , tricky business when sliding off a floating base .

From there , in that doco, they tried dragging a block on a sled, heaps of men hard , slow and jerking and then the ropes broke. Then they railed and roller it up the incline with a much less manpower and at a smoother and higher speed. Not sure what the rollers ( the made up ones or the original found ones) where made form.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,406
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Today we see Giza quite isolated from the River Nile, but while they were building the pyramids the site was connected with a near port on the river. [Just a brief article: Ruins of Bustling Port Unearthed at Egypt's Giza Pyramids]. Very large blocks of stone reached the site on wide barges [there are original depictions of these vessels and they had a particular structure which had to have a function for loading and unloading. We've got a description of how they loaded giant obelisks on those barges, but personally I think it misses something [in Natural History 36]. They loaded barges with a lot of stones to make them navigate low on the water. They put the obelisk over a canal and they made the barge navigate under the obelisk [partially not on the ground, but above the canal]. When the barge was under the obelisk they removed the stones from it and the barge reached the obelisk, getting in contact with it.

This is a depiction of one of those barge

barge.JPG

If Natural History's description is correct, the structure above the obelisk had to be put there after that they loaded it [and probably it had some function while unloading].
 
Jan 2016
393
Ohio
So to clarify.

Is there anything about the building techniques the masses generally do agree on?

Its there discrepancies in the transportation? or rather is it the fact of how they got the big blocks from the bottom of the pyramid to the top?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,406
Italy, Lago Maggiore
So to clarify.

Is there anything about the building techniques the masses generally do agree on?

Its there discrepancies in the transportation? or rather is it the fact of how they got the big blocks from the bottom of the pyramid to the top?
That is the point. Romans lifted enormous blocks as well, but Romans had pulleys and cranes. Regarding the Old Kingdom, when Khufu's dynasty was building the greatest pyramids, we are not aware of any usage of cranes [meaning very big cranes ...]. To find the depiction of a crane from that far past would be at least surprising!
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,406
Italy, Lago Maggiore
For the transportation of wide blocks or great weights in general, some depictions show that they used sledges, keeping the terrain wet to facilitate the motion [and there was a little army of men with ropes to move all].
 
Jan 2016
393
Ohio
The only hieroglyphs I can really find on the building of pyramids would be the one where multiple men are pulling a statue on a sled while what appears to be a man pouring water on the sand ahead.

I am curious though what the other men under the sled are holding.. I wonder if its a contraption to spread the water evenly?
 

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