Were the pyramids built from the top down?

Jan 2018
418
Sturgeon Lake Mn.
#31
Pyramids might not have been built from the top down but boilers in power plants are; hanging from structural iron.
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The big decision, the leap of imagination and vision, was the decision to build a pyramid, once that was decided people figured out a way. The organization and logistics involved in the pyramids impress me more than the erection of the structures.
 
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tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#33
So to build from the top down you make the cap first, then lift it up and build the next level and so on. That's called the "heavy lifting" theory. Or dig a hole under the cap and build the next level under it and so on, digging and deeper. When finished, all the sand around the hole is carried away. That's called the "deep dig and carry" theory. Somehow I can't make up my mind which is better although the heavy lifting theory could use levitation which everyone knows the ancient Egyptians got from aliens.:upsidedown:
Theoretically you dig, not sand but rocks..... so you have the "inside" of the pyramid ready as you dig.... then all you need to do is to put on the casing around this inside....(and continue digging)

Still its not clear to me what you do with the rock debris that you dug out.... (not to mention how difficult it is to dig out so much rock)
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#34
Theoretically you dig, not sand but rocks..... so you have the "inside" of the pyramid ready as you dig.... then all you need to do is to put on the casing around this inside....(and continue digging)

Still its not clear to me what you do with the rock debris that you dug out.... (not to mention how difficult it is to dig out so much rock)
There was no rock to excavate ... the pyramids [at Giza and in the other sides] have been made putting a block on an other. At Giza the Sphinx is the only great monument really excavated in the rock. They they covered it with bricks to improve the look.

The pyramids have been built, not excavated.
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#35
There was no rock to excavate ... the pyramids [at Giza and in the other sides] have been made putting a block on an other. At Giza the Sphinx is the only great monument really excavated in the rock. They they covered it with bricks to improve the look.

The pyramids have been built, not excavated.
The Sphinx I think was a rock roughly in the shape of a lion that they "polished" and then added "bricks" outside


(like so)






I think the Pyramids were indeed built, but we are discussing the approach of how you would do it, if you wanted to use this top down method: how feasible it is, and is it less labor intensive than building....
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#36
Ehm ... to build the pyramid top down they had to face immediately a problem: there was no top!

They would have had to transport a little mountain of sand to have the volume to contain the pyramid, then they would have put the pyramidion on the top of the hill of sand ... they had to build a hill of sand before of beginning to build the pyramid ...
 

tomar

Ad Honoris
Jan 2011
13,765
#39
Ehm ... to build the pyramid top down they had to face immediately a problem: there was no top!

They would have had to transport a little mountain of sand to have the volume to contain the pyramid, then they would have put the pyramidion on the top of the hill of sand ... they had to build a hill of sand before of beginning to build the pyramid ...
My understanding of this theory, is that you start at level (preferably on a hill) and you dig..... so there is always a top......

In any case I am pretty sure there were 3 "little hills" on Giza and the pyramids were build around them to minimize the need for material for inside the pyramids...

But for the purpose of the top down theory you need a big "hill" that countains the whole size of the pyramid that you then "dig out" (this btw would explain why no ramp has been found)
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
#40
Sure there were rocky hills there. In the 4th dynasty they tent to "lean" their giant constructions on pre-existing natural structures [like just rocky hills]. But sure there was no top at all ... those hills where considerably smaller than the pyramids.

This geological study presents a comprehensive vision of the Giza plateau https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00319586/document.
 

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