Re: Pyramidiocy (was Re: Strange Maths)

Jim C. Adamski (
28 Jul 1995 13:48:12 GMT

In article <3v7b8n$>, (Whittet) writes:
> In article <3v62cg$>, says...
> >
> >In article <>, (Paul
> >Nowak) writes:
> >> (HarryR6047) writes:
> >>
> >> >Doug Weller states: But you claim that people tried and failed.
> >>
> >stuff deleted
> >Now I'm reading this from sci.geo.geology (which, BTW, what
> >does any of this have to do with geology), and, being a
> >geologist, I have to say that even if all the numbers and
> >angles of the pyramid correlate to days in a decade and fleas
> >on the pharoah's cat, so what? What does it prove?
> Forget that, I have a geology question for you Jim. What hardness
> on the mohr scale does it take to cut Diorite?
> ( The Egyptians were supposedly using copper chisels)
> Could they have used something like a powder or paste of some
> semi precious gem as an abrassive with which to cut? What would
> it have taken? A corrundum or would they have had to use diamonds?
> >
Not my field of study, but I'll try to answer this anyway.
Diorite is a rock (amalgamation of minerals) and therefore does
not have a specific hardness on Mohs scale. Most of the
minerals that comprise diorite would range in hardness from 5 -
7 (scale goes from 1 - 10, with talc being 1 and diamond being
10). Of course the cumulative hardness of the rock is going to
be less than the minerals because of weakness between the
crystals. Also weathering may play a role. The paste sounds
like an ok idea, but I've never tried it and I suspect it would
take a long time. Today, diamond embedded saw blades are used
to cut rocks. Pastes are used to grind and polish rocks. I used
a paste (corundum-based, I believe) to make thin sections
(slabs of rock glued to slides for viewing under a microscope)
way back in undergrad days. You put the paste on a piece of
plate glass, then rub the thin section over it many times for
a period of hours or days to get the desired thickness (or
thinness. I'll bet there's an easier way to do it than that).
Anyway, it's pretty slow and laborious. And I was making my
sections out of limestone, which is comprised of the mineral
calcite with a hardness of 3.

Which brings me to my question. Excuse my ignorance, but I
thought the blocks in the pyramid were made of limestone? I
seem to remember them saying that on the Nova episode. If they
were limestone, it would be possible to cut the blocks with
copper tools.

Hope this helps.


P.S. Personally, I find the Inca ruins much more fascinating.
All those irregulr blocks of basalt (?) fitted with extremely
tight joints. Amazing stuff. Still, I don't find any great
mystery in it. I mean, the mechanism they used may be unknown
to us, but clearly they did it. Motivation plays a key. Of
course, having an absolute monarch dictating his architectural
desires helps.

Opinions are my own.