Re: Pyramidiocy (was Re: Strange Maths)
7 Aug 1995 21:50:22 GMT

In article <3vlhti$>, (Whittet) writes:
> says...
>> (Nathaniel Tagg) wrote:
>>>Kevin D. Quitt ( wrote:
>>>: Moving the blocks that make up the pyramids is no big deal.
>>>: Imagine a pair of wooden wheels on a short, thick axle. The
>>>: axle is the carved (or partially carved) block, and the wheels
>>>: are circles with a large square cut out of the middle.
>>>Actually, the case is much harder than this. Those blocks wiegh
>>>several tonnes each; wood axles can snap under the load. More
>>>important is lifting these stones several stories up without the aid of a
>>>modern crane.
>>No, you've missed the point. The wood is the wheel. The axle is the
>>stone. There is no need for a crane, since the blocks can easily be
>>rolled up a ramp.
>>> They had to invent some pretty interesting techniques to do it;
>>>it wasn't simple.
>>Au contraire--it's simplicity itself.
>Not quite. While Vitruvius in the "Ten Books on Architecure" tells us that
>the Greek Chersiphron did use the method of turning a stone into its own
>axle to move heavy stone columns for the temple of Diana at Ephesus, and
>was successful in enclosing the columns with 4" timbers and check pieces
>at the ends with ringed pivots so the stone could be drawn by oxen and
>rolled on its own axis, an attempt by Paconius to make another machine of
>a different sort, although on the same principle was unsuccessful and
>resulted in his financial embarassment and insolvency.
>It also would not work except on a flat plane and for a relatively
>short distance.


>The problem of lifting 5 ton blocks up a 14:11 slope reguired the use of
>a crane because a ramp long enough, high enough, and broad enough at its
>base to offer adequate support for the loads would have required several
>times more work to build than the pyramid itself, and then as much work
>again to dismantle.

hmmm, I watched a show in which they did fairly well dragging blocks spirally
around a mini pyramid, each block about 5' on a side. I forget if they used
logs or not. there were perhaps 10 men working on the block.

please note that these people had to work around language barriers as well
since not everybody spoke Egyptian and English.

In another post (or maybe it was this one) you complain that dragging would
cause "traffic jams" whenever you stopped to rest... I personally would drive
the conscripts on a schedule using a horn to mark regular rest periods...
hardly a problem.

Robert Morphis

>>Kevin D Quitt