Re: Pyramidiocy (was Re: Strange Maths)

Whittet (
14 Aug 1995 15:48:02 GMT

In article <4061qu$>, says...
>In article <3vlhti$>, (Whittet) writes:
>> says...
>stuff deleted

>>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.

Because any irregularities in the path created point loads
and crushed the frame, it was probably necessary to build paved
roads, which would have been quite a lot of work to construct
to transport a single stone any appreciable 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.

The problem is that the mini pyramid you watched them construct on TV,
is only the height of the missing portion of the Great Pyramid.
Imagine what a difference it makes to have to construct a ramp 500' high
and more than a mile long with a base more than a quarter mile in width.

I have actually watched such a construction. The quarry for the Thomaston
Cement factory has been in operation since the revolutionary war and as
it digs down it dumps its spoil in a mound. In only a couple of hundred
years of round the clock operation it is approaching those dimensions.
>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.

The people who built the pyramids were no more "conscripts" than the people
who built the cathedrals of Europe. They were skilled workmen who felt they
had a vested interest in the accomplishment of the project.

They also were not stupid enough to waste their energy dragging something
against a substantial amount of friction when they were fully capable of
lifting it and moving it with machines.

The same amount of energy it takes to build a ramp and then drag thousands of
stone blocks up that ramp, applied to lifting them with masts and booms, would
raise a dozen blocks for every one that would have been dragged.

You should think through what you see on TV and ask yourself if thats the
best solution you could think of to solve the problem. If it isn't, why
should you expect that it would be the best the Egyptians could think of?

>Robert Morphis
>>>Kevin D Quitt