Re: Strange Maths (was Re: Why not 13 months?)

David L Burkhead (
22 Jul 1995 05:03:55 GMT

In article <3upjfc$> (Whittet) writes:
>In article <3uodi4$>, says...
[ 8< ]
>>The theory was that they used a wheel to measure the length of the sides
>>of the pyramid. It is more accurate and repeatable than using a length of
>>twine, rope, etc. For a pyramid of height 100 units, take a wheel of
>>diameter 1 unit and measure off 100 revolutions of the wheel for the
>>side. This gives you a length to height ratio of pi.
>How do you calculate the size of the wheel to use for the second course?

How about trial and error? The Great Pyramid is _far_ from the
first pyrimid that the Egyptians built. The first would be the Step
Pyramid. Shortly after that one the first "true pyramid" was built by
building a step pyramid and filling in the sides. Then pyrimids were
built of different heights and base sizes.

One particularly interesting case is the Bent Pyramid. This one
was started with exceptionally high and steep sides, as was another a
bit earlier. The earlier pyramid collapsed, leading to a hasty
redesign of the Bent Pyramid with less steep sides starting from the
point at which they learned of the trouble.

Build enough pyramids and you'll learn just from trying different
things what you need to get a certain result.

One thing that is all too often forgotten, particularly by the
new agey, crystal magicey, van danikenish crowd--people in earlier
times were _not_ stupid. They may not have developed much of the
theory, techniques, and technologies that we have today, but they were
as skilled with the techniques and technologies they did have as we
are with ours. Any theory about historical peoples that begins from
the premise that the peoples were stupid is suspect from the start.

David L. Burkhead

Spacecub - The Artemis Project - Artemis Magazine

Box 831
Akron, OH 44309-0831