Re: Strange Maths (was Re: Why not 13 months?)
22 Jul 1995 15:42:06 GMT
In article <firstname.lastname@example.org>, email@example.com says...
>In article <firstname.lastname@example.org> Whittet@shore.net (Whittet) writes:
>>In article <email@example.com>, DND@netins.net 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.
I agree, which is why suggestions like the use of wheels to lay out
pyramids particularly where there are easier , simpler, better solutions,
ought to be debunked. Don't you agree?
There is no evidence as early as the Fourth Dynasty for any knowledge
of the pulley, the wheel, or the derrick, but if there were knowledge
of the wheel its use in a pulley would seem to have the edge to its
use as an instrument of mensuration.
Many non egyptologists may not be aware that long before the Egyptians began
building pyramids, they had achieved a certain level of expertise in
It is reasonable to look for some continuity of the building technology
developed in the Mastabahs into the pyramid age.
One thing which becomes blatently evident is that the early forms were clean
crisp, well proportioned structures. There is nothing inherently "new agey" or
"Von Danikenish" about them.
As an architect I am really interested in how they were built, and a bit
ticked off at glib dismissals like
"... 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."
even though this is often repeated in some literature.
That the higher a pyramid goes the more inherently stable it is, due to the
transmission of the lateral loads to the center, was proved by structural
engineers more than fifty years ago.
>David L. Burkhead