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April 15, 2007



To drag a 6 ton stone up a 7 degree incline would take a long line of men. So how did they turn the corners?

Answer: That's M. Houdin's point as to why they left the corners off.
I surmise Hemienu was also motivated to install slick posts or rollers to take hawser loads around the bend to the crews hauling the line from above.


There is a simpler way. The trick to moving blocks of masonry isn't rollers, but the stone wheel - make a large wheel around the block and roll the whole thing. The Romans used it, and the Egyptians may have (after all, they had the religious image of the sun as a ball being rolled by a scarab beetle).

Anyhow, it would have been straightforward enough to have steep ramps along the edges of the pyramid, using chocks and levers to get the blocks up, particularly if the balls had midline grooves to seat them on the pyramid edges; then the ramp would only have needed matting or something for footing. And Herodotus did record the native tradition that levers were used...

COMMENT by RS: I'm glad to see someone is still watching The Flintstones, but one can draw a fairly strong inference from the absence of depictions of used tire dealers in the canon of fourth dynasty epigraphy.


One could say the same about any suggested technique. It's the absence of evidence/evidence of absence thing; reductio ad absurdum would lead one to conclude that the pyramids were never built at all, or built by people from outer space, or something. But in any case I wasn't asserting that this was actually the technique usewd, but rather that it was available with the technology of the time. At most it raises an alternative hypothesis - I wouldn't be so rash as to assert more. (By the way, the idea comes from the Romans, as stated, not the Flintstones.)

Sorry to be such a crocodile, but nary a wedge of tire-sized stone disc has outcropped amidst the vast tonnage of pounding stones and other masonic depotage and discards turned up by three centuries of archaeologists. More millstones than you can count, but zero wheelbarrowoid lithics makes for _ absurdo sine reductio_ No elephants either.


You misunderstand - the Roman Stone wheel wasn't a wheel of stone (I understand your Flinstones reference now). Rather, a huge wooden wheel was constructed around the block, from reusable pieces that were used on each block in turn. I imagine that the Egyptians - if they did it at all, a big if - used smaller pieces of the material they had conveniently available, like reeds. That would come out as balls rather than wheels, but either way the components would be reused.

I expect that if we did it, we would use the techniques we see in illustrations of building canal cuttings. There, teams of horses (read, peasants) hauled on ropes that assisted wheelbarrows of earth up duckwalk ramps.

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it is amazing that anyone could be that perfect without any heavty machinery

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Very interesting predictions. I really enjoyed reading this blog. Thanks for sharing.

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The age of the pyramids reached its zenith at Giza in 2575-2150 B.C. As of 2008, some 138 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest in Egypt and one of the largest in the world. Until Lincoln Cathedral was built in 1400 AD, it was the tallest building in the world. The base is over 52,600 square meters in area. While pyramids are associated with Egypt, the nation of Sudan has 220 extant pyramids, the most numerous in the world.
The Great Pyramid of Giza was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is the only one to survive into modern times. The Ancient Egyptians covered the faces of pyramids with polished white limestone. Many of the facing stones have fallen or have been removed and used to build the mosques of Cairo.

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The ancient Egyptians were the major engineering experts. They did that in ease of what we now do only with cranes, trucks and engineering measuring equipment.
And I say - Bring the pyramid back to mainstream, lets build a few.


To "build a few" pyramids exactly like the one in Giza would take 2 generations of builders.

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wow amazing information, I didn't know this, is amazing how they build it!
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Thanks for sharing this excellent chart of Giza which was one of the seven amazing things of the world. It is the only one to endure into the past few years. The Historic Egyptians protected the people of pyramids with refined light limestone.

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