Discussion in 'History' started by TimeTraveler, Dec 2, 2006.
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But wouldn't it have been just as much labor or more to haul the slurry up to the top of the pyramid? Instead of transporting a stone up, now we have the problem of how they hauled artificially made stones. How does this theory simplify anything?
Good question, although the slurry transfer is still easier, because they had to transfer the material from its origin. So transfering small buckets of slurry is easier than a big ass 10 ton rock, not to mention they had to cross the river, if I remember well.
What surprises me that in the 21st century we can't even figure out how they built these structures. I always thought there has to be a simpler way, because the kingdom couldn't have stand to use 10s of thousands of builders for a basicly useless idea. So I go with the concrete theory...
Maybe try reading all of this thread, post #9 for instance.
Labor is exactly what was plentiful in ancient Egypt. We do know in general how these were made, it's not like it's a complete mystery, it's just masonry. We might not know every detail, but basically rocks were stacked up.
Although there was a permanent workforce of artisans/specialists, most of the general labor was accomplished by peasants drafted via a corvee system. Most of the pyramid construction was accomplished during the period when the Nile was high and the agricultural fields were flooded. When the Nile finally receeded, the workers were released to return home and tend to the crops. This on/off cycle would be utilized until pyramid construction was complete.
Yes, I take Heroditos' word, after all he lived only 2000 years after the fact.
The whole reason for this thread is the new theory of how they were built.
But if you explain the logistics of the building process and how to feed a 20-30K work force for a basicly useless project, I am all ears.
I don't think labor was plentiful anywhere until the use of modern machinery, probably the 19 century.
Well, the devil is in the details. Could the Egyptian society afford such a construction basicly for nothing? How long did it take for 1 rock to reach its destination from the quandary? Now multiply that with a million and tell me just how long the whole process would take?
Although it makes sense, it also means that they didn't work all year around, but for only 9 months or whatever. That cuts down on the logistics timeframe.
Well, you're wrong about that, manpower was common and cheap. And the royal class could afford it thanks to agriculture. Even in present day Egypt, there is the same tendency to address a problem as a group. I saw a TV program about it where they built an ancient Egyptian boat.
Again, agriculture allowed for the accumulation of wealth. And the Nile Valley is one of the most fertile on the planet. Maybe it took months to carry a rock there on barges (very little friction), but they had time. Maybe the whole thing took several lifetimes to complete, just like the cathedrals of Europe. If they used concrete, where did they get all that firewood? And where are the fire pits and charcoal remains? The Mayans deforested their region in the pursuit of plaster, a similar material.
OK, I will summarize my problems with the accepted version of pyramid building:
1. First, building pyramids is a completely useless project. It will be used by only dead people. With churches at least we have usage by common people when worshiping. Not with the pyramids. Why is it a problem? Because generally food and labor hasn't been plentiful through the centuries in any society, so making a worthless project that uses up a huge workforce and lots of resources is dangerous for the ruling class >>> revolution. Not to mention, the society probably can't afford it. Somebody has to provide the resources. I don't think the Egyptian society was able to waste 20-30K laborers' work for centuries, not to mention feeding them, but hey, I could be wrong.
2. If the workforce was actually much smaller, let's say only 3-5K workers, how could be the project be done in time? They had to finish it in 20-30 years at top, because that's when the pharao died and needed the tomb. Also, if so little workforce was able to do the job, how come that 3000 years later we still can not replicate it? See next point:
3. How come a small number of workers today (let's say 10-20 people) can not move a heavy rock in a short time to a rather far distance? We can put a man on the Moon, but can't figure out how they did it? Now one of those pyramids has 2.5 million rocks in it. Do the math just how much time or workers need to move that many rocks. The logistics just doesn't add up. Oh yes, and let's not forget of the mining/making of the rocks, that adds up to the time, and could have taken actually longer than transferring them.
4. How did they cut the rocks?? Today we still can not replicate it using their available tools.
There are more if I think about it, but for starters these are enough. Now if the rocks were actually poured or made on site, that would help a lot with the logistics, because they had to move smaller sized material. So that's why the poured limestone makes more sense...
1. Egypt was not merely a society, but a powerful empire. The pyramids were tombs and were extremely important to their culture.
2. These buildings were started long before the guy died.
3. We can't do it today mostly for insurance reasons.
Where are the molds? And how would they create a mold strong enough to hold concrete but light enough to make them easier to transport than a rock? And where are the impressions from the molds in the rocks?
Concrete takes a lot of water to mix and to cure. I don't think it solves any logistical problems, in fact it introduces many more.
This can only be true, if a person was able to make for himself and his family food in a rather short time (let's say 6-8 months) so he had 4-6 months to waste his labor.
I am sure 3000 years difference in living are comparable.
Well, the pyramid had to be ready by the time of the pharao's death. Unless they didn't mind to share the pyramids among several rulers.
But just run the numbers. 1 million rocks, 1 rock takes 1 month to mine and transfer for 10 people(assumption). So 10K people can deliver 12K rocks a year, so a pyramid containing 1 million rocks had to be build for 83 years.
Mind you, even today we cant do this with 10 people, we simple have no idea, they might needed 100 people for 1 rock....
Good question, I thought that was problematic. To me it is still unexplained how they did it. Until a relative small number of people can make and move at least 1 decent sized rock in a small amount of time for a distance of a few miles, I don't believe in any theory.
Total bullshit. In Egypt or India you could find a few hundred volunteers for basicly free and try to replicate the process. You only need to move a few rocks just to show how it could have been done.
It simplifies the transfer of materials. It is easier to move 10 pieces of 100kg material than 1 piece of 1 ton rock. The total weight is the same, but smaller pieces are easier to move, duh....
I know, but they died rather young (40-50 was an old age back then) and I think they started to build it when a new ruler got on power. So if you do the math, if the new pharao was 20, they had 30 years on average to finish the brand new project...
According to the video, the quarry was 600+ miles away. Transfering a 2 ton rock that distance is a bitch....
I don't think they had to get it done on time, they mummified the dude and buried him later.
Did you know it took entire cities of people to accomplish this work? And also that we found the cities? And the houses of the workers, and documents relating to things like worker pay and injuries?
Not on a barge. You can move it with sail and oar power very easily.
Possible, although if the guy died way early, I am not sure the next ruler would have worked on 2 pyramids, when the first one was only half done, rather just take it over and declare it to be his...
It probably did, but I find hard to believe that they had so much manpower to be wasted on a useless project. Unless food was abundant, what most of the time in history wasn't....
Sure it is easy when the rock is on the boat already. But get it on and off.
Still I wonder how long it took just the water transportation. I guess if they were going 24/7, they could have made it in a week....
But here is another question. They never dropped a rock, while transfering 4-5 million? I don't think a sunk rock was ever found in the river bed....
The exercise was only useless to you. It was central to the religion of the area, where the rulers were considered gods themselves.
Secondly, food was not scarce. It was one of the most productive areas of the world. And it created a civilization. One of the major aspects of civilization is that it can support specialized trades.
Here is BBC's explanation of the building process:
Go to 5:20 where they show the spiral ramp being used. The funny part is that the pullers with the stone are at least 4 times longer than the little turning point at the corners.
In plain English, there is no fucking way they could have made the turn on the ramp.
Earlier they show the largest stones that required 200 workers to pull. Again, I don't see where the workers go once they reach the top, but the stone is still behind by 80-100 yards...
Obviously they found a way. This isn't rocket science, it's just rock and stone and rope. Many old trades are lost. How do you make a wagon from wood? I'm sure that would be a mystery to you and me, but there were techniques.
And we can't figure it out with 3000 years of technological advance??
By the way the point of showing that clip was, that even a well respected channel like the BBC is spreading bullshit when it goes to 3000 years old technology. Half of the stuff in that documentary is made up....
They didn't even have iron tools. The bronze ones lost their sharpness after 100 or so hit by the hammer and had to be resharpened in the quarry, according to the documentary....
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