Pyramid builders... how did they do it!?

Discussion in 'Science' started by Nyarghnia, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Nyarghnia

    Nyarghnia (Taking a Break)

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    1,274
    Heya,

    I was watching a documentary recently about the Pyramids (No, it wasn't about Aliens) and there were several very senior academics who admitted that frankly we still don't know how they managed these amazing feats of engineering...

    Things that were discussed...

    A) Ramp builders vs Block and Tackle, did they use ramps or somehow crane these blocks up, if they used a ramp, how much earth would have been needed!?

    B) The Labour that would have been required

    One theory was 100,000 laborers working for 25 years to build the big pyramid, but one guy on the doco said even that would have required fitting a stone every other minute, 24 x 7.

    C) The incredible precision used

    Could we match this precision today? I'm sure we can, but how did they do it back then without lasers and computers?

    Intruiged, I started looking around on the 'net.. but 90% of what's out there is well.. 'out there', silly stuff about aliens and Martian buildings :-S.

    What I would like to know, is what do YOU people in here on the OCAU science forums think?

    How did these people move these giant blocks? Were they giant blocks or a form of poured concrete?

    Are there any plans for the Pyramids lying around on stone tablets?

    Just how old are they?

    This documentry had the base stones weighing in at over 1,000 metric tons.. do we today have anything capable of moving something that heavy that isn't an Appollo era crawler?

    Really curious, becuase I'm totally stumped. Mind you, I don't have a science or engineering back-ground either.

    -NyarghNia
     
  2. iNoob

    iNoob Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2009
    Messages:
    4,767
    Location:
    Sydney
    I watched this doco where aliens came to Earth and built the pyramids and taught us many different things, they then introduced a different type of alien in order to hunt them as a game. Oh crap wait...

    IMO, there had to be some type of technology they had that allowed them to build with such perfection and speed. Although those statistics are quite weird, building a monolithic structure like that is pretty incredible considering the time period lol.
     
  3. Fortigurn

    Fortigurn Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    12,974
    Location:
    taipei.tw
    Human labour, lots of it. Amazing what you can get done. Earth ramps are not a problem when you're living in a place like Egypt which is 80% sand. The stone blocks were dug out, cut, and carved to fit while in the quarry (there's plenty of evidence for this in the quarries, unfinished stones, etc), and then transported to the building site. It would have helped if they'd invented the wheel first, but apparently that just didn't occur to them.

    Some useful information here, well referenced (surprisingly good for Wiki).
     
  4. Ashpool

    Ashpool Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2003
    Messages:
    3,352
    Location:
    Ye Olde Melbourne Town
    Try these?

     
  5. Tabris

    Tabris Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2002
    Messages:
    839
    Location:
    Albury
    It's amazing what you can get done when you are a living God
     
  6. Rt!

    Rt! Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    7,216
    Location:
    Nimbin
    they put sand in place and then poured glue over it.
     
  7. Dezza Bot

    Dezza Bot Member

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2004
    Messages:
    4,609
    Location:
    Central Coast, NSW
    Accuracy is easy as such large scales. We don't give ancient technology/knowhow enough credit tbh. Remember that they worshipped the Sun, expect their measurements relative to the Sun to be pretty accurate.
     
  8. seb

    seb Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2001
    Messages:
    1,757
    That wikipedia article on pyramid construction techniques gives a pretty good overview. The consensus seems to be that the Egyptians used ramps for the lower levels and then levers for completing the upper levels. The roads from the quarry were paved with stones, blocks were moved via sled, possibly lubricated with water or milk (or shock-horror, blood from dead slaves). Ok, I made that last bit up.

    The Pharaohs also denuded Egypt's scarce forests of wood in the construction. But when you're a demi-god you think you can do anything you want with minimal consequences.

    The site for each Pyramid appears to have been levelled using canals of water. i.e. dig canals (trenches) all over the place and fill with water. Then take the ground level down until it meets the waterline. I suppose provided the site is not too large, that the curvature of the Earth won't come into it. The Great Pyramid covers 13.1 acres (approx 230m square).
     
  9. Tutigan

    Tutigan Member

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2009
    Messages:
    2
    Location:
    Western Australia
    Well it's obvious! It was the Goa'uld!

    On a more serious note, there was an excellent documentary on this a few years back on ABC... Unfortunately humanity is too stubborn and up ourselves in these modern days to accept the fact that, while the ancient technology isn't as advanced as ours, in a lot of ways, it was so much better!
     
  10. anthony256

    anthony256 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Messages:
    10,781
    Location:
    Adelaide
    I can think of only 2 ways.

    They had the gravity gun from Half Life 2.

    Or

    Sylar.

    Edit; But seriously, I don't think they were able to do it. There would've been 'something' assisting, I mean come on.... we can barely build buildings that last that long in that kind of climate, let alone a pyramid. Maybe aliens came down and built them, as a communication device?

    What doesn't a government try to replicate it? For kicks? See how long it takes to actually go through with a project of that scale.
     
  11. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Canberra
    I think we could build a pyramid, if we had that many people working on it.

    We can't build useful buildings that last so long in such a climate for two reasons:

    (1) Cost. Nobody actually needs a building that lasts that long, and it'd cost a fortune to design one.

    (2) Usefulness. People expect buildings to have things like windows, walls less than a metre thick, and a reasonable amount of space inside for a given footprint. Pyramids don't have to meet any of these requirements.
    Because if the Rudd government said that they were going to spend millions of dollars building a pyramid "for kicks" then they wouldn't be the government for much longer.
     
  12. Reaper

    Reaper Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2001
    Messages:
    11,283
    Location:
    Brisbane, Qld, Australia
    All of the public servants would revolt because that would mean they'd have to actually work. :D

    Pyramid builders were a sort of public servant. Their lives were nothing but building these structures, and they got food/housing/medical in exchange for their work. They were skilled workers too.
     
  13. anthony256

    anthony256 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Messages:
    10,781
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Yet something like 20% of Australia's entire tax budget goes to Centrelink/welfare payments. I consider that a monumental waste of money and it should be means tested, but if we started doing that, god knows the consequences.

    I'm just saying for example.
     
  14. kix

    kix Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2005
    Messages:
    3,269
    Location:
    Whingey
    Slavery - Gets shit done.....
     
  15. broox

    broox Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
    Messages:
    3,599
    Location:
    Ad'laide SA
    i was just gonna post this


    but it seems its been posted alreald :(
    i have watched it a few times tho, its incredible!
     
  16. SLATYE

    SLATYE SLATYE, not SLAYTE

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2002
    Messages:
    26,831
    Location:
    Canberra
    An interesting point. Make all the people on welfare build a pyramid. If they don't like it, they can get off welfare. Australia either ends up with a pyramid, or with less people on welfare.

    That said, there are probably more useful things to do with all the people on welfare.
     
  17. nEBUz

    nEBUz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    824
    Location:
    Wanaka, NZ
    I saw a recent article about cement... (cbf finding link, and it's long gone from google reader) which was talking about some new iranian cement that is around twice as hard as the best the us can make etc...

    Of relevance is that the researcher was known for his view (and research to back it up) suggesting that the pyramids are made of fake stone/cement... which is entirely feasible... a lot of roman / greek structures are also apparently made of cement, which is actually a lot better than the stuff we have now (or so they claim).

    If you think about the logistics of constructing a pyramid; would you rather haul xxx Ton blocks of rock up a 20+ degree slope, or pipe/carry smaller amounts of cement up, and pour the blocks in place?

    Not saying that this is in any way correct, but it certainly has merit as an idea, especially given the 'strange'/man-made makeup of the rock used (or so the article claimed)
     
  18. anthony256

    anthony256 Member

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2001
    Messages:
    10,781
    Location:
    Adelaide
    Yes, like training to be nurses/doctors/police/counsellers.

    Things this country needs, things you can never have enough of. Just imagine the 1 million strong population on welfare, train them up, give them the normal wage of the trained field, we would then have say 1 in 5 at least doing it, 200, 000 more doctors/nurses, etc.

    The government could make completely free health care, as those people off centrelink would save them a massive amount of money each fortnight. Also creating hopefully less crime as they'd have something to fill their time with compared to being at home.

    A pyramid would create tourism too.
     
  19. Aamdaron

    Aamdaron Member

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2002
    Messages:
    2,113
    Location:
    Melbourne
    This really gets me, as far as I've read on it the pyramids are a holy structure therefore the unclean hands of slaves could not be used to build them. The workers were Egyptians who did it as a job, they got paid, fed, given beer and taken care of. They wern't slaves!
     
  20. Phalanx

    Phalanx Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2001
    Messages:
    4,219
    Location:
    3032
    Here's the article here on Wired.

    It's much easier to transport concrete mix than giant heavy stones :) Then just pour into a mold, let it set and throw it on the stack (or do it halfway up the stack, so you don't need to haul it).

    edit: Also, it's bloody difficult to become a doctor for people who want to, need an incredibly high TER, get into one of the limited positions and works your arse off for years. If someone on the dole was skilled enough to become a doctor, they wouldn't be on the dole. Giant stone public toilets, on the other hand, might be a great idea :D
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2009

Share This Page

Advertisement: