The Pyramids

easy way to move stones

The  pyramids at Giza involve about 2,000,000 blocks of stone most of them 2-4 tons in weight. There are stones as heavy as 32 tons.

 If one has plenty of manpower to build a pyramid, some commonly-shared motivation to undertake such a project and a source of stone, the major elements of building the pyramid are:

1) some architectural planning;

2) obtaining the stones in a quarry;

3) moving the stone from the quarry to the building site;

4) lifting the stones and placing them in position.

Elements 1, 2 & only partially 3 can be scaled by any order of magnitude and may employ any number of people. It is a fact that through ages large constructions have been planned and people bothered to cut stones. If enough tools are provided any number of people can be employed to achieve this cutting. The third and 4th element are most difficult to explain as the number of people who can pull or push a stone is limited by its size, even when ropes are involved. Even if hundreds of people may be envisioned pulling a block of stone with the aid of wrapped around ropes on a surface made slick with some kind of oil, even pulling it on a wheeled cart, the scenario is hardly credible as stones had to be delivered at the rate of one every 10-20 minutes. It is known the stones can be transported easily down a river on some barge but how do you move the stones from the shore to the building site platform?

The idea explains how very few people (probably under 6) and not hundreds may move a heavy stone with the same ease one pushes  a cylindrical stone. The reason a square block cannot be made to roll as simple as a cylindrical block is because its center of gravity when you try to roll a square has to be lifted up and then it falls down.
If though you can create a pathway represented in a vertical section of concatenating curves, because the center of gravity of the square block will constantly be moving in an horizontal plane, then the square block will roll with the ease of a cylinder rolling down a smooth level  path. The pathway curves have a mathematical relation to the size of the block and represent the trajectory followed by the side of the square moving horizontally while maintaining the center of the square on a straight line.  Above movie demonstrates the point.

Here is where bricks, mentioned in the Bible in connection with the work undertaken by Jews while slaves in Egypt, come in. The easiest to build adhoc such a pathway is out of bricks.

 Once plenty of stones are close to the center of the future pyramid, their lifting is not that complicated and one need not push these stones along any incline. Also out of bricks one can build a tower (of the Zygurat type found presently in old Babylon.) Then once the tower is in place a system of multiple pulleys can greatly reduce the lifting power necessary to raise up slowly the block and push it in position. This technique suggest a building from  inside toward the outside.


Whether you agree or not, this page should have piqued your interest in  how pyramids might have been built with means readily available to regular humans of those times.