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:
some architectural planning;
obtaining the stones in a quarry;
moving the stone from the quarry to the building site;
lifting the stones and placing them in position.
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.
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.
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
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.