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  1. #41
    Listening Oaky's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FDG View Post
    And we have a million times more knowledge, doesn't it mean that we are phenomenal for our times? We can make skyscrapers, how do you know an egyptian wouldn't find them absolutely incredible as much as we find pyramides incredible? How did we get all our knowledge, if not by means of intelligence?
    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Well, that's neat.

    There's a sculpture at the University of Chicago that has a shadow that aligns to make a hammer-and-sickle shape every May Day.

    I never said the ancient Egyptians weren't smart.
    *sigh* ...I felt happy today so I decided to throw anything in. Whatever, you're all right. I'm not in a current mood to argue. Cheers

  2. #42
    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Saying they just took a bunch of people and did it somehow is a leap of faith.
    Have any interesting alternative theories? Besides aliens. Something supernatural maybe.

  3. #43
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Have any interesting alternative theories? Besides aliens. Something supernatural maybe.
    Werewolves!
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  4. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    Have any interesting alternative theories? Besides aliens. Something supernatural maybe.
    An army of aspergers ridden pandas. I'm not so presumptuous as to say I know how the pyramids were built. That's your job.

  5. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    I think people are quick to overestimate the supposed impossibility of the Great Pyramids construction.

    Here's a link that offers professional engineering rationale. No hocus pocus. Just tens of thousands of workers over a handful of decades.

    Here's a snippet:

    Based on our program management approach and our informed guesses we concluded that the total project required an average workforce of 13,200 persons and a peak workforce of 40,000 and that it required two to three years of site preparation, five years of pyramid construction, and two years of ramp removal, decoration, and other ancillary tasks. Assembling a workforce of this sizeóand feeding itóappear to have been well within the capabilities of the Egyptian economy at that time if the population was in fact 1 million to 1.5 million.
    I wonder if his theory has been reviewed by engineers and the like?

    Whatever method could've been used to construct the pyramid, the architectural design and precision of it is awe inspiring. The level of technique required to build it would still be tremendous because each and every stone was cut to PERFECTION. Even that article doesn't account for what techniques could've produced such a thing, even if he is able to produce a theory as to how they moved the stones around. The larger part of the mystery is still unaccounted for. Science only progresses because people continue to ask questions and see that there are things we do not yet fully understand.

  6. #46
    Boring old fossil Night's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    I wonder if his theory has been reviewed by engineers and the like?

    Whatever method could've been used to construct the pyramid, the architectural design and precision of it is awe inspiring. The level of technique required to build it would still be tremendous because each and every stone was cut to PERFECTION. Even that article doesn't account for what techniques could've produced such a thing, even if he is able to produce a theory as to how they moved the stones around. The larger part of the mystery is still unaccounted for. Science only progresses because people continue to ask questions and see that there are things we do not yet fully understand.
    It's a professional engineering firm, working in tandem with Egyptologists to ensure that their numbers corresponded with materials of the era. The website merely provides a layman's summary of their findings.

    I agree that the manufacturing process is of exceptional quality - moreso when one considers the technology available at that time. As you noted earlier, mathematics was a particular strength for ancient Egyptians -- particularly geometry. Perhaps this has something to do with their precision?

    As far as the mechanical movement of the stones goes, I'd wager any number of pulley systems would be adequate - especially with a workforce the size of a mid-sized city.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Night View Post
    It's a professional engineering firm, working in tandem with Egyptologists to ensure that their numbers corresponded with materials of the era. The website merely provides a layman's summary of their findings.

    I agree that the manufacturing process is of exceptional quality - moreso when one considers the technology available at that time. As you noted earlier, mathematics was a particular strength for ancient Egyptians -- particularly geometry. Perhaps this has something to do with their precision?

    As far as the mechanical movement of the stones goes, I'd wager any number of pulley systems would be adequate - especially with a workforce the size of a mid-sized city.
    I wonder how the architecture of the great pyramid compares to that of the smaller pyramids around it, and if they share the same level of precision (though we do know they had a different purpose altogether).

    Took a quick look, it appears that in Egypt, the Great Pyramid was the first one, and the smaller ones were built AFTER it. If the smaller ones don't share the same level of architectural integrity (indicating the use of different techniques altogether), I'd personally wonder how they could start off building the pyramid with such a high level of technique and no prior practice in pyramid building, as far as we know. Then, subsequent attempts would be inferior? That wouldn't make a lot of sense. Their techniques should get better, not worse (even if the latter ones were smaller, they should employ the same architectural techniques). Maybe they had one GENIUS working to construct the great pyramid, and when he dies they would be left unable to reproduce his results. I dunno.

    ***EDIT***

    The Egyptians had other inferior pyramid attempts before the great Pyramid which, although separated by significant lengths of time, could've been used for architectural knowledge on how to build more and better pyramids. Also, this website (no idea how credible every part of it is) has some interesting information on the unique qualities of the Great Pyramid:

    Unique Facts about Africa: The Great Pyramid

    Another interesting feature of the Great Pyramid are the so-called 'relieving chambers'. This is an ingenious system raised over the king's burial chamber, constructed to relieve vertical and horizontal loads. The relatively thin wall between the burial chamber and the grand gallery likely could not absorb all of the horizontal pressure from the granite roof of the chamber. Thus, the granite roof had to be raised above the level of grand gallery. However, this created another problem, since now the walls of the burial chamber would be more than 8 meters high, and thus very unstable. Thus, huge granite slabs were placed horizontally as stabilisers between the walls, one above another. The empty spaces between granite slabs today are called 'relieving' chambers, though they were never meant to be accessed; and were not until the 19th century, when they were opened by dynamite. This, turned out to be an incredibly valuable discovery. Since the 'relieving chambers' were never meant to be accessed, the stone blocks on their walls were not prepared and laid as carefully as those in the accessible interior of the pyramid. Thus, graffiti of the pyramid workers were found inscribed on some of the blocks, mentioning the names of the worker crews which built the pyramid (or at least placed these particular stones), and the year of rule and the name of the pharaoh who had the pyramid built: Khufu. The Great Pyramid is otherwise completely empty of any inscriptions or hieroglyphs whatsoever. This is the only evidence which proves that pharaoh Hor Medjedu Khnum Khufu had the Great Pyramid built, and that this is, in fact, the legendary king which Herodotus calls Kheops.
    That obviously rules out aliens building it, AJ.

  8. #48
    Senior Member Feops's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    The level of technique required to build it would still be tremendous because each and every stone was cut to PERFECTION.
    My understanding was that many of the cuts were rough and required a fair amount of filler material. Also that the technique advanced fairly slowly.

    Not knowing the exact methods people used to make something a long time ago is beside the point. If humanity had a mind to do something like build a useless giant stone thing by hand with some prehistorical tools, and several thousand labourers we could work to the conditions of the day, I'm sure we could figure it out. Instead we have things like skyscrapers. Oh, damn.

  9. #49
    Don't Judge Me! Haphazard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Risen View Post
    Their techniques should get better, not worse (even if the latter ones were smaller, they should employ the same architectural techniques). Maybe they had one GENIUS working to construct the great pyramid, and when he dies they would be left unable to reproduce his results. I dunno.
    Again, this is an example of lost knowledge, not people getting dumber. Not everyone can be a genius, but if they write enough down and we save it we all get the benefit. If we don't, it's gone, making future generations look dumb.

    However, another explanation could be that if the smaller pyramids are worse architecturally and smaller, it could have been a rush job, and therefore not as much attention to detail was put into them.
    -Carefully taking sips from the Fire Hose of Knowledge

  10. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haphazard View Post
    Again, this is an example of lost knowledge, not people getting dumber. Not everyone can be a genius, but if they write enough down and we save it we all get the benefit. If we don't, it's gone, making future generations look dumb.

    However, another explanation could be that if the smaller pyramids are worse architecturally and smaller, it could have been a rush job, and therefore not as much attention to detail was put into them.
    If you read carefully, I NEVER made the case that we are getting dumber. I made the case that the development of knowledge and skills isn't/hasn't been linear. The point was that older civilizations have had advanced technologies that suited their needs, and which really indicates that human beings have neither gotten smarter nor dumber. We too often think that we are somehow superior to the man of millenniums past, but that couldn't be further from the truth, imo.

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