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Old 01-12-2019, 02:08 PM
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Riemann Riemann is offline
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Originally Posted by joema View Post
The ancient pyramids are load-bearing masonry construction. Obviously this could be done today much faster and with less labor. The question is using what methods and what are the goals?...
Great post, that was interesting.
Old 01-13-2019, 05:28 AM
joema joema is online now
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Other technical advantages that could be leveraged include 3D laser surveying and differential GPS. Before starting construction, the entire construction phase could be modeled and an assembly sequence produced. IOW the sequence and position of each crane lift and the evolving 3D geometry of the pyramid. This could be verified in near-real-time using 3D laser scanning:

Survey-grade differential GPS is available with roughly 1 centimeter accuracy. These could be directly placed on the crane boom and/or hoist load, or traditional laser survey techniques could be used to verify each load is placed in the exact required 3D location.

However it's not just lifting blocks and precise positioning. The plan would have to also include the surface finishing, which on the original pyramids was quarried limestone with a polished finish. However since the Empire State Building was covered in limestone and constructed in one year, it seems likely that could be done fairly rapidly. The total surface area of the Empire State Building is very roughly similar to the surface area of the Giza pyramid.
Old 01-13-2019, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by eschereal View Post
So, what would it cost to build the great pyramid?
Dunno, but I have a scheme to get the money.
I used to be clueless, but I turned that around 360 degrees. -Ratbert
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:39 PM
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Originally Posted by md2000 View Post
AFAIK the three large pyramids at Giza were blocks all the way through. There are several later pyramids (most notably the Black Pyramid) that were rubble-filled and guess what's there now? (Hint: just a mound of rubble). Similarly the very small pyramid of Teti(?) you can still go into the burial chambers, but they sit under a mound of rubble. But... those are much later pyramids from the decline of the old kingdom when they did things quick and cheap - and even then, no pours...

You can see on the smallest of the three main Giza pyramids that the interior is blocks.

Another story I heard is that Yusuf heard there was gold inside the pyramids and decided to go mining. Regardless, there is a very deep gash on one face and what do we see inside...?

...wait for it...

I believe that the Giza pyramids also have rubble fill. Understand, I don't mean this comprises the majority of the interior, which is block as you say, but all of them have fairly irregular blocks on the interior, except the interior chambers and relieving structures, and there is fill in them (my understanding is it's mainly rubble from cutting the blocks). I don't have a cite, just something I read years ago in school. I recall being surprised as I thought all the blocks were pretty uniform and very well crafted. It was a bit of a shock (though it shouldn't have been) that the interior stones weren't cut to the same precision as the outer stones. You can actually see some of the gapping if you go there (though I understand you aren't allowed to climb on the pyramids anymore) as parts are exposed beyond the very outer layers (and of course the white limestone casings are long gone in most places).

That's what happens when you let rednecks play with anti-matter!
Old 01-14-2019, 01:48 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
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Not likely. I just looked at my pictures from Giza. (You can climb the first few courses, you need to, to go inside). The blocks are pretty solid. Not sure if they still have marks from the original stonework, or if some of those marks are erosion or later vandalism.

The pyramids were finished with polished limestone smoothed to an actual pyramid. As I said earlier, the theory is that they built a spiral ramp around the pyramid as it went up using mud bricks on the steps of the blocks - hence no giant (massive) mound of rubble as expected from a straight ramp. Then as they worked their way down removing the ramp, they finished the surface stones to a sloped perfect pyramid. You can see the remains of this on the middle pyramid near the top - those stones seem to have not fallen or been removed. The pyramids are covered with crud and debris, the blocks are also slightly crumbling and each course has caught a bit of gravel and dust (plus, I imagine, souvenirs of sandstorms).

The trouble with rubble fill is that it will creep over the centuries, much like a slow motion avalanche or glacier. With each hot-cold cycle, earthquake, or any other process that disturbs the block work, the rubble will produce pressure to eventually burst the containing block wall - which is why the later, cheaply built pyramids did collapse. There may be bits of gravel etc. between the stones, but everything I read says the three main pyramids are solid construction.

The red pyramid as Sqarra seems to be crumbling badly and has gravel slides collecting near the bottom - but you can go to the interior chambers, and they are blocks - although the seem to be crumbling badly. The Bent Pyramid still has a lot of the smooth pyramidal finish - it was cracking (and hence the change from the initial angle) IIRC because of the shifting sand foundations. Even the Step Pyramid, the original pyramid, is stone blocks... Just that when they started they made the thing of relatively smaller blocks.

(also note that some of the smaller side pyramids ("mother in law suites") beside the Giza pyramids seem to have an element of step design.)


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