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originally posted by: zinc12
Mayāsura was renowned for his architectural abilities. It is said he ruled over MayaRastra (present day Meerut in India). It was believed that Mayāsura and his people could even melt stones for constructing their great architectural wonders.
originally posted by: Blackmarketeer
a reply to: jeep3r
Another feature being ignored by the "reconstituted" theory is that these blocks only fit 'perfectly' along their front (exposed) edge. The back edge is full of gaps and relied on a filler material to keep the blocks fitted.
The blocks were 'wedge shaped' and were only precisely scribed and coped to fit tightly along their leading edge. A "poured" block (not that there ever was such a thing) would not be wedge shaped and would conform to adjoining "poured" blocks uniformly along it's entire width and not only the leading edge.
Interesting idea. It would certainly work in the situation you posit where the fit onlyexists at the finished face, and there are situations where this appears to be the case.
However, there are many places where the fit extends some distance into the joint and a few (the Sacred PLaza at Machu Picchu, for example, and some joints at Sacsawaman) where the fit goes all the way through to the other side. Even the "face only" joints go all the way through on the bedding (bottom, bearing) face. You can see the inprint of the entire upper stone in the courses below anywhere a wall's been dismantled (lots of this at Ollantaytambo). Worse, all these faces that penetrate into the joint are typically warped, not flat, and bear no geometric relation to one another (aren't parallel to each other). Thus, your stone lying on its back with a template above changes shape as one proceeds deeper into the joint. The template, too, therefore needs to change shape constantly as the cutters move down the sides of the stone.
You're quite right that the three options are trial and error, templating (which is basically the same thing with a substitute for the upper stone) and scribing. There are many reasons to reject straight trial and error, but templating is tempting. Consider, though, that the (often very large) template must be strong enough to resist many movements w/o damage, it must be dimensionally stable to a tolerance of several millimeters (absolutely resistant to shrinkage, warping, rain, drying), it must duplicate its parent shape in three dimensions (as noted above) and finally be light enough to be worth all the trouble. This is a very tall order with the materials available to the Incas.
Scribing is the obvious way to transfer irregular shapes (watch a log cabin being built). The principle is moronically simple and works perfectly on big rocks with fairly simple joint patterns. The trick is applying the scribe to all the many weird joints, but I'll bet there's a way.
originally posted by: zinc12
a reply to: AdmireTheDistance
I just put it there as some might like to explore the mythology along with the etymology of his name (maya).
Whilst I believe ancient peoples were more advanced then we give credit for I am not of the opinion these stones were ever liquid. Masons are known to select stone for quality and I can imagine they would reject rough grain limestone in favour of fine grain limestone. The fact that the stone differs from the stone in the nearby quarry probably only confirms that the stone was taken from a different quarry or cut from a different layer of the same quarry.