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Originally posted by LaBTop
An Egyptian architect, challenged by the task of constructing a giant pyramid of mainly limestone, would probably sometime during his contemplation of the various possibilities, come up with the eventual use of water to assist with, and ease his task.
In first instance, he would draw a rectangular, shaped of single limestone blocks.
Then he would want to fill the huge open space inside with water, and he would want to keep it there, for his idea to work.
Every year, during the 3 months seasonal Nile floods, an abundance of it, was precipitated in the farmers fields alongside the river Nile, so why not use a tiny part of it. So he did.
He now had a man made dry "lake", zoomed by limestone blocks which then were smeared with a thin layer of wetted clay on the inside.
He first found out that limestone sucks up reasonable amounts of water, if not protected by a thin layer of wet clay.
As we know by now, through ground radar tests, the center of the floor space was an elevated massive natural mount of limestone, and this greatly reduced the amount of water needed, for the first one third of the total height of the, yet to be constructed pyramid.
He first ordered canals to be digged from the nearby Nile to the base of the Gizah plateau, so he caught 2 flies in one strike :
1. An easy way to transport the limestone blocks from the quarries on the opposite side of the Nile to as close as possible to the Gizah plateau,
2. Have an abundance of water available at the foot of the Gizah plateau, to be transported up by means of waterwheels or screws in tubes, see-saws with animal skin buckets or just plain buckets. Perhaps he even had the notion of the construction of baked clay pipe pumps and baked clay pipes to pump the water up.
This was easily achieved by the boatsman, tare-ing the total weight with a range of standardized small limestone tare stones he took with him during every delivery.
The heaviest blocks needed no tare stones, the lightest blocks needed the biggest tare stones.
These were placed on heaps on both sides of the "loading dock" corners, to be chosen from.
Then they constructed the next layer, smeared the bottom and the sides again with a thin layer of wet clay, and performed the same operation, and so on, until they reached about one third of the ultimate height of the pyramid.
One observed fact to substantiate this thesis is the presence of the so called huge "sand chambers" inside the pyramid, also discovered by the recent ground radar tests. Perhaps they are remnants of a mix of washed out clay and grinded down limestone.
Which offers perhaps another explanation of the existing small square shaped passages leading down from the outside walls The ones explored lately with the remote wheeled robots plus camera. They could be drainage passages for the grinding slurries produced during the grinding in place of the upper 2/3th of the pyramid blocks.
I came up to this thesis because I am still contemplating the intention of the many, circa 1 meter deep round holes drilled in the bedrock, found around all 4 sides of the Great Pyramid.
My first thought was that they were used as pumps, fitted with greased round stoneblocks with two holes in them, covered with one leather valve on top of one, and one at the bottom of the other one, and fitted in the center with a wooden pole, so one man could pump up water through baked clay pipes or leathered animal intestines up the pyramid.
Those clay pipes would have been connected to the top hole by means of a piece of leathered intestine, to facilitate a flexible connection to the clay pipes.
The pump hole would have been surrounded with a small high dike, and that space filled with Nile water brought up from the canal at the bottom of the Gizah plateau.
With that many pumps around all sides, the "lakes" would have been quickly filled and kept filled when water was leaking out during grinding of the limestone blocks in place.
Since I have wondered already for a long time how they managed to fit a square block into an L-shaped block sidewise, so perfectly. Grinding with lots of water would be the only possible sane conclusion.
Many of the pyramids were built with a number of different stone materials. Most of the material used was fairly rough, low grade limestone used to build the pyramid core, while fine white limestone was often employed for the outer casing as well as to cover interior walls, though pink granite was also often used on inner walls. Basalt or alabaster was not uncommon for floors, particularly in the mortuary temples
The finer, white limestone employed in the pyramids and mortuary temples was not as easy to quarry, and had to be found further from the building site. One of the main sources for this limestone was the Muqattam hills on the west bank of the Nile near modern Tura and Maasara. This stone laid buried further from the surface, so tunnels had to be dug in order to reach the actual stone quarry. Sometimes these deposits were as deep as fifty meters, and huge caverns had to be built to reach the quarry. Generally, large chunks of stone were removed, and then finely cut into blocks. The blocks were then moved to the building site on large wooden sledges pulled by oxen. The path they took would be prepared with a mud layer from the Nile in order to facilitate the moving.
Pink granite, basalt and alabaster were used much more sparingly. Most of this material was moved from various locations in southern Egypt by barges on the Nile. Pink granite probably most often came from the quarries around Aswan.
Basalt, on the other hand was not as far away. Only recently have we discovered that most of the basalt used in pyramid construction came from an Oligocene flow located at the northern edge of the Fayoum Depression (Oasis). Here, we find the worlds oldest paved road, which led to the shores of what once was a lake. During the Nile inundation each year, this lake made a connection to the Nile, so at that time, the basalt was moved across the lake and into the Nile for transport.
Alabaster is quarried from either open pits or underground. In open pits, veins of Alabaster are found 12 to 20 feet below the surface under a layer of shale which can be two or three feet deep. The rocks have an average height of 16-20 inches and a diameter of two to three feet. Much of the alabaster used in the pyramids probably came from Hatnub, a large quarry near Amarna north of modern Luxor.
However, it should be pointed out that by even the end of the Old Kingdom, there were hundreds of various types of quarries scattered across the western and eastern deserts, the Sinai and southern Palestine.
Nevertheless, there are simply many assumptions, particularly about the Great Pyramids of Giza, that are not true.
Originally posted by LaBTop
There were stone quarries on the opposite shore of the Nile, seen from the Giza plateau.
And their products were shipped over and used in the Giza pyramids.
The adagio of the modern internet researcher : "Links please", is mostly worthless already after 5 years.
Creating the Ground Plan
After the primary coordinates were determined, the ground plan would be marked out. Some of the methods used to do so varied from pyramid to pyramid. Here, we examine the means by which the ground plan of the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza was determined.
Initially, a reference line along true north was constructed from the orientation process. The next step would be to create a true square with precise right angles. Within Khufu's pyramid, there is actually a massif of natural rock jutting up that was used as part of the pyramid's core. Therefore, measuring the diagonals of the square to check for accuracy was impossible.
However, at Khufu's pyramid, there are a number of post holes dug that might have been used to draw such circles,
And please don't fall into the "I posted this before and I don't want to repeat myself" mindset! Remember that there will be many people who haven't read your previous posts, who would like to see the supporting material. This section really serves to educate a lot of people who may not be reading other sections.
Originally posted by LaBTop
The author contemplates that these holes were used to put poles in, for measurement purposes.
I proposed the use of them as pump plunger housings, since I would never needed such fat holes for measuring, just a tiny diameter hole for a thin branch to tie a thin rope to, would have sufficed.
Originally posted by LaBTop
In that thread you or Marduk gave a link to a Temple site, in which I saw a photo of a reddish temple wall made of huge stone blocks, without a roof, in which you could see 2 immense stone blocks perfectly fit together, the right one was J shaped, and the left one a square block, slightly lower in height, but it fitted neatly in the short leg of the J shaped block. So tight that you can't get a knife blade between them. And both tops were perfectly aligned.
That's why I thought the ancient Egyptians used water to grind these two blocks into each other, so long first till the tops were level, and then till the adjacent walls were smoothly fitting. Then the third next stone would be rubbed against the second one until both sides fitted, etcetera.
The descending passage led only to a subterranean chamber. This descending passage that leads down is set at a 26 degree angle that descends down 345 feet (105m) into the earth under the pyramid. The passageway is only 3'6" (1.1m) wide and 3'11" (1.2m) high. The chamber is closed to the public. The chamber itself is a room that measures about 46' x 27'1" x 11'6" (14 x 8.3 x 3.5m). There is a passage that leads 100 feet horizontally to the western side. The purpose of the pit is uncertain. It is possible that it could have been the burial chamber, but after a change of plan, it was abandoned.
Another theory is that it was built by peasants who were unable to work the land while the Nile flooded between July and November. They may have been paid with food for their labor. The flooded waters would have also aided in the moving of the casing stones. These stones were brought from Aswan and Tura and the water would have brought the stones right to the pyramid. This pyramid is thought to have been built between 2589 - 2566 BC. It would have taken over 2,300,000 blocks of stone with an average weight of 2.5 tons each. The total weight would have been 6,000,000 tons and a height of 482 feet (140m). It is the largest and the oldest of the Pyramids of Giza.
The base of the pyramid is 754 feet [230m] and covers 13 acres.
Grand Gallery. The gallery is 157 feet (48m) long and 28 feet (8.5m) high and is at the same 26 degree angle as the passages. The roof of the gallery is corbelled. It is said that not a piece of paper or a needle can be inserted between the stones making up the roof. The gallery is only 62 inches (1.6m) wide at the bottom and is only 41 inches (1m) wide at the top of the incline.
Remember that this is a research area, not a speculation area. Can you provide a source for how you know what an ancient Egyptian architect would have done?
What kind of underwater equipment were they using?
Originally posted by LaBTop
How is it possible that not one Egyptologist has thought about this most basic need of us humans.
The structure was built in an excavation in the sandy clay stratum of the desert, with almost vertical sides. Two parallel limestone walls running over the eastern room of the structure served as retaining walls for the sand bed upon which the temple was built. The foundations is cut many feet below the current level of the water table.
A channel about three meters across then surrounds this island. It contained water and thus the interior of this structure was symbolic of the primeval waters of creation from which an island arose. At either end of the island stairways lead down into he water channel about 3.5 meters.
The temple, in the shape of an L, once had a landing quay, a ramp,---
One approaches the temple through its outer courts, now ruined but with the huge tanks for the absolution of the temple's priest still visible. This was the first temple we know of in Egypt that incorporated these structures.
the nomarchs often enlarged and embellished their provincial capitals, from which they supervised the maintenance of irrigation canals and dams, the local distribution of the Nile water---
The number of provinces in Upper Egypt seems to have been constant from the Old Kingdom onwards, whereas the number and position of the provinces in Lower Egypt varied, growing over time as marshes were converted to cultivated land and as the river branches of the Nile Delta shifted over the centuries.
The temple was fronted on the east by a large terrace paved with limestone slabs, through which two causeways led from the Nile canal. Just about in the middle of the terrace, fragments of what may have been a small, simple, wood and matting structure was unearthed that may have been the location of a statue depicting Khafre. However, others believe that this was a tent used for purification purposes, though known examples of such a structure are only found in a few private tombs.
In 1995, Zahi Hawass re-cleared the area in front of the Valley temple and in doing so, discovered that the causeways passed over tunnels that were framed with mudbrick walls and paved with limestone. These tunnels have a slightly convex profile resembling that of a boat. They formed a narrow corridor or canal running north-south. In front of the Sphnix Temple, the canal runs into a drain leading northeast, probably to a quay buried below the modern tourist plaza.
The causeways connected the Nile canal with two separate entrances on the Valley temple facade that were sealed by huge, single-leaf doors probably made of cedar wood and hung on copper hinges. Each of these doorways were protected by a recumbent Sphinx.
However, modern scholars with considerable expertise on this pyramid, such as Lehner, doubt this assumption. Like the pyramid of Khufu and others in Egypt, Khafre's structure takes advantage of a rock outcropping to both increase the stability of its core, as well as to conserve the amount of necessary building materials needed for its construction. In fact, the lowest levels of its southwest corner are actually hacked out of the rock subsoil. The bedrock surface to the northwest had to be cut down some 10 meters by its ancient builders, while the southeast corner had to be built up using mammoth blocks of masonry. However, by far the substance of the pyramid core is made up of locally quarried limestone blocks of approximately equal height. Nearby to the north of they pyramid, one may still clearly see the traces of how these blocks were quarried. The blocks were not laid with the care that was given to the core of Khufu's pyramid, for the layers do not always run exactly horizontally, and the joints are at times very wide. Often, there is no mortar between the blocks. In fact, because the four corner angles were not quite aligned correctly to meet the pyramid apex, there is a very slight twist at the top.
However, because it is clear that the remaining casing is eroding, recent investigations by Italian experts have shown that the remaining corner edges of the mantle are not completely straight. Individual blocks are slightly turned in various directions. An analysis of this peculiarity suggests that this was the result of seismic activity. Small earthquakes were not uncommon in ancient Egypt, as they are likewise known to occur in modern times.
However, later work by Lehner and Hawass seem to suggest that that this facility, rather than a settlement, was instead a storehouse as well as the workshops for the pyramid complex. Interestingly, the great number of mollusk shells that were found here also suggest that the surrounding area was, rather than arid desert as it is today, a kind of savanna with the corresponding flora and fauna.
The Great Sphinx
Outside perimeter walls may have extended around the entire Khafre pyramid complex, including within it the great Sphinx. Close study by geologist Thomas Aigner of the geological layers of the Sphinx show that it was closely related to the quarrying and building of the Khafre complex.
Hence, there is some indication that it was a part of Khafre's pyramid complex. However, the latter is by no means certain, so here we have avoided the issue for the time being, electing rather to discuss the Great Sphinx separately.