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Sacsayhuamán: lost art of stone softening?

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posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 12:36 AM
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Originally posted by flexy123
I just did a VERY quick googling "limestone" and found immediately a very startling fact

* Limestone can be dissolved by acid (!) (say, vinegar....)
* MANY of the ancient "mysterious" structures were built w/ limestone

I have NEVER ever read about the theory that acid such as vinegar could have be used to dissolve or smoothen, but for me this is a VERY plausible thought!


Do you know if it is conceivable that the rocks were heated to a point where they become not quite liquid yet but malleable?

Btw, when we see square blocks in other monuments it is natural to imagine they were cut like this. But rocks come in all shapes and sizes. On an industrial scale it may be more economical to use the same approach of heating rocks and shaping them into cubes or cuboids.




posted on Jan, 2 2013 @ 12:46 AM
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Originally posted by Lazarus Short
Perhaps, but the stones look lapped together to me.

*nods head* Depending on the hardness of the stones, that seems like a very plausible explanation. (I lap, but generally deal with hardness around 6.5 - 7)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 03:25 PM
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To discuss one specific aspect of these structures, mainly the tight joints, it seems plausible to me (I'm not a trained mason nor geologist) that if it's true as previously stated, that acid is caustic to limestone (although more details on the required pH would be needed), perhaps this coupled with the lapping technique mentioned in a previous post by nomadros, would form a sort of "stone weld". Could this provide some explanation or open to actual experimentation to replicate these joints today?

reply to post by nomadros
 


Perhaps nomadros, who has mentioned training in stonework, could comment or followup on this idea? A few questions would need to be answered, however:

1. What pH is required to apply to a limestone surface to increase the smoothing effect by the lapping technique?
2. What did the inhabitants have at their disposal to create an acid of this minimum (or stronger) level that could be used?
3. Does this approach scale to larger stones of the size used on-site?
4. If this acid stone softening technique works on limestone for linear joints, could it also be used as a caustic abrasive, with a copper or harder stone drill bit to create circular holes as well?
5. Are there any writings from these people describing the makings of an acidic liquid (or a similar naturally forming source in the area, or that could be imported from neighboring settlements?

If all these items prove to be viable, then the intelligence of the human builders may be more than we (as a "modern" culture) have estimated? We humans are a crafty species, and should get credit where credit is due, IMO.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by Krakatoa
To discuss one specific aspect of these structures, mainly the tight joints, it seems plausible to me (I'm not a trained mason nor geologist) that if it's true as previously stated, that acid is caustic to limestone (although more details on the required pH would be needed), perhaps this coupled with the lapping technique...


Keep in mind though, that these are some pretty big rocks.

I can imagine taking two cobbles, one in my left hand, one held down with my right. The repeated back-and-forth rubbing of the top against the bottom, with occasional sweeping of debris, would eventually create a very tight-fitting match. Is this called "lapping?" Use whatever acid or abrasive sand, sure. Look up muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid as a liquid that can dissolve concrete (sort of).

But what giant hand can do that with 100+ ton megaliths?

It falls back to maybe a constant sliding of an abrasive sheet (of goatskin or something) between closely-held blocks for the perfect interface. Two men pulling it back and forth like a log saw? And this would still be a duration of weeks or months or years of sliding while the upper megalith is suspended! Then what about the L corners?



Originally posted by flexy123

Originally posted by Lazarus Short

When I say the stones appear to be lapped, I mean one was placed on top of other stones with abrasive and water, and dragged forward and back until the desired fit was achieved.


I am familiar with this for some time already, but just looking at the picture of this wall again baffles my mind endlessly. But your explanation that they might have done it that way is excellent, makes a lot of sense to me!



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 08:52 PM
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Originally posted by FormerSkeptic

Originally posted by Krakatoa
To discuss one specific aspect of these structures, mainly the tight joints, it seems plausible to me (I'm not a trained mason nor geologist) that if it's true as previously stated, that acid is caustic to limestone (although more details on the required pH would be needed), perhaps this coupled with the lapping technique...


Keep in mind though, that these are some pretty big rocks.

I can imagine taking two cobbles, one in my left hand, one held down with my right. The repeated back-and-forth rubbing of the top against the bottom, with occasional sweeping of debris, would eventually create a very tight-fitting match. Is this called "lapping?" Use whatever acid or abrasive sand, sure. Look up muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid as a liquid that can dissolve concrete (sort of).

But what giant hand can do that with 100+ ton megaliths?

It falls back to maybe a constant sliding of an abrasive sheet (of goatskin or something) between closely-held blocks for the perfect interface. Two men pulling it back and forth like a log saw? And this would still be a duration of weeks or months or years of sliding while the upper megalith is suspended! Then what about the L corners?



Originally posted by flexy123

Originally posted by Lazarus Short

When I say the stones appear to be lapped, I mean one was placed on top of other stones with abrasive and water, and dragged forward and back until the desired fit was achieved.


I am familiar with this for some time already, but just looking at the picture of this wall again baffles my mind endlessly. But your explanation that they might have done it that way is excellent, makes a lot of sense to me!


Speculating on an acid is irrelevant until you know what minimum pH would suffice for the rock type we are talking about, right? Then, knowing that, you need to determine if the culture at the time had any acidic liquids in their diet (vinegar or spoiled wine for example). If wither of those are not viable at all, then the size of stone is also irrelevant for this theory, correct?



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 09:08 PM
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Originally posted by Krakatoa
...If wither of those are not viable at all, then the size of stone is also irrelevant for this theory, correct?

Yes, almost. That's probably a logical reverse but also valid. The former does not negate the latter.

The point being that the size of stone becomes the PIVOTAL issue regardless of either acids or abrasives.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 09:23 PM
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Originally posted by FormerSkeptic

Originally posted by Krakatoa
...If wither of those are not viable at all, then the size of stone is also irrelevant for this theory, correct?

Yes, almost. That's probably a logical reverse but also valid. The former does not negate the latter.

The point being that the size of stone becomes the PIVOTAL issue regardless of either acids or abrasives.


My remark regarding the size of the stone being irrelevant was focused on the theory of using the acidic liquid to expedite the process. If this theoretical process is irrelevant, then the size of the stone doesn't matter. That's what I meant.



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 10:07 PM
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Originally posted by Krakatoa
My remark regarding the size of the stone being irrelevant was focused on the theory of using the acidic liquid to expedite the process. If this theoretical process is irrelevant, then the size of the stone doesn't matter. That's what I meant.


Well okay, but I still don't know how that relates to my point.

I think the size of stone matters because the technology to suspend it for such a long time or move it back and forth for the required fine adjustments is in itself outrageous. Anti-gravity forklifts maybe? Or 50ft giants that can patiently and delicately handle 100+ ton blocks?
edit on 3-1-2013 by FormerSkeptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 10:28 PM
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Originally posted by FormerSkeptic

Originally posted by Krakatoa
My remark regarding the size of the stone being irrelevant was focused on the theory of using the acidic liquid to expedite the process. If this theoretical process is irrelevant, then the size of the stone doesn't matter. That's what I meant.


Well okay, but I still don't know how that relates to my point.

I think the size of stone matters because the technology to suspend it for such a long time or move it back and forth for the required fine adjustments is in itself outrageous. Anti-gravity forklifts maybe? Or 50ft giants that can patiently and delicately handle 100+ ton blocks?
edit on 3-1-2013 by FormerSkeptic because: (no reason given)

I guess it's too much to ask to stay focused on one particular miracle at a time here. I was focused on the tight joints being impossible to replicate. Like any large problem the basic strategy of divide and conquer is the way to break the problem down, address individual pieces, and investigate each in turn.

Now, for moving and lifting the blocks. What tools and/or knowledge is documented that these people did have on-hand?
What was the height of stone working/moving on the planet at the time, and where was that knowledge?

If the knowledge of pulleys and levers existed somewhere on the planet at that time, I think the simpler and more probable solution is that someone from another human culture (Egyptians??) could have visited these peoples. After all, crossing an ocean is vastly more possible than crossing light-years or inter-dimensional travel....considering we know of no possibility of the latter at all, in all of our history. Whereas, long-distance ocean travel is well documented even back as far as tens of thousands of years ago.

But, that is just my opinion here...eliminating all those possibilities, might leave an extra-terrestrial connection left. But, definitely not the first choice for my mind.
edit on 3-1-2013 by Krakatoa because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 10:36 PM
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Originally posted by Krakatoa
I guess it's too much to ask to stay focused on one particular miracle at a time here. I was focused on the tight joints being impossible to replicate...


I agree to stay focused. But my point was that it's absolutely related. Because if you've ever stacked bricks or stone or even dried clay blocks — or just use your imagination — whatever method you do to the surfaces, there's a total dynamic difference between a small model of a stone wall and a gigantic megalith wall where each stone weighs tons.

This is what we call "real-world construction logistics."



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by FormerSkeptic

Originally posted by Krakatoa
I guess it's too much to ask to stay focused on one particular miracle at a time here. I was focused on the tight joints being impossible to replicate...


I agree to stay focused. But my point was that it's absolutely related. Because if you've ever stacked bricks or stone or even dried clay blocks — or just use your imagination — whatever method you do to the surfaces, there's a total dynamic difference between a small model of a stone wall and a gigantic megalith wall where each stone weighs tons.

This is what we call "real-world construction logistics."


Cool. I understand your point about the difference in the larger size, I referred to that earlier as scalability. I am well aware of the difference between small-scale testing and large-scale reality. Processes that work in small-scale do not necessarily work in a scaled-up scenario.

For "real-world construction logistics" I still believe we humans could move and lift these large stones without any off-world assistance. This is why I was asking the questions on the current state of engineering technology on the planet at the time. If there was a culture/society that could do this, and has a fairly well documented or tested process, perhaps they were the visitors that assisted this society with the "advanced" construction techniques?



posted on Jan, 3 2013 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by Krakatoa
... This is why I was asking the questions on the current state of engineering technology on the planet at the time. If there was a culture/society that could do this, and has a fairly well documented or tested process, perhaps they were the visitors that assisted this society with the "advanced" construction techniques?

Good questions for you to research no doubt.

My questions in the discussion were about the "lapping technique" that others had mentioned. So it's one thing to lap a couple of handheld cobbles, quite another to lap a couple of 100+ ton megaliths. Construction logistics problem.

The other aspect that *may* have been hastily brushed over is how any solvent (whether acid or special leaves from the Peruvian jungle) tends to chemically act on a solid. In basic chemistry, it's understood that any corrosive agent will act (on a substance), and continue to act until it's completely exhausted or neutralized. You have to rinse it off with water just in time, otherwise it'll eat away more than you want.

So this aspect alone means that they would've had to brush on acid and rinse repeatedly and throughout the entire wall including everything below — all while avoiding getting crushed to death. Any spots not rinsed thoroughly would show as a huge gap because of over-corrosion.

But there are no gaps. No pock marks.

It tosses back to the abrasion theory, which still has gargantuan real-world logistics problems.
edit on 3-1-2013 by FormerSkeptic because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2013 @ 12:47 AM
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Here's one of my own pics. One of the things that stands out are all the bowl-shaped depressions on the bottom of the huge stones. Could this be caused by an acid or a similar liquid? Why on the bottom?




posted on Jan, 4 2013 @ 01:36 AM
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And how on Earth did they make THOSE:



They are not far away from the main site. Even more puzzling.

I really can't see them being manually "polished", to me it looks like they used a stencil or something on "soft" rock...which would explain those creases.
edit on 4-1-2013 by flexy123 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 4 2013 @ 12:01 PM
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Originally posted by FormerSkeptic

My questions in the discussion were about the "lapping technique" that others had mentioned. So it's one thing to lap a couple of handheld cobbles, quite another to lap a couple of 100+ ton megaliths. Construction logistics problem.

The other aspect that *may* have been hastily brushed over is how any solvent (whether acid or special leaves from the Peruvian jungle) tends to chemically act on a solid. In basic chemistry, it's understood that any corrosive agent will act (on a substance), and continue to act until it's completely exhausted or neutralized. You have to rinse it off with water just in time, otherwise it'll eat away more than you want.

So this aspect alone means that they would've had to brush on acid and rinse repeatedly and throughout the entire wall including everything below — all while avoiding getting crushed to death. Any spots not rinsed thoroughly would show as a huge gap because of over-corrosion.

But there are no gaps. No pock marks.

It tosses back to the abrasion theory, which still has gargantuan real-world logistics problems.
edit on 3-1-2013 by FormerSkeptic because: (no reason given)


As you stated yourself, and acid would "continue to act until it's completely exhausted or neutralized". So, if the acid was weak, or is exhausted following it's interaction with the limestone.....then, its action would stop, right? This goes back to my point of the pH required to start the process, that will determine the strength. The length of exposure and time to neutralize would also depend upon the stone upon which it was applied. As it breaks down, it would dilute the acid more and more, and, depending upon the constituent components or other impurities in the stone, it could vary the time. If the pH was "just right", then it would not necessarily result in a continued action until it was boring holes after being fitted. And, being intelligent humans, they would likely experiment with different mixtures and strengths to get it right before committing it to using it on 100 ton blocks.

The acid breaks down the calcium carbonate in the limestone to carbon calcium and bicarbonate. Rain is naturally acidic. As rain falls through the air it dissolves carbon dioxide from the air and combines with some of the hydrogen in the water to make a weak carbonic acid. So even rain water could be used in this manner....let alone anything stronger.



posted on Jan, 4 2013 @ 07:16 PM
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I'm not giving up my lapping theory, but I recall reading somewhere that the Incas possessed large, parabolic, gold mirrors. I assume the Spaniards melted them down or the Incas hid them. Some think the Spaniards only got their hands on a fraction of the Inca's gold. I assume the mirrors concentrated sunlight to heat things - like rocks?

Anybody else read/hear about the mirrors?



posted on Jan, 5 2013 @ 12:41 AM
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Never heard of the mirror theory. The guide who took us on the tour did talk about the legend of the bird.
What I found amazing about this site was the size of these boulders. You really have to see them in person to appreciate how huge they are. You really question just how in hell they not only quarried these rocks but stacked them without heavy machinery. This would not be easy today with our technology.

I would recommend to anyone interested to visit Peru. But give yourself at least two weeks. There's so many interesting places to visit. Be ready for the altitude of Cusco. My girlfriend got sick and missed the Machu Picchu trip...which was fine cause I wound up also hiking the Inca Trail


Drink the special tea they keep out in the hotel lobby!
edit on 1/5/2013 by maddog99 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 5 2013 @ 12:57 AM
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Ancient civilizations knew more about masonry than people can comprehend. AA show is completely skewed and is only interested in telling a tale they are in no way telling the truth. They weave a good fairytale though.

If you do your own research there is no mystery here just do not depend on AA shows or people that are trying to sell books on the matter.



posted on Jan, 5 2013 @ 01:33 AM
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Originally posted by maddog99
What I found amazing about this site was the size of these boulders. You really have to see them in person to appreciate how huge they are. You really question just how in hell they not only quarried these rocks but stacked them without heavy machinery. This would not be easy today with our technology.


I don't remember which site it was, but one of the stones that had been quarried and moved weighed in excess of 1500 tons. Modern machinery is incapable of that. How? Until this question is answered definatively, 'Ancient Aliens' and antedeluvian advanced civilizations are as viable a theory as any other... skepticism is healthy, particularly in mythology and archaeology, but moving 1500 ton rocks is simply beyond our capability and that in itself forces us to examine our preconceptions of our ancestry and the utterly ridiculous notion that somehow ancient equates to primative.

When simply asked, the people there tell us beings came from the sky and taught them. Why we just tend to throw that out the window boggles my mind and pisses me off. 1500 tons, no wheels, no hydraulic cranes, and some of these megalithic structures were built on the sides and peaks of some of the most rugged terrain in the world with precision that rivals and even surpasses anything we can do today. I guess rewriting history books and admitting that western civilization isn't the apex of the universe is tough for those who depend on us buying into that crap for their livlihood.



posted on Jan, 5 2013 @ 01:05 PM
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I guess rewriting history books and admitting that western civilization isn't the apex of the universe is tough for those who depend on us buying into that crap for their livlihood.


The same can be said for those who depend on us to buy into their wild AA crap for their livelihood. I admit, the theory of an ancient visitation far back in time is intriguing.....I would LOVE for it to be proven with actual facts. But, when the process goes from "I don't know how this was done" to "it was aliens", that is too far a quantum leap for me. Having something of substance (other than stories told by those looking to sell me something, or boost the local tourist trade) is essential to me.

I do have an open mind, but not so open that my brain falls out.





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