Could Ancient Peruvians Soften Stone? A few worthy questions ! Still a mystery in many ways

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posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 02:50 PM
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If you take a look at some of the masonry in South America’s megalithic structures and walls, such as the 12-sided stone at Cuzco, Peru, you’ll notice immediately that things are lining up awfully well—and extremely tightly.


The “standard” explanation is that the Incans somehow managed to use a “guess and check” method of chipping at the stone with their stone tools, then setting the stone in place, seeing how it fit, then lifting it up and chipping further, then checking again, and so on.

It does seem like that method might be a problem with a 100 ton rock, no?

But for a society with only primitive tools available, and no advanced engineering, how are 100-ton stones moved through 20 miles of mountains?


In fact, the Incans themselves acknowledged to the conquistadores that these structures were there long before them, built by a different people. A favorite topic of speculation among the Incans was apparently trying to figure out how the ancients actually built the walls, fitting the stones in so tightly


So we’re faced with the possibility of a civilization much more advanced than the Incans, but of which we know almost nothing about—except that they could create structures like Saksaywaman

There have been reports/rumors of a plant substance that could soften rocks

Explorers, such as the legendary Percy Fawcett, also brought back tales of such a substance, as did Hiram Bingham, who (re)discovered Machu Picchu. Furthermore, Jorge A. Lira, a Catholic priest, in 1983 said he was able to recreate this stone softening, but was unable to figure out how to make the stones hard again.

www.theepochtimes.com...
sorendreier.com...

But how could the Incans have managed to construct, with extreme precision, structures like Saksaywaman, with stones as heavy as 150 tons nesting and dovetailing neatly together, with no evidence of the needed technology?

a video of the sight

Skip to the 15 minute mark of this NOVA video and with small blocks and stones the fit and finish can be replicated fairly easily. Scribe made out of a stick and plumb bob works quite well on the small stones for fitting however anything larger than a half ton.. well, you cam see for yourself...



So we have the primary mystery of the fitted stones mostly solved with smaller stones using a simple plumb bob... I have seen a rope and sand trick which works very well for fitting some larger stones together ( I have looked for the last hour on youtube but I can not find the video grrrr) it is interesting and works very well providing the proverbial super fit between two surfaces. Basically you put wet sand and a rope between two boulders and start sawing back and fourth between the two surfaces. The weight of the top boulder pressing down on the rope and sand does the trick... Still problematic with some of the stones weighing 150 tons... Just some thoughts on a rainy day....




posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 03:05 PM
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Yes,I believe it was possible.

A few years ago ,I discussed this on ATS ,and there was this bird that used a certain plant to dissolve granite walls on a cliff to make a nesting hole in it.

Let me see if I can go dig that up for you.




He carried out several experiments and, although he managed to soften solid rock, he could not reharden it, and therefore considered his experiments a failure.4 Aukanaw, an Argentine anthropologist of Mapuche origin, who died in 1994, related a tradition about a species of woodpecker known locally by such names as pitiwe, pite, and pitio; its scientific name is probably Colaptes pitius (Chilean flicker), which is found in Chile and Argentina, or Colaptes rupicola (Andean flicker), which is found in southern Ecuador, Peru, western Bolivia, and northern Argentina and Chile. If someone blocks the entrance to its nest with a piece of rock or iron it will fetch a rare plant, known as pito or pitu, and rub it against the obstacle, causing it to become weaker or dissolve. In Peru, above 4500 m, there is said to be a plant called kechuca which turns stone to jelly, and which the jakkacllopito bird uses to make its nest. A plant with similar properties that grows at even higher altitudes is known, among other things, as punco-punco; this may be Ephedra andina, which the Mapuche consider a medicinal plant.5


I think you already quoted this but I will share the discussion.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

And a link on making cements with plant extracts......

www.geopolymer.org...


Peace,
K
edit on 19-9-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-9-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)
edit on 19-9-2013 by kdog1982 because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 03:19 PM
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Evidence suggesting that stones were softened prior to being put in place in some of the ancient South American :
members.tripod.com...
Evidence presented at a scientific conference for the use of organic acids obtained from plant extracts to dissolve stone into a kind of cement that could be poured into a mould and left to set:
www.geopolymer.org...



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 03:23 PM
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reply to post by 727Sky
 

Theres also evidence in the picture of the YouTube you brought. Without running the video, look at the three tiers of stone in the photo.

The bottom tier is unfinished (round stones that have not been finished flat), the second or middle tier is more finished (faced). The third or upper tier is flattened smooth so the wall appears flush. A lot easier to erect a wall, then smooth or face the stones than to "finish each block" prior to placement.

ETA: Heres another pic demonstrating what I mean. Three tiers top to bottom; the bottom one rough, the middle more finished and the top is complete. Just my take...


thumbs.dreamstime.com...
edit on 19-9-2013 by intrptr because: additional...



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 03:41 PM
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Thanks folks, some stuff I was unaware of... Another thing about the Inca civilization that has been brought to the forefront is the thought they were the 3rd ancient civilization... The Inca civilization being only approximately 800 years old and 3d.. There were two civilizations prior and it seems as far as building things, each subsequent society was not as versed as the original builders.. Another mystery that goes against the grain, if true.



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 04:08 PM
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I found this website amazing davidpratt.info...



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 04:23 PM
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Birds softening stones with plants is interesting, but what kind of solvent would be able to soften a stone yet not turn a bird's beak into complete mush?



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 04:34 PM
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Battlefresh
I found this website amazing davidpratt.info...


Thanks for your reply and link.... A few quotes from your link.

‘They make the holes themselves.’ The words were spoken by a man who had spent a quarter of a century in the forests. ‘I’ve seen how they do it, many a time. I’ve watched, I have, and seen the birds come to the cliff with leaves of some sort in their beaks, and cling to the rock like woodpeckers to a tree while they rubbed the leaves in a circular motion over the surface. Then they would fly off, and come back with more leaves, and carry on with the rubbing process. After three or four repetitions they dropped the leaves and started pecking at the place with their sharp beaks, and – here’s the marvellous part – they would soon open out a round hole in the stone. Then off they’d go again, and go through the rubbing process with leaves several times before continuing to peck. It took several days, but finally they had opened out holes deep enough to contain their nests. I’ve climbed up and taken a look at them, and, believe me, a man couldn’t drill a neater hole!’


The Incas inherited fortresses and cities built by a previous race and restored from a state of ruin without much difficulty. Where they themselves built with stone – in the regions where stone was the most convenient material, for in the coastal belt they generally used adobe – they adopted the same incredible mortarless joints that are characteristic of the older megalithic edifices, but made no attempts to use the huge stone masses favoured by their predecessors. I have heard it said that they fitted their stones together by means of a liquid that softened the surfaces to be joined to the consistency of clay.


The most recent style is Spanish. Perhaps the most primitive of all, it is characterized by the masonry and tiled roofs so common throughout colonial South America. The Incan construction of 500 to 1000 years ago is evident on top of the larger, more perfect, more ancient works. This Incan technique is easily recognized by its square or rectangular blocks, typically weighing from 200- to 1000-pounds [90 to 450 kg]. Beneath it we find the megalithic construction of odd-angled blocks weighing from 20- to 200-tons, all perfectly fitted together.



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 05:01 PM
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Ancient Architecture has always fascinated me almost as much as the mythology and cultures of the past. I have not yet reconciled the monolithic structures but a form of cement makes more sense than ALIENS or even the standard model...



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 07:12 PM
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This subject comes up on a regular basis, usually about every three months

Some notes:

Spanish-Incan's wrote about their culture and noted that rocks were dragged and how masons did their work in a general way.

Yes the Incan noted that earlier people built things that they used because the Inca's were late to the game coming into power in the 15th century AD. They even used the skilled masons of the tribes they conquered.

No sign of a super advanced race moving rocks around just the Inca and the many skilled empires and civilizations in western south America.

Will we ever know exactly how the skilled mason did it? No they left no records and the Spanish didn't take detailed notes of the construction methods - which were occurring during the time they were arrived and afterwards.

I'd suggest if you are interested in this subject to go and find one of the many earlier threads on this subject. All the present claims were addressed in them, plus there is a great deal of interesting information in those threads beyond what was presented in this OP
edit on 19/9/13 by Hanslune because: added a note



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 08:47 PM
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Hanslune
This subject comes up on a regular basis, usually about every three months

Some notes:

Spanish-Incan's wrote about their culture and noted that rocks were dragged and how masons did their work in a general way.

Yes the Incan noted that earlier people built things that they used because the Inca's were late to the game coming into power in the 15th century AD. They even used the skilled masons of the tribes they conquered.

No sign of a super advanced race moving rocks around just the Inca and the many skilled empires and civilizations in western south America.

Will we ever know exactly how the skilled mason did it? No they left no records and the Spanish didn't take detailed notes of the construction methods - which were occurring during the time they were arrived and afterwards.

I'd suggest if you are interested in this subject to go and find one of the many earlier threads on this subject. All the present claims were addressed in them, plus there is a great deal of interesting information in those threads beyond what was presented in this OP
edit on 19/9/13 by Hanslune because: added a note


Yes sir,these things have brought many times,hence the loss interests on my part.
I respect your input,because of your knowledge in this area,but there is always something new that comes along to changes that way we THINK of how things are. The reason you are on here.

A new perspective is always a good thing.

Peace,
K



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 09:22 PM
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kdog1982
Yes sir,these things have brought many times,hence the loss interests on my part.
I respect your input,because of your knowledge in this area,but there is always something new that comes along to changes that way we THINK of how things are. The reason you are on here.

A new perspective is always a good thing.

Peace,
K


Howdy Kdog

I agree but the only problem is there was nothing knew in the OP nor have I seen anything new on this subject since the late 1990's

Table of contents of an excellent book that deals with this - I put up the contents page only as the actual book is of course behind a paywall

The link to where you can get the book

This addresses a number of the issues in the op but as we cannot easily get to it....

Other sources for real information on the subject

Protzen, Jean-Pierre; Stella Nair, 1997, Who Taught the Inca Stonemasons Their Skills? A Comparison of Tiahuanaco and Inca Cut-Stone Masonry: The Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians. vol. 56, no. 2, pp. 146-167

One may ask why Garcilaso wrote in his Comentarios Reales de los Incas published in 1609




, is that more than twenty thousand Indians dragged the stone with stout cables. They proceeded with great difficulty, as the road was very rough, and passed up and down many steep mountains. Half the people hauled upon the cables in front, while the other half held on behind ... In one of these steep places (where, through carelessness, they were not all hauling with equal force) the weight of the stone overcame the force of those who held it, and it slipped down the hill, killing three or four thousand Indians who were guiding it. Notwithstanding this disaster, they raised it up, and brought it to the place where it now lies.


etc

As for softening the stones the only way to prove that one is to rediscover the technique.



posted on Sep, 19 2013 @ 11:06 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


You can read scores of pages from this book at Google Books.

Harte



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 01:53 AM
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reply to post by Harte
 


Excellent Harte

If you search around in there you'll find a lot of information

Some other information

Who taught the Incan stone masons - pdf



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 12:24 PM
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kdog1982
Yes,I believe it was possible.

A few years ago ,I discussed this on ATS ,and there was this bird that used a certain plant to dissolve granite walls on a cliff to make a nesting hole in it.

Let me see if I can go dig that up for you.


I think you already quoted this but I will share the discussion.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

And a link on making cements with plant extracts......

www.geopolymer.org...



Kdog

I don't doubt that certain birds will have some acidic spit that will dissolve a bit of stone over time. However this theory is a giant red herring in the search for a reasonable solution. I mean how on earth does one collect a few gallons of bird spit? the same goes for the plant extract, they would need industrial levels of production to soften Cuzco.

Your geopolymer link is more likely a solution. It is only part of the answer. There are many techniques on display in Peru. from natural hammer stoned to geopolymers.

Will
edit on 20-9-2013 by will2learn because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 12:33 PM
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Hanslune

Spanish-Incan's wrote about their culture and noted that rocks were dragged and how masons did their work in a general way.

No sign of a super advanced race moving rocks around just the Inca and the many skilled empires and civilizations in western south America.

Will we ever know exactly how the skilled mason did it? No they left no records and the Spanish didn't take detailed notes of the construction methods - which were occurring during the time they were arrived and afterwards.



Hans

The references are as usual to the later less skilled masons. the full solution is much simpler and less obscure than you might think. There were no advanced technologies, just people making stones akin to the Davidovitz model.

'Will we ever know exactly how', no, but the techniques for making stones were around in the Victorian and roman times, so why wouldn't the Incans or whoever came before them use them as well. Stones are made by the ton today, the makers can barely give it away for free.

I did pick up a paper that confirmed it a least for me. The stones in the quarry and the walls of Cuzco were analyzed the only major difference identified was the calcination of the fossil remains in the walls, which implies heat was used to make those giant stones.

Will



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 01:46 PM
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It always amazes me that people these days think the only way to make anything is quickly. So when they look at something ancient that's super complex or difficult to achieve their minds instantly jump to amazing unknown technologies to get it done rather than the more obvious explanation which is skill + hard work + lots and lots of time.



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 02:32 PM
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reply to post by will2learn
 


That doesn't mesh with the observed effect of bashing and sanding to the stones, also it doesn't make sense to make hundreds and thousands of different sized and shape molds for the 'concrete' rocks. Look at any Incan or pre-Incan wall, they are made with erratics, not similar shaped stones.

Concrete is a great idea IF you have a way to break up the rock you need to make the concrete, ie lots of labour or machinery to reduce it fine enought to make something that looks like rock, using stones or gravel makes something easy to tell isn't rock.

It would be easier to just shape the rock.

You are correct they had lots of time and they also had a lot of experience, skill and craftsmanship - which is why we cannot replica what they did - unless someone spends a life time re-learning the skill and maybe not getting it right until 2-3 generations after.

Its like making stone tools an average modern person cannot do it but modern people DID relearn the skill after a great deal of practice. I could, after three years of infrequent practice make a reasonable Clovis point - but damn that final fluting!



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 02:48 PM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Hey Hans,
I always find it humorous when someone suggests it's easier grind up several tons of rock, into rock flour, then mix it with several tons of water and pour it before it sets up, rather than just shape the rock with hammerstones.

Yes that final basal fluting was the death to many erstwhile fluted points. Just read a paper on Clovis tool assemblages and something like 60-70 % of points fractured during initial mfg.



posted on Sep, 20 2013 @ 07:41 PM
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will2learn

kdog1982
Yes,I believe it was possible.

A few years ago ,I discussed this on ATS ,and there was this bird that used a certain plant to dissolve granite walls on a cliff to make a nesting hole in it.

Let me see if I can go dig that up for you.


I think you already quoted this but I will share the discussion.

www.abovetopsecret.com...

And a link on making cements with plant extracts......

www.geopolymer.org...



Kdog

I don't doubt that certain birds will have some acidic spit that will dissolve a bit of stone over time. However this theory is a giant red herring in the search for a reasonable solution. I mean how on earth does one collect a few gallons of bird spit? the same goes for the plant extract, they would need industrial levels of production to soften Cuzco.

Your geopolymer link is more likely a solution. It is only part of the answer. There are many techniques on display in Peru. from natural hammer stoned to geopolymers.

Will


It's not spit. The report, true or not, is about birds using a type of plant.

Now, nobody faint, please, but I'd go along with rock-softening as a technique.

But obviously not to dissolve a rock and reconstitute it in some form like concrete.

However, such a thing could have been used to ease the work required in facing stones and shaping the edges to fit.

That is, this can be done by hand without any "softening" (which could only affect the the surface layer of a stone in the first place.) But such a technique would certainly make it easier to shape the stones edges by bashing or rubbing softened stone.

Surface treatment of stone can explain some things in Egypt as well. The extremely regular and finely carved glyphs on granite obelisks, namely. If you build a fire on the cut granite, the temperature differential will cause the crystals to crack and loosen on the surface layer, making it far easier to carve with precision.

Harte



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