Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Historical insights & thoughts about the world we live in - and the social conditioning exerted upon us by past and current propaganda.

Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby nokidding on Sun Sep 29, 2019 3:49 am

To advance the theory a little we could suppose that the whole wall was made on its back; cast in discrete blocks formed by dividers. It would be done sequentially so that hardened blocks would be the form for the next pour. The blocks could then be lifted and assembled in the vertical position with precision.

This would give a free hand to where the dividers went. It would allow both stylistic artistry and the vertical structure to be keyed, something regular blocks do not.

The more elaborate knobs would be formed by a sacrificial pattern and top cover. The blocks with a curved face side would be cast in a different orientation, perhaps in a full mould, and hand or machine finished.

The texture of the face sides of some of the blocks does seem to have a pumice like appearance.

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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Mansur on Tue Oct 01, 2019 5:48 pm

Flabbergasted » September 26th, 2019, 11:57 pm wrote:
Mansur wrote:Herodotos, if I remember correctly, mentions 20 years and --- 200,000 people who worked during that time, and that doesn't seem to support the predynastic theory. At least it does not seem to rule out any possibility (both pro and contra of course), as seems to do the figure of "4.5 minutes per stone". (And in general, in these megalithic matters, there are tons of special pleading.)

Herodotus visited Egypt 2,000 years after Khufu's reign. He was told stories by locals who had as small a chance as we do now of explaining how the three pyramids were built, or whether their attribution to Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure was a fact or a legend. None of the pyramids has a single authentic inscription and nothing was ever found inside them to support a dynastic origin.
As for the "tons of special pleading", you are absolutely right. My approach to the subject is to simply observe the stones, consult the stone mason´s manual, use my common sense and avoid as much of the speculation as possible, whether it be solar plasma flares, extraterrestrials or temples for human sacrifice.

I wrote not for the sake of Herodotus' reliability or authority, only to complete the math; assuming an adequate amount of human power, even the "4.5 minutes per stone" figure does not seem impossible. But why should a construction project of this magnitude and significance, of such a mindboggling accuracy of geometry driven even educated people to the wildest speculations, last only 20 years? Why would we want to save time and energy for the Egyptians (or for those who preceded them)?

Flabbergasted wrote:
Mansur wrote:Pyramids have been serving as a quarry for Arabs for centuries, and perhaps even earlier, which is often denied and acknowledged by the same authors (or YouTubers).

Good reminder. So one of the ways the blocks could have been smashed and scattered is by re-quarrying. On the other hand, there are recently discovered and excavated sites in Egypt (Tanis, for example) which also show signs of massive destruction (both breakage and scorching).

Brien Foerster talks of “solar plasma flare” (reaching Earth and causing cataclysmic destruction) as if it were earthquake or hurricanes of which we have direct knowledge, that is to say as if it were a fact or an existing thing everybody knows about.

To me, chasing traces of the (half?) mythical fire flood is not better than to want to find Noah's ark or its rudder. By this, I do not mean to deny it is physically possible.

I don’t know; but what kind of destructive power could be more effective than a few hundred soldiers specialized for the job? The Romans, later also the Arabs, were experts in this matter.

This is what the place looked like at the end of the 19th century:
Image

[By the way, am I mistaken thinking that those pre-Inca walls are, in reality, not real 3D puzzles but "only" normal ones that have depth? I mean that the (unseeable) jointing edges are always more or less horizontal, in other words, that the back of the wall would show the same (mirrored) net of lines. So in our case the real third dimension might be - time.]
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Kham on Fri Oct 04, 2019 3:34 pm

Poured Concrete versus Cut Stone

Could we be looking at two methods of construction? What about concrete? Those ‘knobs’ sure look like the were removed from a mold of sand. Could sections of walls have been poured on forms on the ground and then lifted vertical? This would explain, in some instances, why there are no gaps between the stones, because the forms they were poured into had no gaps.

I have read of a few instances where researchers reported hay embedded in rocks in the Great Pyramid. Could this be a sign that the large stones are really concrete and were poured in place? Benefit of cement is it doesn’t have to be moved. If one considered the fact that the majority of pyramids in Egypt are piles of dust because un-fired bricks were used for construction material, then why not concrete?

I bet both poured concrete and cut stone were used. I’m not saying 100% concrete. One would need to examine not only each site but each section.

Take care
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:26 pm

A little follow-up on Herodotus. I will get back to the stone vs. concrete topic shortly.

Image

Scholars agree that Herodotus is the most accurate source on how the pyramids on the Giza Plateau were built and which ruler sponsored each one. As Erasmus used to say, “in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king”. There are not many historians to choose from. Our love of ‘journalistic precision’ was foreign to earlier cultures for reasons I will leave for another post.

But how reliable and accurate was Herodotus? In his work “History”, he tells us that...

123. Now as to the tales told by the Egyptians, any man may accept them to whom such things appear credible [another translation says: “these Egyptian stories are for the benefit of whoever believes such tales”]; as for me, it is to be understood throughout the whole of the history that I write by hearsay that which is reported by the people in each place.


This and the quotes below were extracted from https://ia800902.us.archive.org/4/items ... y_2019.pdf. There are likely other and better translations, but this one will suffice for now. My comments are in red type.

8. From Heliopolis [Cairo] however, as you go up [to the south], Egypt is narrow; for on the one side a mountain-range belonging to Arabia stretches along by the side of it, going in a direction from North towards the midday and the South Wind, tending upwards without a break to that which is called the Erythraian Sea [Red Sea], in which range are the stone-quarries [that would be the limestone quarry in Tora 20 km from Giza and maybe also the granite quarry in Aswan 800 km from Giza] which were used in cutting stone for the pyramids at Memphis.

12. As regards Egypt then, I both believe those who say that things are so, and for myself also I am strongly of opinion that they are so; because I have observed that Egypt runs out into the sea further than the adjoining land, and that shells are found upon the mountains of it, and an efflorescence of salt forms upon the surface, so that even the pyramids are being eaten away by it...

124. Down to the time when Rhampsinitos was king, they told me there was in Egypt nothing but orderly rule, and Egypt prospered greatly; but after him Cheops [Khufu] became king over them and brought them to every kind of evil: for he shut up all the temples, and having first kept them from sacrificing there, he then bade all the Egyptians work for him. So some were appointed to draw stones from the stone-quarries in the Arabian mountains to the Nile, and others he ordered to receive the stones after they had been carried over the river in boats [the expression “carry over the river” suggests Herodotus is referring to limestone blocks from the quarry in Tora 20 km from Giza], and to draw them to those which are called the Libyan mountains [?]; and they worked by a hundred thousand men at a time, for each three months continually. Of this oppression there passed ten years while the causeway was made by which they drew the stones, which causeway they built, and it is a work not much less, as it appears to me, than the pyramid; for the length of it is five furlongs [1 km; egyptologists say 825 m; be that as it may, this does not account for the remaining 19 km] and the breadth ten fathoms [18.2 m] and the height, where it is highest, eight fathoms [14.5 m], and it is made of stone smoothed and with figures carved upon it [see image below]. For this, they said, the ten years were spent, and for the underground chambers on the hill upon which the pyramids stand, which he caused to be made as sepulchral chambers for himself in an island, having conducted thither a channel from the Nile [I don’t think this island and channel have been found, but there is water 70 m down at the bottom of the Osiris shaft at Giza, and the very low-lying Osirion in Abydos is also supplied with water from the Nile]. For the making of the pyramid itself there passed a period of twenty years; and the pyramid is square, each side measuring eight hundred feet [243 m, in reality 230.3 m], and the height of it is the same [not true; the original height was 146.7 m, the current height is 138.8 m]. It is built of stone smoothed and fitted together in the most perfect manner [now, that’s true], not one of the stones being less than thirty feet [9.1 m] in length [had Herodotus even been to Giza when he wrote that?].

125. This pyramid was made after the manner of steps, which some call “rows” and others “bases”: and when they had first made it thus, they raised the remaining stones with machines made of short pieces of timber, raising them first from the ground to the first stage of the steps, and when the stone got up to this it was placed upon another machine standing on the first stage, and so from this it was drawn to the second upon another machine; for as many as were the courses of the steps, so many machines there were also, or perhaps they transferred one and the same machine, made so as easily to be carried, to each stage successively, in order that they might take up the stones; for let it be told in both ways, according as it is reported. However that may be, the highest parts of it were finished first, and afterwards they proceeded to finish that which came next to them, and lastly they finished the parts of it near the ground and the lowest ranges [what!?]. On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptian writing [to my knowledge no writing has ever been found on the pyramid] how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the workmen, and if I rightly remember that which the interpreter said in reading to me this inscription, a sum of one thousand six hundred talents of silver was spent; and if this is so, how much besides is likely to have been expended upon the iron [in the bronze age?] with which they worked, and upon bread and clothing for the workmen, seeing that they were building the works for the time which has been mentioned and were occupied for no small time besides, as I suppose, in the cutting and bringing of the stones and in working at the excavation under the ground?

126. Cheops moreover came, they said, to such a pitch of wickedness [contrasting with the Egyptians’ own positive records of Khufu’s rule], that being in want of money he caused his own daughter to sit in the stews [whorehouse], and ordered her to obtain from those who came a certain amount of money (how much it was they did not tell me); but she not only obtained the sum appointed by her father, but also she formed a design for herself privately to leave behind her a memorial, and she requested each man who came in to her to give her one stone upon her building: and of these stones, they told me, the pyramid was built which stands in front of the great pyramid in the middle of the three, each side being one hundred and fifty feet in length [let’s see, if the Great Pyramid measures 230 x 230 x 145 m and contains 2.3 million stone blocks, and the side of Khufu’s daughter’s pyramid was 5.3 times shorter than that of her father’s, then she would have slept with 14,976 gentleman callers at the pharaoh’s brothel; I guess she deserves that memorial].

127. This Cheops, the Egyptians said, reigned fifty years; and after he was dead his brother Chephren [Khafre] succeeded to the kingdom. This king followed the same manner as the other, both in all the rest and also in that he made a pyramid, not indeed attaining to the measurements of that which was built by the former (this I know, having myself also measured it), and moreover there are no underground chambers beneath nor does a channel come from the Nile flowing to this one as to the other, in which the water coming through a conduit built for it flows round an island within, where they say that Cheops himself is laid: but for a basement he built the first course of Ethiopian stone of divers colours [some have objected to the Ethiopian origin of Egyptian blocks because of the theoretical difficulty of getting them past the cataracts of the Nile]; and this pyramid he made forty feet lower than the other as regards size, building it close to the great pyramid. These stand both upon the same hill, which is about a hundred feet high. And Chephren they said reigned fifty and six years.

128. Here then they reckon one hundred and six years, during which they say that there was nothing but evil for the Egyptians, and the temples were kept closed and not opened during all that time. These kings the Egyptians by reason of their hatred of them are not very willing to name; nay, they even call the pyramids after the name of Philitis the shepherd, who at that time pastured flocks in those regions [why not name them after Sid the saddler or Harry the potter?].

129. After him, they said, Mykerinos [Menkaure] became king over Egypt, who was the son of Cheops; and to him his father’s deeds were displeasing, and he both opened the temples and gave liberty to the people...

134. This king also left behind him a pyramid, much smaller than that of his father, of a square shape and measuring on each side three hundred feet lacking twenty [85.3 m, in reality 103 m], built moreover of Ethiopian stone up to half the height. This pyramid some of the Hellenes say was built by the courtesan Rhodopis, not therein speaking rightly: and besides this it is evident to me that they who speak thus do not even know who Rhodopis was, for otherwise they would not have attributed to her the building of a pyramid like this, on which have been spent (so to speak) innumerable thousands of talents: moreover they do not know that Rhodopis flourished in the reign of Amasis, and not in this king's reign; for Rhodopis lived very many years later than the kings who left behind the pyramids...

136. After Mykerinos the priests said Asychis became king of Egypt [...] This king desiring to surpass the kings of Egypt who had arisen before him left as a memorial of himself a pyramid which he made of bricks, and on it there is an inscription carved in stone and saying thus: “Despise not me in comparison with the pyramids of stone, seeing that I excel them as much as Zeus excels the other gods; for with a pole they struck into the lake, and whatever of the mud attached itself to the pole, this they gathered up and made bricks, and in such manner they finished me.” [wait, in just one generation the highly advanced megalithic building technology completely vanished and was replaced with mud bricks?]

148. Moreover they [12 Egyptian co-regents] resolved to join all together and leave a memorial of themselves; and having so resolved they caused to be made a labyrinth, situated a little above the lake of Moiris and nearly opposite to that which is called the City of Crocodiles. This I saw myself [meaning he didn’t actually see the other structures he described?], and I found it greater than words can say. For if one should put together and reckon up all the buildings and all the great works produced by the Hellenes, they would prove to be inferior in labour and expense to this labyrinth, though it is true that both the temple at Ephesos and that at Samos are works worthy of note. The pyramids also were greater than words can say, and each one of them is equal to many works of the Hellenes, great as they may be; but the labyrinth surpasses even the pyramids. [a labyrinth surpassing the pyramids at Giza sounds a bit wild, but who knows? an enormous artificial stone plateau (304 x 244 m) discovered in 1889 and suspected of being the foundation of a destroyed labyrinth was analyzed by geo-radar specialists from the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in 2008. They believed it to be, not the foundation, but the roof of a labyrinth and claim to have identified a gigantic grid structure made of a very high resistivity material (granite) 8-12 m below the surface. Egyptian authorities allegedly do not wish to carry on the investigations].

Image
This structure leading up to Unas’ pyramid is the best surviving example of a causeway, although a few remnants have apparently been found near the Great Pyramid. It looks like a waterway to me. Note the split roof. It is certainly ancient advanced building technology despite the “softer” material employed. By the way, I see no signs of inscriptions or “high quality reliefs depicting a range of colourful scenes”.

Image
Massive stone blocks and perfect mortar-free fit. Note how deep under the present surface level the Osirion is and the low-quality construction at higher and more recent levels.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Altair on Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:43 am

I've recently talked with a civil engineer who said that there's no better building material than natural stone, except for the difficulty in handling. In fact, concrete has only been practically used since some 150 yrs, when the technique of reinforcing with steel beams was introduced. Still, there are serious concerns about its durability, as it degrades significantly with time.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby fbenario on Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:11 pm

Altair » October 5th, 2019, 4:43 am wrote:I've recently talked with a civil engineer who said that there's no better building material than natural stone, except for the difficulty in handling. In fact, concrete has only been practically used since some 150 yrs, when the technique of reinforcing with steel beams was introduced. Still, there are serious concerns about its durability, as it degrades significantly with time.

There are numerous examples of concrete structures that date back to the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, such as The Pantheon, that seem to be holding up pretty well. Yes, that was just a little bit more than 150 years ago.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:42 pm

Since we are at it, here is the testimony of two other historians who visited the pyramids at Giza in the classical period. I don’t pretend to have anything clever to add which hasn’t been said by others, but figured I’d gather the fragments in one place for easy reference.

Strabo (c. 63 BC to c. 24 AD) gave a surprisingly poor account of the three pyramids. I mean, he was beholding the largest solid stone constructions in the world; so large, in fact, that, according to Hamilton & Falconer, if a solid stone wall measuring 3.00 m x 0.30 m was built using the material from the three pyramids, it would be 4,679 km (2,910 miles) long. But I digress.

32. There is also a temple of Sarapis, situated in a very sandy spot, where the sand is accumulated in masses by the wind. Some of the sphinxes which we saw were buried in this sand up to the head, and one half only of others was visible. Hence we may conceive the danger, should any one, in his way to the temple, be surprised by a [sand] storm.

The Great Sphinx was apparently covered up to the neck in sand at this time. This would explain the relatively recent discovery of many of the sites visited by tourists today.

33. At the distance of 40 stadia from Memphis is a brow of a hill, on which are many pyramids, the tombs of the kings. Three of them are considerable. Two of these are reckoned among the seven wonders [of the world]. They are a stadium in height, and of a quadrangular shape. Their height somewhat exceeds the length of each of the sides....

Strabo commits the same mistake as Herodotus, assigning way too much height to the pyramids. According to Hamilton & Falconer, “all that Strabo says respecting the pyramids is vague and inexact”.

33. [...] One pyramid is a little larger than the other. At a moderate height in one of the sides is a stone, which may be taken out; when that is removed, there is an oblique passage [leading] to the tomb. They are near each other, and upon the same level. Farther on, at a greater height of the mountain, is the third pyramid, which is much less than the two others, but constructed at much greater expense; for from the foundation nearly as far as the middle, it is built of black stone. Mortars are made of this stone, which is brought from a great distance; for it comes from the mountains of Ethiopia, and being hard and difficult to be worked, the labour is attended with great expense.

Again, the mystery of the Ethiopian black stone, which some say is red granite from Aswan. The pyramid of Khafre has been called “the colored pyramid” because of the variety of stone used: very large, dark and hard blocks below, and light-colored, softer and smaller blocks above. The workmanship is not as good and consistent as that of Khufu’s pyramid. My guess is the construction was halted halfway and finished much later ... who knows, possibly even in dynastic times, if one considers the small size of the blocks used for the upper part (0.5 m at the apex).

37. [...] We have here also the Labyrinth, a work equal to the Pyramids, and adjoining to it the tomb of the king who constructed the Labyrinth. After proceeding beyond the first entrance of the canal about 30 or 40 stadia, there is a table-shaped plain, with a village and a large palace composed of as many palaces as there were formerly nomes [administrative divisions]. There are an equal number of aulæ [courts], surrounded by pillars, and contiguous to one another, all in one line and forming one building, like a long wall having the aulæ in front of it. The entrances into the aulæ are opposite to the wall. In front of the entrances there are long and numerous covered ways, with winding passages communicating with each other, so that no stranger could find his way into the aulæ or out of them without a guide. The (most) surprising circumstance is that the roofs of these dwellings consist of a single stone each, and that the covered ways through their whole range were roofed in the same manner with single slabs of stone of extraordinary size, without the intermixture of timber or of any other material. On ascending the roof, which is not of great height, for it consists only of a single story, there may be seen a stone-field, thus composed of stones. Descending again and looking into the aulæ, these may be seen in a line supported by twenty-seven pillars, each consisting of a single stone. The walls also are constructed of stones not inferior in size to these.

I reproduce the above because of the reference to a roof on a labyrinth comparable to a stone field, single stone slabs of extraordinary size, and megalithic pillars (see my earlier post on pillars).

Now, our third classical source on the pyramids, Diodorus Siculus (writing between 60 and 30 BC), seemed a little more sensible with regard to the details he could himself ascertain, although he still had to rely on legends and had no means of distinguishing dynastic from pre-dynastic. In his “Bibliotheca historica” he says:

Chembes the Memphite built the largest of the three pyramids, which are reckoned among the seven most remarkable works in the world. They are situated by the side of Libya, distant 120 stadia from Memphis, and 45 from the Nile. These works, by their size and by the artifice and labour employed in their construction, strike the beholder with astonishment and wonder. The base of the largest, the plan of which is quadrilateral, is seven plethra on each side; the height is more than six plethra; the pyramid gradually contracts towards the top, of which each side measures six cubits, and the whole is built of hard stone. Its construction must have been accompanied with great difficulty, but its permanence will be eternal; for although, it is said, not less than a thousand years have passed away to our day (some even say more than 3400 years) since they were built, yet the stones still remain, preserving their original position, and their whole arrangement uninjured by time. The stone is said to have come from a great distance in Arabia, and the process of building was carried on by raising mounds of earth; for at that period no machines had been invented. But it is most marvellous that although such an immense undertaking has been completed, and the whole country around is composed of sand, not a single trace remains of the mounds raised, nor of the fragments of stone broken off by the workmen: indeed the pyramids do not seem to have been raised by the gradual labour of man, but to have been placed by some divine hand in a mass, perfectly formed, down upon the surrounding sands.

To begin with, he gets closer to the actual height/base ratio than do his peers. On the other hand, he denies not only the use but the existence of machines at the time of construction (contradicting Herodotus) and presents the now popular earth ramp hypothesis. Such ramps would, according to some, have required a larger volume of earth/sand/gravel/stone than the volume of the pyramid itself, and no remains of mounds or ramps have ever been found. This Diodorus is honest enough to admit, in addition to his observation about the absence of debris from the putative fine cutting of the blocks. But there is more:

Some Egyptians undertake to narrate wondrous stories respecting them, such, for instance, that the above-mentioned mounds were composed of salt and nitre, which melted away upon the rising of the river, and completely disappeared without the intervention of human labour. But this cannot be true, for the same number of hands which constructed the mounds would be able to reduce them again to their former state; and 360,000 men, it is said, were employed in the undertaking. The whole was completed in a little less than twenty years.

I kinda like this guy.

But although the kings built these pyramids for their own tombs, yet it has so happened that none of them have ever been buried in them. For the population, in consequence of the misery to which these works exposed them, and of the cruelty and tyranny of the kings, were incensed against them as the causes of their sufferings; and moreover threatened to tear their bodies in pieces, and to cast them out with insult from their place of burial. Every king therefore, on the approach of death, enjoined his relations to bury his body secretly in a place undistinguished by marks.

That nicely explains away the pyramids as empty tombs. As I said at the beginning of the thread, once you adopt a paradigm (“the pyramids were the pharaohs’ tombs”), you will ignore any number of contrary facts staring you in the face.

We ought, we are told, to admire more the architects than the kings, who supplied the means, for the architects brought their designs to completion by force of mind and the influence of an honourable ambition, but the kings by the power of that wealth which was their portion, or by injuries inflicted on others.

Ok, agreed. Let’s admire the architects.

There is no agreement whatever, either between the natives of the country or between authors, respecting the pyramids; for some assert that the kings before mentioned built them, others that they were not the builders, but that Armæus built the first and largest; Amasis, the second; and Inaro, the third.

Are you confused now?

Quotes from: http://www.gutenberg.org/files/44886/44 ... m#Page_255
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Tue Oct 08, 2019 9:34 pm

Here is some ammunition for the fans of the cast block hypothesis: A study from 2006 (Microstructural Evidence of Reconstituted Limestone Blocks in the Great Pyramids of Egypt) claims to have found evidence to support the notion that some of the limestone blocks of the Great Pyramid were cast.

https://sci-hub.tw/https://ceramics.onl ... 06.01308.x

Using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, the authors compared samples of blocks to natural limestone from quarries in the neighborhood and found them to differ in composition, moisture content and microstructure (or "grain", as I like to say). But even if their observation is borne out, it doesn't explain much. According to the paper, some blocks appear to have been cast but others were definitely cut. The reason proposed for this mix is flimsy. Also, no one is suggesting the large granite blocks from Aswan were cast.

From the introduction:
How the Great Pyramids of Egypt were built has been, and remains, an enduring mystery. Attempts to fit the historical and physical evidence into a coherent whole have failed, leading to intemperate speculation. The prevailing model is one in which blocks of limestone were cut in local quarries, cut to shape using copper tools (bronze came later), transported to the pyramid site, and then hauled up ramps and hoisted in place using wedges and levers. This "carve and hoist" hypothesis, based on accepted models of Egyptian life of the time, has a number of problems, some of which are:
1) Khufu’s pyramid contains some 2.3 million blocks, averaging 2.5 tons each, with average dimensions of 1.3 x1.3 x0.7 m. Some of these blocks are placed in tiers whose edges closely conform to the pyramidal envelope, although the tiers vary from 0.5 to 1.25 m in thickness with abrupt changes in the thickness of proximate tiers. Precision surveying, masterful management, and expert craftsmanship in forming and placement of these massive blocks are implied.
And while at first blush the current paradigm appears plausible, on closer inspection the following problems are obvious: i) quarrying limestone is wasteful, with substantial breakage; yet, waste piles of the expected magnitude are absent. ii) Cu is soft, so chisels quickly blunt in carving limestone, requiring frequent sharpening, substantial supplies of Cu, slow work, and imperfect surfaces. As important, not a single Cu chisel was found on the Giza plateau. iii) Ramps that can accommodate the range of blocks and hauling crews are projects comparable to the pyramids themselves, but no trace remains of the ramps. More important and despite several ingenious proposals, how the ramps could have extended to the top of the pyramids has remained a vexing problem in Egyptology.
2) Casing blocks, which at one time covered the pyramids, closely correspond with each other’s shape on all contact surfaces. The currently remaining casing and backing blocks, which are just behind the former, of Khufu fit as close as 0.05 mm across their entire contiguous vertical faces in some areas and their flat outer surfaces’ angle to produce the precise slope of the rising pyramid. Abd al-Latif reported that a hair would not fit between any two he was able to test. Arnold notes: "...the connection of the casing with the backing stones is very close and would have to be carefully prepared. The backing stones were frequently dressed exactly to the shape of the rear face of the casing block." Why such exactitude and toil would be expended on areas that were to be covered for eternity is never explained. This is particularly striking considering the speed at which the Great Pyramid was built. Morris, Davidovits, and Morris, and Davidovits provide numerous other facts that the prevailing "carve and hoist" model completely fails to explain but, because of lack of space, cannot be discussed herein.

In the mid-1980s, Davidovits proposed that the pyramids were cast in situ using granular limestone aggregate and an alkali alumino-silicate-based binder. Many objections were made to this proposition, but...

Among the now discredited objections to Davidovits’s theory are the expectation that: (a) the pyramid blocks would resemble modern concrete, where the cement binder is clearly visible, (b) the cast mix would leak out of molds, (c) cast blocks would merge together, and (d) expectation that imprints of wood grain from molds would be seen in the concrete. With respect to (a), the silica in caustic solution chemically binds to the limestone, so that little is needed and is seen only, as this work shows, with specific analysis. All these objections have essentially been swept aside by the recent casting of massive ‘‘limestone’’ blocks in France.


Transmission electron microscope confirmed that some of these Si-containing lc’s were either amorphous or nanocrystalline, which is consistent with a relatively rapid precipitation reaction. The sophistication and endurance of this ancient concrete technology is simply astounding.


If the blocks were indeed cast...
The question of how the builders were able to level the roughly 230 x 230 m of the base to within 2.1 cm becomes almost a non-issue, as Davidovits and Morris have pointed out. The other difficult question of how the builders were able to maintain precisely the angle of the pyramids such that the four planes met at a point also becomes easier to answer: the angle was probably built into the molds of the casing blocks. Another ramification of our conclusions is that the ramps would not have had to extend to the top of the pyramids, and the serious problem of how the ramps would extend to the very top is no longer an issue. It is thus tempting to speculate that near the top of the pyramids, the stone was cast. This is especially true as Lehner notes that in Khufu’s pyramid, "towards the top higher quality limestone was used". Later, he remarks, "the quality of the core stone becomes gradually finer in the last several courses that are preserved before the top, until it almost matches that of the Turah limestone casing."


The conclusions reached herein, if confirmed by others on larger samples clearly show that the Ancient Egyptians were not only exceptional civil and architectural engineers but also superb chemists and material scientists. They would also have to be credited with the invention of concrete, thousands of years before the Romans. That a lime-based cement cast and cured at room temperature would survive for 5000 years, while the best our civilization has to offer (Portland cement, which under the best of circumstances lasts 150 years or less) is both awe-inspiring and humbling.


Hard evidence — in the form of chemical analysis such as carried out herein — is clearly needed to confirm some of those hypotheses. And while we believe this paper furthers our understanding of how these magnificent and enduring monuments were built, it does in no way dispel or answer some of the more important questions, the most impressive and mysterious of which is how the massive granite beams (estimated to weigh 70 tons each) spanning the width of the King’s Chamber, 70 m up the Great Pyramid, were cut and hauled in place.

Cast or cut, we are looking at highly advanced building technology of which there is no mention in historical times and no trace in excavations. In fact, the chemistry involved in the hypothetical casting of durable stones like that does nothing to reduce the complexity of the enterprise.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Wed Oct 09, 2019 12:13 pm

fbenario » October 5th, 2019, 8:11 pm wrote:There are numerous examples of concrete structures that date back to the Roman Republic and Roman Empire, such as The Pantheon, that seem to be holding up pretty well. Yes, that was just a little bit more than 150 years ago.

Are you saying the Roman Empire flourished around 1850?
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Seneca on Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:16 pm

He was being sarcastic because Altair wrote: " In fact, concrete has only been practically used since some 150 yrs, when the technique of reinforcing with steel beams was introduced."
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Wed Oct 09, 2019 7:51 pm

Seneca » October 9th, 2019, 4:16 pm wrote:He was being sarcastic...

Oh, sorry, I was a bit slow on the uptake then. I guess I was linking it to his mention of Fomenko back on page 1.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Thu Oct 10, 2019 11:46 pm

In the second half of the 15th century, as the inner circles at the Vatican embraced Hermeticism and Talmudism more or less covertly and became what Michael Hoffman calls “the Occult Renaissance Church of Rome”, interest in Classical and Pagan art boomed. Not many people are aware that Pope Leo X sponsored and officially gave his imprimatur to Daniel van Bombergen’s project of printing a complete edition of the Talmud in Venice. In reality, the Pope rescued the Talmud from extinction. By the dawn of the Renaissance, most extant copies were faded and crumbling manuscripts of widely varying textual reliability and authority, but over the course of 23 years of operation Bombergen’s printing house produced many thousands of volumes of rabbinic books (Hoffman, p. 288).

Now, unlike the obscure rituals, books and paintings on the walls of the Pope’s private chambers, architecture and statues are out on the street for everyone to see. For example, the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi on Piazza Navona, commissioned by Pope Innocent X in 1651, is as Pagan and un-Christian as they get, with those four buck-naked river gods and the granite obelisk from Aswan in the middle, covered in hieroglyphic inscriptions of Roman authorship in honor of Domitian and the deified emperors Vespasian and Titus.

The Romans pilfered a great many megalithic obelisks in Egypt. As I have argued before, they did not possess the ability to make massive high-precision pieces in granite, basalt or diorite, and so had to be content with transporting and recycling them at home, which in turn is no petty accomplishment. I don’t think detailed descriptions of this process have survived from the time of the Roman Empire, but we do have a very comprehensive account of the removal and re-erection in 1586 of the obelisk of St. Peter’s basilica. It is found in a book published in 1590 by Domenico Fontana, the engineer commissioned by Pope Sixtus V.

“Della Transportatione dell’Obelisco Vaticano et delle Fabriche di Nostro Signore Papa Sisto V”.
https://ia800701.us.archive.org/31/item ... 662708.pdf

I mention it in this thread to illustrate how much effort and engineering was put into lowering an already standing obelisk, moving it 250 m, and placing it on a pedestal in front of the basilica. The original weight of the obelisk is 310 tons (Wiki says 327 tons). The weight of the planking, blocks, ropes and bars was 25 tons. The lowering started on 30 April 1586 and the consecration in the new location was on 18 September the same year, after the tower, cribs and scaffolding had been cleared away. In other words, it took about 4.5 months.

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In his book, Fontana appears in this phallic pose, with the obligatory compass and square.

The lowering involved 900 men and 74 horses, the re-erection 800 men and 140 horses. After the successful move, Fontana was showered with honors and commissions, received a gift of 5,000 and a pension of 2,000 gold scudi, and was allowed to keep all the timber and equipment used. Pope Sixtus V (Felice Peretti di Montalto) was so passionate about placing the Egyptian monument at the heart of Christendom that he made it one of his first acts as Pope. He had a commission meet on 25 August 1585 and gave Fontana carte blanche in writing (reproduced in his book) to procure workers, draft animals, timber, equipment, subsistence and rights-of-way, and freed him from litigation in case of damage or death. This is very well recounted in a monograph from 1970 by Bern Dibner titled “Moving the Obelisks”. I haven´t found any copy online, but if anyone is interested I can scan and convert the pages I have.

I suppose similar techniques were employed to re-erect obelisks in the Roman Empire and in the 16th century, but I could be wrong. Perhaps the Romans were better or faster at it. The obelisk in front of the basilica is the second-biggest standing obelisk in the world, but it is only one fourth the size of the unfinished obelisk in the Aswan quarry (see image on the first page). Likewise, it weighs less than half the megalithic quartzite Colossi of Memnon, which were quarried near modern-day Cairo and transported 675 km overland to Thebes.

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[edit: obelisk]
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:27 pm

The theory of an advanced transcontinental prehistoric civilization does not rely solely on Egyptian and Peruvian megalithic ruins, but is supported by evidence from other geographical regions. It also poses the question of oceanic navigation in remote antiquity, something I will return to in another post. For now let´s take a quick look at some archeological sites in Japan which are just beginning to be explored.

First, there is the massive unfinished stone block in Takasago called "Ishi no Hoden", which apparently translates as "half-made". Like the huge block in the Baalbek quarry, it is still attached to the bedrock and shows signs of thousands of years of weathering. A pond now exists at the foot of the block, making it look like it is floating freely over the water, but I am inclined to think we are simply dealing with an unfinished block in a prehistoric quarry. I am fairly convinced it was machined, but it's hard to prove with all the erosion.

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The block is said to measure 5.7 x 6.4 x 7.2 m, which would put the weight somewhere in the vicinity of 600 tons. As usual, one is left clueless as to the function of such an odd piece. The sacred rice-straw rope lassoed around it is a token of reverence.

Not far from there is what some refer to as the cradle of Japan. Some freaky pieces are found scattered in the woods, which may or may not have been machined but which are definitely of great age and resemble certain sculpted rocks in Peru.
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The most curious of them is the granite "rock ship" (Masuda no iwafune) below. The sides and the central "bridge" look machined, the two outer "bridges" look damaged or unfinished. A Russian couple took a number of pictures and made a cool video: https://youtu.be/r0ZO9Mw8M80?t=406
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Also in Asuka is a very large excavation of a city or necropolis from the 6th century. I suspect it´s the same pattern as elsewhere: the imperial Asuka people (538-710 AD) found a very ancient site and recycled ideas and objects left behind by a more advanced civilization of which we have no direct knowledge. I say that, not because of the presence of a tomb in the form of a step pyramid (very crude construction, by the way), but because of the presence of undoubtedly machined pink granite boxes (even if we grant the availability of iron tools).
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What sort of archeologist would attribute those crude walls and the flawless pink ganite box to the same culture?

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I haven´t seen the stone box found inside the step pyramid, but it is likely to be machined as well. Right: Aerial view of excavation where the pink ganite box above was found.

The region is very rich in ruins, such as the Osaka Castle. Some of the walls contain enormous blocks and some are very neatly fitted together without mortar. They appear to have been erected around 1620, using a technique called "burdock piling". They look Peruvian at first glance, but if you take a closer look, the engineering quality is far from the same. The Russian couple from the video above examined the edges and found a miriad of hand chisel marks in the joinery. Some sections are very neat, others are crappy.

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The copycat sections on the right look very recent. If they are also from the early 17th century, the question is, what did Tokugawa's engineers use as a model?
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Altair on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:30 am

Also in Japan, you can find the Yonaguni monument. Harder to research as it is underwater, but it's quite similar to those constructions.
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Re: Advanced Building Technology in Remote Antiquity?

Unread postby Flabbergasted on Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:30 pm

How to explain the similarities in building technology between cultures separated by vast expanses of sea in remote antiquity, such as pre-Inca Peru and pre-dynastic Egypt? The current mainstream paradigm is that the Americas were peopled by Asian hunters walking across the Bering Strait sometime between 12,000 and 15,000 YBP. To make the theory palatable, it is postulated that the land bridge was quite wide and "not glaciated because snowfall was very light". The Wicked has a gif showing how much land was supposedly exposed during the different stages of thawing (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beringia# ... oaagov.gif) and a precipitation map to explain the absence of ice on the road to the Americas (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beringia# ... tation.png). Whether or not this is true, the rest of North America was covered by 2-4 km thick ice sheets, so either these families of hunters couldn´t resist the temptation to go foraging in that endless arctic ice inferno, or they sat around for a couple of millennia waiting for the ice to melt before starting on their mission to people the Americas. Or, alternatively, they were smart enough to travel down the American west coast by boat (not a popular hypothesis with the establishment).

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Left: Fray José de Acosta and his famous book. Right: Statue of Ahmed Muhiddin Piri.

The author of the Beringia migration theory was not a modern-day anthropologist, but a Spanish Jesuit missionary and naturalist living in Latin America in the 16th century, author of "Historia natural y moral de las Indias". A century before other Europeans learned of the Bering Strait, Fray José de Acosta, who had never been north of Mexico City, hypothesized in 1590 that all indigenous peoples were somehow descended from Asians who had walked to America. I don't think he was familiar with the dynamics of ice ages and falling and rising sea levels because he actually believed North America and Asia were connected by land during his own lifetime. I am not denying there could have been a land bridge across the Bering Strait in the ice age or that humans could have roamed those tracts, or even that some Native Americans descend from Beringians, but how far does the Out-Of-Asia theory go to explain what we see in excavations? Acosta was the Darwin of the Amerindians: his theory was creative, but not based on evidence. As with the theory of evolution, it took centuries of academic sweat to coat it with the scientific varnish it lacked.

Any North or South American archeological site dated beyond 15,000 years is an annoying fact that doesn´t fit the favored paradigm. Likewise, radical departures from the stereotyped Amerindian race type are a threat to Acosta´s theory.

- An example of the first: the location of Pedra Furada in Brazil (not far from here), the discoverer of which (Niède Guidon) estimates the 800 sites she has excavated so far are between 30,000 and 45,000 years old. Her hypothesis is that humans came to Brazil by boat from Africa around 100,000 years ago (another not so popular hypothesis with the scientific community).
- An example of the second: a significant number of naturally elongated skulls with unmistakably red hair have been found in tombs in Paracas, Peru. The skulls have no sagittal suture, the dentition is unique, and the position of the foramen magnum is clearly posterior in relation to that of the classic Homo sapiens skull.

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Later cultures around the world (including the shores of the Black Sea) eventually started practicing cranial deformation by head binding, but it is not difficult to distinguish the originals from the imitations, especially when the skull belongs to a newborn or a fetus.

In reality, after a long hiatus, most ancient sites were taken over by other peoples and races who sometimes venerated the ancestral builders and tried to imitate their style...

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Skull of newborn Paracas infant with dark red hair. Note the tiny face and the posterior position of the spine.

One could mention other finds invalidating the single-origin, single-ethnicity paradigm of humans in the Americas. Mainstream science has actually become more open to the notion of multiple origins and longer time frames, but not to the existence of an advanced transcontinental civilization in remote antiquity. One of the stumbling blocks is the assumption that global navigation is a very recent achievement, one too risky and complex for our ancestors - the same people who machined the porphyry columns in Hagia Sophia. To me, this seems more like prejudice than common sense.

- The Phoenicians regularly crossed the Atlantic long before the Roman Empire and may have been the merchants supplying the Mediterranean smithies with American copper, making the Bronze Age possible.
- The Icelandic vikings traveled regularly to North America to get timber for shipbuilding (trees don't thrive in Iceland), as narrated in Snorre Sturlasson's book Heimskringla from 1230, taking advantage of the good weather of the medieval warm period. Columbus likely benefited from their geographical knowledge when he visited Iceland in 1477.
- Chinese navigational history goes back thousands of years, culminating with the high-tech fleet of the 1400s that made Niña, Pinta and Santa Maria look like nutshells (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=485&p=2403457#p2403457). Yet, Zheng He's expeditions only recently came to the attention of historians.
- The islands in the Pacific were settled by multiple cultures over the millennia, some of which left megalithic constructions behind. Islanders still use very simple boats to traverse hundreds of miles of blue water, and Thor Heyerdahl demonstrated that reedboats are seaworthy.
- Medieval navigation maps exist which must have been derived from very ancient sources, as indicated by the presence of anachronistic features.

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Easter Island also has a Peruvian-looking megalithic core of great antiquity. Right: Mortar-free tight fit and millennia of erosion.

The maps I mentioned above include three noteworthy examples: the Piri Reis map from 1513, the Orontaeus Finaeus map from 1531, and the Dulcert Portolan chart from 1339.

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Left: A section of the Piri Reis map. Right:A section of the Dulcert chart.

The Piri Reis map was compiled by the Ottoman admiral and cartographer, Ahmed Muhiddin Piri, using many sources, including a legendary map of Christopher Columbus, 10 Arab maps and 4 Indian maps. Some historians say 20 sources, others 34. Piri's patchwork method explains the repetitions and incongruences in the map. Only the Western third of the map was ever found, but the full map would have covered the entire world, including the east coast of Africa which had not been mapped by European navigators yet. There is really no other map like it in the world. It was composed with the aid of spherical trigonometry, a technique not in use at the time. Interestingly, the geometric center of the map is in mid-Egypt. The Brazilian island of Marajó appears clearly on the map, although this region was only discovered by Europeans in 1543. The tip of South America is shown to be contiguous with Antarctica (a patchwork error), but Antarctica was only a hypothetical continent at the time.

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Left: Orontaeus Finaeus. Right: modern map.

The Orontaeus Finaeus map not only shows Antarctica greatly resembling the continent as we know it today, but the coasts are ice-free, suggesting the source map derived from a map produced during the ice age when the sea level was at least 100 m lower. The first confirmed landing on Antarctica was not until 1820, nearly three hundred years after the map was compiled. Nevertheless, "serious scholarship holds that there is no reason to believe that the map is the product of genuine knowledge of the Antarctic coast" (Wiki). I leave it to your judgment. Charles Hapgood identified 58 coincidences between the outlines of the two maps (not shown here).

The Dulcert Portolan chart mysteriously popped out of the blue at a time when all other European maps were ridiculously distorted. Getting the latitudes right is not the worst part, but measuring longitudes correctly requires expert time-keeping. If memory serves me, time-measuring devices were not accurate enough for the job until 1770. Like the two other maps above, it is reasonable to assume it was copied from an ancient source technologically compatible with the constructions examined in this thread.

There are many more anomalies in old maps, such as islands in the Aegean which are now well underwater, that beg a rational explanation. I haven´t had time to brush up on the topic for many years, so the above is meant as a mere introduction if anyone is interested.
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