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Second Canadiasn Post! (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554480)

Pyramid baby!

Topic Technology/IT??? (0, Offtopic)

keesh (202812) | about 11 years ago | (#6554494)

Uhm, doesn't slashdot have editors to fix that kinda thing? Guess not... It's stuff like this that keeps me from subscribing.

Re:Topic Technology/IT??? (1)

angryLNX (679691) | about 11 years ago | (#6555114)

While this is not Information Technology, this is most certainly technology (the application of science).

liar (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6556121)

liar

Re:Topic Technology/IT??? (1)

insecuritiez (606865) | about 11 years ago | (#6557209)

It's stuff like this that keeps me from subscribing.

Why do you keep reading? It's the news and the articals that matter.

Re:Topic Technology/IT??? (-1, Flamebait)

keesh (202812) | about 11 years ago | (#6557226)

Uhm, wtf are articals? Welcome to my foes list.

Oh Canadias! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554496)

Canadias iss ones ofs my MOSTS FAVORITES coutnries(s). No, I'ms seriouss!!!

What'ss itss gots initsss pocketssssss?

Canadiasn? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554504)

Over two thousand years later, the mystery of how to integrate a spellchecker into /. is still unsolved

And so it was discovered.... (-1)

JDWTopGuy (209256) | about 11 years ago | (#6554515)

....the very first use of "Let's Rock and Roll!" as an idiom for getting started. .tsop tsriF

4000 A.D -- Scientists finally figure out... (0, Offtopic)

psyconaut (228947) | about 11 years ago | (#6554518)

....why the Slashdot editors couldn't spellcheck HEADLINES!

-psy

Re:4000 A.D -- Scientists finally figure out... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554529)

miness 1 to you bitchorz.

Teh Edieraterz..... Kommandre Krun^H^H^H^H Tako

oh honey (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554523)

You sure know what I like .. I just had the biggest Canadiasm ever!

Hey, timorthy! (1, Offtopic)

Johnny Mnemonic (176043) | about 11 years ago | (#6554534)


Let me be the first of many to say: Jesus God, would you get a spelling checker?

Re:Hey, timorthy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6556004)

Dear Mr. Mnemonic,

I regret to inform you that you are not, in fact, the first to say that [slashdot.org] . In light of this fact, the Department wishes you to know that YOU FAIL IT!

Regards,
T.R. Ollson,
Department of Firsts, Slashdot Bureau

eh? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554563)

Amazon.ca must use CandiASN's to identify books, eh?

*snort*

Summary of Article. (5, Funny)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | about 11 years ago | (#6554569)

Guy can move rocks from A to B by rocking and/or rolling.

Guy doesn't really know how the rocks were lifted 60ft into the air, but suggests 'shimmying' may have been part of it.

Next week - Guy explains that he can fly to the moon using only pogo sticks. "See, how bouncy they are," he says, "now just bounce a little higher and I'm there."

What a pointless, informationless article that was.

Re:Summary of Article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554603)

You think it is beyond the technology of the ancient egyptians to construct scaffolding/ramps out of wood /earth as they built the pyramids?

Re:Summary of Article. (4, Interesting)

greenhide (597777) | about 11 years ago | (#6554636)

During a Passover seder (how apropos!) I discussed the building of the pyramids with a professor who specialized in ancient civilizations of the middle east. He said that it's very obvious that they built ramps out of a kind of clay/sand mixture. There's even a name for this kind of mixture, although it escapes my mind. He said that it was scattered all around the pyramids and was easy to find.

As far as he was concerned, case closed.

This guy, at best, has explained how the rocks might have been brought to the pyramid's base.

Re:Summary of Article. (3, Insightful)

Slowping (63788) | about 11 years ago | (#6554939)

It's also possible that they used the ramps to roll the stones up the sides of the pyramid, using stoppers and wedges as they go to prevent a catastrophic backwards roll.

I also think that many people (and judging by many of the responses on this forum so far) are too quick to dismiss the ideas that come from people not in academia. We all need to keep an open mind to ideas; after all, Einstein was once just a lowly patent clerk. And sometimes it takes a "hick" with a lifetime of rock moving experience to come up with a clever solution that a bunch of bookworms might otherwise never think of.

Re:Summary of Article. (2, Insightful)

Slowping (63788) | about 11 years ago | (#6554985)

dammit I accidentally hit submit instead of preview.

Anyways, to clarify, I meant that rolling the stones up the ramp might be easier than dragging them up, or even moving them up over log rollers.

And being a 'bookworm' myself, I didn't mean it in a derogatory way. Just that sometimes there really are simple solutions that elude even the most knowledgeable thinkers.

Re:Summary of Article. (2, Insightful)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | about 11 years ago | (#6559754)

But you can only wedge one these things if they're holding still. A moving rock would need a moving wedge to be effective.

I can envision a system of gates, not unlike locks and dams, to catch a runaway stone. But I also think that those would probably work better on a square-edged stone.

As for Einstein, you're neglecting to mention that he was a patent clerk *with a Ph.D. in physics.* He wasn't some random guy who stumble across relativity, he was a well-trained scientist who had difficulty finding a job (or at least, one he liked) in academia.

Re:Summary of Article. (2, Insightful)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 11 years ago | (#6560693)

A moving rock would need a moving wedge to be effective.

Not hard. Imagine you have a few guys with ropes pulling the stone itself. You could then have a couple more guys with ropes connected to a wedge that sits behind the stone, constantly moving right behind it so that a stop for any reason would immediately rest on the wedge.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | about 11 years ago | (#6563008)

But now you have guys dragging a large wedge up, adding to the toil. And they have to bee pretty coordinated to keep the wedge just behind the block, but not abutting it.

I'm not saying it is impossible, just that it's not that easy to do. Which is the issue here, really.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | about 11 years ago | (#6565270)

But it's a minimal amount of extra work to avoid crushing someone who is behind, or even just the extra effort of having to pull the stone back up the ramp. Two strong men could pull on a solid wood wedge that would be of use at least for a while, depending on how often the stone rocks back to rest on it.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | about 11 years ago | (#6566973)

Depends on how large the wedge is. I'd have to work that out, but for a big stone, it'd have to be pretty large.

In any event, that isn't the issue. The issue is that you're now putting in all kinds of extra work to avoid crushing. And going up the ramp, you *aren't* able to use the rock's momentum to help you up, especially if you are constantly stopping. Going circular doesn't gain you anything on the ramp (it actually costs you) and isn't a huge gain over rollers on level ground.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

Darby (84953) | about 11 years ago | (#6566451)

You could then have a couple more guys with ropes connected to a wedge that sits behind the stone, constantly moving right behind it so that a stop for any reason would immediately rest on the wedge.

Possible.

I'll still take the front if you don't mind though ;-)

Re:Summary of Article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6562304)

Exactly....

Re:Summary of Article. (2, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | about 11 years ago | (#6555066)

in a true slashdot fashion:

i saw a documentary of that a while ago (building pyramids) where they looked into the timescale and workforce what was needed to build it, and they pretty much summed up on something that used ramps till someway up the pyramid and some other method after that(because building the ramp higher than x had no point because it would have been more work than doing it other way ,i dunno, google it yourself, i'm a slashdotter damnit). anyways the thing they based this on were among others historical texts(greek, which were found to be a bit off by other evidence), diggings and some hefty amount of calculations.

but heres something from the article:
**
"The system of moving rocks by rotation is not a new theory," said Mr. Raina. "It was an inherent trait that has been lost over time."

In fact, Mr. Raina believes the ancient Egyptians tried to preserve the theory in cartography of scarab beetles, a sacred bug in ancient Egypt that Mr. Raina believes gave them the idea of using rotation to move rocks."**

in other words, he doesn't know jack about ancient egypt, just believes something himself.

also **"They hate me because I have skewered ancient Egypt on them," he said with a chuckle.**

by being able to do something by way X doesn't mean the thing was done with X, somebody MIGHT want to tell this guy this but because he is quite old, and likes his theory, i doubt he is willing to consider it much anyways(or that there are other things to take into consideration, like the supply of wood, and the sheer size of the rocks and the fact that would they have stayed in one piece and could the aparatus/wood be attached to it even by their methods.)

Materials Analysis (3, Informative)

quinkin (601839) | about 11 years ago | (#6555515)

Yes, that was quite an interesting documentary.

As I recall, the main focus of it was the rolling logs for long distance transport (pretty well documented, not only by the tracks left, but discarded and broken logs etc., but also historical pictorial records) and also on leverage multipliers.

With the rollers, the key was sustaining momentum wherever possible (moving friction less than initial friction). No need to re-invent the wheel here (bad pun I know).

The materials analysis of the lever and pulley materials was the most interesting part I though. They demonstrated the feasability of several different methods of lifting/propelling the blocks (all dreamed up by a variety of egyptologists, engineers and wackos like Mr Raina) using only materials available at the time.

In contrast to the mental stimulation provided by that documentary, this article was a complete waste of time.

Mr. Raina has never been to Egypt nor have any scientists travelled to his humble home for a demonstration.

Well surprise, surprise...

Q.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | about 11 years ago | (#6554911)

No, I think the doubt there is at the idea of *rolling* 2-ton blocks uphill. All it takes is a split second of lost grip on the rock and the vaunted "rock's momentum" suddenly becomes a nightmare.

Remember Sysiphus? It'd be like that, but with a lot more screaming and generally getting smooshed.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

sk8king (573108) | about 11 years ago | (#6559466)

Darn Red-Bull commercials..... Nobody would remember Sysiphus if it wasn't for those commercials.

Re:Summary of Article. (1)

WTFmonkey (652603) | about 11 years ago | (#6554668)

Yeah, a diagram would've been been nice for the lazy,but no, a mugshot of the old geezer is all there was.

Re:Summary of Article. (2, Insightful)

plover (150551) | about 11 years ago | (#6563948)

For a diagram, see a back issue of OMNI magazine from 1980.

That's when an "inventor" announced this last time I heard it.

I recall it was an interesting article. He developed the technique to remove blocks from his quarry and thought "this is so easy someone else must have invented it first." So he did some research, then did some more research, and finally found wooden rockers just like the ones he built were discovered in the pyramid (they were labeled "cradles".)

He then duplicated these wooden rockers, quarried some blocks to replicate the size of the blocks used in the pyramids, and had a dozen middle-aged out-of-shape men hauling these several ton blocks up ramps from his quarry to prove his point.

That was 1980. It's quite possible that Mr. Raina dug up an ancient copy of that OMNI magazine, instead of pyramid artifacts. This isn't even archaeological news for nerds any more!

Now I know... (0)

psyconaut (228947) | about 11 years ago | (#6554577)

...where the term "rock'n'roll" was coined....it was attributed to the sound the rocks made as they were rolled into place!

-psy

Re:Now I know... (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 11 years ago | (#6556846)

where the term "rock'n'roll" was coined

I can just picture a bunch of ancient Egyption slaves dancin' to "Shake Your Booty".

The wheel (1)

philip_bailey (50353) | about 11 years ago | (#6554611)

Talk about reinventing the wheel!

SILLY OLD TWAT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554616)

We need to makesure people like this are in a retirement home for their own good.

What are the Canadiasns thinking letting a frail old man play with huge rocks, what if that seven year old girl who pulled 535 pounds by herself had been injured?

The Reason for the Mystery (5, Insightful)

oni (41625) | about 11 years ago | (#6554663)

The reason this is such a mystery is that the great pyramid is made of over two million blocks, each weighing two and a half tons. Our best estimates for construction time are that it took around 20 years to build. Assuming a 10 to 12 hour work day and no holidays (365 days a year) that means the ancient Egyptians placed a block every 20 to 30 seconds.

Today, even with modern equipment, we could not make that happen. Maybe we could place a block every 5 minutes or every 10 minutes, but I can't imagine we could do it under a minute continuously. It's just an amazing feet. You can see why people are so impressed.

There are so many examples of humans achieving such greatness, and accomplishing such feats, that later generations do not comprehend. I suppose our generation has the Apollo moon landings, and maybe a couple of other things. It really stands as a testament to our potential. So, when we start murdering each other wholesale I like to think about these achievements because it gives me hope that we can rise above our destructive nature.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (2, Insightful)

gnovos (447128) | about 11 years ago | (#6554750)

There are so many examples of humans achieving such greatness, and accomplishing such feats, that later generations do not comprehend. I suppose our generation has the Apollo moon landings, and maybe a couple of other things. It really stands as a testament to our potential. So, when we start murdering each other wholesale I like to think about these achievements because it gives me hope that we can rise above our destructive nature.

Until you look under the rocks and find out that there is a human corpse under each and every one of them... They pyramids were just a fancified death machine. :)

pyramids built with slave labour? (4, Informative)

geoswan (316494) | about 11 years ago | (#6555795)

Until you look under the rocks and find out that there is a human corpse under each and every one of them... They pyramids were just a fancified death machine. :)

Yes, that is what we were taught in school -- that the pyramids were built with slave labour, with brutal working conditions. But there have been a number of documentaries about archeological investigations into the dormitories where the workers lived. IIRC the archeological evidence points to the workers not being slaves. IIRC the archeological evidence points to the workers working and living under reasonable circumstances.

Re:pyramids built with slave labour? (2, Insightful)

MousePotato (124958) | about 11 years ago | (#6556113)

...archeological evidence points to the workers working and living under reasonable circumstances.

that and they were in the service of thier gods.

Revisionist history - The hidden menance (1)

Outland Traveller (12138) | about 11 years ago | (#6557992)

Always consider the source and agenda of such claims. It's been my experience that some "experts" latch on to one or two details of a many-faceted civilization and extrapolate it to make the case for a liberal, enlightened, politically-correct utopia.

As they say, the good old days weren't always good. That goes triply so for ancient cultures.

Re: Revisionist history - The hidden menance (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6559802)


> Always consider the source and agenda of such claims. It's been my experience that some "experts" latch on to one or two details of a many-faceted civilization and extrapolate it to make the case for a liberal, enlightened, politically-correct utopia.

Also, a pharoah who wasn't a total fuckwit might have been able to figure out that they'd get the job done in a more timely manner if they actually had enough to eat and a spot for a decent night's sleep instead of starvation, daily beatings, and torture on weekends. Moving big rocks around is hard work, rollerboards or no.

Slaves weren't always treated the way they are depicted in B movies.

Re:pyramids built with slave labour? (1)

Eccles (932) | about 11 years ago | (#6558586)

Yes, that is what we were taught in school -- that the pyramids were built with slave labour, with brutal working conditions.

Often it seems the implication is that the Hebrews freed by Moses were the pyramid builders. But the Great Pyramid at Giza was completed around 2680 B.C., whereas Moses lived in the 13th century B.C.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (4, Informative)

rco3 (198978) | about 11 years ago | (#6555043)

365 days per year times 20 years is 7300 days. No holidays, of course. 12 hours of work every day gives us a total of 87,600 hours.

This is all approximate, of course. However...

2 million blocks divided by 87,600 is about 23. That's 23 blocks per hour, or about 2.7 minutes per block.

That's a factor of five different from your estimate, although still impressive. Did you mean 20 to 30 blocks per minute?

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

rco3 (198978) | about 11 years ago | (#6555060)

Or 20 to 30 blocks per hour, even? [duh - long day]

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

shadowpuppy (629329) | about 11 years ago | (#6563548)

And the majority of the blocks would be on the bottom. So assuming you've built a pyramid or two before, you could really rock and roll for a bit.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

The Famous Druid (89404) | about 11 years ago | (#6567412)

Your maths is correct, but it's unlikely that they worked 365 days per year.

People who've done the economic calculations claim it's unlikely that ancient Egypt could have supported enough 'slaves' to build the pyramids. However, if they were 'free men' paying their 'taxes' by working a few months per year, you can make the figures add up.

Of course, if that's how they did it, you'd have to factor in a few months break per year break while the workers attended to their planting, harvest, etc.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

ccady (569355) | about 11 years ago | (#6555080)

Ah, statistics.

1) Your calculations are off. 20 years * 365 d/y * 12 hours/day * 60 min/hr /2 million stones = 2.6 blocks/minutes. That's significantly longer than 20-30 seconds.

2) If you use slightly different numbers: 2.3 million blocks [pbs.org] , and assume they worked for 40 years [pbs.org] at 12 hours per day (or 20 years at 24 hrs/day), then you get that they put up a block every 4.6 minutes. Pretty close to what you think that we could do.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

andyt (149701) | about 11 years ago | (#6557618)

1) Your calculations are off. 20 years * 365 d/y * 12 hours/day * 60 min/hr /2 million stones = 2.6 blocks/minutes. That's significantly longer than 20-30 seconds.

Think you'll find that 2.6 blocks/minute is about 23 seconds per block, which is what he said.

What you calculated was 2.6 minutes/block.

Although, given this is a stats thread, I am sure that I too will be proved wrong. Kinda like posting a speling Nazi post!

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (2, Troll)

DancingSword (412552) | about 11 years ago | (#6555108)

That the 'cradles'
( term used in the TV program, or wherever-it-was that I years-ago got told this )
were placed-on each of the four long-sides of a block, and then rope wrapped 'round the sticks/rods holding the end-pieces of the cradles
( the quarter-rounds that were at each end of the block )
together, and the entire block rolled
( requiring only 5 people, rather than 60-150, which is what using small logs beneath a block would have required ),
was figured-out YEARS ago, and broadcast.

Perhaps the title should read:
Canadian Discovers Idea Broadcast Years Ago By American TV!

idiocy.

Idiocy that information has to be discovered again and again and again because of fractioning, of not-indexing ( it's proprietary, you aren't allowed to index it, publically ), of non-translation ( significant in science, the Yugoslavs have a saying 'Discovering Hot Water' for it... others already published, but it wasn't accessible in their info-sources... )...

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6558348)

> Canadian Discovers Idea Broadcast Years Ago By
> American TV!
>
2017: America discovers Canada is in America too!

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (3, Interesting)

FreezerJam (138643) | about 11 years ago | (#6560949)

Like you, I'm surprised that this is news. A similar solution was posed some time ago, because archeologists were trying to figure out the use of the "cradles" they occasionally found.

This article - http://www.atse.org.au/publications/focus/focus-pa rry.htm [atse.org.au] - provides a picture of a cradle found in Egypt, and shows tests, both model and full scale. The full scale tests included raising a 2.5 tonne stone up a 1 in 4 ramp slope. Rampe slope is a critical factor - a 1:4 ramp uses a lot less material than a 1:10 ramp.

This theory is given further backing here - http://www-personal.umich.edu/~imladjov/pyramids.d oc [umich.edu] - by the finding that a number of blocks apparently had "this side up" inscribed on them. This supposedly only makes sense if blocks will be rolled in such a way that one could lose track of which side should be up.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

flight666 (30842) | about 11 years ago | (#6555560)

Well, have you ever seen one of those huge ocean container ships being unloaded? They can unload several thousand containers in 24 hours, easily matching or besting the numbers you claim.

Using modern boom equipment, it would be no problem to place blocks at this rate.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

ggwood (70369) | about 11 years ago | (#6556281)

I agree this is a very impressive feat - but remember the pyrimids are really big - it's not like they are placing all those block one on top of another. They likely pulled them up onto the working level of the pyrimid from several directions at once.

Anyhow, as I understood the article, the man seems to be claiming that he understands how they transported the blocks to the site. He is quoted as saying, "I've reduced moving rocks to the pyramid to a mom-and-pop operation." (emphasis mine). Look, I don't know the local geography but obviously this only makes sense if the local terrain is reasonably flat (rather, if it was at the time of construction...). It seems many here are talking about how the pyrimids were actually constructed (e.g. how one block arived atop another). Assumedly they used big ramps. Someone mentioned the quantities of bodies in the pyrimids - all I have to say is if they rocked/rolled the bricks up the ramps I don't wanna see what the ramps looked like afterwords.
_____________________________________ ____________

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

LadyAshnod (690669) | about 11 years ago | (#6556641)

I should see this place myself, I should drop by to his place and see how he supported his theory through simple illustrations. He should be like 5 minutes away from me, Anyone want to come with me? When I was in grade school, I was amazed how my math teacher demonstrates solutions to problems by using shapes and figures. And now, here comes one man who spends his time to give light/theory about the Pyramids. Great! At least, we should be happy that someone takes the time to solve it the traditional way, rather than thinking that everything is within the computer circuitry. I would give credit for his research and interesting theory.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (2, Interesting)

Tablizer (95088) | about 11 years ago | (#6556820)

There are so many examples of humans achieving such greatness, and accomplishing such feats, that later generations do not comprehend. I suppose our generation has the Apollo moon landings, and maybe a couple of other things.

The people who did Apollo are all dying off. If we ever had to go back to the moon or even head toward Mars, a lot of re-learning is going to have to take place.

I heard NASA had trouble finding the blueprints for the Apollo capsule design as they were looking at cheaper personnel-moving alternatives to the shuttle recently.

Another Mystery (4, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#6557219)

Yeah, I've always found it more satisfying to believe that the pyramids were put up by human ingenuity, rather than by the whimsy of some God from Space [mus.pa.us] .

But here's another disturbing thought. John Anthony West [jawest.com] argues that water erosion on the Sphynx indicates that the thing was built before Egypt was an arid country. That's about 10,000 years ago. Of course this runs totally against accepted archaeological thought -- but you still have to wonder if Egyptian civilization isn't a tad older than currently accepted.

Re:Another Mystery (1)

dublin (31215) | about 11 years ago | (#6559907)

West is all wet (sorry, couldn't resist), but there are other goofy if interesting and somewhat possible explanations for the pyramids, including that they were the giant water pumps that enabled Egypt to be the breadbasket of the ancient world, as we know to be historically true. As usual for wierdo sites, any good stuff here may be cheek-to-jowl with outright trash: http://www.thepump.org/ [thepump.org]

It's an interesting and creative explanation, anyway, and explains better than anything else I've seen the more unusual design features of some pyramids...

Re:Another Mystery (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#6562377)

So tell me why West is all wet.

Re: Another Mystery (1)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 11 years ago | (#6560094)


> But here's another disturbing thought. John Anthony West argues that water erosion on the Sphynx indicates that the thing was built before Egypt was an arid country. That's about 10,000 years ago. Of course this runs totally against accepted archaeological thought -- but you still have to wonder if Egyptian civilization isn't a tad older than currently accepted.

It has been a year or two since I read anything about that, but IIRC the guy is demonstrably a kook on the basis of other claims he has pushed in the past. The one redeeming issue is that he hired a regular geologist, an oil geologist from Texas IIRC, to give an opinion on it and the oilman concurred.

It would be nice to have a second opinion on it as a sanity check, but skeptics don't seem to put enough stock in the story to bother with it. Maybe that tells us something; maybe it doesn't. I tend to be skeptical of the story since there are so many people so eager to peddle bullshit about ancient Egypt and its culture, but I won't dismiss it out of hand until a disinterested party surveys it.

The claim isn't really too far fetched, IMO. The standard model is that Egypt AWKI formed as the result of people from all over the region converging on the valley as North Africa went arid. But there could have been a smaller civization there already, or maybe it was a sacred site where people from all over would gather periodically. IIRC much of the Sphinx is a natural outcropping, so building it with a small population over a long period might not be entirely out of the question, allowing us to date it long before the dynastic era without really having to change much of our model of Egyptian history.

What I find most interesting about it is that the head seems to be way too small for the body, and some have speculated that it originally actually had a lion's head in correct proportion to the size of the body, which was later trimmed down to the shape of a human head. It could have been a cult site for a long time, like Stonehenge or something, and then been converted to a dynastic symbol sometime in late prehistory or the early historic period.

This old planet (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#6562619)

What I find most interesting about it is that the head seems to be way too small for the body, and some have speculated that it originally actually had a lion's head in correct proportion to the size of the body,
I seem to recall reading somewhere that the head's been recarved several times. I like to think it was originally the face of a cat. Which have always been sacred thereabouts, and which goes with the overall shape. Besides, I like cats.

West is demonstrably an asshole (just read his web site) but that's neither here nor there. I can't get away from the fact that he has actual physical evidence. It's not a matter of nobody checking it out, it's a matter of the academic establishment not wanting to give up their painfully constructed theories and chronologies. I see lots of criticisms of West, but they all seem to be content just to state that he's just another pyramid crank (God knows there are enough of those) without coming to grips with his evidence.

I have to mention another archaeological asshole, Von Schleiman. Who managed to demonstrate that all established theories about Troy were BS and that it was a real place. Not before seriously damaging the site through inept excavation, alas.

I don't really know that much about archaeology, but I've never been happy with the accepted wisdom that there was nobody on the planet but hunter-gatherers until 10,000 years ago. And I know there are a few archaeologists, some of them with better credentials than West's, who agree.

"Modern equipment" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6560988)

The reason we could not do this today with modern equipment is that we have not designed modern equipment to build large stone pyramids.

It's logical to assume the people who built the pyramids designed tools specifically for this purpose. If we decided to do the same thing today, we'd be able to come up with machines that could build structures which would surpass the size of the current pyramids, and in less time. Throw a few billion dollars at the problem, and it would be solved.

If McDonalds (or MicroSoft or Nike or the government) thought they could make money building these structures, it would happen.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

BobTheLawyer (692026) | about 11 years ago | (#6561051)

you goofed on the math. 2E6 blocks over 20 years = 1E5 blocks per year over 365 days = 274 blocks per day over 12 hours = 23 blocks per hour = one every three minutes or so it would also be wrong to assume only one block is being placed at any one time.

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

afreniere (611999) | about 11 years ago | (#6563413)

Assuming a 10 to 12 hour work day and no holidays (365 days a year) that means the ancient Egyptians placed a block every 20 to 30 seconds.

Today, even with modern equipment, we could not make that happen.

Isn't the directly observable number of blocks a much more compelling piece of evidence than anything else? If you ask me, the maximum theoretical rate and the number of blocks should trump any other estimate of how long it would take to build the pyramids. I haven't seen any of the "other" evidence, of course.

I'm inclined to think that for one reason or another we like to believe the Ancients were intellectual Gods who could overcome their lack of "technology" using their bare hands and pure unspoiled cleverness... in reality I suspect the very, very wide class gamut (which tends to emerge naturally in a power law distribution) allowed a few people to organize many, many people to the task... certainly there was lots of cleverness involved, but we like to exaggerate it.

-Ansel.

No Reason for the Mystery (1)

G4from128k (686170) | about 11 years ago | (#6563678)

The 20-30 second/block figure sounds impressive until you consider the potential for parallelization of the construction process. For much of the construction process, the stones could be rolled up a ramp and then distributed to multiple locations on the surface of the developing pyramid. Although each stone would be placed slowly and carefully, multiple teams could set multiple stones.

Perhaps the Egyptians should be credited with Amdahl's Law?

Re:The Reason for the Mystery (1)

p3d0 (42270) | about 11 years ago | (#6564226)

Today, even with modern equipment, we could not make that happen. Maybe we could place a block every 5 minutes or every 10 minutes, but I can't imagine we could do it under a minute continuously.
Well, with 20 times as much equipment, we could place a block every 15-30 seconds. Who says they placed one block at a time?

Title typo (1)

duck 'o death (597155) | about 11 years ago | (#6554705)

"canadiasn" ... close to "orgasn" .... neither, in the end, are really what we want it to be.

Re:Title typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6555176)

Oh hey, mr. obvious, what do you want for spotting that error? candy?

believe it or not, mistakes do happen. this is true especially when sites are run by half-retarded high school dropouts.

ANOTHER one... (4, Funny)

gnovos (447128) | about 11 years ago | (#6554723)

Sheesh, one after another, trying to solve how th epyramids were built... Geesh, when will these people figure it out that these theories are all bogus, that the pyramids were built completely by natural erosion?

ANOTHER one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6554919)

Sheesh, one after another, trying to post a single story without a typo... Geesh, when will these editors get a clue?

You guys get paid to run /.? (1, Troll)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 11 years ago | (#6554958)

Those damn Canadiasns....

Re:You guys get paid to run /.? (2, Funny)

tiggles (301532) | about 11 years ago | (#6555161)

Ugg, I am so sick of this type of thinking.

Durgs - Blame Canadsa
Trrerorists - Blame Canadsa

now we're being blamed for the pyramids?

Re:You guys get paid to run /.? (1)

moosesocks (264553) | about 11 years ago | (#6555857)

So you've never been to Canadasia? I hear their cuisine is excellent

Boards, trees..telepathy? (0)

Darth Fredd (663620) | about 11 years ago | (#6555359)

I know a man (who is, coincedentally, native egyptian) who firmly believes that the ancients harnessed mind powers. Which would kinda be cool. I mean, *the force* is real!

Just my two cents.

(oh, and I mispeled coincedentally. So flame me)

What if it Was Simpler Than That? (1, Interesting)

sipy (602638) | about 11 years ago | (#6555525)

Every theory for decades concerning the building of the pyramids assumes that there was enough wood available at the time to build structures, ramps, cranes (of sorts), and - now, rocking devices - to support/move/position/sculpt massive-ton rocks.

Why not apply Ockham's razor to the problem? Why couldn't the Egyptians just have created the world's first "concrete mix"?

How hard would it have been? Pound a few rocks to get powder, shlep the powder in simple baskets/bowls to the site, add water, and - viola. You got your bajillion-ton "rocks" up hundreds of feet without any "high-tech" (for the time) tools?

How come nobody every posits that theory...

Re:What if it Was Simpler Than That? (1, Insightful)

crmartin (98227) | about 11 years ago | (#6555631)

It's a lovely theory that's only slightly spoiled by the fact that even a casual observer can tell a limestone block from concrete.

But thank you for playing.

Re:What if it Was Simpler Than That? (2, Interesting)

poptones (653660) | about 11 years ago | (#6557353)

t's a lovely theory that's only slightly spoiled by the fact that even a casual observer can tell a limestone block from concrete.

Ummm... wrong. [geopolymer.org]

I think this is really the only theory anyone has put forth that actually makes sense.

google is your friend [google.com]

Re:What if it Was Simpler Than That? (1)

crmartin (98227) | about 11 years ago | (#6558524)

One of the most fascinating things about the Web is that you can find someone who believes any silly-ass theory.

Re:What if it Was Simpler Than That? (5, Funny)

demi (17616) | about 11 years ago | (#6556295)

Or how about the possibility that the pyramids are not gargantuan but are merely very close up?

How come nobody every posits that theory indeed.

Re:What if it Was Simpler Than That? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6564392)

Why, that's the simplest explanation, and the O.P. mentioned Ockham's razor! You must be correct! :)

Confusing hypothesis with evidence (4, Insightful)

SnappingTurtle (688331) | about 11 years ago | (#6556251)

The dude certainly has some neat ideas. His theory sounds plausible to the casual observer (i.e. me).

Unforunately, he's confusing hypothesis with evidence. He's given some good anecdotal evidence that it could have been done that way, but no evidence that it was done that way. Produce some tangible evidence and he may be on to something.

But he could patent the idea (1)

DrTrogg (586983) | about 11 years ago | (#6562065)

And then someone else could pay him to figure it out.

After all, it's been proven time and time again by people here that all you need is an inking to patent something.

Old News (0)

nzyank (623627) | about 11 years ago | (#6556373)

I've seen this hypotheses along with pictures quite a while ago (a couple of years at least). Either this guy reinvented the wheel again or this is an old story.

Hello? (2, Interesting)

RevDigger (4288) | about 11 years ago | (#6556737)

Gee,

This is retarded. What is worse, that a geek blog picked up something this dumb, or a "real" news site? This idea is old, and long discredited.

The greeks started using the technique described, but not for many years after the Pyramids were built.

It is worth noting that there are pictures surviving from the period that show large teams of men, pulling big stone bocks or statues, on sledges. Maybe you can dream up some other way to do it, but if there's real evidence that they did it differently, you are just daydreaming.

Besides mmoving rocks (1)

floydman (179924) | about 11 years ago | (#6557038)

Moving the rocks, to build a pyramid, with very precise mathematical calculations of trapped energy, angles of sunshine(where the sun shines in to the big pyramid through a trap door once a year), with the very complex tunnels in the pyramid that with all the exploration technology we have in this millennium cannot discover.. and he thinks he is a pharaoh cause he can move a rock.... go get your self a life.

The mystery of the great pyramid (2, Interesting)

little1973 (467075) | about 11 years ago | (#6557279)

That is the title of a book written by a hungarian writer. It raises quite a few question about the great pyramid and tries to give some answers. Interestingly, I have not read the same conclusions in other books.

Ever wonder about the chamber with the 'well' under the pyramid? I think the official theory is that it was supposed to be where the pharaoh would be buried originally. However, a more plausible theory is that it was used to test whether the ground above could support the weight of the pyramid. A pendulum was used to test this, one end was attached to the ceiling and the other was lowered into the well.

Another mystery is the great gallery. In this book the writer assumes it was used as some kind of elevator. There are some interesting markings on either side of the gallery along the walls which a cogwheel can hang on to. Considering the Egyptians did not know the wheel it is quite a bold assumption.

Do not forget that there are some blocks in the pyramid which weigh 70 tons or so. And there is the king's sarcophagus in the king's chamber. It carved from one block of gratine, one of the hardest material on Earth.

Also, there is absolutly no evidence about that a pharaoh was ever buried in the pyramid. Considering all the mysteries, is it really surprising I am more inclined to believe the pyramid was not build by Egyptians?

Re:The mystery of the great pyramid (3, Funny)

HarmlessScenery (225014) | about 11 years ago | (#6557692)

"Considering the Egyptians did not know the wheel it is quite a bold assumption."
Considering that a major component of the Egyptian army was 'chariots' - that is quite a bold statement.

Re:The mystery of the great pyramid (3, Informative)

Dun Malg (230075) | about 11 years ago | (#6559555)

"Considering the Egyptians did not know the wheel it is quite a bold assumption."

Considering that a major component of the Egyptian army was 'chariots' - that is quite a bold statement.

Heh. He must have been thinking of the Incas. The Incas, though, DID know the wheel (Inca children's toys found with wheels)-- they just didn't have much use for it in the Andes.

What's really funny about his "Egyptians did not know the wheel" comment is that they used a wheel to measure out the planned base of the pyramids, i.e. their pyramid is 100 units high and the base is 100 rotations of a 1-unit-in-diameter wheel in length. This is the source of all the rabid mis-theories about the pyramids having pi encoded into their dimensions even though the ancient Egyptians didn't use mathematics complex enough to calculate pi. It's not mystical crap-- they just used a wheel to measure! Wheels have pi built in!

Re:The mystery of the great pyramid (2, Insightful)

lokedhs (672255) | about 11 years ago | (#6558388)

You're right. It was quite a feat of engineering.

Everything you wrote was pretty good up until the last scentence. Who do you think built it then?

The people back then weren't stupid. In fact, they were as smart as we. Just because we can't figure out exactly how something was made, doesn't mean it couldn't be made.

Don't underestimate a firm comittment to do something, coupled with tens of thousands of people to do the hard work.

Dissapointed (4, Funny)

kinnell (607819) | about 11 years ago | (#6557284)

When I first read the headline, I thought it said Canadian Inventor: Pyramids Were Rocketted Into Place. I had an image of an eccentric old man attaching explosive devices to 10 ton bricks, and flying them onto the top of a pyramid structure. What a let down.

Re:Dissapointed (1)

Ominous Coward (106252) | about 11 years ago | (#6560636)

I thought it said Rocketted into Space. I had a vision of pyramids flying through space with a rocket engine underneath. That would be pretty cool, I'd think.

Re:Dissapointed (1)

Jonsey (593310) | about 11 years ago | (#6562089)

We could make a movie and a long-running hour-long TV series about that! ... : )

So help me, I'm a SG-1 fan.

It's a nice theory, but... (3, Informative)

RFC959 (121594) | about 11 years ago | (#6558576)

There are already about a million theories of how the pyramids were put together, and most of them don't seem to be grounded on anything but pure speculation. I have a degree in anthropology, and took courses in archaeology and prehistoric technology, and my prehistoric technology professor [bu.edu] was a respected archaeologist and he used to just rip into all these new theories.

Understand, it's not that things couldn't be done this way, it's just that there isn't any need to invoke curved planks, floats, anti-gravity devices, etc., and there's no evidence of any of these. Building megalithic structures is not as hard as people think it is. Yes, it takes a lot of muscle power, but if you have that (and ancient people did), it's not that big a deal. This is not idle theorizing, either; there are people who actually go out there and try out their theories by building dolmens, giant statues, and the like (something Mr. Raina does not seem to have done). Everybody seems to have this desire to put one over on the establishment, but it's a lot easier to assume that the archaeological establishment is just a big bunch of meanies who put down your theory because it makes them look bad than it is to actually do the research yourself. And somehow these amazing new theories always seem to involve "lost knowledge", which conveniently overlooks the fact that the Egyptians wrote down and otherwise documented a ton of stuff - recipes, spells, contracts - so to assume that a major construction method was completely overlooked seems disingenuous.

Mystery (2, Interesting)

FluffyG (692458) | about 11 years ago | (#6558786)

The only mystery i see is how many people did they have working on these pyramids? I have read up and people have calculated that a rock needed to be placed every 2 or so minutes. While this might seem impossible but maybe there were say 10 groups of people moving an individual rock into place at the same time. so say it took 20 minutes to move the rock into place, if you have 10 groups doing that at the same pace then it could seem doable. Also since the pyramids were so huge perhaps they had 100 groups of workers moving individual rocks. That means if it took 200 minutes to put a rock in place, with 100 groups it would still be doable. The way i first pictured it was having one group moving one rock at a time every 2 minutes, but if you split it up into more than one groups then it gets more feasable.

Yeah, right... (1)

Cyno01 (573917) | about 11 years ago | (#6560920)

C'mon, we all know the Pyramids were built by aliens.

who cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6560928)

I'm a bit tried of Egyptology and the general fuss about how they made the pyramids. I know it's very impressive that they managed to get the blocks up the river blah blah. Now some deranged old dick comes up with a 'new'theory - that they used "wheels" and it all kicks off again. Really - this time, who cares?

poor dead mummified saps... (0)

nelomolen (128271) | about 11 years ago | (#6562290)

some pharaoh is rolling in his glass display box thinking "why didn't *i* think of that?!"

-barton

not new? (1)

ravenousbugblatter (682061) | about 11 years ago | (#6565691)

I think i saw a television program on the discovery channel or something a while back where some scientist postulated the same theory. I don't think this guy is on to anything new...

Name-change time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#6567793)

Slashdot's "Science" section -> "Crackpot Science"
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