Professor Greg Moore
Oct. 31, 2012
There have been many theories regarding how the pyramids at Giza were constructed. Most experts agree that they were constructed as burial monument for pharaohs, but “how” these ancient people constructed monuments of such great size without modern machinery is a mystery which is still being debated. The fact that the Egyptians were able to construct a structure shaped like a pyramid, perfectly symmetrical, and aligned to the four cardinal points of a compass in its self is amazing. They were also able to figure out a way to move millions of stone blocks that weighed between 2 and 5 tons up to heights of 479 feet. How were they able to complete this massive task without any of the machinery or technology that we have today? One theory is that the Egyptians used a system that involves tracks and a rope roll to drag the blocks up the side of the pyramid. A second theory that has been suggested is the Egyptians used levers to raise the blocks up each level of the pyramid. Franz Löhner’s rope roll theory is a good fit for what the Egyptians may have used. Löhner suggests that they placed the blocks on a sledge or a type of sled made of wooden beams. Two or three beams would be laid down with a beam connecting them on each side to make the sledge. They then made tracks that the sledge would run along. The tracks were made of two parallel sets of beams that the sledge sat on. To reduce friction between the beams of the sledge and the tracks they used watery oil to lubricate the way. These tracks could be easily placed from the dig site of the blocks to the base of the pyramid and then up the side of the pyramid. Once at the base of the pyramid the ropes would be walked to the top and placed through a rope roll. The rope roll was made of a simple wooden stand with a copper cylinder that the rope would roll with when the rope was pulled along it. The wooden rope...