also may i add that the men that re created the mini pyramid used water to reduce friction, i can just imagine how much water would be needed for the pyramid of giza!
and has anybody actualy tried cutting granite or limestone with water? it would be like cutting and shapeing aluminium with butter
Hi again Tash, actually it isn't as hard as you think it is to cut either granite or limestone. i took some time and found you some really nice sites that explain how it is possible to do so. Oh, yes please take a minute to read the very last paragraph. i hope you enjoy them.
Please, i ask you to remember these people didn't have TV, radio, CD's to divert their attention from work. All, most of these workmen had were their families, and work. Even literature was minimal during most of this time. Even if they all could read. When it got dark, they lit fires and got ready for bed. In other words, they didn't have experts telling them that things couldn't be done. Mankind as a wonderful ability to dream dreams and make them come true. The ancients are the best examples, i know of this ability of mankind.
NOVA'S Cutting granite with sand
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/lostempire ... tting.html
Chert used to cut limestone in the Americas
The results of these experiments have showed that chert was a very effective and durable stone to use for the cutting of limestone
and other materials. ...
http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology ... nakbe.html
Ancient Egyptian Quarrying http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/prehistory/ ... rying.html
By: Greg Dawson
Rock quarrying today is nothing like what they used to do in the days the ancient Egyptians used to get rock for their buildings and sculptures. Where as today we use large machines that crush and cut rock they used to have to do it by hand. Limestone blocks for the outer casing of buildings were quarried on the east bank of the Nile at Tura in the Muqattam hills. Some of the men employed here painted their names on the giant stones that they cut.
Limestone was quarried one of two ways it was either obtained from the surface rock, or else they tunneled and found the rock they needed. It is known that they possessed excellent copper tools such as saws and chisels which were capable of cutting any kind of limestone. Chisels and wedges were the tools of choice, the chisels were used for cutting the rock away from the sides, and the wedges were then used to detach the base for the block. In tunnel quarrying a shaft was cut between the roof and the rock to be man to get behind the rock by chipping at it vertically. On two sides two other men made splits down the two sides so that they could remove it from where it was. Wedges were then inserted into the holes that were made and driven down in to achieve a split in the rock, wet wooden wedges were also used in this procedure because they would swell up when the got wet and would crack the rock that way. This put them in a very tight spot to work.
In surface quarrying the same exact method was used except that they had more of an advantage because
it gave them more room to move around, but the rock that they got from open mine quarrying was not as fine a grade of limestone as the kind that they could find buried in the earth.
Quarrying of the harder stones such as granite was a more labor intensive task, they had to use a hard
greenish stone called dolerite, and pounded around the base of the stone to try to detach it from its base.
In order to get to the higher quality rock they would light fires on the granite to get it to a certain
temperature. Cold water would then be thrown on it to cool it fast this would cause the outer layers to
crack and fall off leaving the harder rock from the inside for them to use.
But how did they move the huge rocks? They most likely used manpower to pull the rock up onto large
barges that would take it close to where it needed to go then it would be pulled inch by inch onto a large
sled like contraption that would be pulled. Large amounts of water were poured on the ground in front
of the sled in order to ensure that there was less friction.
Tomb Digging and Cutting Techniques http://www.thebanmappingproject.com/art ... _4.5a.html
The construction of royal tombs was a relatively easier task in the New
Kingdom than in previous eras when huge pyramids were being
constructed. The chambers and corridors of New Kingdom rock-cut
tombs were carved into limestone hills and cliffs. Work space and light
sources were limited and working conditions were hot, humid, and
dusty, but the quarrying of soft limestone was a fairly simple process.
The location of the tomb was important, and finding an appropriate
site was a task entrusted only to high officials of the court. Once an
acceptable site had been decided upon, work crews began to cut into
the rock, first creating an irregular working passage, then refining it
into corridors and chambers. Because many tombs were never fully
completed, we have examples of construction and decoration at
several different stages of the process [16258, 16286, 14440].
An essential part of tomb cutting was the use of an axial line painted
on the ceiling, creating a base line from which other measurements
were made [16269, 16144]. This ensured that walls were parallel or at
right angles to each other, doorways were properly aligned, and the
tomb's axis was straight. Measurements were in cubits (52.3 cm/20.9
inches), subdivided into palms (seven per cubit, each 7.5 cm/3 inches
long) and digits (four per palm, each 1.9 cm/0.76 inches long).
The initial rough cutting was likely done with percussive and cutting
tools made of stone, most likely flint or chert, which can be found in
abundance in the limestone deposits. Both stones are extremely hard
and had been used for hundreds of thousands of years before the New
Kingdom in Egypt. Final finishing of a wall was done with copper and
bronze tools. Careful studies have been made of the chisel marks left
on the walls of tombs in order to determine the sizes and shapes of
A wealth of written material in the form of hieratic dockets, graffiti,
inventories, workforce lists, and reports have been found in the Valley
of the Kings and Dayr al Madinah, the village of the workmen who were
responsible for the construction and decoration of the royal tombs. We
know that the workforce was divided into two crews each with its own
overseer, the "Gang of the Left" and the "Gang of the Right," referring
to the side of the tomb to which they were assigned. In addition to the
quarrymen who did the basic hewing of the tomb, other workmen
performed such tasks as smoothing the walls and ceilings and applying
the gypsum plaster that covered the walls and ceilings [13313, 14901].
Published or last modified on: August 23, 2002
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