Construction of Ancient Pyramids Thesis

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Construction of the Ancient Pyramids

The Egyptian pyramids remain one of the most beautiful and complex mysteries of the modern world. Throughout history there have been many theories regarding the exact manner in which the Egyptian pyramids were built but no one seems to have devised a concept that has been completely accepted.

It appears to modern man the ancient Egyptian pyramids were no small feat to construct. Ancient documents have revealed that in most instances it took numerous years, usually decades, for even one of the ancient Egypt pyramids to be assembled (Mystery of the Egyptian Pyramids).

Construction of the Pyramids

There have been varying scientific and alternative theories regarding the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction theories are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place (Great Pyramid of Khufu).

Ancient Egyptians had the wheel technology and may have used them in building the pyramids by moving heavy stones. They also used pulleys to raise their boats' sails and could have used them in lifting stones to higher levels.

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The true pyramid is a natural development and improvement on the earliest form of pyramids, the step pyramid, consisting of several steps. The first true pyramids were introduced in at the beginning of the 4th dynasty. The structure of these pyramids is virtually the same as a step pyramid. Packing blocks are stacked until the dimensions were right, and then finishing blocks (usually limestone) were the last touch (Winston ).

A major problem facing the builders of the ancient Egyptian pyramids was getting the large stone blocks to the height they required. The method of building ramps is the only one proven to have been used (Winston).

Thesis on Construction of Ancient Pyramids Assignment

The ramps were built on inclined planes of mud brick and rubble. They then dragged the blocks on sledges to the needed height. As the pyramid grew taller, the ramp had to be extended in length, and its base was widened, or else it would collapse. It is likely that for the construction of each pyramid, several ramps were probably used (Winston).

Various Ramp Style Theories

Many theories have been introduced suggesting building ramps either from one direction, four directions, or helical ramps that rose around the pyramid.

The arrangement of the ramps used for building is in much dispute. Assuming that the step pyramid was built before the outer structure, and then the packing blocks were laid on top, the ramps could have run from one step to another rather than approaching the pyramid face at right angles (Winston).

Some of the pyramids indicate an accurate understanding of Pi due to the relationship between the base perimeter and the height, but the mathematical knowledge of the Egyptians did not include the ability to arrive at this by calculation. It is possible that Pi could have been arrived at "accidentally" through a means such as counting the revolutions of a drum (Winston).

Alternate Theory -- Built with no Ramps

Building from the center out using no ramps meant starting at the center by constructing a core or mastaba (a square building of one layer of stones). The pyramid shape was finished by making a small pyramid in the center, then surrounding it from the four sides by a layer (5-10 m thick). This made a new, bigger pyramid. Work continued, increasing the base size and the height until the decision was made to stop (Halim).

The Broken Vase Theory

Originally the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface. So what happens if we break a vase into pieces then try to fix it by putting the pieces back and gluing them? If we do a good job, it will be difficult to tell where the cracks of the joints are. We'll probably see a hair-line crack… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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