Did the astronauts, or people with ramps, build the pyramids?
Scholars generally assume that the ancient Egyptians built pyramids, those mysterious monuments of tremendous labor, using mud ramps supported by mud bricks. The stones in the pyramids are heavy, after all: two and a half tons each on average. A nice movable slope might explain how, if not exactly why, people piled millions of them skyward, with no crane or internal combustion. Count Elon Musk among the skeptics (“Aliens built the pyramids obviously,” he tweeted last year), as well as Roger Larsen, a former newspaper editor in Columbus, Mississippi. While not a conspiracy theorist, Larsen likes to say that, given the choice between a ramps or aliens explanation, “I should go with aliens,” noting that an eight percent slope leading to the top of the Great The pyramid of Giza is expected to be over a kilometer long, its volume possibly exceeding that of the pyramid itself. And where did all the debris go after the demolition?
Like many amateur Egyptologists, Larsen, who was a carpenter before founding Mississippi’s best-selling weekly, the Columbus Package, has his own construction theories, fueled by hundreds, if not thousands of hours of reading and tinkering, and he has gone so far as to design a homemade device that he believes could have done the trick, allowing to lift rather than drag. He looks like a mashup of a giant wooden rower and catapult, and uses technology he says is pictured on the walls of Abydos – notched Djed pillars and Isis knots, to handle stretching in the many fathoms of rope required. It sits in County Lowndes, on top of a chalk cliff known as Selma, or soft limestone, owned by Larsen’s friend Leon.
One recent Saturday, Larsen attempted a demonstration of the value of his craft. A block of concrete topped with slabs of marble, weighing about forty-five hundred pounds, served as stone. The slope of the cliff of Leon is forty-eight degrees, just below the fifty-two of the Great Pyramid: quite close.
Larsen, according to his own account, has the build of a parakeet and toothpicks for weapons, though he’s inclined to make bold statements, such as “If society collapses and we’re back in the stone age i will be the king of the heap “and” I think nothing like this has been tried since ancient times. ” For muscle, he enlisted friends of friends for fifty dollars each. He assigned four men to each of the two tree-trunk oars, or levers, that he had cut in the surrounding woods in February. They had split ends, for the ropes. The men stood on stairs flanking a central frame, first lifting the levers, then growling and pushing them down, while two more tended to skis carrying the block to some sort of railroad track, in poplar, on the chalky side. With each cycle of the levers, the block climbed about a foot and a half, amid the whine of the jackhammer-like ropes. Occasionally, Larsen pushed a knot with a crowbar – his version of a “scepter was”, which he thinks the Egyptians used to maintain tension. “It’s a bit tedious, isn’t it?” he said at one point, addressing a small audience watching on FaceTime. (“Hello, New York!” A rower shouted.)
After nearly two hours, with the late morning sun gaining power on the Nile side, Larsen’s boulder reached the top of the cliff. It had deviated slightly from its course and was resting precariously on the lip. “Everyone come over here and hold this thing,” Larsen said, calling the men down the stairs and asking them to grab the center rope in a tug-of-war position. “OK, bring it! »The block has not moved: more grain to grind for the argument against dragging. Back at the levers, they went to finish the job safely.
The workers celebrated with punches and Newports, perhaps the first humans in over four thousand years to lift such a heavy object using plausibly old technology, but their supervisor, still wary of being fired as a Gyro Gearloose, couldn’t hide a The Resignation of Sisyphus as the academic institution still wouldn’t be impressed. Larsen had spent years trying to get Old Kingdom experts interested in video footage of previous demonstrations, with limited success.
“I encouraged him about it not because I think he is necessarily right, but because I think he strength be right, ”wrote James Harrell, an archaeological geologist at the University of Toledo. “Some of the ideas I’ve seen are pretty crazy, like using large kites to carry the blocks to the sides of the pyramids, building water canals with locks to float the blocks on rafts. , or that the blocks are actually cast-in-place concrete. Roger’s idea is not like that. It’s reasonable and well within the technological capabilities of the ancient Egyptians.
“I just thought it was something worthwhile, that’s it,” Larsen said. “I have plenty of other projects to get started on. ??