The Great Pyramid’s Wheel

No wheel was actually used in the construction of the Great Pyramid – but without the wheel it could not be built.

The Egyptians were smart enough to know of the wheel but in sandy soil the wheel is worthless. They, however, had another purpose for the wheel and it became a sacred object that ONLY the Pharaohs were allowed to use.

Hemiunu, the architect of the Great Pyramid, had a horrendous problem – how do your surveyors accurately map out the pyramid – 755.7 feet wide to an accuracy of an inch over rough surfaces? How do you measure the same distance many times, to insure accuracy, and come up with exactly the same measurement? How do you survey distances at the construction zone and accurately duplicate them at the quarry pits?

The wheel is the ONLY way to do this – today we use lasers, GPS, telescope rangefinders, and such but the Egyptians were basically stone-age people and had to do the same exact accurate measurements.

potter's wheel

potterwheel1b

The potter’s wheel was invented thousands of years before the
Egyptians and they made clay pots to contain water and all kinds of things. Bowls and plates were probably used by the Pharaohs. Clay pots were found in many Pharaohs tombs that contained grains of wheat that sprouted 5,000 years after sealing them in those pots.

large-measuring-wheelThe wheel was used as a measuring device that is very accurate over long distances.

How-to-Draw-a-Circle-141

If the radius is 1 Royal Cubit then the circumference, 2πR, is 6.28571 Cubits which is a very important number at the Great Pyramid. The Egyptians knew π was close to 22/7=3.14286.

The Great Pyramid is 440 Cubits wide and divided by the height, 280 Cubits = 1/2π and that means as they built higher and higher ALL the measurements would be related to π and a whole number of revolutions. Here’s an example:

440 Cubit base divided by 2πR (R=radius of 1 is 6.28571 Cubits) = 70.000 revolutions of the wheel.

The diagonal of the pyramid base is √440^2 + 440^2 = 622.25396 Cubits and dividing by  2πR = 99.000 revolutions.

With the base and diagonal distances of the pyramid, the other 3 points can be triangulated with great accuracy; throw in knowing the ultra accurate True North and East and no other measuring device could result in the accuracy the pyramids have. A GPS and laser today can not generate a more accurate result.

The Egyptians knew how to multiply, add, and take square roots. Finding the hypotenuse of a rectangle is something they didn’t have to wait 2,000 years for Pythagoras to figure out. They demonstrated a knowledge of 3-4-5 rectangles in their mathematics.

Counting blocksIf you have problems with the math, then they could and did build scale models and counted blocks.

Surveyors could accurately measure the distances for the pyramids fast, accurate, and could duplicate this accuracy at the quarry sites. Having the base and the diagonal allowed the Egyptians to place the corners of the pyramids to within an inch over the vast distances. This allowed for a perfectly square pyramid aligned to True North.

As the pyramid was built, the distances to the other edge of the pyramid always came out to whole or easy fractions of the rotation of the measuring wheel. I’m guessing that the measuring wheel was made out of stone since they had a lot of it and knew how to accurately make things from them.

I’m guessing that each quarry site had at least 2 measuring wheels and the pyramid had 2 also for a total of maybe 10 of these things. They were constantly checked for accuracy and repaired or fixed when needed. 2 are needed so one could be double checked the other and if a disagreement occurred both would be replaced.

Since the wheel became a sacred object it was never recorded in writings or on paintings and the reason there is no mention of it anywhere. It next appeared about 1,000 years later when road beds were constructed to support the vehicles of wagons and chariots.

The alternatives to the wheel are ropes, which stretch and rot, or measuring sticks which accumulate small errors when manufactured and changed length with humidity, and temperature. Imagine laying out 440 Royal Cubic measuring sticks and pushing them together and not bending them over 750 feet in the hot broiling sun?

A copper band would surround the wheel and when needed a new one could be added.

stone-wheel

Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

The Great Pyramid Clock

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sundialImagine you are in charge of a 3 massive rock quarries, 3 bustling harbors, 5,000 men needing to be fed, and were going to quarry, ship, move, lift, and place 1,000 5,000 pound blocks each day, every day for 7 years – would you want a clock to help you do this?

How about a calendar?

As a project manager, I live or die by calendars, clocks, deadlines, and instant communication to do my job. Well the Egyptians were no different – they had clocks that could tell them the time of the day to the minute.

They knew that tomorrow, the 6th of the month, 4 boats would dock at the Giza harbor and 10 45 ton monolith granite blocks needed to be sent to the pyramid at 10 AM, 100 casing blocks weighing 8 tons each needed to be unloaded and moved starting at 2:30 PM. The Pharaoh’s ship would be docking at 5 PM for a night cruse down the Nile.

Well the Egyptians did this kind of planning and scheduling all day, every day, for 10 years. Clocks were kept at equatorial_sundialthe top of the pyramid, at the main engineering compound, at all 3 rock quarries, at the harbors, and dozens of other locations – all accurate to the minute and were never off by a second.

All this is possible with a sundial – a special kind, called the equatorial sundial. Basically a wheel with an axle pointing at the celestial north pole allows the sun’s shadow of the axle to tell the time accurate to the minute.

360 degree circles and 24 hour clocks were invented around this time in history – I don’t know if the Egyptians invented them for work on their pyramids but it’s interesting that they were not invented before the pyramids. I’m going to assume that they were invented for work on the pyramids – they needed both inventions.

As a byproduct, the Egyptians knew the Latitude of the Great Pyramid’s sundial, accurate to the degree. The Latitude of the Great Pyramid is 29º 58′ 31″ North, the Longitude is 31º 8′ 15″ East.

The Great Pyramid’s Communication System

US_Army_Heliograph_Mirrors

I believe that the Egyptians had instant communications from the base engineering camp up to the active construction zone at the top of the pyramid which could be hundreds of feet away to the boat harbor miles away to the quarry 2 miles away and to the quarry across the Nile 20 miles away.

You can’t move and place 1,000 blocks a day and not have instant communication – it’s impossible; and it’s simple to do.

During the Spanish/American war and WW I US troops used the Heliograph to signal vast distances using sunlight. I believe the Egyptians used something similar to allow instant communicates which is needed for a project that size.

The Heliograph is a simple device that has 2 mirrors – one mirror has a tiny hole that is used to sight down to a ring that lines up to the final place where the message is to be sent. The other mirror is used to reflect light from the sun to the other mirror. All you need is a way to block the light beam and you have instant communications.

The two mirrors are stone with silver melted into the pores of the rock and finally polished to become mirrors.

A matrix is used to represent an alphabet or words or anything. Here is the code matrix used by the US Army during the Spanish American war:

11-3code1

So one Egyptian might send another •  •  • •   •   (1-2 4-3 1-2) stands for BRB which you know as Be Right Back.

As a project manager I need numbers sent to me hourly and daily as to the status of various phases and the project manager of the Great Pyramid 5,000 years ago needed those numbers just as much and instantly.

 

 

Pyramid Blocks

There are 4 kinds of blocks used in the Great Pyramid:

09-Piazzi-Block-Layers

  • Casing stones/blocks
  • Backing stones/blocks
  • Core stones/blocks
  • Temple stones/blocks

Casing stones

casing stonesThese facing blocks were quarried at Tura which was just across the Nile from the pyramid but a distance of 15 miles and more. Tura limestone is softer to work than nummulitic limestone like that at the base of the pyramid. Tura limestone apparently “hardens” when exposed to air – it sounds like the limestone is easier to cut into blocks.

Although there were 220 rows of core blocks there were many more rows of casing blocks.

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Backing Stones

Quarried at the base of the pyramid and are nummulitic Limestone – made up of fossilized shells of ancient oceans that once engulfed Giza hundreds of millions of years ago. One, two, or more backing stones are matched to the casing stones they back up. Only one of the blocks was fitted at the construction zone, this would not have taken long.

This means that rough cut backing stones stones were ferried, from the base of the pyramid, over the Nile to Tura and matched with their casing stones. The backing stones were cut to their final size and labeled and transported back to pyramid and lifted to the active construction zone where they would be placed behind the casing stone they were matched to.

There are many more backing stone rows than backing stones or casing stones.

Core Stones

Great Pyramid - Casing StonesQuarried at the base of the pyramid and are nummulitic Limestone – made up of fossilized shells of ancient oceans that once engulfed Giza hundreds of millions of years ago. Core stones were rough cut and leveled in place to perfectly parallel to the ground.

Temple Stones

Granite stones quarried at and shipped via the Nile to Giza.

The Great Pyramid Was Built Twice

SLH22-Building-from-withinThe key building blocks to the Great Pyramid are the facing stones – the highly polished ultra-white limestone blocks from the Tura quarry. These stones were set into place with an accuracy that no one today can even get close to – not even a razor blade can be inserted between them; that goes for all 200,000 facing stones.

I believe the Egyptians built a huge “work bench”, a “mirror site”, as large as the footprint of the Great Pyramid but near the Tura quarry; this “work bench” had a level base of the same Tura limestone to match the Great Pyramid and all the facing blocks were assembled there first, a level at a time.

That allowed the masons to work on the 51.8º angle and finish all the remaining faces to be perfectly flat. Probably adjoining blocks were rocked together milling the mirror perfect surfaces.

An entire level of facing blocks were assembled together – all 4 sides of that level. Milling machines would polish one block against another block to get the ultra fine precision the Egyptians got.

The joint marks were marked so the next level would not have a joint line up with another from this level. Then the blocks were put on the transportation system and sent to the boat dock to be then ferried across the Nile to be sent to the pyramid for placement via the transportation system over there.

In essence, the outer facing blocks were quarried, milled, and aligned at the Tura quarry first and then sent to the pyramid to be reassembled in order at the active work zone; thus the Great Pyramid was built twice – at least the outer facing stones.

The blocks were cemented together at the pyramid with mortar forming a waterproof exterior that would prevent rain water from seeping into the pyramid over the 100,000 year lifespan of the pyramid. From the few facing stones left the cement formed a bond stronger than the actual limestone blocks.