PDA

View Full Version : Incan stonework



aostling
11-20-2007, 02:56 PM
How did the Inca fashion stones into such perfectly fitting shapes? I'd seen photos of this stuff before, but until I saw it last week I had no idea that the stones were so big. To give you an idea of size, here is me (6' 3") posing in front of a wall at the fortress on the hills above Cuzco. The modern repairs at the top are to fill gaps left by stones which the Spanish "borrowed" to build the city below.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/Sacsayhuaman.jpg

These stones may have been quarried nearby -- a granite outcropping showing glacial scraping is only a hundred yards away. The stones could have been moved on log rollers. For chisels the Inca had access to copper and bronze.

But I can't imagine how they could have cut out and raised these stones. Here is an even larger one (that's my brother Robert, posing). A guidebook says some of the stones weight 300 tons. I haven't found any plausible explanations, so I'll ask you guys to submit your conjectures. You have more experience in shaping and moving heavy objects than most archaeologists.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/RobertatRuins.jpg

Doc Nickel
11-20-2007, 03:18 PM
One, a vast supply of slave labor. You can do almost anything if you have enough warm bodies to throw at the problem.

And two, many of the stones were fitted by rubbing. The workers basically slid them back and forth along each others' surfaces until they wore together. All they needed were vine ropes, plenty of water, some tied logs or scree piles as scaffolding, and lots and lots of slave labor.

It's the same as the Egyptian pyramids. Yeah, they didn't have cranes or steel or even horses, and yeah, some of the blocks weighed a hundred tons or more, but still, put a hundred and fifty thousand men on the job and tell them it has to get done or they're going to be put to death, and you can bet your sweet bippy they'll figure out a way to do it.

Doc.

ian.g
11-20-2007, 03:20 PM
As far as moving the rocks, the same way as the Egyptians - flying saucers. I though everyone knew that.:) :)
As far as the fitting together of those joints, the same way you or I would do it with a couple of bits of steel or CI that we want to match closely.
They scraped them to fit. They rubbed the two mating surfaces together and scraped or chiselled off the high points that showed up as scuff marks. Repeated as needed until they had the required number of dots per inch.
One thing they did have was time and labor. They didn't have to finish the job by the end of the shift.

Your Old Dog
11-20-2007, 03:27 PM
I believe you'll find the stones are fitted so closely together by pushing them together and then sawing thru the joint repeatedly with another piece of thin sandstone until the where off the high spots and are left with flat faces. The better question to have asked would have been, When sawing these stones to mate perfectly, how did they keep the blood from their blistered fingers off the stone? :D

I've seen this process done on the idiot box. We got a new idiot box! Did I mention it? It's twice as dumb as the old ones so everything that is said is repeated till you are ready to vomit then the programs over and it's on to the next.

small.planes
11-20-2007, 03:48 PM
Its simple, they are Heisenburg stones.
Firstly they measured them really really precisely. As a result they didnt know where they were... Then they figured out that they were precisely stacked up in a wall, but now they were no longer certain how big they were. That even explains the wonky sizes :D

Dave

NSB
11-20-2007, 04:34 PM
There might be an easier way than to remove all the stone by lapping. Start with one stone and chisel the sides as flat as possible. Finish off with small rubbing stones. Next place a stone with a similar (but negative) shape a few feet to one side. Make a large "caliper" (could actually be a rod or a bit of string) and keeping this horizontal mark out the 1st stone's side profile on the 2nd stone. Chisel to line, use "caliper" tool again to finish side profile, then perhaps lap the two stones for final fit.

The bigger issue for me is why the seeming random shapes. Was this perhaps to conserve stone? Or maybe it was a form of earthquake defence?

snowman
11-20-2007, 05:37 PM
i would think it would be just the shape they wind up being. similar to how you grind a telescope mirror.

blood, sweat and whip lashes!

aostling
11-20-2007, 06:44 PM
The bigger issue for me is why the seeming random shapes. Was this perhaps to conserve stone? Or maybe it was a form of earthquake defence?

Yes, the shapes (and the mortar-free tight fit) are surely to resist the frequent earthquakes in the region. Here is a guy (a stranger) posing in front of the "12-angle stone," an Inca foundation now incorporated into a modern building a block from Cuzco's central plaza. We went to a gourmet restaurant which had Inca walls, the ultimate cachet in dining.

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/12-anglestone.jpg

Carld
11-20-2007, 06:48 PM
How many hundreds of years would it take of rubbing those stones together to make them fit that close? Have you ever seen a 300 ton stone moved and machined within a few thousandths of an inch by slaves with copper tools? How long do you think it would take to drag a sandstone sheet between two blocks to flaten it? How did they make the flat sandstone plate to do that? How many plates would it take to do that given they will wear out? How did they press them together to obtain the fit?

I don't think they were built by anyone from this planet. Have you ever read the histories of the Inca's and Egyptians? How about the Easter Islands? Are you aware that they said they were visited by people from other planets? How about the map of the Earth that shows it from hundreds of miles above that was found in a monistary in the 1700's?

Why did all the civilaztions of the world have a story of a great flood at nearly the same time?

There is a belief that the Egyptians did not build the pyramids but they were built long before they came to power. Perhaps the Inca's just used the existing pyramids in South America as well. What about all the figures in the land scape in South America that is only visible and reconizable from great height? Who did that and why? What about the Inca's callender that ends in 2012 with the prediction of a catastrophe on the Earth? What does that mean?

There are so many things in the world that are not proven by the silly guesses of anthropoligists that claim to know the truth. We may never know the truth-----untill we die-----will there be an afterlife-------I hope there is------so I can learn the truth, we sure won't learn it here.

rotate
11-20-2007, 07:29 PM
I don't know why we keep marvelling at these ancient engineering achievements. Obviously the tour guides and the local experts want to make it seem more than what it really is, since it keeps drumming up more business and publicity. Frankly, I think it's because somwhere in history (probably the Victorians who romanticized about everything), we got the notion that ancient people were stupid and used brute force to accomplish things.

I'm of the opinion that ancient people were just as smarts as people of today, and if anything probably more resourceful and ingenious. If we look at the engineering achievements of human throughout history, you'd find that there's actually nothing particularly spectacular or out of the ordinary. Very often, you see generations after generations of failed attempt to build something, and only later in history do they succeed. Pyramids of Egypt are a good example of this. Half completed pyramids which was abandoned doesn't make a good magazine cover and it certainly doesn't attract any tourist.

wierdscience
11-20-2007, 07:31 PM
Simple,when you don't have bills to pay,don't have to drive back and forth to work,don't have to go shopping and don't have the family milling around looking for excuses to consume your every waking minute you have lots of time to build things.

My bet is the average Inca man kissed his wife and kids in the morning and went to work at the rock pit/temple/pile-o-rocks where he had tons of peace and quiet to merrily chip away all day while the wife and kids tended the livestock,grew the food and cooked dinner:D

Seriously thou,if you took two stones and set them close together in good relation to each others profile and then selected which stone you intened to chip/fit to match the others face.At that point all that is required is a sharp stick of a given length to use as a "scribe" between the two surfaces chipping off material wherever the stick won't fit between the two stones.

Infact material could be removed from both faces in an economizing move to save time since the resulting profiles would still match each other.

daryl bane
11-20-2007, 07:37 PM
There is a thread on http://www.practicalmachinist.com/ubb/ultimatebb.php/topic/34/533.html
that talks about the same type of issues, although not quite as ancient. I don't think we are giving these ancient peoples credit for being smart and very skilled. You take some really sharp stonemasons with generations of experience behind them, with top notch professional crews, and unlimited budgets and its probably amazing what can be accomplished. When there is a need, man will rise to the challenge.

topct
11-20-2007, 07:50 PM
Whoops.......

topct
11-20-2007, 07:59 PM
I want to see the back sides of those stones.

They were put back together as from where they were split. In other words, as they were split off or out of the quarry then they were reasembled in that position. Just polished off a bit.

There would be some clues in the quarry itself.

As to the moving of them, I picture a wheel and lots of pry bars where needed.

Doc Nickel
11-20-2007, 08:06 PM
How many hundreds of years would it take of rubbing those stones together to make them fit that close?

-Quite a few. If you read up on the history of various sets of ruins, you'll see that most of them took several decades or even several hundred years to complete.

As I recall- corrections welcomed- that Cheops' pyramid was started when Cheops was a teenager, but wasn't completed until something like a decade after his death at age seventy or eighty-something.

And again, when you have thousands and thousands of slaves, why have them all working on just one stone at a time? Even if it took many months to fit a single stone, if they're working on dozens and dozens of stones all at once, work still progresses rapidly.


Have you ever seen a 300 ton stone moved and machined within a few thousandths of an inch by slaves with copper tools?

-Yes and no. There's no question that masons could work stone even without copper, using simple mallets and wooden wedges. Bash a harder stone (like flint) on a softer stone (like granite or even limestone or sandstone) and you can do considerable shaping.

Besides, who says they're shaped to "within thousandths of an inch"? Those gaps are close, yes, but that's like saying a tire is "fitted to within thousandths" to the ground. If I set an anvil on a concrete floor, you won't be able to slip so much as a sheet of paper in between them, but you wouldn't try to claim they're "fitted to within thousandths", would you?

In any case, lapping, as already described, CAN produce some very close fits- "close" as far as stonework is concerned, of course.


How long do you think it would take to drag a sandstone sheet between two blocks to flaten it? How did they make the flat sandstone plate to do that? How many plates would it take to do that given they will wear out? How did they press them together to obtain the fit?

-Never underestimate a person's cleverness, especially when it's "Do this or we'll kill you".

How did they press them together? They're rocks. Let gravity do the work.


I don't think they were built by anyone from this planet.

-You can't be serious. Just because you can't envision stone-age peoples forming stonework walls through the labor of many thousands of slaves, over a period of centuries, the obvious answer, then, is "space aliens did it"?


Have you ever read the histories of the Inca's and Egyptians? How about the Easter Islands? Are you aware that they said they were visited by people from other planets?

-I'm also aware that Jim Jones used to say that God was speaking to him personally, that John Gacy claimed that voices in his head told him what to do, and that Pat Robertson said God told him that gays were responsible for 9/11.

Besides the fact that those claims are little more than wishful thinking by people wanting to interpret stone-age hierogyphics through the prism of their modern viewpoint. I know of one case where a so-called "flying saucer" shown on an Egyptian tomb wall, was actually a representation of an eye (of either Horus or Anubis, as I recall)- a depiction of one of their Gods watching over them, as it were.


How about the map of the Earth that shows it from hundreds of miles above that was found in a monistary in the 1700's?

-Ben Franklin drew fairly accurate maps. Why is this a mystery? Are you saying it was impossible to draw maps before the advent of human flight?


Why did all the civilaztions of the world have a story of a great flood at nearly the same time?

-One, "at nearly the same time", in this case, means "a period of several hundred years", and two, because late-stone-age and early-copper-age man were nomadic agrarian tribesmen. They encamped where there was fresh water (lakes, streams) and farmed where the soil was good and water was available (river deltas, shorelines, etc.)

And almost any body of water, over a sufficiently long period of time, is bound to flood once or twice, whether from extra-heavy rains, a fast early-spring thaw, ice dams in the river, geological activity, you name it.

Even ocean-side settlements were vulnerable to flooding; as in Sri Lanka just a few years ago.


There is a belief that the Egyptians did not build the pyramids but they were built long before they came to power.

-A belief by those that only know of pyramids from reading a Deepak Chopra book, maybe. Actual researchers, however, are quite firmly sure they know when they were built, by whom, and roughly how long it took. Yes, there's almost certainly minor errors of a year or two here and there, but to say that, say, Cheops' pyramid was built before Cheops, simply shows a great deal of ignorance to the known facts at hand.


Perhaps the Inca's just used the existing pyramids in South America as well. What about all the figures in the land scape in South America that is only visible and reconizable from great height?

-So? I recall doing similar designs in the show as a child, making shapes- or my name- in 20 or 30 foot tall/long figures. Again, why is this sort of thing mysterious? Early man drew pictures on the walls, and when no such walls were available, he drew pictures in the sand.

Is that so difficult to believe that "space aliens" is a more logical answer, to you?


What about the Inca's callender that ends in 2012 with the prediction of a catastrophe on the Earth? What does that mean?

-It means the makers of the calendar didn't bother continuing to compute the dates that were, to them, thousands of years into the future. Have you bothered to find out what day of the week your birthday falls on, in the year 4,058? Why not? Because it's useless information you don't need, right?

It took a great deal of effort to calculate such things back then, and even more effort to record the data- actually carving the information into stone tablets. They calculated up to several thousand years into their future, and very likely expected that, if they reached that point, they'd simply task a few more priests to keep going from there.


There are so many things in the world that are not proven by the silly guesses of anthropoligists[...]

-As opposed to the silly guesses of believers in space aliens, people who only read about pyramids in the National Enquirer, and people who don't know the difference between Incan, Aztec and Olmec?


[...]so I can learn the truth, we sure won't learn it here.

-Not if you believe that aliens built the pyramids, no.

You do know that the X-Files wasn't a documentary, right? :D

Doc.

KyMike
11-20-2007, 08:16 PM
At first glance it looks like the joints were shaped by grinding each stone against the previously laid blocks below and next to it. It is difficult to imagine any other method that could produce such perfect joints, although this brings up the small problem of how they would have moved a block weighing many tons back and forth against the tremendous friction, without loosening the blocks next to it. Even with unlimited manpower (which the Incas probably didn't have) and even if they treated the stones with some forgotten substance to cause the surfaces to wear away quickly, they would have faced some major engineering problems. The builders were certainly clever, although I'm not quite ready yet to believe they were aliens.

MIke

rotate
11-20-2007, 08:30 PM
You do know that the X-Files wasn't a documentary, right? :D

Doc.

Hee Hee, now that's funny.

lane
11-20-2007, 08:45 PM
They cut and fit the stones the same way we turn a 20 inch part on a 10 inch lathe.

chief
11-20-2007, 09:05 PM
It is not for your to know,only Algore and Leonard Nimoy are privy to the truth. Don't be surpriesd when the black helicopters show up, be afraid, very afraid.

tony ennis
11-20-2007, 09:07 PM
There is a belief that the Egyptians did not build the pyramids but they were built long before they came to power.


-A belief by those that only know of pyramids from reading a Deepak Chopra book, maybe.

The Sphynx is the mystery. It's head has been recut into a pharaoh and seems eroded by water. The alleged water erosion dates it to pre-Egyptian civilization.

kendall
11-20-2007, 09:13 PM
can't realy say the stones are fit for earthquake resistance, too many sheer lines that would allow seperation in a major quake.

Fitting could be accomplished easily with a 'light' stone or wood flat and a caliper or by building a template 'bashed' with a harder rock, and maybe sanded with pulverized quartze or flint (not a good 'beater' rock, too fracture prone) and a chunk of slate or a previously flattened rock, possibly wood which could tend to embed the grit and act similar to a water stone

For moving the blocks I realy don't see an issue, two large tree trunks, heavy rope tie them together at the top and place the butts in trenches, cinch the rocks to the ropes then pull the poles upright and guide rocks with other lines.

Carefull thought to position of the beams, length of the ropes or angle you position the poles, or possibly a series of lifts could get the rocks anywhere you wanted them.

using an 'A' frame means you don't have to muscle the rocks over the wall, basically just pick them straight up, if you've given enough attention/had enough experience the rocks will drop right onto some cribbing where you can wriggle it around and get it exactly right, pull the cribbing and your gold.

Ken.

tony ennis
11-20-2007, 09:16 PM
Some of the ruins also have stones tied together with copper keys, poured molten, on-site.

Carld
11-20-2007, 10:59 PM
I guess we don't read the same books Doc.

What is the X files? I haven't read that book.

The Enquirer is trash. I like history books, books on religions of the world, books about the civilizations that have existed, the history of the earth, etc.

I have an open mind about all that has been found on the Earth and I don't have any answers. As a matter of fact if you go back and read my post and look at the end of each sentence there is a QUESTION mark not a period. The use of a question mark indicates a question is asked and not a statement of fact or belief. I don't have a clue how the pyramids were built or how the huge statues on Easter Island got there when they were quarried on another island as some books say. Were they quarried there or not? I don't know but it's interesting reading and food for thought.

The Fundamentalists claim the world was created by God in 7 days 10,000 years ago or less. The Scientists claim the world is over 4 billion years IIRC. Who is right?

The Jews say their bible is the word of God and their history. But the Summarians had nearly the same story long before the Jews. Who's is the real thing.

Doc, there is so much in the world that can be answered in more ways than one and some not at all. What you say is your opinion of what you read. What I say is my opinion of what I read. I try to not make a misquote of written info but I don't have a photographic memory. Even if we read the same books we may not have the same opinion on them, in fact, it's likely we wouldn't

There's nothing wrong with differing opinions. You can't prove me wrong any more than I can you. Just because the scientists say something is such and such don't make it fact. If fact may things that were believed as fact have been proven to not be fact. The Earth is flat, the Sun revolves around the Earth was once fact and things like that continue today. Some of what was believed a hundred years ago to be fact is found to not be so. A lot of the worlds history is guess work as an assumption compaired against what is known to be true.

It wasn't long ago that no one knew how the dinasours were wiped out. Now it's thought they were wiped out by an asteroid. Can we accept their word? No one was there. They say if this happened this should have been the result. The "Should have" is suspect to some.

See how things change. Who knows what facts will be discounted tomorrow? Not me. Do you?

Bythe way, the calender ended with the "PROCLAMATION" of a catrastophy not that they just quit working it out. The implacation was that there was no need to make the calender go any farther. Did they find out something we don't know? Did they get tired of doing the math and put the proclamation there to confuse anyone that read it? Attn. Doc, these are questions I am asking, not facts.

A lot of this stuff is fun to discuss with friends, if they can discuss and not argue. A debate on a subject has to have reasonable questions and sensable reasons why it can be, but none of it may in fact be true. If it is a known fact there is no debating it.

Doc Nickel
11-21-2007, 01:43 AM
I have an open mind about all that has been found on the Earth and I don't have any answers.

-As the old saying goes, don't open you mind so much that your brain falls out.

That means that one should keep a degree of rational thought and skepticism, along with ones' open mind. For example, do you believe in Pastafarianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_monster)? How about Jediism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi)? No? Why not? They could be true, you just need to keep an open mind.


As a matter of fact if you go back and read my post and look at the end of each sentence there is a QUESTION mark not a period.

-Irrelevant. You stated you thought the builders of the now-ruins did not come from this planet. No question mark, though stated as an opinion.

Except you have zero evidence for that assertation, other than the inability to envision how stone-age/copper-age people could fit rocks together that tightly.

When there is no evidence for a theory, and much that directly contradicts that theory, it doesn't matter whether you offer it as an opinion, a statement of fact, or an article of faith. "Keeping an open mind" doesn't mean you need to embrace the impossible and illogical, simply because it makes a better story.


I don't have a clue how the pyramids were built or how the huge statues on Easter Island got there when they were quarried on another island as some books say. Were they quarried there or not? I don't know but it's interesting reading and food for thought.

-What's wrong with boats? The Egyptians moved much of their pyramid materials by reed boat, including some blocks that weighed many tens of tons.

As for raising them, check out this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCvx5gSnfW4). He moved and raised a 19,000+ pound concrete block by himself, with nothing more than sticks, blocks and weights. No pulleys, no cranes, no help.


The Fundamentalists claim the world was created by God in 7 days 10,000 years ago or less. The Scientists claim the world is over 4 billion years IIRC. Who is right?

-Actually the fundies claim it's just under 5,000 years old, a date determined by literally counting "begats" in the Bible.

Why is that, an apocryphal story in a book of fables and campfire stories, even considered any sort of valid data?

On the other hand, we have testable data; lead/uranium ratios, background microwave radiation, red-shifted stars, polar ice samples going back 100K years, fossilized bones, measurable erosion rates, isochron dating, and so on.

In other words, one is a story in a book, the other is as close to scientific fact as modern technology can get. Why is there any question at all which one is "right"?


The Jews say their bible is the word of God and their history. But the Summarians had nearly the same story long before the Jews. Who's is the real thing.

-The Mesopotamians had mythology that dealt with a savior being born to a virgin mother, fathered by a god, and eventually killed by the unwashed rabble, after which he acended to a promised land to sit by the throne of his father.

About 1,000 to 1,200 years before the story of Christ was even thought of.

You're essentially asking who's the real one- the mouse from Disney or the rabbit from Warner Brothers. Why assume one is 'real' and the other isn't?


Doc, there is so much in the world that can be answered in more ways than one and some not at all.

-Very true. But some things are not a matter of opinion. In math, for example, two added to two is always four. In physics, uranium decays to lead at a known and fixed rate per hour. In astronomy, a spectrograph shifted toward the red end of the spectrum means the light source is moving away from the observer. In engineering, 98% of X-rays can be stopped by a barrier of X thickness.

None of these are guesses or stories out of a picturebook, and not really subject to opinion or personal bias.

As for the questions with no definitive answer- such as how the stones at Stonehenge or the Moai on Easter Island were raised- while we may not be able to speak with unassailable fact as to the exact methods used, we can eliminate the improbable (say, they had steam-powered cranes) and the impossible (space aliens lifted them with anti-gravity rays.)


What you say is your opinion of what you read. What I say is my opinion of what I read. I try to not make a misquote of written info but I don't have a photographic memory. Even if we read the same books we may not have the same opinion on them, in fact, it's likely we wouldn't[.]

Again, some things are not open to "opinion", regardless of who you are or what books you've read.

There never was an Atlantis. There's no hole at the Earth's poles that leads to a hollow, inverted world. There's no alien settlement on the moon. That sparkplug they found in a rock was only about 50 years old, not thousands. Those spots on photos taken with a flash in cemetaries at night are insects or motes of dust lit by the flash, not ghosts or "orbs". Ad nauseum.


There's nothing wrong with differing opinions. You can't prove me wrong any more than I can you.

-Sure I can. I already gave you some pretty decent evidence that the large blocks in the Incas and in Egypt were very likely moved by simple manpower and a little clever thought.

On the other hand, I have heard no valid evidence at all to support your assertation that the pyramids were built by something or someone that didn't come from this planet.


Just because the scientists say something is such and such don't make it fact.

-No, but twenty scientists that ran similar tests, well isolated from each other, lends a lot of weight to the theory.

In any case, if I'm not going to believe the scientist, why should I believe the guy talking about space aliens?


If fact may things that were believed as fact have been proven to not be fact. The Earth is flat, the Sun revolves around the Earth was once fact and things like that continue today.

-Very true. We also believed there were only four elements (earth, air, fire and water) and that all diseases were caused by one or more of a very few houmors, and that letting the patient bleed was a valid treatment.

Science moves forward, mythology does not.


Some of what was believed a hundred years ago to be fact is found to not be so. A lot of the worlds history is guess work as an assumption compaired against what is known to be true.

-On the other hand, a great deal of what was known centuries ago, had been proven and reproven a hundred times over. Much of the math that Albert Einstein came up with some seventy years ago, is just as valid today as it was the day he wrote it.

Again, that open mind thing- accept new ideas, but don't fall for the hucksters.


It wasn't long ago that no one would believe the dinasours were wiped out by an asteroid but that is an accepted fact now.

-Entirely true. There was also a time that no one believed that infection or disease was caused by "animals" far too small to see. Again, science learns, adapts, and moves forward. Mythology tries to hold it's beliefs even in the face of wildly contrary evidence.


See how things change. Who knows what facts will be discounted tomorrow? Not me. Do you?

-I have every reason to believe that "tomorrow" will bring all sorts of new enlightenments. I also know that those enlightenments will be brought by rational thinkers and scientists doing careful experiments, not people looking into bowls of chicken entrails, or comparing the positions of the planets to the day you were born.


Bythe way, the calender ended with the PROCLAMATION of a catrastophy not that they just quit working it out. The implacation was that there was no need to make the calender go any farther. Did they find out something we don't know?

-Sure. Stone-age tribesmen three thousand years ago somehow figured out how to see millennia into the future and apparently saw the world explode. Yep, makes all kinds of sense.

Those same people killed slaves and captured enemies to ensure next years crops. Does that mean we should be executing our prisoners in order to improve our corn harvest?


Did they get tired of doing the math and put the proclamation there to confuse anyone that read it? Attn. Doc, these are questions.

-That is indeed a question. Just as What is the sound of one hand clapping is a question.

Again, are you assuming that these people had the Gift of Prophecy and foresaw the End of the World? Or is the truth more mundane, that they had no reason to continue making a calendar so far into the future?

It's very easy for us to make calendars today, but no one has yet printed up an AD2835 calendar- why not? That's a question, by the way.


A lot of this stuff is fun to discuss with friends, if they can discuss and not argue.

-That presumes there's something to discuss. Three plausible theories as to how the Incan blocks were formed, have been offered in this thread. You, on the other hand, suggested that such abilities were beyond those ancient peoples, and that, therefore, they must have been built either by or with the aid of, space aliens.

I'll be happy to discuss any of the first three. For the fourth, you'll first need to show me some evidence- anything at all- for the existence- then or now- of said aliens, and/or tell me why the capability of shaping stone is somehow beyond the capabilities of stone-age peoples.

Doc.

dp
11-21-2007, 02:38 AM
As for raising them, check out this guy (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pCvx5gSnfW4). He moved and raised a 19,000+ pound concrete block by himself, with nothing more than sticks, blocks and weights. No pulleys, no cranes, no help.


I am gobsmacked. This is the single most amazing thing I've seen in a very long time. The application to stone moving at Easter Island, Yucatan, Egypt, Stonehenge, etc. are clear. How marvelous that this all can have been done by just a few people and not teaming masses of humanity we've come to expect.

One problem of the "thousands of slaves" solution is that you have to feed slaves something if you want to get more than a few days work out of them, and they need to use the WC from time to time which is another infrastructure issue to deal with and which cannot be ignored long.

This balance method eliminates a lot of humanity from the equation and the burden that goes with using slave labor.

Joel
11-21-2007, 02:50 AM
Why do I suddenly have the urge to mention dousing rods? :D :D :D

Doc Nickel
11-21-2007, 05:14 AM
One problem of the "thousands of slaves" solution is that you have to feed slaves something if you want to get more than a few days work out of them, and they need to use the WC from time to time which is another infrastructure issue to deal with and which cannot be ignored long.

-Very true. But in the case of the Pyramids, for one thing, there's archaeological evidence of whole cities worth of "slave quarters". Out of curiosity, I looked up Cheops in Wikipedia, and I was off a bit- they estimate the pyramid took around twenty years to build, and estimates of the labor force range from 30,000 to a quarter-million.

But as for feeding and other necessities, remember that in their society, there was little else to do but farm and work for the King. Cheops' potential workforce was every one of his subjects, many of whom lived only a short distance away from the pyramid.

The interesting part was the time- with estimates of over two million blocks, given about twenty years (and very little work could happen after dark) they had to place roughly one block per minute per working day.

That sounds too fast to work, but keep in mind that each side is over seven hundred yards long- meaning there would be plenty of room for multiple groups to be placing stones. Things would only start slowing down and getting crowded as the pyramid got higher and skinnier at the top.


This balance method eliminates a lot of humanity from the equation and the burden that goes with using slave labor.

-It's a given that out of a given workforce, that some number will be "support" personel- cooks, messengers, water-bearers and the like, and another number will be even less direct- making living quarters, digging latrines, etc. Plus those that would have to hunt or fish for food, those that were attending crops, etc.

But even out of "just" 30,000, if only 10,000 were actually doing the gruntwork, that's still a lot of warm bodies.

Assuming they had simple machines, like this fellow's levers and weights, makes the job even simpler.

Doc.

J Tiers
11-21-2007, 08:27 AM
There is a house in Florida, (was, probably, no doubt smashed for yet another high rise), that was built of large stones by ONE man.

He seemed to have had the idea that "if he built it, she would come". But in any case, he apparently had no machinery to speak of, but he built it by himself. Swinging stone gates, etc, etc.

small.planes
11-21-2007, 08:36 AM
-That presumes there's something to discuss. Three plausible theories as to how the Incan blocks were formed, have been offered in this thread. Doc.
Aww, doeas that mean my Heisenblock theory is implausable :( ;)
Im so disappointed:p
Dave

jr45acp
11-21-2007, 08:58 AM
J Tiers, you are referencing the Coral Castle and it is still in existence in the Homestead, Fl. vicintity as memory serves. Here's a website I found.

http://www.coralcastle.com/

Carld
11-21-2007, 10:41 AM
You win Doc. Your masterfull mind has all the right answers. Alas, any thing I have read is full of lies. So I am hereforth banished to an ignorant existance untill death.

andy_b
11-21-2007, 01:24 PM
-As the old saying goes, don't open you mind so much that your brain falls out.

That means that one should keep a degree of rational thought and skepticism, along with ones' open mind. For example, do you believe in Pastafarianism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spaghetti_monster)? How about Jediism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jedi)? No? Why not? They could be true, you just need to keep an open mind.

Doc.

just to toss some devil's advocate in here :) ...

the Spaghetti monster is just silly. i can provide bushels of proof for "intelligent design", and Monsanto's genetic engineers aren't gods.

as for Jediism, i have a friend who believes the stories of ancient wizards and warlocks are true. he believes that the powers of magic came from a mystical "ether" that no longer exists. while i told him he is full of crap, it does pose an interesting question. if a magic ether did exist, and the supply was depleted by wasteful magicians, how would we prove it? dinosaurs are easy to prove, since they left bones.

i still find the Incan stonework amazing and wish i could actually witness how it was done.

andy b.

rotate
11-21-2007, 01:48 PM
as for Jediism, i have a friend who believes the stories of ancient wizards and warlocks are true. he believes that the powers of magic came from a mystical "ether" that no longer exists. while i told him he is full of crap, it does pose an interesting question. if a magic ether did exist, and the supply was depleted by wasteful magicians, how would we prove it? dinosaurs are easy to prove, since they left bones.


The onus is on your friend to provide evidence that mystical ether exisited rather for you to disprove that it existed. Although mystical ether has more allure, it's no more than saying that unicorns existed in the past. In principle it's impossible to disprove that unicorns existed, but that sort knowledge is not very useful.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argument_from_ignorance

tony ennis
11-21-2007, 02:15 PM
I am a Pastafarian. I have been touched by His Noodly Appendage.

I'm wearing my Pirate Regalia for Thanksgiving.

-=-=-=-

The FSM is designed to be silly, but ultimately is no more or less provable than ID. That was the whole point of FSM after all.

-=-=-=-

I am betting the stones were fitted with nothing but blood, toil, sweat, and tears. And damned clever engineering.

Doc Nickel
11-21-2007, 04:35 PM
i can provide bushels of proof for "intelligent design"[...]

-Since Carld apparently wasn't as sure of his convictions as he thought, I await such proof with 'bated breath.

However, you might first review the definition of "proof", first. Passages in a storybook and an inability to grasp the concept of natural selection, are not proof.

Doc.

wierdscience
11-21-2007, 07:23 PM
I am a Pastafarian. I have been touched by His Noodly Appendage.


.

Pasta is whats on my monitor after reading that:D:D

Carld
11-21-2007, 07:53 PM
It's not that I am unsure or sure of my convictions I see no point of discussing with someone that has all the answers and I only the questions and personal beliefs.

It's your "I am better and smarter than you" attitude that I don't like.

The fact that I believe there was more than common labor that built some of the questionable structures and designs of ancient time is my belief. Can you prove me wrong? No matter what you can say opposing my thought there is no tangable proof my thoughts are faulty any more than your supposition of how they were built. The only way to conclusively prove me wrong is if you can find someone that was there and saw the structures built. Untill then you and I are both right and neither one of us wrong.

Everything is speculation on how, when or why they were built. Almost everyone has speculated on how the pyramids were built and when, BUT, no one can conclusively answer because no one there at that time is alive and there is no documentation on how or why or when.

So, your arguments hold no more water than mine, or anyone else's for that matter.

Many of the other things I commented on fall in the same catagory.

The real history of the earth is many times speculation and guess work on the part of Scientists. They get together every year to decide on which theory they will support for the coming year. As new data is uncovered the theory either lives or dies. It's real hard for a fellow scientist to change the collective minds so they hold old convictions that die when they realize the one they ostracized was correct

Doc, get a copy of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson ISBN 0-7679-0817-1, It is very interesting. I don't know if it will help you but it sure is interesting and I recommond it to everyone interested in the history of the Earth.

Doc Nickel
11-21-2007, 07:55 PM
Questions are meaningless if you're unwilling to listen to the answers.

Doc.

Carld
11-21-2007, 08:32 PM
I read your replies but saw no proof.

Where is the proof for your answers to my questions that would change my mind?

andy_b
11-22-2007, 12:41 AM
-Since Carld apparently wasn't as sure of his convictions as he thought, I await such proof with 'bated breath.

However, you might first review the definition of "proof", first. Passages in a storybook and an inability to grasp the concept of natural selection, are not proof.

Doc.

"intelligent design" is the concept that humans didn't evolve, we were created. it has been distorted to mean that "God" created humans, but that is not the basic premise, it is that humans were engineered by something other than evolution. i think it is a fact that there are living plants and animals presently on the planet Earth that did not occur due to nature or evolution. corn doesn't mate with bacteria to produce disease-resistant maize (the bushels i spoke of). goats do not mate with spiders to add spider silk to their milk. pigs do not mate with ocean corals to produce green-hued football leather. all of these things were created by genetic engineers who intelligently designed the resulting creature. i would speculate that if 2000 years ago you told someone that the giant bones they found buried in the sand belonged to a 30-ton 70' long monster that evolved from primordial ooze and walked on the planet, the people would have stoned you to death. i also would speculate that if you landed a space shuttle in front of those people, they would declare you a god.

certainly, if an alien race was capable of building a spacecraft to get to Earth a million years ago, you could make a good assumption that they would be advanced enough to conduct genetic engineering experiments. who's to say that positively did not happen? the human genome is already mapped and every day the function of additional genes is discovered. there are definitely periods in "evolution" where even modern scientists state that there were sudden jumps in the evolutionary process. were these jumps due to outside influence? even today scientists are concerned that people may soon "design" their children to be tall, or have blue eyes, or blond hair, or....

don't get me wrong, all of this is not my belief, but i am certainly open to the possibility it my be a part of the story no matter how unlikely it may be. i wish i'd be around to see where the human race is in another 1000 years (if we make it past 2012 that is). :)

and yes, i know not being able to disprove something is not a proof of its existence. i am merely pointing out that it is an interesting theory. for the record, i do believe life exists on other planets, but i don't think we've been visited. until i see some actual chunks of flying saucers, i put as much faith in them as i do that Houdini is going to contact someone from beyond the grave.

as for unicorns and magic ether, if unicorns existed, we will someday find a skeleton from one. i don't think we'll find a last hidden bottle of magic ether somewhere (mainly because it didn't exist). BUT, cyclops didn't exist either. one theory i've read is that ancient people found elephant skulls but had never seen an entire elephant, living or deceased. they mistook the large central nasal opening for an eye socket. since they had no idea what such a creature would be, they came up with the cyclops. was the original unicorn just misidentified skeletal remains?

andy b.

chief
11-22-2007, 12:51 AM
"There never was an Atlantis. There's no hole at the Earth's poles that leads to a hollow, inverted world. There's no alien settlement on the moon".
BS, global warming is caused by these alien ships entering our atomosphere when they slow from warp to impulse power. They are sucking the oil out of the earth from the inside and are taking it back to Rigel 4.If you don't believe me look at one of them closely, Nancy Pelosi, Bono, Ted Kennedy,look at the reptilian features. Karl Rove was getting close, he was made an offer, silence or death. Dick Cheney's heart attacks? No, phaser wounds.
The pyrimid shaped tin foil hat is the only protection. Go ahead and laugh but I'm telling you that since wearing one I have never suffered an alien attack or abduction.


http://www.tshirthell.com/store/product.php?productid=974

kendall
11-22-2007, 02:50 AM
I think you're wrong about rigel 4, last I heard is that because of some strange reaction to the time-dilation effect they were recieving dinosaur embryos instead of oil.

Ken.

Doc Nickel
11-22-2007, 05:40 AM
It's not that I am unsure or sure of my convictions I see no point of discussing with someone that has all the answers and I only the questions and personal beliefs.

"If you don't want people to argue with you, tell you you're wrong, or just plain make fun of you, don't post to the internet." - Something Awful Forums


It's your "I am better and smarter than you" attitude that I don't like.

-You perceive the "attitude" from the fact I'm directly challenging some of your beliefs that you've never really faced. Like it or not, the facts remain the same.


The fact that I believe there was more than common labor that built some of the questionable structures and designs of ancient time is my belief. Can you prove me wrong?

-Can you prove you're right?

What's "questionable" about them? The Incan emplacements and the Egyptian pyramids are just piles of rocks. What is so "questionable" about stone-age peoples piling up rocks?!?

The closeness of the fit? They were lapped together. The weight? Manpower and leverage. The scale? A large amount of manpower and a long time period.

It is not my position to "prove" you wrong, it is your task to prove yourself right.


No matter what you can say opposing my thought there is no tangable proof my thoughts are faulty any more than your supposition of how they were built.

-Horsepucky. You are claiming space aliens are responsible for certain ancient works: One, where is the evidence? There's nothing about any of them that implies the creators were anything but local natives. Two, where is the evidence for the aliens themselves? Three, how did you conclude that the tribesmen could not build those installations?


The only way to conclusively prove me wrong is if you can find someone that was there and saw the structures built. Untill then you and I are both right and neither one of us wrong.

-Horsepucky, again. Until you can offer any evidence at all for the presence of otherworldly assistance other than "I don't think they could have done it", you might have an argument. As it is, you're furiously trying to obscure the argument with non sequiturs and ad hominems.


Everything is speculation on how, when or why they were built.

-Yessir, albeit coupled with a great deal of corroboration, such as wall carvings, geological evidence, and the emplacements themselves.

But I still fail to see where you can even speculate that an otherworldly entity was involved. I could see if if there was, say, a piece of an unidentifiable metal, a bone or two from some clearly-non-terran lifeform, or perhaps walls made of a single stone that wasn't quarried anywhere and shows no signs of being dragged or moved there.

In the case if the Egyptian pyramids, we know where the blocks came from, we can guess how they were moved (supported by hieroglyphics showing exactly that) we can estimate how many people worked on them from the slaves settlements, and approximately how long it took to build them from all sorts of data, ranging from the fact they actually wrote down the information, to extrapolating from how fast the latrines filled up.

There are "guesses", and there are educated guesses. Archaeologists don't just look at the thing from five hundred feet away and say "here's how I think it happened", they explore, examine and test, and say "here's what the evidence indicates most likely happened."

There's a difference.


Almost everyone has speculated on how the pyramids were built and when, BUT, no one can conclusively answer because no one there at that time is alive and there is no documentation on how or why or when.

-Other than found tablets, hieroglyphs showing the construction, and literally hundreds of acres of archaeological and geological signs. "No documentation"? There's a dozen major museums worldwide filled to the brim with Egyptian artifacts, and a legion of experts who have spent their lives researching the subject.

There is far more data available out there than mere written documents.


So, your arguments hold no more water than mine, or anyone else's for that matter.

-Quoth the raven, Horsepucky, again.

In this case, this argument has two sides, a binary equation. On one side, there's fact and reason; archaeological evidence coupled with reasonable supposition as to the capabilities of early tribal man.

On the other side, there's a fellow who can't grasp the idea of people being able to move big heavy rocks without a D9 and a Linkbelt crane, and so therefore concludes that space aliens must'a done it.

One side is backed up by evidence, the other side by nothing at all. Evidence holds water, what does "nothing" hold?


The real history of the earth is many times speculation and guess work on the part of Scientists. They get together every year to decide on which theory they will support for the coming year.

-Clearly illustrating an apparent mistrust of the educated, and a a clear misunderstanding of the science underlying geology and radiometric dating. I suggest you read this article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_the_Earth) very carefully before continuing.


As new data is uncovered the theory either lives or dies. It's real hard for a fellow scientist to change the collective minds so they hold old convictions that die when they realize the one they ostracized was correct

-Again that misunderstanding. If data is discovered which invalidates or alters a theory, then that theory is changed. Scientists do this all the time- they are not "stuck" on a given explanation as you think they are.

Also, in many cases, the new data does indeed change the theory- but it's a refinement, not a complete rewriting. For example, the oft-noted "flat earth". In the stone age, a man could stand on a tall peak, and see for hundreds of miles. To him, the earth appeared, indeed, flat.

Then, over two hundred years before the birth of Christ, the Greek mathematician Eratosthenes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eratosthenes) not only determined the earth was a sphere, but measured it. His calculations were off, but surprisingly close for bronze-age math.

Did the new measurement invalidate the previous idea? No, it refined it. The earth is flat, or nearly so, if you only measure a small part of it.

Later, with the advent of satellites and GPS, we can now measure the circumference down to the inch. Again, did that invalidate the earlier measurement? Again, no, it refined it.


Doc, get a copy of "A Short History of Nearly Everything" by Bill Bryson ISBN 0-7679-0817-1, It is very interesting. I don't know if it will help you but it sure is interesting and I recommond it to everyone interested in the history of the Earth.

-A single book? That's like going by the Cliff's Notes of the Readers Digest Condensed Version of an Encyclopaedia entry. Easy to read, but a lot gets left out. That Wikipedia article above probably has more information about the age of the Earth.

Doc.