Go to the Egyptian Dreams shop
Egyptian Dreams
Ancient Egypt Discussion Board
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

How Many People Did it Take to Build the Great Pyramid?

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Pyramids, Tombs, & Monuments
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Lutz
Pharaoh
Pharaoh


Joined: 02 Sep 2007
Posts: 4202
Location: Berlin, Germany

PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2020 7:43 pm    Post subject: How Many People Did it Take to Build the Great Pyramid? Reply with quote

Vaclav Smil : How Many People Did it Take to Build the Great Pyramid?. - In: IEEE Spectrum 57(6). - 2020. - pp. 18-19.

Quote:
Herodotus, writing more than 21 centuries after the pyramid’s completion, was told that labor gangs totaling 100,000 men worked in three-month spells a year to finish the structure in 20 years. In 1974, Kurt Mendelssohn, a German-born British physicist, put the labor force at 70,000 seasonal workers and up to 10,000 permanent masons. These are large overestimates; we can do better by appealing to simple physics. (...) The grand total of the construction labor would then be some 3,300 workers. Even if we were to double that number (...), the total would be still less
than 7,000 workers.
[/url]
_________________
Ägyptologie Forum (German)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
irt-akhu
Scribe
Scribe


Joined: 28 Nov 2019
Posts: 112

PostPosted: Fri Jul 10, 2020 4:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Saw that. Interesting. Oh yeah, must have been the weekly EEF news email.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
cladking
Scribe
Scribe


Joined: 25 Oct 2006
Posts: 176

PostPosted: Sun Jul 12, 2020 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The potential energy of the pyramid—the energy needed to lift the mass above ground level—is simply the product of acceleration due to gravity, mass, and the center of mass, which in a pyramid is one-quarter of its height.


His physics is good but his logic is not.

If lifting stone was nearly as easy as breathing as he implies the pyramid wouldn't have been a remarkable achievement at all. If all men had to do to build the Hoover Dam was to breath harder and eat more there would be far more impressive and larger numbers of such structures. In order for the Egyptians to lift stones at all they needed a supply, a place to put them, and a means to lift them. We know details of only the first two of these needs.

His logic is highly flawed for another reason; The human body produces primarily waste heat. Of course this computation is impossible but the fact is that we are always at 98.6 degrees even when we aren't working or the temperature is much lower or much higher which brings us to the major failure of his logic. His calculation simply ignores "efficiency" altogether. The total amount of heat produced by the builders is the increase in the potential energy as he described above times the reciprocal of the efficiency. If only 1% of the total work went to actually lifting stones then the total amount of work/ heat/ energy increase would be multiplied by a factor of 100.

Reverse engineering the pyramids will require a multidisciplinary approach and a lot more data. Economists don't even know how the economy functioned with no money at all and we don't know how many different ways there might be to lift stones. Individual experts tend to look at these questions and make a lot of assumptions. It is not safe to assume that an economy with no money could run at as high an efficiency as ours or was necessarily less efficient. With each individual determining his own needs and assets it's possible he could maximize his ability to function within the economy.
_________________
Tempus Fugit
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Pyramids, Tombs, & Monuments All times are GMT
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group