Have you ever wanted to climb the pyramid at night? In the fear of being arrested, in a state of nervous tension? I can tell you that if you are climbing the Great Pyramid, it is as difficult as climbing. Although the top of the tower is about 31 feet away, the Great Pyramid still rises from the ground into the cloud, up to 450 feet, and is composed of 203 sections of rocks, each with an average height of two quarter feet.
The mystery of geometry
The 35th step stones are larger than those below (except for the foundation stones), each weighing at least 10 to 15 tons, which is very difficult to climb. This runs counter to our general common sense and logic. Logically speaking, since the stones are carried from below, the higher the place, the smaller and lighter the stones should be. From the 1st to the 18th steps, the height of the stones does indeed decrease from the lowest average 55.5 inches to a little more than 17 inches at the 23th step. However, the height of the rock at the 19th step rose sharply to 36 inches. Not only did the height change, the length and width also increased. The weight of these stones is only 1 to 18 tons in the 2st to 6th steps, but it is increased to 19 to 10 tons when transported to the 15th step and above, which obviously becomes very heavy and difficult to handle. However, without knowing what method was used, these stones can be cut from the hard limestone, and then transported to a height of 100 feet above the ground, and placed in a predetermined location without any difference.
To accomplish such an arduous task, the masonry of the pyramid must not only have the will of steel, the skill of a goat, the tenacity of a lion, but also the confidence of a chimney repairer who specializes in climbing. The icy morning breeze whispered in my ears, threatening to take me into the air and dance with them. In this trembling place, you need to keep your balance, and at the same time you have to lift one stone after another at least twice the weight of a modern self-use car from below, transport it to the correct place, and align it. These masons have no idea what they are thinking.
How much time did it take to complete the pyramid from construction to completion? How many people have participated in the construction work? The consensus of general Egyptologists is that it took 20 years and 10 people participated in the construction. However, they also agreed that the so-called construction was not done from the beginning of the year to the end of the year, but only during the three months of the year when the Nile was flooded and farming was impossible.
As I climbed up, I thought about the meaning of this statement. What the builders need to imagine is not only how to transport the tens of thousands of boulders weighing more than 15 tons, but also how to transport these stones with an average of 2.5 tons to the construction site for a long time. According to reliable estimates, the pyramid was made up of 230 million stones. Assuming that workers are open throughout the year and work 10 hours a day, they need to place 31 stones per hour (or move 2 stone every 1 minutes) in order to complete the pyramid project on schedule within 20 years. And if the project is only carried out during the slack period of the farm, the workers’ speed must be increased to 4 stones per minute, or 240 per hour, before they can catch up.
This calculation is undoubtedly a nightmare for site managers. For example, how good coordination must be done between the quarry and the masonry of the pyramids is to be able to deliver such a large piece of stone to the construction site at such an astonishing speed. Also, if a 2.5-ton stone falls from Step 175, the result will be unimaginable.
No matter from the physical or management perspective, the construction of the pyramid is a very difficult task. In addition, the structure of the pyramid itself is also a challenge to geometry. The apex of the pyramid must be above the center of the four corners of the base. As long as the angle of the four sides is slightly deviated, it will constitute a great error at the apex. Therefore, in the process of construction, from the ground to hundreds of feet in the air, every stone of incomparable weight must be placed in an absolutely precise position.
How did the Egyptians do such a delicate and difficult job?
Egyptian scholars have probably put forward more than 30 theories in an attempt to solve the mystery of pyramid construction. Most of them believe that some form of inclined road surface must be laid on the construction site before the pyramid is built. Professor I.E.S. Edwards, the former director of the Ancient Egypt Research Office of the British Museum, bluntly said: "Ancient Egyptians had only one way to lift very heavy objects, and that was from the flat ground. Or want to lift the starting point of the weight and build a slope with mud and bricks."
John Bains, Professor of Ancient Egyptology at the University of Oxford, agreed with Edwards and further deduced: “As the pyramid is built higher and higher, the slope must be gradually expanded regardless of length or width to maintain a certain slope ( It is about 1:10), otherwise it will collapse. At that time, the builders must have built several slopes from several different angles."
However, to pave a road with a slope of 1:10 and go straight to the apex of the Great Pyramid, the length of the road must be at least 4800 feet, and the bricks and soil required are three times that of the Great Pyramid itself. (The volume of the slope is 3 million cubic meters, while the volume of the pyramid cone is only 800 million cubic meters.) If the slope is higher than 260:1, the road will be steep enough to carry heavy objects uphill, but if the slope is lower than At 10:1, the ratio of the amount of building materials used to build the ramp to the pyramid will be even more absurd.
Moreover, a one-mile sloping road leading directly from the ground to a height of 1 feet is impossible to build with bricks and clay as suggested by ancient Egyptologists such as Edwards. On the contrary, modern architects and builders have confirmed that the ramp must be constructed with stronger and noble materials than limestone, or it will collapse.
The slope theory is obviously not valid. (There is another question: where did the 800 million cubic meters of limestone used to build the slope go after the pyramid was built?) Later, some scholars put forward the theory of spiral slope roads, claiming that the people at the time were on the four sides of the pyramid. , Make a spiral slope with mud bricks and attach it to the pyramid. Although the spiral slope requires less material, it cannot reach the top of the pyramid. And the more the spiral ramp reaches the top, the sharper the rotation angle, so that when the masons carry such a large volume of stones uphill, they will encounter narrower and narrower points that are difficult to turn even at the end.
However, this is not the most incomprehensible part of the spiral ramp. The most difficult thing to justify is that because the spiral path must be added to the pyramid, architects cannot check the precision and accuracy of the pyramid building itself. However, the builder of the pyramid must check the accuracy of the building at any time, so that the apex of the tower is located equidistant from the corners of the four bases, all angles and corners are exactly the same, and each layer of stones is placed in advance design The location of the building can form this symmetrical building with the correct orientation and almost perfect shape.
For ancient architects, building such a sophisticated pyramid seems to be just a demonstration of some mathematics tricks. For example, in Chapter 23 of this book, we mentioned that the height of the pi is π and the length of the periphery of the base. Correspondence between. In addition, although the pyramid is not built at 30 degrees true north latitude, it is also very close to 29 degrees, 58 minutes and 51 seconds. Regarding this point, a Scottish astronomer once said that positive 30 degrees does not exist, so the position of the pyramid is not the result of the error:
Assuming that the original designer wanted to see the extreme points of space from the bottom of the Great Pyramid with the naked eye, not the mind, and the twists and turns of the light in the atmosphere were also taken into account, the position of the Great Pyramid must be at 29 degrees and 58 minutes. 22 seconds, not 30 degrees.
The difference between 58 minutes and 22 seconds and the actual position of 58 minutes and 51 seconds is less than half of 1 minute. Such high precision once again shows how superb the ancient Egyptians were in general surveying or geographic surveying. .
Travel through time and space
For the next 10 minutes, we struggled upward in silence, climbed to the 100th floor in one breath, and reached half of the pyramid, which is 250 feet above the ground. Looking southwest from my shoulder, I saw a scene that I had only seen in my life, full of strength and beauty. A crescent crescent emerged from the fast-moving clouds at low altitude in the southeast, and the ghostly light approached the north and east sides of the Second Pyramid. It is said that this pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khafre, the Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty. This second pyramid, which is only a few feet shorter than the Great Pyramid and 48 feet narrower at its base, emits a very unnatural blue light under the moonlight, as if the light source came from the inside of the tower. And in the shadow behind the second pyramid, you can see the third smallest pyramid. This small pyramid is said to have been built by King Men daure, with a base of 356 feet on each side and a height of 215 feet.
For a moment, I felt like I was flying in the dark sky, standing on the bow of the huge skyship, and then the other two pyramids were like two ships, lined up in a battle formation, following my big ship.
If so, where should the pyramid of our team go? Are these amazing huge buildings really, as Egyptology scholars believe, just the product of the Pharaoh’s delusions? Or are they designed by some mysterious force that will transcend eternal time and space and achieve some purpose that we do not yet know?
From this height, although part of the southern sky is obscured by King Kafra’s pyramid, the entire west is under the firmament, and the contours from the apex of the North Pole to the arch of the earth are all within my vision. On the right hand side, you can see the Polaris in the constellation Ursa Minor; and from the low sky about 10 degrees north from due west, you can see the Xuanyuan XIV star in the Leo constellation, about to sink below the horizon.
Under the stars in Egypt
We climbed up without stopping. Looking up, the top of the pyramid is still as far away as before, just as far away as the legendary top of Mount Wells. We continued to climb up while sweating and panting. Just when we were about to be overwhelmed by the feeling of disappointment that was constantly pouring out of our hearts, suddenly it suddenly became clear, and the top of the pyramid appeared before our eyes. The starry sky, 450 feet above the ground, surrounding us is the most special and beautiful scene in the world. The Cairo city scene is irregularly displayed in the Nile Valley in the north and west. The tall buildings and the roofs of traditional bungalows are separated by narrow and dark streets, and the minarets of the mosque are scattered among the tall and low houses. The whole of Cairo is covered in the light film in the market, so people living in the city cannot enjoy the beautiful night view of the starry sky. On the contrary, looking down at Cairo from the top of the pyramid, it is as if you have come to a fairy tale world with green, red, blue, and yellow rays of light. It is crystal clear and beautiful.
I feel very honored to be able to see this electronic mirage at the top of the pyramid of such a mystery of the ancient world, it is like riding Aladdin's magic carpet to the sky above Cairo.
In fact, the 203rd floor of the pyramid cannot be compared with the magic carpet at all. At the top of the tower, it is only 30 feet wide (very narrow compared to 755 feet on one side of the base), and is composed of hundreds of large limestone blocks that are tall and weigh up to 5 tons. The surface is not completely flat, and some rocks are missing or damaged. There are obviously remains of higher-level rocks on the southern corner. In the center of the platform, someone erected a wooden scaffold with wood, and a thick wooden rod about 31 feet was raised from the middle to show the original height of the pyramid-481.3949 feet. The limestone under the shelf is covered with graffiti on it by tourists for centuries.
The journey to climb the pyramids took us about half an hour. When we reached the top, it was already 5 o'clock in the morning, the time for the Muslims’ morning salute. Almost exactly at five o'clock, the balconies of 1001 minarets in Cairo sounded at the same time, urging believers to pray to reaffirm the greatness and mercy of Allah. To the southwest of my back, the top 22 floors of the Pyramid of King Kafra, like the tip of an iceberg floating in the ocean, sinking and floating in the sea of moonlight.
I understand that I cannot stay in this dizzying place for too long, and simply sit down and look up at God. Xuanyuan Fourteen Star has sunk behind the endless western desert, and Leo will soon fall below the horizon. The constellations of Virgo and Libra have also come to the bottom of the sky. Looking to the north, the big bear and the little bear are slowly following their eternal orbit at the top of the celestial sphere.
I lay down with my hand as a pillow, looking up at the extreme sky. From the smooth and hard rock underneath, there is a life force, and I can feel it, it is the infinite vitality from the huge pyramid.
The pyramid has a base area of 13.1 acres and a total weight of 600 million tons, which is heavier than all the buildings in the city of London combined. As mentioned earlier, the pyramid is made up of approximately 230 million limestone and granite blocks. According to speculation, in the past, the four sides of the pyramid, in addition to its own stones, were also covered with a layer of polished cladding stone, protecting it like a mirror. Since the surface area of the pyramid is 22 acres, it is estimated that 11.5 cladding stones weighing 10 tons were laid at that time.
After the great earthquake in 1301 AD, most of the stones were unloaded and used to build Cairo after the disaster. As far as I know, there are only a few stone fragments on the base of the tower, for the 19th century archaeologist WMFlinders Petrie to do a careful investigation. Petra was surprised to find that the stones were accurately joined by adhesive, with an error of less than 1% inch. The connection between the two stones is so tight that even the thinnest blade cannot be inserted. "Just putting these stones in the place where they should be placed is a big project," Petra wrote. "It is almost impossible to glue the joints to such a degree of precision; it is like taking an acre. As a unit, the most accurate optical instruments are manufactured on a large scale."
There are too many "almost impossible" in the Great Pyramid, which is by no means limited to the covering stone. The orientation of the tower facing due east, due west, due south, and due north is also "almost impossible". In addition, the positive 90-degree angle of the building, the almost perfect symmetrical shape on the four sides, and millions of boulders Technology and site management of moving to high altitude...
The architects, engineers, and masons who succeeded in building this amazing pyramid from the ground, no matter where they came from, Francis Chamboulian, known as the "Father of Modern Ancient Egyptology" (Jean-Francois Cham pollion) once said: “Their ideas are as tall as a giant with a height of 100 feet.” Shang Boliang was pretty sure at the time that people who followed him on Ancient Egypt would definitely ignore one point: the pyramid was built. Humans are at least giant-shaped in wisdom. He also said: Compared with the ancient Egyptians, "our Europe is like a small country."