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ERIC Number: ED438175
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2000
Pages: 33
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
A New Interpretation of the Transport and Erection of Large Obelisks by Ancient Egyptian Engineers or Englebach Revisited.
Spry, William J.
In the teaching of archaeology at the university level there is often conflict between the engineer and the humanist when looking at archaeological evidence. Nowhere is this more clear than in considering the very old puzzle of how ancient Egyptian engineers transported and erected huge stone obelisks using only human labor. The humanist, whose views are presently more popular, tends to look at large numbers of people--possibly war prisoners or slaves--pulling on ropes. The engineer, considering the forces involved, dismisses this approach as totally impractical. The university instructor may well be in the middle. This paper, therefore, proposes a new interpretation of the continuing puzzle about the methods used by ancient Egyptian engineers to transport and erect large obelisks while using only humans as the source of power. It provides an engineering approach which is tied to the archaeological background of the subject matter. Specifically, it extends the work of R. Engelbach and emphasizes the 1168 ton unfinished obelisk at Aswan. The technique involves use of the "semi-hydraulic" properties of sand. This paper develops independent archaeological evidence which strongly indicates such knowledge was available and used for all of the known large obelisks. (Contains 31 footnotes and 11 tables, charts, and figures.) (Author/NB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Egypt