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"Bolero" by Maurice Ravel

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Uploaded on Dec 25, 2007

Ravel's "Bolero" played to scenes of ancient Egypt.

A construction management study carried out by the firm Daniel, Mann, Johnson, & Mendenhall in association with Mark Lehner and other Egyptologists, estimates that the total project required an average workforce of 14,567 people and a peak workforce of 40,000. Without the use of pulleys, wheels, or iron tools, they surmise the Great Pyramid was completed from start to finish in approximately 10 years. Their critical path analysis study reveals estimates that the number of blocks used in construction was between 2-2.8 million (an average of 2.4 million), but settles on a reduced finished total of 2 million after subtracting the estimated area of the hollow spaces of the chambers and galleries. Most sources agree on this number of blocks somewhere above 2.3 million. The Egyptologists' calculations suggest the workforce could have sustained a rate of 180 blocks per hour (3 blocks/minute) with ten hour work days for putting each individual block in place. They derived these estimates from construction projects that did not use modern machinery. This study fails to take into account however, especially when compared to modern third world construction projects, the logistics and craftsmanship time inherent in constructing a building of nearly unparalleled magnitude with such precision, or among other things, the use of up to 60-80 ton stones being quarried and transported a distance of over 500 miles.
Average core blocks of the pyramid weigh about 1.5 tons each, and the granite blocks used to roof the burial chambers are estimated to weigh up to 80 tons each.

Average core blocks of the pyramid weigh about 1.5 tons each, and the granite blocks used to roof the burial chambers are estimated to weigh up to 80 tons each.


In contrast, a Great Pyramid feasibility study relating to the quarrying of the stone was performed in 1978 by Technical Director Merle Booker of the Indiana Limestone Institute of America. Consisting of 33 quarries, the Institute is considered by many architects to be one of the world's leading authorities on limestone. Using modern equipment, the study concludes:

"Utilizing the entire Indiana Limestone industry's facilities as they now stand [for 33 quarries], and figuring on tripling present average production, it would take approximately 27 years to quarry, fabricate and ship the total requirements."

Booker points out the time study assumes sufficient quantities of railroad cars would be available without delay or downtime during this 27 year period and does not factor in the increasing costs of completing the work.

The entire Giza Plateau is believed to have been constructed over the reign of five pharaohs in less than a hundred years. In the hundred years prior to Giza, beginning with Djoser who ruled from 2687-2667 BC, three other massive pyramids were built - the Step pyramid of Saqqara (believed to be the first Egyptian pyramid), the Bent Pyramid, and the Red Pyramid. Also during this period (between 2686 and 2498 BC) the Wadi Al-Garawi dam which used an estimated 100,000 cubic meters of rock and rubble was built.

The accepted values by Egyptologists bear out the following result: 2,400,000 stones used ÷ 20 years ÷ 365 days per year ÷ 10 work hours per day ÷ 60 minutes per hour = 0.55 stones laid per minute.

Thus no matter how many workers were used or in what configuration, 1.1 blocks on average would have to be put in place every 2 minutes, ten hours a day, 365 days a year for twenty years to complete the Great Pyramid within this time frame. This equation, however, does not take into account among other things the designing, planning, surveying, and leveling the 13 acre site the Great Pyramid sits on.

As Egyptologist Dr. I.E.S. Edwards, former Keeper of Antiquities in the British Museum, said in his book The Pyramids of Egypt; " Cheops, who may have been a megalomaniac, could never, during a reign of about twenty-three years, have erected a building of the size and durability of the Great Pyramid, if technical advances had not enabled his masons to handle stones of very considerable weight and dimensions."

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