Franz Löhner suggests a new but simple solution: utilizing the angled faces of the structure itself as a means of transporting the blocks up the pyramid. To accomplish this so called rope rolls are employed. The rope roll is a wooden stand (or reel-station) which holds a roll in place.
Wooden tracks for the simple sledges are installed and anchored (on protruding casing stones) on the angled flank of the pyramid. On both sides of the track the rope rolls are installed in pairs and in intervals of about 35 meters height.
Two ropes are attached to the sledge on which the stone is tethered. The ropes lead up and over the reel of the rope roll, turn and go back down.
The workers don't pull the sledge with the stone up by walking in front, but are walking down and by pulling the attached rope, which is deflected by the rope roll, the sledge is carried up. Thus the workers are using their own weight in addition to their strength to pull the sledge with the stone. This is not a pulley (which was not known during the 4th dynasty of the old kingdom and which uses a wheel) but simpler.
Calculations show, that when using a rope roll, 46 men can haul a 2.5 tons stone up the flank of the pyramid (=52° inclination).
Click on the thumbnail for a larger picture - detailed explanation
|Probably smaller ramps, with a lower gradient and stretching only over a few hundred meters toward the pyramid construction site, were used by the ancient Egyptians. But not ramps rising up over a hundred meters and consisting of hundred thousands of cubic meters of material!|
No large ramps have been found, only small ramps stretching over a few meters and towards but not up or around a building. There is a wall painting in Rekhmire (Rechmirê) which depicts a small ramp and in the papyrus of Anastasi a scribe has to calculate a ramp which would have been 380m long and which would have had an inclination of 9.9° .
The Tura limestones (Turah) and the large granite blocks arrived in the harbor of Giza (the Nile channel lay about 17m above sea level, the exact position of the harbor is unknown) and had to be transported over a distance of 500-600 meters and overcome 40 meters height to the foot of the pyramid. Most of the route is not very steep - the average angle of inclination is about 4° - but there are some stretches with 8° to 24° inclination, that have to be negotiated until you reach the plateau. Then you have only transported the stone to the foot of the pyramid and not yet up to where you need it, on top of the pyramid itself!
These gradients are no problem at all to
surmount, if you use Franz Löhner's rope roll. Without
the help of the rope roll those gradients could only be managed with large
ramps and large hauling teams. Calculations show, that with a 5° angle
of inclination you need a ramp which is 114m long to surmount 10 meters,
with an inclination of 10° you need a ramp of 56 meters. If the angle
of inclination is above 10° you need teams of over 400 men to haul
a 2.5-tons block!
Transport up the pyramid flank with Löhner's rope roll
Calculating the force and kinetic coefficient of friction necessary
Cross section of the Giza plateau from West to East through the center of the pyramid of Khufu. Degrees = app. inclination, that a sledge with a stone has to negotiate (calculated from the drawing). Elevation in meters above sea level (from GPMP).
Franz Löhner stipulates that any method or theory for pyramid construction should fulfill the following 5 requirements, otherwise it should be rejected:
1. A solution that is as simple as possible using a technology
that is as simple as possible (Occam's razor)
2. Continuity in technical matters and craftsmanship
3. Verification through pictures and/or text
4. Technology keeping with the time and culture
5. The supposed technique / method must really be a solution
All ramps get smaller when they reach the upper portion of the pyramid.
So it is of great importance, that when you get higher up you
only use smaller and lighter stones. With a ramp you would expect,
that the size of the stones would decrease steadily as you get higher.
It is interesting, that this is not the case in the pyramid of Khufu!
On the contrary you find thicker stone layers even very high up
- on 69m, 75m and on 89m. This fact is inconsistent with the proposed
ramps but corroborates the use of Franz Löhner's rope rolls and the
installation of rope-roll stations also high up on the pyramid flank.
Stone courses of the Pyramid of Khufu
Transport up the pyramid flank with Löhner's rope roll
Egyptologists propose, that the outer stones were bevelled and polished from the top down. This is mainly, because they need protruding stones, so the ramps can be anchored to them. With ramps you can't dress and polish the surface straight away, but you first have to dismantle and remove the ramps to reach the surface. But with these methods it is not possible to achieve an even surface or the desired accuracy! On the contrary, when beveling the upper stones, the strong blows would be transmitted through frictional connection to the stone lying underneath and that stone could break or crack. That this would happen is a fact, that any stone mason knows. So the stones had to be bevelled before they were transported up the pyramid. A ramp can't be anchored on the smooth surface of a pyramid.
Franz Löhner thinks, that the Tura stones were
dressed and bevelled as accurately as possible already in the quarries
and then were brought to the pyramid. Here they were hauled
to their intended place placed next to their neighboring stone and then
had to be polished to be finished.
The outer casing stones of the pyramid
1. Angle of inclination and number of haulers needed
Sledge A: The area to turn around is much too
small, so the haulers walk on air, because they can't just go around
the corners of the spiral ramp.
The sledge with the stone is hauled by 40 or more men. To turn around the corner, one solution could be to plant posts at each corner and pivot the ropes on the posts. The men hauling the rope at the inner side would have to pull faster than the ones at the outer side. Already before turning another team (B) has to take over from the original team (A). Then the stone has to be turned by wooden levers at the very corner. The teams wait, until the ropes are arranged again and they can continue.
But even if the corner posts withstand the constant strain and
are anchored well enough, so they don't get ripped out - this complicated
maneuver can not be done with one stone every minute!
It is impossible!
2. The size of the ramps
5. Transporting the heavy granite blocks
6. Exactness and control
Alignment of the pyramids and controlling the shape of the pyramid
Numbers and figures of the Cheops-pyramid (pyramid of Khufu)
Detailed calculations how many workers were necessary to build the pyramid
Only small, embankment-like structures have been discovered on the Giza plateau. Actually some smaller ramps were found - one on the southern side of the pyramid of Medûm (Meidum), which was 5m wide (adobe bricks) and at the pyramid of Sesostris I in Lisht there is a ramp of about 50m length. But these ramps are much smaller than the huge construction ramps suggested by the Egyptologists, more like transport roads or auxiliary ramps.
There is a dearth of conclusive archaeological evidence supporting the theory that massive ramps were used for the construction of the pyramids. For winding ramps there is no archaeological record at all that indicates the use of one, the depictions of ramps on wall paintings or papyrus generally show straight ones which lead up to a wall.
Another fact strengthens the case against ramps - when employing a ramp it is crucial to use smaller stones further up because the ramp gets narrower and often also steeper. But while the stones used for the layers of Khufu's pyramid overall get smaller the further up you go, again and again there are stones layers much thicker than the ones before. Illustration of the height of the first 50 layers .
 Papyrus of Anastasi: There is a ramp to be made of 730
cubits, with a breadth of 55 cubits, consisting of 120 compartments, filled
with reeds and beams, with a height of 60 cubits at its summit, its middle
of 30 cubits... (inclination of ramp = 9.9°)
 W. Petrie The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh
Please also check out this page:
The ramp models (detailed examination of the main theories) - Machines - Using horses or oxen
|Franz Löhner www.cheops-pyramide.ch|
Concept and Design, English Texts:
|Teresa (Zubi) Zuberbühler www.starfish.ch|