Throughout our history, mankind has produced some truly astonishing feats of engineering. Inspired by this, here in the first instalment of our new series on ancient feats of engineering, we take a closer look at the Egyptian pyramids, which have got to be some of the most recognisable monuments on the planet.
There has always been great debate concerning how exactly these impressive feats of engineering were constructed and, despite the best efforts of archaeologists and scientists alike, much mystery still surrounds these iconic structures.
A number of ancient civilisations including the Aztecs, the Mayans and the Egyptians built pyramids, however it was the ancient Egyptians who set the benchmark for what is considered the classic pyramid design.
The Egyptian pyramids were constructed at a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most influential civilisations in the world and these grand structures are known to have been built as early as the year 2600 BC.
Of all the pyramids, the Great Pyramids of Giza are by far the most celebrated. These fantastic monuments are located on the outskirts of modern day Cairo and are a truly astonishing feat of engineering.
The oldest and largest of these, known as the Great Pyramid, is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and is the only one of these iconic structures to have survived into the modern era.
The Great Pyramid was completed around 2504 BC and as such is over 4,000 years old. The pyramid stands at approximately 147 meters tall and over 5.5 million tonnes of limestone and 8,000 tons of granite were used in its construction. How this landmark was constructed has been a source of great debate since the time of the ancient Greeks.
To date, a number of different theories have been proposed in an attempt to solve this apparent mystery, with everything from to alien assistance to some unknown technology lost through the ages having been suggested.
Unfortunately few texts relating to Egyptian engineering methods have survived, and although recent archaeological investigations have shed more light on the matter, plenty of questions still remain concerning how exactly the huge stone building blocks featured in the pyramid were transported and came to be in their current positions.
However, most archaeologists now agree that a system involving ramps must have been utilised to drag the blocks into their positions.
The Egyptians were also known to have used surveying tools, such as the merkhet, the so-called ‘instrument of knowing’, which enabled workers to lay out straight lines and right angles. These tools also allowed builders to orient a structure in accordance with astronomical alignments, which likely explains how this grand monument came to be aligned precisely with the stars.
Whilst plenty of mystery still remains surrounding these amazing structures, there’s no denying they have earned their place as one of mankind’s most impressive engineering achievements and are a true wonder of the ancient world.
Here at Airedale Springs we appreciate amazing feats of engineering such as this. We’re providers of a wide range of high quality spring and wire form products many of which are used for a wide range of applications within the engineering field. For more information please don’t hesitate to contact us today by giving us a call on 01535 643456.