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Question on construction of Pyramids of Giza


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#31    kmt_sesh

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

View Postkampz, on 10 December 2012 - 10:58 AM, said:

There would be word of mouth about aliens and ufos if they built them. Forget the evidence. Unless they deleted there brains.

By the way how come Pyramids don't exist to the scale that they made before? Our president/King of England/King Solomon/Before Plato Athens couldn't pull that off. Yet some guy(King or leader) is chopping heads off(sacrificing or something) in the Central America/Egypt or where ever is accomplishing it without this outside help? The word Rebel seems to fit somewhere.

The largest pyramids were built in Dynasty 4, early in the Old Kingdom. After Dynasty 4, the state was weakening and the power of central authority was slipping. The kings in the later Old Kingdom could not marshall the resources and manpower that the earlier kings did, and when the Old Kingdom collapsed around 2200 BCE, Egypt descended into civil war.

The last lengthy spurt of pyramid building was in the Middle Kingdom, beginning c. 2066 BCE. By that point the religion of the state was changing and it appears huge pyramids were no longer the emphasis. The emphasis became some degree of standardization in royal tombs. The pyramids of this time were roughly the same size and followed a similar layout as to temples and other ancillary structures. At this point it's not that the kings were weaker, because most of the kings of Dynasty 12 (e.g., Senusret III) were much more powerful than those of Dynasty 4. It's just that the emphasis in royal funerary monuments was different.

It's also important to understand that an ancient Egyptian king was nothing like a modern king, president, or other head of state. The ancient king was imbued with absolute, unquestionable power. His word was law. Huge monuments in ancient times were not only dramatic religious statements but also a direct reflection of the ideology and power of the state—meaning the king. And that's what pyramids were in socio-political terms.

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What's the difference between the guy helping build the Pyramids of Giza and you/me? I sure wouldn't want to do that building but it's better then farming. I don't think a lot of girls are going to lay on the bed at will 24/7 for guys because of 7 kids or more running around always..maybe once a night for most usually..it's a way to get away from your family and be apart of something special, but otheres did it too ;) don't make assumptions about me.. lol

The difference is, the king could call you up to build monuments, and you had no say in the matter. It's a system we call corvée labor and was similar to a military draft. In fact, at any time, an Egyptian king in the Old Kingdom could call up citizens to serve in military campaigns or to build monuments. The governors who controlled the various nomes or provinces of ancient Egypt were then responsible for drawing up the necessary manpower from their territories. Some of these ancient officials left autobiographies in their tombs extolling their successes in rounding up sufficient manpower whenever the king asked for it.

The important thing is, you had no say in the matter. Again, akin to a military draft, if you were called up but fled to avoid the labor, you'd be considered basically the same as a military deserter. In ancient Egyptian terms, the state could then arrest your family and sell them into slavery, and if you were caught, you most likely faced death. So for most people it wouldn't have been worth the risk to do this. Most people would've done their duty and participated in corvée labor. The work would've been very hard and dangerous, but the laborers were well paid and received all of the support, medical care, and equipment they needed (at the expense of the state). And they would've worked for the state for only several months, after which they would've been sent home to return to their farms. In the Old Kingdom the population of the Nile Valley was at least 800,000 people and possibly as high as a million, so the state had all of the manpower it needed to keep the work going year round.

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#32    Eldorado

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:46 PM

Were the builders allowed to go over-budget?  As is todays fashion.  (Serious question; good engineers and architects must have been valued for their craft and not as easy to replace as todays mob)

Were they pampered?

Edited by Eldorado, 10 December 2012 - 07:50 PM.


#33    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:51 PM

View PostEldorado, on 10 December 2012 - 07:46 PM, said:

Were the builders allowed to go over-budget?  As is todays fashion.

I don't think working within a budget would have applied to Ancient Egypt. They're idea would appear to have been more along the lines of "do whatever it takes to get it done". As long as there was plenty of food, medical attention and housing for the workers, everything was a "GO".

cormac

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#34    Eldorado

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:32 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 10 December 2012 - 07:51 PM, said:



I don't think working within a budget would have applied to Ancient Egypt. They're idea would appear to have been more along the lines of "do whatever it takes to get it done". As long as there was plenty of food, medical attention and housing for the workers, everything was a "GO".

cormac

I appreciate they were 'on a mission' but surely a project of such size must have it's very own bureaucracy, i.e. bean counters with budgets and 'targets'.  For the good of the project.  No?

Edited by Eldorado, 10 December 2012 - 08:33 PM.


#35    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:38 PM

View PostEldorado, on 10 December 2012 - 08:32 PM, said:

I appreciate they were 'on a mission' but surely a project of such size must have it's very own bureaucracy, i.e. bean counters with budgets and 'targets'.  For the good of the project.  No?

The only real target they would have had would have been "we need to have this complete before the King dies". Everything else was secondary, at best, to that concern. A budget implies a certain limitation to what was to be performed, which is not apparent in how the Egyptians handled things.

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#36    cladking

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:52 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 10 December 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:

The only real target they would have had would have been "we need to have this complete before the King dies". Everything else was secondary, at best, to that concern. A budget implies a certain limitation to what was to be performed, which is not apparent in how the Egyptians handled things.

This is an assumption not bourne out by the evidence.  If it were necessary to complete
it before the king died then there should be some partially finished great pyramids. There
aren't any so either they could probably either finish it after he died or his death wasn't an
issue for some other reason.

Men fear the pyramid, time fears man.

#37    Eldorado

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 08:53 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 10 December 2012 - 08:38 PM, said:



The only real target they would have had would have been "we need to have this complete before the King dies". Everything else was secondary, at best, to that concern. A budget implies a certain limitation to what was to be performed, which is not apparent in how the Egyptians handled things.

cormac

I disagree that a budget restricts.  A construction done to budget means within the time quoted in the planning and at the cost quoted in the planning.  If you are part of a construction team, and the pyramid builders would have had many, you run to budget or you hold up other teams which can delay the whole project.

So anways.. what I was really asking was, Is there any evidence that any Pharaoh punished any builders for running late?  I'm just curious.  :)

Edited by Eldorado, 10 December 2012 - 08:54 PM.


#38    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:10 PM

View PostEldorado, on 10 December 2012 - 08:53 PM, said:

I disagree that a budget restricts.  A construction done to budget means within the time quoted in the planning and at the cost quoted in the planning.  If you are part of a construction team, and the pyramid builders would have had many, you run to budget or you hold up other teams which can delay the whole project.

So anways.. what I was really asking was, Is there any evidence that any Pharaoh punished any builders for running late?  I'm just curious.  :)

Here's the problem with your idea though, Eldorado. You're looking at it with a 21st century mindset. There was no "quoted cost" since it took whatever it took to complete the task. And there was no "within the time quoted" since, particularly with the Great Pyramid, there was no way of knowing how long it would take to complete such a monumental effort.

Getting to your basic question though, no, there's no evidence that anyone was punished. Whether for 'running late' or any other reason.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#39    Djedi

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:17 PM

View Postcladking, on 10 December 2012 - 08:52 PM, said:

This is an assumption not bourne out by the evidence.  If it were necessary to complete
it before the king died then there should be some partially finished great pyramids. There
aren't any so either they could probably either finish it after he died or his death wasn't an
issue for some other reason.

No partially finished "great pyramids"??? And what of Sekhemkhet's and Baka's then?


#40    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:21 PM

View PostDjedi, on 10 December 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

No partially finished "great pyramids"??? And what of Sekhemkhet's and Baka's then?

Djedi, he's selective on what he considers "Great Pyramids". That way he can misinterpret things any way he wants.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus

#41    kmt_sesh

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:28 PM

View PostDjedi, on 10 December 2012 - 09:17 PM, said:

No partially finished "great pyramids"??? And what of Sekhemkhet's and Baka's then?




Not to mention Djedefra's unfinished pyramid.

View Postcormac mac airt, on 10 December 2012 - 09:21 PM, said:

Djedi, he's selective on what he considers "Great Pyramids". That way he can misinterpret things any way he wants.

cormac

By cladking's own definition these would have to be included. All were masonry pyramids—at least that was the intent. Sekhemkhet's pyramid would've been larger than Djoser's.

But it's more convenient to exercise selective memory when entertaining fantasy.

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#42    Eldorado

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:30 PM

View Postcormac mac airt, on 10 December 2012 - 09:10 PM, said:



Here's the problem with your idea though, Eldorado. You're looking at it with a 21st century mindset. There was no "quoted cost" since it took whatever it took to complete the task. And there was no "within the time quoted" since, particularly with the Great Pyramid, there was no way of knowing how long it would take to complete such a monumental effort.

Getting to your basic question though, no, there's no evidence that anyone was punished. Whether for 'running late' or any other reason.

cormac

You know that no foreman was given enough materials to finish his particular assigned task and told to have the job finished in two weeks time else his squad was sacked/done-in?  That's the way 'construction' works and has always worked, is it not?  Or are you saying the pyramids were built 'at their leisure'?


#43    kmt_sesh

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:38 PM

View PostEldorado, on 10 December 2012 - 08:53 PM, said:

I disagree that a budget restricts.  A construction done to budget means within the time quoted in the planning and at the cost quoted in the planning.  If you are part of a construction team, and the pyramid builders would have had many, you run to budget or you hold up other teams which can delay the whole project.

So anways.. what I was really asking was, Is there any evidence that any Pharaoh punished any builders for running late?  I'm just curious.  :)

I would have to agree with cormac on this. One cannot apply modern construction criteria to the ancient world. There is simply no sense on the royal level that budgetary concerns were considered: all that mattered was the completion of the project, at all costs (pun intended).

Of much greater concern was the efficiency with which construction procedures carried on. This meant the timely delivery of raw materials, adequate recruitment of workers, the supplies to equip and maintain the builders, among other things. There was definitely a sophisticated bureaucracy in place just for the building of a pyramid, but we get no sense at all of budgets.

I also agree with cormac about the punishment of those running late. While there's evidence to suggest work crews competed and took pride in their work, records of progress and "quotas" simply don't exist from Dynasty 4. They do from later periods, however. The best-understood records exist for the workmen who lived in the government village of Deir el Medina and who built the royal tombs in the New Kingdom (Dynasty 18-20), a thousand years after Dynasty 4. In fact, events that transpired show that the ancient workmen could exercise considerable influence and power, when necessary. The first recorded "strike" in history comes from Deir el Medina, when the workmen in the reign of Ramesses III ceased work because they were not receiving their salaries. King or not, Ramesses III had no choice but to cave in and see to it that his viziers delivered those salaries.

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#44    Eldorado

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:39 PM

Thank you gents.  :)

I'm sticking to my guns though, having worked on the tools and in (junior) management level on construction sites.
Having a budget and keeping within your budget = efficiency.

Edited by Eldorado, 10 December 2012 - 09:45 PM.


#45    cormac mac airt

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 09:52 PM

View PostEldorado, on 10 December 2012 - 09:39 PM, said:

Thank you gents.  :)

I'm sticking to my guns though, having worked on the tools and in (junior) management level on construction sites.
Having a budget and keeping within your budget = efficiency.

Agreed. But again, you're talking about the way things are done in the 21st century AD. NOT 4500 years ago.

cormac

The city and citizens, which you yesterday described to us in fiction, we will now transfer to the world of reality. It shall be the ancient city of Athens, and we will suppose that the citizens whom you imagined, were our veritable ancestors, of whom the priest spoke; they will perfectly harmonise, and there will be no inconsistency in saying that the citizens of your republic are these ancient Athenians. --  Plato's Timaeus




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