Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2
M. Williams

Djehutyhotep's statue and the wood beam

24 posts in this topic

The 12th dynasty tomb of Djehutyhotep , an Egyptian official, is famous for its depiction of the moving of a large statue on a wood sled .

Along with Hauliers on ropes, three groups of workers are shown ; three holding bottles of what is presumed to be lubricant, three holding staffs or levers and a wood beam with notches on top and one protruding end. Exactly how this wood beam was used has been a mystery, but perhaps it was used in this way;

( see drawing link) https://www.academia...and_lever_point

I propose that the beam was a rail / lever-point , part of a three-part system (1.levers 2. rail /leverpoint 3.lubricant) for propelling the sled when needed. The number three is symbolic of plurality and the state of being a complete system. The workers are depicted in three groups of three, symbolizing that they worked together as a unit and that there were many of each.

Since its discovery many drawings have been done, with each one differing from another , though the notched beam is always depicted as having a sawtooth-like texture. I show the small end of the beam as a mortise/tendon used to attach the rails together , a typical woodworking technique of the time. These depictions were made within two-hundred years of the construction of the Great Pyramid and are fantastic evidence as to how stone was moved in Egypt during the Old Kingdom.

Mason Williams

Tomb info. @ > http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm

Djehutyhotep-El-Bershah.jpg

Edited by M. Williams
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you M. Williams for this very interesting post.. We all learn something new every day.

I shall give you a applause for your proposal, because it sounds more real than the help of aliens come to aid this construction theory

The mind boggling think=g is, since the demise of the people of ancient times, nobody had attempted to do anything of this scale and magnitude for many many centuries.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"three holding staffs or levers " - I see at the bottom left three guys holding small staffs. it is not sure if the guy in the broken off portion also holds a staff, but from the symmetry, we can assume that he does.

But I cant see where the " wood beam with notches on top and one protruding end" is.

Having moved heavy electrical equipment in huge substations and power plants, I have used simple pipes as rollers on which the equipment sat and we used solid rods as levers , right under the equipment to push it forward.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm...from left to right on the bottom row, I see two guys holding sticks or staves that look too small to do anything other than prod lazy workers. I see the three guys carrying the wood beam with the protruding end (although calling the top of the beam "notched" is a bit generous, I think. The top is pretty uneven all around). After them I see three guys carrying either lubricant or water in jars on shoulder yokes.

Does anyone have a translation for whatever is written above the beam and the jar carriers?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the dead lift threshold, fine learned gentlemen ... the dead lift threshold is the principle difficulty ... if it can't be overcome by the tools available by means of a fulcrum no matter how many extra personnel or muscle power one applies .. the mass wont be budged or moved ...

~

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"three holding staffs or levers " - I see at the bottom left three guys holding small staffs. it is not sure if the guy in the broken off portion also holds a staff, but from the symmetry, we can assume that he does.

But I cant see where the " wood beam with notches on top and one protruding end" is.

Having moved heavy electrical equipment in huge substations and power plants, I have used simple pipes as rollers on which the equipment sat and we used solid rods as levers , right under the equipment to push it forward.

The beam is right below the statue, it's being carried on their shoulders.

Mason

Edited by M. Williams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest versions of the drawing show that the top of the beam is notched and Egyptologists always refer to it as 'the notched beam'. Here's another early drawing showing the notched beam. The levers are not used to 'dead-lift', only to propel the sled when it gets stuck. Check out this link for drawing info.> http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm

statue2.jpg

Edited by M. Williams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm...from left to right on the bottom row, I see two guys holding sticks or staves that look too small to do anything other than prod lazy workers. I see the three guys carrying the wood beam with the protruding end (although calling the top of the beam "notched" is a bit generous, I think. The top is pretty uneven all around). After them I see three guys carrying either lubricant or water in jars on shoulder yokes.

Does anyone have a translation for whatever is written above the beam and the jar carriers?

When scaled off of the beam carriers ,the lever/staffs are 48-54 inches long. This length of lever could lift 600-800 pounds and slide a much greater weight horizontally .

Mason

This link has good info. > http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm

Edited by M. Williams

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Egyptian artwork isn't known for its accuracy to scale.

Incidentally, I can't seem to load the links you are putting up regarding the rail/lever point system. Is anyone else having trouble?

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes ,I know. But it gives us a reference .

Mason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also, the 58 ton statue was dragged by 172 men....so about .33 US ton per man.

******************************************************************************

Here's a more complete translation of hieroglyphs on Djehutyhotep's wall painting from Osiris.net.

"Following a statue of 13 cubits of stone of Hatnub. Behold, the way upon which it came, was very difficult, beyond anything.

Behold, the dragging of the great things upon it was difficult for the heart of the people, because of the difficult stone of the ground, being hard stone.

I caused the youth, the young men of the recruits to come, in order to make for it (the statue) a road, together with shifts of necropolis-miners and of quarrymen, the foremen and the wise. The people of strength said: "We come to bring it;" while my heart was glad; the city was gathered together rejoicing; very good it was to see beyond everything. The old man among them, he leaned upon the child; the strong-armed together with the tremblers, their courage rose. Their arms grew strong; one of them put forth the strength of 1000 men.

Behold, this statue, being a squared block on coming forth from the great mountain, was more valuable than anything. Vessels were equipped, filled with supplies, [in advance (?)] of my army of recruits, the youth bore [... in advance of (?)] it. Their words were laudation, and my praises from the king. My children ... adorned were behind me. My nome shouted praise. I arrived in the district of this city, the people were gathered together, praising; very good it was to see, beyond everything. The counts who were of old; the judge and local governor who were appointed for ... in this city, and established for the [...] upon the river, their hearts had not thought of this which I had done, [in that I made (?)] for myself ... established for eternity, after this my tomb was complete in its everlasting work."

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you M. Williams for this very interesting post.. We all learn something new every day.

I shall give you a applause for your proposal, because it sounds more real than the help of aliens come to aid this construction theory

The mind boggling think=g is, since the demise of the people of ancient times, nobody had attempted to do anything of this scale and magnitude for many many centuries.

So modern day sky scrapes...?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

Ive seen a documentary about this, the egyptian at the foot of the statue is pouring water onto the ground "more likely sand" to make it clump up so they could pull the statue more easily. It had to be precise, because if they poured to little of amounts of water, the sand wouldnt clump and the statue wouldn't be able to move as well, same goes for pouring too much water on the sand.

Edited by plaguedmedusa

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The earliest versions of the drawing show that the top of the beam is notched and Egyptologists always refer to it as 'the notched beam'. Here's another early drawing showing the notched beam. The levers are not used to 'dead-lift', only to propel the sled when it gets stuck. Check out this link for drawing info.> http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm

statue2.jpg

I think it probably is just what it looks like. They put the notched rail down under the statue, and then used the levers in the notches to help move it forward. It provided a solid surface to use the levers on, and had enough friction with the ground to not just slide around.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I hear what you're saying DC, but I think it would be best to have the short woods anchored firmly to the ground.

See pg. 2, view 26, @ > http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm for pic.of wall painting as some drawings of this scene do differ in some details. The left end of the short wood is cut in a 'stair-step' pattern, (not a 'saw-tooth' pattern)...also near the right end there's an interesting square-cut 'U-shaped' notch and just left of this is a 'hook' w/ notch....poss used to attach to protruding pegs on the side of sled; not sure. (Mid section of short wood is difficult to see due to 'water' damage to painting, seems to be notched also.)

Were they carrying just one board? How thick was this board?

They built a road, but the wall painting doesn't show any road, path, or evidence of sleepers either. Possibly they used some paving stones to make a sort of track for the sled???

The site mentions that the tomb painting depicts the last part of the statue's journey, (it seems they are getting ready to begin pulling.) which began in the Hatnub quarry, dragged approx. 17 km to the Nile, barged to El-Bersha, and then probably placed near the tomb. (Exact destination is unknown due to damage of some of the tomb's wall paintings.)

Edited by scorpiosonic

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I thought that it was pretty well settled that they're using a liquid -- there was some debate about whether it was water or milk. A recent BBC documentary seemed to indicate that "the guy who pours water in front of sleds" was a part of all the hauling crews. Plus, I've read about this in books of all kinds for ages. I even think L. Sprague deCamp wrote about it in his book on ancient engineering.

Here's some stuff I found on it by scholars:

Davison, C. St C. "Transporting sixty-ton statues in early Assyria and Egypt." Technology and Culture (1961): 11-16.

...and...

Feeny, Brian, et al. "A historical review on dry friction and stick-slip phenomena." Applied Mechanics Reviews 51.5 (1998): 321-341.

Even Petrie has some remarks on it, too -- he was the first one I remember reading about these things.:

Petrie, William Matthew Flinders. A History of Egypt: During the XVIIth and XVIIIth Dynasties. 1896, with Additions to 1898. Vol. 2. Charles Schribner's Sons, 1897.

And, of course, there's actually a discussion of it in modern books on engineering:

ftp://58.192.112.18/Pub2/EBooks/Books_from_EngnetBase/pdf/8576/Section04/ch21.PDF

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to be contentious here, but it seems obvious that the evidence for sledges being pulled is really very good, based on all the books on ancient engineering I've read. I loved Sprague de Camp, Hendrick Van Loon, and all the others. I guess that in this age of "I need knowledge and I need it right now" they get overlooked.

It seems as if they would be aware if levers and pulleys were used with sledges, because that kind of action is going to create a LOT of wear and rubbing. The damage would be obvious. In addition, if it's a good method, the Romans would have swiped it to use. People were borrowing technology from each other, and good ideas spread rapidly there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not trying to be contentious here, but it seems obvious that the evidence for sledges being pulled is really very good, based on all the books on ancient engineering I've read. I loved Sprague de Camp, Hendrick Van Loon, and all the others. I guess that in this age of "I need knowledge and I need it right now" they get overlooked.

It seems as if they would be aware if levers and pulleys were used with sledges, because that kind of action is going to create a LOT of wear and rubbing. The damage would be obvious. In addition, if it's a good method, the Romans would have swiped it to use. People were borrowing technology from each other, and good ideas spread rapidly there.

Hello Kenemet

I don't believe it's a matter of levers or pulling. Both methods are evidenced and both are routinely used now as then . The fulcrum would most likely be rope threaded through the sled similar to the oar configuration of AE boats .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I hear what you're saying DC, but I think it would be best to have the short woods anchored firmly to the ground.

I don't see a problem with that. They place the bar, stake it down and then use it to ratchet the statue forward.

See pg. 2, view 26, @ > http://www.osirisnet...utyhotep_02.htm for pic.of wall painting as some drawings of this scene do differ in some details. The left end of the short wood is cut in a 'stair-step' pattern, (not a 'saw-tooth' pattern)...also near the right end there's an interesting square-cut 'U-shaped' notch and just left of this is a 'hook' w/ notch....poss used to attach to protruding pegs on the side of sled; not sure. (Mid section of short wood is difficult to see due to 'water' damage to painting, seems to be notched also.)

I've tried looking at a number of drawings of this wall mural, and it seems to me that many of them differ, and I can't say for sure what the original looks like, because I can't get a good resolution pic that I can zoom in on to see what is what.

Another point, I think, would be if the notched board is facing the way it would be placed, or perhaps has the front pointing back?

Were they carrying just one board? How thick was this board?

They built a road, but the wall painting doesn't show any road, path, or evidence of sleepers either. Possibly they used some paving stones to make a sort of track for the sled???

They could very well have done that. It could even be that the board is a piece of such a road, used over sand. And that the rough side goes face down to increase surface area. And perhaps the notched/stepped end is to meet up with another stepped end to aid continuity of the road. We just don't know, IMHO.

The site mentions that the tomb painting depicts the last part of the statue's journey, (it seems they are getting ready to begin pulling.) which began in the Hatnub quarry, dragged approx. 17 km to the Nile, barged to El-Bersha, and then probably placed near the tomb. (Exact destination is unknown due to damage of some of the tomb's wall paintings.)

Your link actually translates the writing immediately to the left of the statue scene which tells the story. Maybe you already knew that, but others might want to read it. :tu:

Edited by DieChecker
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)

I just read on the touregypt.com site that the AE had built a road from the Hatnub quarry to the Nile, and used 'drystones' to pave the road, also they built up roadbed levels in low areas, (across wadis). Possible the board(s) could've been fitted into notches formed by stones in the road.

(I went back to looking @ the pic of actual tomb painting after viewing several different sketched versions.)

It seems/appears the 3 men are lifting the board into place, (it depicts an awkward way to carry a board) .....but they are positioned below sled in painting, maybe they were getting ready to place it??? (somewhere). :unsure2:

Translation of wall hieroglyphs available on pg. one here. :tu:

Edited by scorpiosonic
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just read on the touregypt.com site that the AE had built a road from the Hatnub quarry to the Nile, and used 'drystones' to pave the road, also they built up roadbed levels in low areas, (across wadis). Possible the board(s) could've been fitted into notches formed by stones in the road.

WHAT??? Raised roadbeds? Cladking said those don't exist, so your source is obviously a hoax.... (Teasing)

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

:lol:

He can't be right all the time....errr, ramps exist also. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another possibility is that the board was set into a groove on the road on its narrow side, (as pictured in tomb painting), and then the pry bars used on the step cut 'notches'. :tu:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 2

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.