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# Grand Gallery Counterweight Theory is flawed?

## 21 posts in this topic

J.P. Houdin's Grand Gallery Counterweight Theory has two fatal flaws as proposed. Let's use 3" diam. Manila rope as a benchmark, which is close to ancient rope in performance and has data available. The rope breakdown goes like this:

----------------Rope Weight------------------------------------------

Houdin shows six ropes being used , if we assume it's 3" in diameter it weighs 2.4 pounds per linear foot. The earth ramp leading to the Grand Gallery looks to be around 1,600 feet long approx. .

6 ropes x 1,600 feet long each = 9,600 total linear feet of rope.

9,600 linear feet x 2.4 pounds per linear ft. = 23,000 pounds of rope

The counterweight only weighs 50,000 pounds according to Houdin and half of it is used just to pull the weight of its own rope. Seems pointless to me already ...

-------------- And then there's his theories Achilles heal = rope stretch -----------------

Trolley weight is 50,000 pounds divided by 6 ropes = 8,300 pound load per rope or 1/6 th of the ropes breaking strength which is 57,000 pounds. At a 1/6th load manila rope stretches 10-15% . The rope/ramp is 1,600 feet long which means the rope will stretch 160-240 feet. The Grand Gallery is only 178 feet long. The machines movement isn't far enough to take up the ropes slack .The rope stretches until the trolley runs out of room and the stone never budges

His counterweight located by Khafre' s Pyramid is even more flawed. The ramp leading from the dock to Khafre looks to be around 2,400 feet, a far worse situation for rope stretch/weight than than the GG setup is. My source for rope info is ( www.US-rope-cable.com/manila-rope.html ) and ( www.shamrock.co.UK/rope.htm ).

It seems that you run into a catch 22 where you either have too much weight in rope to prevent stretching or less rope that stretches too much. If someone is knowledgeable about rope it would be nice to have an expert opinion.

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I hope someone comes here, and shows you the ropes.

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I hope someone comes here, and shows you the ropes.

?

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and Houdin is proposing that the stones were pulled up a ramp. The actual rope weight

would be the height of the lift in feet minus the height of the ropes in the grand gallery in

feet times the weight of the rope / foot times the sine of the angle of the ramp. This is

far less weight than you suggest.

The stretch is also less because the tension on the rope is less than the dead lift (multi-

ply by the sine of the ramp angle). Indeed, I believe they used a counterweight and the

level section across the pyramid was a type of chain with a negligible stretch.

This doesn't mean I support the concept that the grand gallery was a counterweight run,

merely that the theory is intact,.

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Indeed, I believe they used a counterweight and the

level section across the pyramid was a type of chain with a negligible stretch.

I just found what a link of the chain probably looked like;

It's the f47 heiroglyph and it looks like a paper clip missing the internal bend.

http://hieroglyphs.net/0301/cgi/pager.pl?p=04b

phr dbn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_hieroglyphs/F

http://renfield.physics.utah.edu/wiki/images/archive/d/d1/20090301012840!Pdf_dictionary.pdf

Pretty cool.

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...Come to think of it they'd need varying lenghts so as not to have too much "slop" in

total "rope" lenght. This should account for f48, f49, f46, and f50 as well. Each of these

was about 4" apart in lenght so they could adjust lenght to within 4" by using the proper

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You're missing my point

I know the calculations aren't entirely correct .I realize slope of the trolley etc. plays a huge part in the forces involved. What i'm saying is there is a correlation between the length of the trolley's travel and the weight/stretch of the rope. The counterweight weight theory has never been backed up in any meaningful way with specifics making it impossible to even check. But using rough numbers with a large margin of error, even the absolute best case scenario for the theory looks like a complete waste of time from a cost/benefit standpoint.

Mason

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I know the calculations aren't entirely correct .I realize slope of the trolley etc. plays a huge part in the forces involved. What i'm saying is there is a correlation between the length of the trolley's travel and the weight/stretch of the rope. The counterweight weight theory has never been backed up in any meaningful way with specifics making it impossible to even check. But using rough numbers with a large margin of error, even the absolute best case scenario for the theory looks like a complete waste of time from a cost/benefit standpoint.

I don't support his counterweight theory. It has some large advantages to most

of the ramp theories but it also has some disadvantages. Whatever is in this counter-

weight has to be moved back up to the top of the grand gallery. I suppose he envisions

stones filling it which can be dragged up by teams of men or even animals. Whatever

weight rides down on the trolley must be relifted. There are numerous ways to move

small weights that are far far easier than the 70 ton granite slabs.

The rope stretching reduces the efficiciency. It is not extremely well evidenced and doesn't

account for the extremely high ceiling. Even a single ramp to lift only the granite slabs is a

lot of work which could have been eliminated by simply turning the gables above the reliev-

ing chambers by 90 degrees. His theory is attractive but I have some doubt it represents

the actual methods used. I'd be more impressed if he could tie it to the internal ramp theory

more closely.

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the ropes of the day would be hopelessly unreliable for 'lifting' ... as for ropes being used to bind or secure the stones to sledges or whatever means that was used by the AEs, it would reliable up to a certain scale in relation to dimension and weight ...

~

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You're missing my point

I know the calculations aren't entirely correct .I realize slope of the trolley etc. plays a huge part in the forces involved. What i'm saying is there is a correlation between the length of the trolley's travel and the weight/stretch of the rope. The counterweight weight theory has never been backed up in any meaningful way with specifics making it impossible to even check. But using rough numbers with a large margin of error, even the absolute best case scenario for the theory looks like a complete waste of time from a cost/benefit standpoint.

Mason

Completely agree. You've shown that the stretch of the rope would make the setup you laid out worthless.

There is no way the Ancient Egyptians used thousands of feet of rope to operate counterweights in the Grand Gallery. If this is how they built the Great Pyramid, then how did they build Khafre's pyramid which was only slightly less tall and massive? Which was built just a decade later (more or less). I believe that whatever method they used on the Great Pyramid must have also been used on the other Giza pyramids.

I also agree with Third Eye that the ropes were probably crappy and it would be a nightmare trying to get thousands of feet of hand made rope strung together which might snap at any moment. Which then suggests they used heavier rope, which reduces the ability to lift, increasing inefficiencys.

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The "ancients" did not have TV, computer internet or such.

So, they had a lot of time to make strong ropes.

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The "ancients" did not have TV, computer internet or such.

So, they had a lot of time to make strong ropes.

What with ? ... I doubt polymers were available just because the AEs did not have TV or Puters and Internet ~ or a lotta time either for that matter ~

~

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What with ? ... I doubt polymers were available just because the AEs did not have TV or Puters and Internet ~ or a lotta time either for that matter ~

~

I am not sure but isnt there an alternative that is 100% natural? Sailors used ropes when technology wasnt advance and ropes were of good quality in those times. With technology we just invented cheaper ways to build them and i am not sure if cheaper with alternative materials means better quality too...

Interesting comment by pallidin, very. I am sure there is a lot of truth behind that logic.

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I am not sure but isnt there an alternative that is 100% natural? Sailors used ropes when technology wasnt advance and ropes were of good quality in those times. With technology we just invented cheaper ways to build them and i am not sure if cheaper with alternative materials means better quality too...

Interesting comment by pallidin, very. I am sure there is a lot of truth behind that logic.

ropes to bind and ropes to lift require totally different characteristics ... and the braiding needs to be different too ...

~ and also lifting different weights brackets requires totally different tensile strength ... its not just a matter of thicker of the same ... that's why ropes 'snaps' like a whip when it goes ... the Hollywood slow twist and dramatic slow tension snaps is a myth ... and very rarely if ever happens in real life.

~

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ropes to bind and ropes to lift require totally different characteristics ... and the braiding needs to be different too ...

~ and also lifting different weights brackets requires totally different tensile strength ... its not just a matter of thicker of the same ... that's why ropes 'snaps' like a whip when it goes ... the Hollywood slow twist and dramatic slow tension snaps is a myth ... and very rarely if ever happens in real life.

~

yeah u rite it is different thing indeed. I was just thinkin about quality of material and quality of making process of the rope - 100% natural should be better and especially if done by someone who has tradition of making ropes.

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yeah u rite it is different thing indeed. I was just thinkin about quality of material and quality of making process of the rope - 100% natural should be better and especially if done by someone who has tradition of making ropes.

not necessary true ~ ropes originally were made to tie things together ~ bind and secure, as like threads for clothing ... and even if to lift or pull ... it take a lot of know how and much more to know the specifics of the tensile strength necessary for the specific load tolerance, and of course the quality of natural element components to make such specialised ropes ... the process is the crucial element here rather than what makes the ropes. Not often or everyday that any culture has needs of such ropes that has the tensile quality to lift such weights. Its not just skills any longer but rather a specific specialty of 'developmental science' as primitive as it may seems.

~

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If I remember right the Ancient Egyptians had papyrus ropes. Meaning made of papyrus reeds. I don't believe they had hemp rope, which is what Europe used since Roman times.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cordage

The ancient Egyptians were probably the first civilization to develop special tools to make rope. Egyptian rope dates back to 4000 to 3500 B.C. and was generally made of water reed fibres. Other rope in antiquity was made from the fibres of date palms, flax, grass, papyrus, leather, or animal hair. The use of such ropes pulled by thousands of workers allowed the Egyptians to move the heavy stones required to build their monuments. Starting from approximately 2800 B.C., rope made of hemp fibres was in use in China. Rope and the craft of rope making spread throughout Asia, India, and Europe over the next several thousand years.
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The "ancients" did not have TV, computer internet or such.

So, they had a lot of time to make strong ropes.

Indeed.

I believe some of the ropes they made are STILL strong but I don't know they've been tested. A rope that stays dry and isn't eaten by insects shouldn't lose a lot of strenth even after 4,700 years, I believe.

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If I remember right the Ancient Egyptians had papyrus ropes. Meaning made of papyrus reeds. I don't believe they had hemp rope, which is what Europe used since Roman times.

Coir /ˈkɔɪr/ is a natural fibre extracted from the husk of coconut and used in products such as floor mats, doormats, brushes, mattresses, etc. Technically, coir is the fibrous material found between the hard, internal shell and the outer coat of a coconut. Other uses of brown coir (made from ripe coconut) are in upholstery padding, sacking and horticulture. White coir, harvested from unripe coconuts, is used for making finer brushes, string, rope and fishing nets.

Still the best of the old school ropes and arguably even better than most 'modern' ropes but hushed and barred from the open market due to open market pressures ~

~

~

/

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Cool video. Thanks.

Someday we'll be able to do this with long molecules and make material 1000's of times stronger than steel.

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IF interested: check this link, Em Hotep http://emhotep.net/ (on an informative website, The Egyptian Emporium, recommended blogs) which has an Interview w/ Houdin (part one of The Great Sphinx) and it covers causeway ramps, and an internal ramp for the GP, etc. and a link to another article,

From Quarry to Capstone: Transporting the Blocks and Megaliths of the Great Pyramid

I liked what Houdin said about the ramps, but not so sure about the counter-weights, which would've required pulleys. The voids were in the correct locations for stone movement, to and up the Pyramid, anyway. Also, he mentions the possibility of a 2-level ramp, one for uploading stones, and the other for the empty sled's return to reload.

Possibly: the voids were used to house and anchor a large winch system. I don't disagree w/ what MW said about ropes....I'm assuming they were used, but only for short-distance moves. A natural fiber rope will stretch w/ a heavy load, but after just a few hauls w/ that much weight, they would've been stretched more or less to the 'stretch-limit'.

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