Moving large stone?


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Groups throughout history have left "statements in stone"... informing us that they had the means to transport giant loads (without the benefit of modern forklifts or bulldozers).

Some of the most impressive examples are the pyramids of Egypt, the ancient Incan ruins, Stonehenge, and the statues of Easter Island.

There are also examples of "one man operations" that have moved great pieces of rock. I've been reading about a man in South Florida (Edward Leedskalnin a transplant from Latvia) who had manipulated some huge chunks of coral and apparently there is a man in France who has also made a name for himself in this same field.

How do these people do it? I'm assuming that there may be different methods used by the larger groups acting as a cooperative unit, but for individuals to successfully tackle this problem is really fascinating.

P.S. I know about the see-saw method using buckets of sand and sturdy pegs to slowly crank the stone upward, but frankly I don't think this system would allow for such precise construction especially if only one person was doing all of the work.
While I'm at it... here's my opinions on some of the above mentioned groups.

1. Egyptian pyramids... an architect from France expounded on his father's idea and proved the Great Pyramid was constructed by using ramps built in the interior of the structure. I agree with this concept, however one key element has yet to be addressed. The foremen would have needed a "line" to determine if each side was going up at the appropriate angle. Ideally a perfectly straight, incredibly tall pole planted in the center of the structure would have worked (you could pull a taught string to determine if your upward progress was on point... a pole fitting these requirements this isn't feasible or realistic though.
I'm thinking they could have checked their accuracy at night using directed firelight and possibly well placed smoke screens. It's not like these guys could go to the local hardware store and purchase a laser level-- for them to achieve such accurate angles may be the most impressive feat they were able to accomplish.

2. Easter Island-- system of log rollers, lots of rope, and incredibly determined and physically powerful people. Polynesians are some of the strongest people on the planet. A team of modern archelogists were able to reproduce the Islanders results using this method.

3. Inca structures-- I have no idea. The Dr. Seuss shapes weighing a ton or more coupled with incredibly snug fits has me completely stumped. These people didn't have the wheel and the only pack animal available was the llama. Can't figure it out.
The Ancients knew considerably more about engineering than previously thought.

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