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148 Mechanical and Technical Processes. Materials
be seen in the 'King's Chamber' of the Great Pyramid and in
the so-called Temple of the Sphinx. Apart from architectural
forms, it can almost be said that, after the Great Pyramid,
the masonic craft remained static as regards mechanical and
technical processes until the advent of the Greeks and Romans.
One factor greatly affected the dimensions of the halls of the
buildings, as I have already mentioned, namely the exploitation,
in the New Empire, of the sandstone quarries at Gebel el-


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FIG. 25. Wooden sled, 14 feet long, on which a royal barge (Fig. 16) had been
transported; Xllth Dynasty, Dahshur. Cairo Museum.
Silsila, near Aswan. This stone, though not as beautiful as the
Tura limestone, is very easily worked; large flawless blocks can
be obtained near the river edge, and, lastly, it can be used as
architraves to span spaces of 8 yards or more without risk of
We can only understand the methods used by the Egyptians
from the Third Dynasty until Roman times in the construction
of their buildings by putting entirely out of our minds any pre-
conceived notions, and examining, first the tools known to
have been used by the Egyptians, and secondly the existing
The implements used in building, apart from those already
discussed, for shaping the stone, were the lever, the sled (Fig. 25),
ropes, rollers, sleepers, water for levelling, vast embankments
of rubble, plumb-rules, boats, and unlimited man-power. The