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Full text of "The Legacy Of Egypt"

Mechanical and Technical Processes. Materials 149
question of the mason's square is discussed later. Modern and
medieval masonry is intimately connected with the pulley, acting
in conjunction with a 'lewis' or 'tongs'; the block is cut, tested
for rectangularity by means of a square, lifted above the course,
which is duly mortared, and finally lowered into position and
tested by the square and plumb-rule. In Egyptian masonry a
difficult point arises at the outset, namely that the Egyptians
did not use the pulley. That none has been found is not
sufficient evidence (see my remarks above on the tubular drills),
but other considerations make this fact certain. In the numerous
representations and models of large sailing-ships (see p. 141),
where the pulleys should be, at the masthead, none exists; men
had to stand to push up the yard. No trace of the use of lewises
or tongs is seen on the laid blocks in the monuments. The
size of the blocks proves that they were therefore not lifted
as we understand the term; they had to be levered on to a sled
and hauled up an incline leading to the course. Traces of such
ramps can be seen in the Great Pylon pf Sheshonq at Karnak
and elsewhere. In the monuments, statues, blocks and even
obelisks are represented on sleds, one of which 14 feet in
length has been found, and is now in the Cairo Museum
(Fig. 25). Rollers and sleepers have also been found, though
admittedly not very big. Since blocks of great size could not
be lifted, they had to be handled from the side by means of
levers, and bosses are common on blocks in pyramid and other
times. Assume that a block had been hauled up to the course:
it had to be handled from the front, otherwise, if it once pro-
jected too much, there would be no means of getting it back.
We therefore have to assume that not only were there supply
slopes of earth or rubble leading up to the course being laid,
but also an embankment outside the course on which the
builders could not only stand, but use their levers, if only for
disengaging the block from its sled! If these considerations are
not perplexing enough we have another even more so, namely,