How Did the Ancients Construct Megalithic Buildings?

Gösta Lindwall, May 22, 2020

Illustration of ancient construction techniques for megalithic buildings

This illustraton shows some of the techniques that could have been used for the construction of ancient megalithic buildings. But did they also have other methods that we don't know about?

There has been much speculation on how the ancients were able to construct all the megalithic complexes around the world. How did they lift and move those large blocks of stone?

Some of the buildings are made from large and heavy building blocks, weighing up to hundreds – and in some cases thousands – of tons.

Equipment for Moving Blocks of Stone

We often picture large teams with many hundreds of people dragging blocks rolled on timber. using long ropes and pushing the levers. This was probably the case but did they possess any real machinery of a type proven to exist at the time period?

Central to this topic, is the question of upscaling a lifting device constructed from timber, ropes, blocks and tackle. If the equipment is sufficient for lifting a ten ton stone, can the same device be made bigger and manage to lift a hundred or a thousand ton building block?

The ancients depended on block timber made of wood, and ropes made of plant fibers or animal skin. In Egyptian times, bronze was used for joints and in tackles. Later in Roman times, iron was available for construction of mechanical devices.

If you enlarge a crane, you can use multiple blocks, thicker ropes, and so on, but is that possible with the materials they had? Would the strength of the material be sufficient for the scale required to construct the buildings we are seeing?

Even if a construction with multiple parallel ropes with blocks were used (like a Roman Crane), you would need to transport the block from the quarry, positioning it under the crane, and when lifted, turn and fixate the block into its proper position.

One of the objections to explanations involving hundreds of people moving blocks, is how they managed to get heavy blocks into position on narrow passages at high levels, move blocks around corners, and so on.

An Ancient Construction Site

The illustration is showing some of the equipment we have found in our research that were possibly used in ancient times. It's not very far-fetched to imagine a transport where a square block is built into a wheel. The for this part source is an illustration found in David Hatcher Childress' book ”Technology of the Gods”.

In Sweden, where we live, large buildings were mainly built near water until the 19th century. Transportation of building materials was mostly done by boats. In some areas, a net of channels are still cutting through the landscape. One could imagine that in areas near a river, like the Nile, this method was probably important for transporting goods and building materials.

The construction to the right in the illustration is a ”pyramid building machine” proposed by Leonardo Da Vinci. The lifting device is using the block itself as a lever, slowly lifting it by rocking over two balance points and stocking timber higher and higher underneath. It is not clear if Leonadro came up with this design by himself, or if he saw it in real life, or found a note about it in a library.

Before Leonardo, during medieval times, much smaller blocks and bricks were used in large buildings. There are no traces of megalithic blocks used at this time. Most likely, the handling of large blocks of stone was probably an ancient mystery also back then.

An Evolution of Stone Age Methods?

The lifting device shown in the illustration, is an evolved version of how mainstream archaeologists believe that lifting of heavy blocks was done in the stone age.

Stonehenge, for instance, features horizontal blocks resting on upright blocks. How were the horizontal blocks lifted and placed on the standing blocks?

In the first step, the standing blocks were positioned in place and erected. And the horizontal blocks were then placed on the ground, next to the standing stones.

In the second step, the horizontal stones were raised and placed on top of the standing blocks. People with levers titled the horizontal stones, and others shoveled and scooped smaller stones and gravel underneath it, until the desired height were met.

The horizontal block was then positioned to rest on top of the standing stones. When in place, the supporting material was removed. One can imagine that they placed the horizontal block slightly diagonally between the standing stones, making it easier to turn into position.

Final Question

We can see that mechanical methods were available for handling heavy blocks of stone.

Simple water-lifting cranes are said to have been invented in ancient Mesopotamia. Construction cranes are believed to originate from ancient Greek, around 700 B.C.

Larger cranes, like the one in the background of the illustration, have been depicted at multiple places of ancient Rome.

But can you imagine using an ancient crane or a device based on levers to lift the large blocks of Baalbek, Lebanon, estimated to a weight of 1,650 tons?

What other methods might have been available to our ancestors?

This article has also been published on Facebook in the group Forbidden Archaeology and other Mysteries.

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