Refutation of the Baldridge Block-Shuffle theory
The Baldridge Block Shuffle is an ingenious theory, which
invented by Mr. Baldridge during his student days, in
provide a possible way, in which the 50 to 75 tons
blocks above the King's chamber of the Great Pyramid
been transported there by ancient Egyptians. Ironically,
the Great Pyramid is one of the places, where the method could
because the number of blocks to transport had been greater
the method's maximum capacity.
Anyhow, the block-shuffle method would have had to accomodate
even more blocks, which the other methods could not measure up to.
The Zig-zagging ramp, for instance, could only supply 15 ton blocks to
the height of approximately 34.3 meters, and no higher. Check:
Yet, many od the blocks in the chamber's floor, and walls may weigh
in excess of 15 tons, by the looks of in the diagram.
Unfortunately, my criticism of the Block-Shuffle
method didn't seem to
penetrate. Here is one wishful reaction:
> If I understand the "Baldridge
Block Shuffle Theory" your
> principle argument is that the surface area of the partly
> constructed pyramid top is not large enough for the pullers
> to position the stones. One flaw with your arguement is
> that you assume the same long, narrow column of pullers
> needed for the small ramps must also be used on the
> pyramid top. There is nothing to prevent the pullers
> from switching to a short, wide configuration after
> clearing the narrow ramp.
Here it is appropriate to observe that by the same logic
also nothing to prevent the pullers from going for a beer instead..
Our champion of the status quo had coolly ignored my observation
that even though wider team configurations will obviously need less
room ahead - they will need more room on the sides to stay clear of
the already parked blocks. _ There should be a law against such
brazen arrogance, jamming the newsgroups.
No matter, how one may combine the configurations - nothing works.
There simply isn't enough space for manouvering all the blocks around,
on the working platform, as the reader shall see.
- * -
How does the B. Block Shuffle do at 40 metres above the base?
At that height, the length of one
side shrinks from 230.4 meters to 167.5
meters . So, the working platform is 167.5 x 83.75 meters (549' by 274.5').
At a glance, this would seem like enough room to manouver in,
but, we must not forget about the dead zone - as the blocks
simply cannot be dragged all the way to the Pyramid's edges.
The dead zone is the space between the edges and the blocks,
which is occupied by the towing column.
How long are the columns towing 60 ton blocks?
The "Secrets of Lost Empires" had
250 Andean natives towing
a 15 ton block. They had trouble overcoming the block's inertia,
but afterwards everything proceeded smoothly. Yet, we want our
column of pullers to be as short as possible, So, let's do the opposition
a big favor, and suppose that 800 men (rather than 1,000 men) could
pull a 60 ton block. Those 800 men form 12 files and 67 ranks.
Tightly packed at two feet apart between ranks - their throng
is 132 feet long. Such a throng is also at least 20 feet wide. Note
that this last estimate favors the opposition, too, by several feet.
Adding 30 feet for the sleds carrying the 26 feet long blocks, and
a couple of feet for the space between the sleds and the team (again,
this favors the opposition) gives a 162 feet total (men-rope-sleds).
This means that the back-end of each sled can get no closer
than 162 feet to the pyramid's edge straight ahead.
The Straight Line Formation (at 40 meters)
Building a wide ramp all along the
middle of the Pyramid, and
towing the blocks straight ahead would be limited to 50 blocks,
at best. The diagram below shows 48 blocks in such a formation.
The Butterfly Formation
We try fanning out the blocks from
one, or two narrow ramps
near the center. After the first block gets pulled onto the higher
half of the working platform, the front of the towing team is just
113 feet from the edge of the pyramid up ahead. Next, the team
must reposition itself, and turn the sleds, because towing them
straight ahead would barricade the way for the other blocks.
The first block should likely be towed towards one of the pyramid's
corners. Only the last block would be towed straight ahead.
The team, passing on either side of the preceding block, will be
at least 20 feet wide (favoring the opposition significantly, again),
and since the block behind the team sets the team's central axis -
there will always be some space between neighbouring blocks.
Diagramming this method in CAD proves that it fails the task, too.
The long and narrow black rectangle
in the center shows the gaping
hole of the Grand Gallery. This 5'2'' wide tunnel proves to be a major
obstacle to manouvering the blocks.
At the top of the diagram, we have an array of 52 blocks, of which 36
fan out from the on-ramps near the center. The yellow rays represent
the throngs of pullers 132' long.
We used the longest possible (225'), and narrowest possible (16') columns
of pullers for the 8 blocks, shown on each side, to maximize the output.
Each side-group has a separate wide ramp, which would certainly
add to the total effort. The 16 additional blocks give us the best result,
but this alternative still proves only slightly superior to the first method.
At 40 meters above the Pyramid's base, the block-shuffle method
can handle 52 big blocks in all. That is insufficient for the purpose.
Moreover, the floor of the King's chamber is at the height of almost 50 meters,
and the big blocks start several meters higher still.
Once again, we did the opposition a huge favor, just in order to be conservative
in our estimates..
At the bottom of this diagram, we
see a formation of 80 blocks in groups
of ten, loaded on sleds 30' long and 6' wide. Spaced out as required, self-
evidently, these many blocks just could not fit the Pyramid widthwise.
Yet, the total number of the sleds may have needed to be even greater..
Situation at 47 meters
If anyone thinks that our results so far are inconclusive,
be so a little higher, let's say, at 47 meters.. At this height, 2 meters
below the King's Chamber, the available space for manouvering with
the blocks shrinks to 513.4 x 256.7 feet. Correspondingly, the number
of blocks we can move this high decreases to mere 46 blocks.
To be fair, the Baldridge method
is quite ingenious. It just might
work for a smaller number of giant stones than we have on hand.
However, it fails as a solution for the task posed by the Great Pyramid.
© Jiri Mruzek 1998
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