The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 6th February 2015    I think we reached some kind of turning point on Wednesday. For the first time I noticed that we were using less dead-men on the levers to complete each lift than we had used on the previous lift, the centre of gravity of the Obelisk was slowly moving towards the base. It was also on Wednesday that I reached some kind of turning point in my mind. For the first time I fully understood how to achieve our objective and why I had changed our method of operation.    I am now convinced that any Obelisk can be raised by a small team of men without the need for any form of scaffolding whatever. The lifting frame or barn door as I call, it is the key. Using a barn door enables the team to arrange sufficient levers in the most effective manner for lifting and using a multitude of levers laid in close formation enables whatever counterweight is required to complete a single lift to be placed on top of the levers thus tipping the balance and lifting the Obelisk. While the counterweight is in place, it is perfectly safe to insert the packing required to consolidate that particular lift. And after several lifts a wedge shaped space has been created between the top end of the Obelisk and the ground, this space can then be filled with a timber construction built in a similar way as the crib we were using originally at the start of this experiment. When this has been done, this crib can be held together with Spanish windlasses, enabling the next series of lifts to be completed with the lifting point of the levers underneath this wedge. Thus the fulcrum as been returned to solid ground, as have the lifting team. Repeat as necessary until the Obelisk is upright.    Now back to the blog, the week had started badly, on Monday I had been guilty of impatience and had become careless. The result being that we broke the fulcrum. As the levers were almost fully loaded with dead men at the time this could well have been a disaster and someone could have been seriously hurt. Luckily we are all aware of the dangers of what we are doing and are always careful where we stand during the experiment. I immediately resolved to proceed more slowly in future and to constantly check everything during each session of lifting.    On Tuesday we cleared up the site and replaced the broken fulcrum. Towards the end of this session Mick joined us and as he is, like myself, comfortable at heights and being around twenty years younger than myself  also capable of loading on the heavy dead men without becoming overtired we slowly and carefully completed the lift, Mick doing all the heavy work while I watched what was happening to the supports. I think we achieved one of the easiest lifts ever, probably of about 3 or 4 inches.    On Wednesday the team consisted of Steve, Ewan and myself but we again achieved a really good lift in almost complete safety, with myself setting the levers and loading the dead men, Steve and Ewan watching everything carefully. It was as I was loading on the dead men that I realised we were approaching the tipping point much sooner than the previous day. This time we achieved a lift in excess of four inches, this was becoming easy. As we enjoyed a well earned beer afterwards, I suddenly realised  that if we had started this experiment with the knowledge and experience we now have, we could have used this method at ground level and completed the erection without ever needing any form of scaffolding whatever. Furthermore there appeared to be no limit to the size of the Obelisk that could be erected using this method. It was simply a matter of using a bigger barn door, more levers and more counterweight.    Thursday, the three of us completed another good lift and on Friday with the levers and counterweight still bearing the weight of the Obelisk, we were able to remove all the temporary packing we had used to get this far and replace this with a purpose built wedge shape crib. Next week we will continue with one more lift, and as the new crib is fastened to the top barn door, we will then be able to pack underneath the crib and on top of the bottom barn door. This will be the start of the next wedge shaped crib.    Below is a pic of the first wedge shaped crib. This is sitting on the bottom barn door which is itself supported by the buttress frames. It has been lashed together, and also lashed to the top barn door. Next week we will do one more lift using the present lifting point, and the wedge will travel upwards with the top barn door. We can then create a new lifting point underneath the wedge and bring the fulcrum back down to its earlier position at the same height as the scaffolding. We can then make a series of lifts before making a second wedge underneath the first. This procedure will be repeated until the Obelisk is upright. <<previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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