The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 14th March 2015    Since my last blog 10 days ago, we have been busy clearing up the mess caused by the falling obelisk and salvaging what timber we can in order to repair the damage to the plinth. We have decided to encase the original plinth in an extra layer of concrete on all four sides and also on the top. This means that the new plinth will now measure 5ft by 5ft by 2ft 6 inches high.    We have also made a start on recovering the obelisk from the position we found it after the fall, which was lying on a bed of broken timber and rubble.    The plan now is to move the obelisk back about 2ft from where it now lies and then across about 6 or 8ft so that it is once again lined up in front of the plinth. We will then elevate it, so that it is above the level of the plinth, and move it forward again so that the base is in the correct position over the turning groove ready for the erection to begin again.    Although the incident was a major setback in our attempt to raise an obelisk, we have decided to make the best of things and use this setback to advantage by enlarging the scope of this experiment.    The new experiment will now include moving the 10 ton obelisk into position on the plinth entirely by hand and also completing the erection again entirely by hand. Furthermore we will attempt this task if necessary with as few as three or four men.    If you are wondering how on earth this may be attempted, a look at the video clip entitled Building Stonehenge on the home page may give you a clue.    The concept of transporting heavy megaliths using lightweight wooden levers was dreamed up by myself and named “Stone-rowing” by the team of volunteers involved, and was seen to be a practical method by the film crew and others involved.    For this experiment we used a stone weighing about 12 tons and a total of 28 men operating the levers, and proved that once the friction between the stone and the ground had been eliminated, the stone could be moved a short distance with ease.    To rescue our obelisk we will have to do the same with our 10 ton obelisk, but with a total team of as few as two men. While what I have in mind is theoretically possible, I am under no illusions about how difficult it may prove to be in practise. For us to succeed, everything will have to be kept in perfect balance throughout every stage of the preparations, and during the course of each lift which should give us a gain of about 9 inches with each rowing action. If we succeed I will be as astounded as anyone, but whatever happens this should prove interesting. In the event of failure we will call in a crane to move the obelisk into position ready for the erection experiment.    I will keep you informed of the progress. Gordon Pipes.   <<previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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