The Megalith Movers Prehistoric Engineering
Blog 12th March 2016    Last Friday we had started raising the obelisk again, it has taken us some time to prepare everything for the switch from our previous method to what we call The Stone Staircase method. The testing on Friday had gone well, and we were in a confident mood when Steve and myself resumed on Monday.    It seemed that all we had to do was keep lifting and packing, and eventually the obelisk will become self- righting when it reaches an angle of about seventy-five degrees. However, just letting the obelisk right itself is not an option we are prepared to take, we are in uncharted ground and we don't know if the obelisk will gain so much momentum during this phase that it will just topple over when it reaches upright. We need some kind of restraint to prevent too much momentum building up.    I have been thinking about this for some time and rather like the idea of using our bags of sand as a ground anchor, the very same bags of sand that had erected the obelisk would be used to restrain the obelisk during this critical time. It's all a matter of balance, in fact the whole experiment has been about finding the right balance between the forces of nature. It is obvious to me that Stone-age man knew all about balance.    A practical way of doing this would be to fasten a sort of bowsprit to the tip of the obelisk and let it extend beyond the tip, so we can tie ropes to the end of the bowsprit and lead them down to the ground anchor. This would be situated beyond the four-ton stone and this would prevent the anchor dragging, as it could only go one way, and that was up.    It was obvious that if we were going to fasten a bowsprit to our obelisk now was the time to do it, as one of us would have to climb to the top and hold the bowsprit in place while the other fixed the Spanish windlasses. I looked at the angle of the obelisk and really didn't fancy climbing up there, I was getting to old, but it would have to be done and I was the only with the experience to do it safely. To my relief Steve quickly fixed the windlasses and I climbed down again.    We now had the bowsprit in place, but with no rope left we went back to lifting and completed two more lifts.    Tuesday I picked up some rope and when I arrived we tied nine ropes to the bowsprit and let them dangle down loosely, as these would not be needed for some time yet. With the ropes in place we went back to lifting, and gained two more lifts.    Wednesday we gained three more lifts, and on Thursday we gained four. At the end of the session I felt physically exhausted and considered cancelling Friday's work. But I kept my thoughts to myself, and after about fourteen hours solid hour sleep woke refreshed and able to continue.    When I arrived on Friday I was surprised to learn that Steve had also found the going hard the previous day. We decided to proceed at a more leisurely pace, resting in between each lift. This will probably be necessary anyway as the hot season commences, which will be next week, and we can expect to face temperatures of up to forty-five degrees Celsius in the shade.    I will post some more photos next week, but it will be difficult to see much change in the angle of the obelisk just from looking at photos.    Best regards, Gordon. << previous blog page next blog page >> To read & post comments click here return to top of this page

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