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This is an alternative view of the construction of Cheops from The Great Pyramid Rainmaker. It is based on knowledge of how Cheops worked and its purpose as opposed to the third person account related by Herodotus. No researcher has been able to make sense of the currently accepted time frame for good reason, it is wrong.
‘Cheops was built in twenty years’ is repeated so often that it is rarely questioned. It had to have been constructed in a single lifetime in order to fit the tomb view. Scholars try to explain the pyramid with this in mind and invariably fail. This summary highlights the various working stages of the build and the value to the builders. It implies that the structure was probably constructed over many generations.
Several engineers and archaeologists have found evidence of water in and around the Great Pyramid. Here the implications for the building program and the functions are covered briefly. There are five phases outlined, though the pyramid could have received more than one refurbishment between any of the key stages. Each is deduced from the mechanic of the pyramid itself and data that is often overlooked in order to maintain the tomb view.
The five functional phases of Cheops
- A reservoir that allowed the site to be settled
- A mastaba/valve that increased the amount of water stored
- A geyser chamber that sent water to the summit of a flat top pyramid
- A higher chamber and pyramid that processed water & produced rain
- A cenotaph built over a failed machine
Each stage is summarized below. The evidence lies housed within the structure. It is a matter of showing how each phase worked under simple principles. The working machines were all neatly buried beneath tons of geometric rocks in the final phase. Despite the discovery of moving parts, water and a common scheme, Cheops is a tomb to the scholars. No matter what is found, there will always be an academic willing to find some new esoteric reason for it. There will no doubt also be a mystic and alternative writer to do the same.
Here the focus is on how to get the various parts working and what they meant for the builders. Importantly the science of each stage is known and was known to the ancient Egyptians. The various phases were break points where the utility could be exploited for decades before embarking on the next. There is a brief account of each step below. Hopefully it is enough to convince the open minded that Cheops was built over centuries and performed vital functions for long intervals. For a more detailed description read The Great Pyramid Rainmaker.
The plateau was inhabited long before the pyramids were even conceived. It made a fine refuge from the flooding of the Nile, because of its height and the free flowing ground water. A cold water geyser system functioned where Cheops was eventually to be built. Its sediment raised the natural mound that is still at the core of Cheops.
At this early stage there were no plans for a pyramid, just a need to capture the ground water and store it. The reservoir would allow large numbers of people to permanently settle the site instead of retreating as the water table dropped. To store the water the first settler-constructors built a retaining wall around the natural geyser. This is common to many ancient sites; great reservoirs are always an important facet of settlement.
The permanent settlers could thrive and build drainage channels and canals from the reservoir to convenient transport and irrigation networks. They also received a boost to their income each year as the flood migrants arrived. Ultimately Giza became a central hub of the ancient water network with locks and canals flowing to and from the plateau. This is a common function integrated into many pyramid complexes.
As each canal was dug, there was the natural byproduct of stone. This was used to create the first buildings on the plateau. Again this is a common feature in any pyramid building culture. It did not matter if the canal was dug into dirt or stone, the material was used to form the mass of the pyramids. On the plateau the extracted stone was immediately useful. The canals also provided routes for special stone to be brought in.
The wall is still on the plateau, though no doubt it has had many improvements since the first one was built. It likely started off as relatively small structure and grew to its final stature with time. The current one still has evidence of the overflow conduits. The main problem was that as the water table dropped, the water would back fill the caves beneath the plateau partly emptying the reservoir. A simple solution was needed, which leads to stage two.
In order to raise the level of water that could be stored a one way valve had to be constructed. It took the form of a simple platform or mastaba. Water flowed to the summit of the mastaba and then into the reservoir around it.
The mound was built up to a raised platform and the structure took the form of a mastaba or stepped pyramid. This is controversial. The affinity for the perfect four sided triangular pyramid is strong in the academic community. It is what makes Cheops such an enigma. However, most pyramids were built over time by adding increasingly larger steps. This is not viable under the tomb time frame, which might explain why it has been rejected. As will be shown, the evidence both physical and textual points to a staged build.
The raised platform/pyramid acted as a simple valve. When water flowed to the summit, it could be stored and any excess poured down into the original reservoir. When the water table dropped with the seasons, the reservoir did not flow back into the ground beneath because of the raised inlet. This allowed much more water to be stored and used.
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The final working phase of Cheops involved making the structure larger, adding the King’s chamber and raising the water even further. The means was much the same as the QC phase, though several improvements were added. All of these support the scheme in practical ways. These give reason to the portcullis, the Grand Gallery and the various parts of the KC.
In this phase the QC was blocked off from the water flow. The King’s Chamber became the new geyser cavity with exit pipes running to the 101st course.
The mechanism employed was almost identical to the QC phase. Ground water pressure took the water to the King’s Chamber via the Grand Gallery and portcullis. The height was ascertained during the running of the QC. Degassing occurred in the King’s chamber (See the QC diagram above) and in the Grand Gallery which exerted its force via the Davison passage. A combination of the two pushed the water down the KC and out through the shafts that ran to the top of the pyramid.
The water was brought out on the 101st course, where there were the same structures found on other flat top pyramids. There was a water reservoir, a weir and an overflow system. This sent the water down the side of the structure adding an extra 120 feet to its path. This extra distance increased the warming and turbulence, which helped process the water and added to the vapor that it created. This is a very short summary of the mechanic, for more detail see The Rainmaker.
The elements of the geyser are still there. The King’s chamber and low set exit pipes form the basics. There were several fine advances made in the design that added value and confirm the nature of the machine. One of the more intriguing is the automated Portcullis system. As the water rose and fell with the geyser cycle, this system could open and close automatically due to buoyancy. The exit pipes (air shafts) are at exactly the right height to allow the system to operate. A summary of the operation can be found here. The Portcullis System
The gains for this phase were much the same as the QC stage (see above) except for the byproduct of Rain. To make rain even on a local level requires huge amounts of energy. Fortunately the energy involved in this endeavor was of the order of 500MW a day. That is enough to seed a lot of clouds. This would also make Cheops the largest machine ever built before the 20th century.
The system is not just theoretical; small versions can be built and tested by anyone. There are models described in the Rainmaker that allow anyone to demonstrate rain making in this manner. The method and means to recreate the system will be placed here if there is enough interest. This includes the control mechanisms, detailed benefits and designs for working models. This will help clear up a lot of evidence from Giza that is currently confusing. At the moment it is detailed within the book, the focus here is primarily the stages of construction.
This brings us to the final construction phase of Cheops, which involves its failure. Any geyser is sensitive to the level of the water supply. Most geysers stop working because the water no longer fills the cavity. Cheops was no different. The water level rose and fell with the aquifer beneath. This happened and still happens throughout the year. Today it does not even get to the ground level making Giza a dry and dusty place.
A smallish drop in the water pressure would stop the portcullis stones from rising and falling. When the water tabled dropped, the King’s Chamber ceased to pump. This was the greatest machine failure in human history. The salt deposits found in the core of Cheops attest to the water standing idle for long periods. There was probably the hope that they would rise again, but it did not to happen.
As the water level fell, the site became a dry necropolis. Bodies were buried around the largest machine ever built. While the bodies were piling up, the Pharaoh’s had this massive white elephant mocking them from on high. At some point, likely during Khufu’s reign, it was decided to cover up this embarrassment to royal power. This is the saddest part of the Giza story.
Many of the stones from the faces had been reused for other buildings, just as they always are. A grand project was started to place stones on the structure and complete the peak. At the same time there was a conscious effort to remove any record of the building’s true function. It seems this was successful. A further outer skin of stones was added. The peak was finished to the apex. The white casing stones were added along with a lick of paint.
The only record of construction comes from this final stage. It was a smaller though no less difficult task. Less than an eighth of the mass had to be raised, but this was still an impressive project. Without a ready supply of water at height, the project had to be carried out the hard way. The accounts that passed through the ages about the construction of Cheops relate to this cover-up.
After a few generations the memory faded. Without the records, Cheops’ use fell behind the mists of time. The cover up was so complete that even the record that is left leaves few in any doubt as to the mere symbolism that the pyramid inspires. A modern industry has grown up around the tomb view.
A once grand and useful building has been turned into a tomb marker for the graves of those buried around it. It is a cenotaph to a dead vision. It was a monumental mound to regal embarrassment. The true function may discomfit the scholars who proffer the idea that the structure was a tomb, but no tomb was ever intended at the start. Cheops was originally a great machine powered by free flowing water and the sun, the fruits of Osiris and Ra respectively.
It is the sad fate for the king of all machines. It is consigned the status of a tomb stone. Maybe when the current civilizations fail and the future archaeologists look back they will think it was a fun park. The modern penchant for themed rides combined with the evidence of ticket booths and bus parks may force no other conclusion.
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The Great Pyramid Rainmaker
This phase of Cheops has evidence from the structure itself. The parts and mechanism make this abundantly clear. The use of the cold geyser technique to lift water to ever greater heights began here. The Queen’s Chamber is in effect the evidence with its pipes that no longer reach the outer layer. This part of the project also provides a clue as to the origins of the idea for the most ambitious next working stage.
The Queen’s Chamber was built on the summit of the original platform and a stepped pyramid was built up to the 58th course. With outlet pipes in two directions, the chamber formed a man made geyser cavity. The immense amount of stone was needed to withstand the water pressure and support the summit chambers.
The mechanic of this phase was simple. Carbonated ground water was forced in to the QC by the natural water pressure. When it filled the QC, dissolved gas in the water was released by turbulence and the slight increase in temperature between the cool ground and the chamber. This gas forced the water down the QC and out of the ‘air shafts’. When the gas level reached the exit pipes, it vented in the classic geyser style. This is identical in principle to a soda siphon.
At this point most of the water had been pushed to the summit and the chamber was nearly empty. The pressure had also been decreased due to venting. The ground water pressure was now higher than the chamber’s, this sent water into the chamber and the cycle repeated. This is identical to Kunkel’s method for a single chamber. However, instead of steam being produced by heat, gas trapped in the water was released to provide the force. See Diagram (Blue is indicated by the water, Yellow is the gas).
The remnants in the structure all add to improving this dynamic. The chamber design, the ‘air shafts’ to a previous summit, the solid sealed granite roof slabs and the mass of the structure all have distinct functions. They all contribute to the system.
The water pumping concept is common to other functional models of Cheops. Kunkel uses much the same pattern of support. However, his and all the other models introduce extra parts for the system. Excepting Cadman’s RAM pump, none of them work. Here, nothing needs to be added, except the natural fizzy water and the system will operate. Of course great chunks of the pyramid are removed for this phase, which is just as controversial.
This step pyramid was used in the same way as the other step pyramids. Some are known to have had water reservoirs on their summits and/or reservoirs surrounding them. Akapana and Angkor Wat are both recognized as having water reservoirs on the top level. This short Cheops was no different. It supported sanctuaries built in much the same style as the other step pyramids of Egypt.
Only one sanctuary is shown above, but there were likely the usual arrangement of five sanctuaries on the summit. The function and operation of the sanctuaries is described HERE, they were of great use to the builders. This type of pyramid structure in Egypt is mentioned by writers such as Herodotus, though not in the context of Cheops.
Gravimetric analysis of the structure shows steps up each side. The texts mention ‘battlements’, which implies ledges around the building. There are also references in the Pyramid Texts to a summit where the pharaoh’s body was cremated. None of these features are consistent with a smooth sided peaked pyramid. They are however in line with the more common tiered pyramids found in Egypt and the rest of the world.
The gains at this stage include an increase in the volume of water that could be processed and energy independence with the solar aspects. The water was further degassed and warmed as it flowed down the side of the sun heated pyramid. Water and energy are always important factors in any settlement. This water was put to good use on the plateau for a number of industries that emerged. The transport network also grew to maturity at this stage.
This phase also led to the origins of the penultimate Grand Design. There were two factors that evolved from the QC phase. The first and foremost was useful information. Most argue that Cheops was built all in one go, from the ground to the peak. This can not be the case if the structure was a machine because there was no way to know how high the natural water pressure would reach without a phased build. As the structure was built, the maximum water level became clear.
Secondly, a side effect of this stage was the impact of all the falling water. Likewise this could not have been known before the build and operation. No one could even guess at the effect since nothing so large had ever been built before. Water vapor had been seen in the solar chambers, but it was slight and short lived. The vapor was more of an irritant than a goal.
The massive flow of warm water down the side of Cheops led to an amazing insight that was applied with intent in the final working phase. The effect they noted was the mist that formed from the weir on the summit. At any hot geyser or large waterfall this same mist can be seen. It leads to unique weather patterns. The vapor from a geyser/waterfall laces the air with moisture. This causes fog and cloud which in turn makes localized rain. The mist and cloud likely inspired the builders on to the final working stage, where these properties were taken to a higher level.
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THE AUTOMATIC PORTCULLIS SYSTEM OF CHEOPS
The Portcullis system in the heart of Cheops is an enigma. It sits between the King’s Chamber and the Grand Gallery. The Antechamber and the portcullis stones are shown in the center of the reconstruction below.
The three stones provide no more security for the pharaoh’s unfound treasure than one. As a result, there have been all manner of ideas associated with these stones. Some have suggested their weight provides some resonant properties. They have been included in ultra advanced systems to produce microwaves. There are many more proposals. Most of the ideas are subjective or impossible to test or prove.
The following short summary is part of the full mechanic of Cheops detailed in the upcoming book ‘Sailing to Atlantis’. The automated mechanism relies on one of the oldest and simplest known principles – buoyancy. It simply shows how the stones in the antechamber will open and close automatically if water is added.
The actual mechanic can have several variants. Without knowing the exact arrangement of the ropes between the portcullis stones it is not easy to decide which was used. The following is just one possible working example. This version integrates into the full mechanic of Cheops
When the first two stones are roped to the third over the pulleys like the diagram below, the first two stones lift the third one up.
The balance can be changed by simply adding water. When the water level rises to the top of the lower two stones, the buoyancy of the water effectively reduces the weight of the first two stones. At this point the third stone has enough force to pull the two stones up slightly. This opens up a gap beneath the stones (See diagram below).
If the water level keeps on rising, the third stone becomes submerged in water too. This reduces its downward force and the balance of the system shifts again. The first and second stone fall back down to the original levels though now the chamber is flooded with water.
By simply raising and lowering the water in the antechamber, the stones open and close the entrance to the King’s Chamber automatically. The change in water level is linked to the function of the Great Pyramid, which is described in the upcoming book.
‘Sailing to Atlantis’ is an extension of the Ancient Solar Premise (ASP). The Grand ASP deals with the ancient need for water and its uses. Once water is added to ancient structures the functions become clear. Mostly it is as simple as the Portcullis system above. Once the evidence of great water systems is revealed the nature of the prehistory is changed dramatically. For copies see The Great Pyramid Rainmaker.
There seems to be an ever-growing list of new ideas on the ancient world and the types of technology employed. Most of these emerge from the alternative writers and describe wonderful attributes of buildings and artifacts. Ideas vary from global energy systems and landing pads to advanced communication devices and precision tools. Whilst many of these are intricate and involved, there does not seem to be a standard for evaluating the competing ideas.
The following questions should help readers to evaluate ideas on ancient technologies. They have been developed from a set of the criteria for appraising scientific theories. If a theory scores well in one area, it may fall down in another. This does not necessarily mean it is wrong or right, but efforts should be made to shore up the lacking side. If it is not possible to ‘fill in the blanks’ then it is probably a poor idea. Good theories should show well in all sections.
These questions are aimed at proposals that involve tangible artifacts from antiquity. It does not help in delivering the truth behind historical causal events. It is an aid for deciding which technological ideas are viable and which are not. Questions like; ”What were pyramids or stone circles used for?”, ”Which tools delivered which artifacts?”, ”How was a particular artifact was used?”, ”What technological level was in place?” etc can be evaluated by reviewing the elements.
The following criteria apply only to ideas based on discovered artifacts. Ideas built around items not found in the archaeological record create major issues. Without the actual artifacts, absolutely anything can be considered viable, which opens up schemes closer to sci-fi than science fact. Aliens or gods can be invoked to explain the pyramids, without need for any evidence. Any modern tool from precision lathes to CERN lasers can be included since the need for evidence has been removed.
The first few criteria deal with the elements that make up good theories and apply equally to scientific ideas. The last few deal with the specific issues of evaluating ideas in the historical context. This is a much greyer area, since some might think symbolism is all-important; others might seek only tangible benefits. Each criterion has an example or two to illustrate the point.
- How much does the theory explain?
- What are the Assumptions?
- What is the evidence?
- Is the idea based on known science?
- Is the technique or tool used today?
- Can the theory be proved or disproved?
- Is the theory subjective?
- Is the device cogent with contemporary technology?
- Was it useful to the ancients?
- How does the new idea fit with others?
1. How much does the theory explain?
A key criterion for evaluating theories is based on the premise that it attempts to explain reality through simplification. This means the idea should be concise and cover as much as possible. Theories vary wildly in their scope, some deal with a single structure others tend to explain great groups of buildings or artifacts. With device theories, some ideas pertain only to a single small device or rock. Possibly the weakest ideas are those that relate to a single abstract work of art, making all manner of assumptions and predictions.
The scope can give potency to a theory. The ”more for less” principle allows the funerary or ceremonial to gain precedence over others because long lists of sites fall within the domain. It seems to be where these mainstream ideas score highest. Without explicitly proving the case, buildings and artifacts can be categorized under these terms because either previous artifacts have been or no other use can be conceived.
Good theories should state what they account for and what does not fall within the scope. How far can the idea be extended to unknown sites? In the event a dig disturbs a new building or artifact, what will place it within the theory and what places it outside?
Examples; Wide theories, such as ceremonial, star maps or funerary types deal with large groups of buildings or artifacts. Many alternative ideas often fall short by only dealing with a single famous site such as Stonehenge or Cheops.
2. What are the Assumptions?
Evidence is one thing, but some things have to be assumed. A good theory should have as few assumptions as possible. Those that are made should be validated with data from the archaeological record or science. If exceptional assumptions are required, extensive data and/or rationale would be necessary to justify their use. When fewer assumptions are used, there will be less debate over the idea.
Example: Gravity was lower in the past, can explain all manner of data. However, there should be real qualitative evidence to support the idea. Some ideas assume the ancients derived information from travel to other star systems. This may be qualified with further data support or counter argued with simple telescopes.
3. What is the evidence?
Often this is the most expansive area of a theory on antiquity. All manner of intriguing items have been uncovered and brought to light by the researchers. This includes odd devices, inexplicable tool marks, amazing benefits, out of place objects, peculiar texts and a myriad of other abstract media. However, just because an idea apparently encompasses plenty of evidence, it does not necessarily mean it is a good or useful concept.
If a particular device had a major role in the ancient world, there should be multiple instances of it, despite the ravages of time. Archaeologists are used to establishing these sorts of record from the slightest of evidence. The texts and art should be considered support for the actual objects. If ancient media is compared to the modern, it is obvious why. The imaginative world of Hollywood often has little bearing on the real world.
Examples: The use of chisels or hammer stones in stonework is established based on the marks on the stones and the tools themselves. On the other hand, potent lasers are eliminated because there is no evidence of the crystals, power supplies, fuel sources, electrical components etc.
Inexplicable curios such as huge blocks moved to unlikely places; tend to lead to outrageous claims. These range from aliens to magic. It is best to ask what is possible with the materials on hand. There are many groups that have answered these issues quietly, without recourse to magic. Many of these ideas score well on all evidential counts.
One of the biggest themes involves moderns interpreting ancient glyphs and texts under today’s technology. This is a very common feature among the wildest claims. The requirement for actual artifacts is the primary means to deal with these. If there are no actual spacecraft parts in the archaeological record, then in all likelihood there are no spacecraft, no matter how compelling some ancient glyphs look.
4. Is the idea based on known science?
Some alternative hypotheses are based on unknown science. This does not necessarily mean they are wrong. Indeed scientists look for this type of evidence for hints of new ideas. Equally, it does not mean they are correct. Any idea that breaks the laws of physics in obvious ways is almost bound to be incorrect.
If the premise works within the bounds of know science, it passes this test. If it does not, then it will be subjected to the rigorous tests that science uses to adopt new theories. Working prototypes are considered a good proof of a mechanic. If a copy is made of an artifact that works using unknown science, it is deemed a reasonable idea. It may of course be working under known science in unusual ways. Valid prototypes should be made from materials and parts known to be contemporary with the device/s under study. There is little truth in hanging a Kray computer off a simple device and claiming it is an ancient method.
Examples: Copper chisels have been claimed to be used to work hard stones. The experiments show how poorly real copper chisels perform. The Antikythera device is claimed to be a kind of stellar computer, the copies show a great deal of promise. If a new energy is being posited within a theory, it should be shown how to test it, reproduce it, measure it etc.
5. Is the technique or tool used today?
There are millions of devices in use today in a variety of environments from the complex to the simple. It is unlikely that the ancients used technology that is unknown today. It should be a relatively easy task to find comparative devices. Sometimes modern tools make ancient devices redundant, but the tech should be obvious before the newer machines were devised. This applies to both tools and techniques, though clearly techniques vary greatly with needs.
If the machine is used today, it should be practical in times when technology was simpler. This is a relatively easy task if the development of the tool is followed to its modern origins. Materials, fuels, consumables etc. should also be considered under this reverse engineering. Some metals, compounds and fuels are not found in antiquity, so should be avoided. This does not preclude advanced technology in the ancient world, but claims of this ilk should be backed up with real evidence.
Examples: Heavy weights are commonly moved by boat now. This may have also been the case in the old world. However, steel hulls need to be replaced with wooden, metal motorized cranes would need replacing with practical ancient alternatives. The Baghdad batteries are an excellent example of the same principles of a AAA battery, but with ancient parts & consumables. Some ideas propose the use of nuclear mechanism in the past, however there is a huge infrastructure and technology behind this sort of technology. The evidence gathering would require the mining & refining of fuels, practical alternatives to the complex electronic controls etc.
6. Can the theory be proved or disproved?
Ancient history can never be proved or disproved absolutely. It is not possible to go back in time and check the facts as they really happened. Even if a museum device or ancient building does operate under the terms of a historical premise, it still requires more evidence. Skeptics can always state ”the ancients never used the device in that way”. This is hard to counter when there may be no abstract evidence such as texts or graphics to support the idea.
Tools can be recreated, buildings can be built to scale and techniques can be tested. Experimental archaeologists are showing the way in this regard. They take objects that are found in the digs and attempt to recreate lost methods. To their credit, these researchers have had a great deal of success though receive much less publicity than the more outlandish untested and unproven ideas of the alternative sector.
It is very unlikely that grand schemes such as worldwide networks did not have utility at smaller scales. It would be the equivalent of saying electricity only works when a national grid is built. Huge structures are usually based on smaller ones that work under the same principles. Prototyping allows for claims to be proved or disproved.
Examples: The possibility of moving megalithic stones with primitive materials, such as ropes, levers and stone bearings has been shown. Global systems or massive structures such as Cheops are very difficult to test if they only work at these scales. This is often an obstacle to disproving an idea. However, both of these cases should be testable on a reduced scale.
7. Is the theory subjective?
Some ideas are based on subjective experience; these types of theories cannot be proved to everyone. A person walks into a structure and senses an incredible array of unknown mystical experiences. The personal experience whilst heartfelt can lead to all manner of conclusions that no one else can experience or prove.
Good ideas should be non-subjective and provable through reason or tests. This is the best way to build consensus and agreement across the majority. Whilst some ideas are accepted by the minority, they cannot be agreed upon by all because of the subjectivity. On the other hand, some ideas are agreed by the majority, even though they do not fulfill all of the criteria for good theory.
Example: Some people get an incredible sense of well-being when sitting within certain ancient structures. They conclude that there is some inherent magical property that promotes this experience. This may be the case, but it can also be a psychological reaction based on slight physical effects and the way the person has built up the meaning of an ancient building. Similarly, some people today faint at the sight of a pop icon, others simply see someone that sings. Some people walk into a modern Cathedral and have an emotional reaction, whilst others just see an exquisite building.
8. Is the device cogent with contemporary technology?
This aspect allows for internal consistency within the framework of the idea. It is ridiculous to have people living in caves, using stone clubs and a supersonic jet parked outside. Most examples are more subtle than this, but it underlies the point.
The ideas must be scaled down to their origins to make any sort of sense at all. The theory should be supported with other devices of the time. Ideally, it should be able to perform the task with materials common to the era. There is no truth in introducing nano-fibers into antiquity to make a machine work. In the perfect case the origins and development of the tool, material, technique or structure should also be visible.
Difficulties arise from the introduction of technology form some other external source. This is as common today as it was in antiquity. Laos introduced multi-megawatt dams without the usual progress, because of foreign expertise. Likewise, in the past, seafarers may bring all manner of wonderful and novel ideas.
There are concepts that seem relatively simple in principle, but are overwhelmingly complex in reality. To use electric power on a wide scale requires more than just a few wires. Distribution grids, transformers, power stations, fuel transport, mines or oil wells make these systems unlikely in antiquity.
Examples: To have microwave communication without evidence of radio comms first is a leap of faith. To claim lasers in antiquity requires a whole host of other technologies first. Geometric blocks develop from simpler methods of working stone. In some cases, local cultures appear to have gone straight to the cubic forms without the intermediate steps. This is presumably due to a traveling stonemason of sorts.
9. Was it useful to the ancients?
What were the real gains to the builder or maker of the artifact? This is an area often overlooked by the mainstream and dwelt on by sections of the alternative lobby. Symbolism falls squarely under this category; some may argue it deserves a section of its own. A large number of mainstream and alternative researchers see symbolism as the end game in a vast array of artifacts. It is a matter of opinion, but if all ideas of this ilk were to be believed, the ancient world seems to have done little else but symbolize.
In the mainstream, virtually any odd object or building discovered is almost immediately assigned a ritual or funerary function, which seems a strange catchall. Some members of the alternative community take a better position in insisting the relics had some tangible function. The use and gains should be commensurate with the investment of time and resources. Is there an easier way to achieve the same gain? Is an excellent question.
Uses and gains are not always easy to establish in the artifact world. Some items may have been useful at some point and then were copied in some symbolic form later. This would mean thousands of ornaments could look like originally functional objects, yet are unable to do the same tasks.
Example: Many ascribe real uses for the Coptic cross. It has however taken on a life of its own in the symbolic world of religions. Likewise, pyramids are built today, but they do not appear to have any potential tangible functions of the past, at least if Vegas is considered. It is suggested that pyramids were built to hold a dead body and the gain is symbolic to the builders. Thousands of ancients felt better about their world because of this endeavor. Now this may have been the case, but it is equally likely that moderns have been imposing their own rationale retrospectively for building Cathedrals, churches, mausoleums etc. It is hard to be objective when looking back.
10. How does the new idea fit with others?
It is unlikely that a new idea will completely replace other ideas. The creators are taking a rather arrogant stance if they think that the current models are without any merit at all. Some new ideas fit within older ones, others encompass previous, whilst in unusual cases the new idea completely displaces previous paradigms. It is wise for the authors to at the very least deal with these types of interconnection.
Example: The funerary theory can still hold amongst previously functional buildings, if the new model allows them to be used in this manner when defunct. Grand plans such as star maps or symbolism can hold alongside function in the same way as recent churches have been laid out to some form. Later peoples may easily have used previously functional buildings in some ceremonial manner.
This series of videos show just what is possible with intense beams of sunlight. They do not all use sun dishes, but the physics is near identical in form. The inference from these modern solar technologists is that an ancient with a dish could pretty much deliver the same techniques (excepting the computer controls). Materials transforms and cutting are all practical without recourse to anything more exotic than a parabolic concetrator.
How to Build an Ark and Perform the Miracles of the Exodus
Solar sinter project
AMAZING this guy is making glass from sand by pointing a beam at it. He even makes pots with just a guided beam
Big Ass Fresenl lens These guys were just having fun and show how quick a beam will cut thru rocks.
Fresnel melts metals easily
5000 Suns this guy is getting famous for showing the potency of the mosaic method of concentrating sunlight
The guys at Green energy are doing a great job showing a vast array of possibilities. This link shows one, it links to plent yof others at the end. Just point and click.
”Solar Death Ray” more fun with great marketing
2700 degs F
Stirling Engine Solar
Glass cutting with a dish
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The Arc Addendum to the Burning Mirror Solution
”The Math Behind Burning Mirrors” contradicts the widely held view that ”circles make poor approximations for parabolas”. For small angles, the geometry of a circle and a parabola converge to within a few parts per thousand. This is a very good approximation for long focal length mirrors. It also shows that the ancients had the facility to make these mirrors with the pendulum and potter’s wheel construction method.
The huge numbers that emerge from the calculations arise because the curves are getting closer to the perfect parabola. The ideal curve has an infinite concentration factor under the approximation used, where the sun is considered a point source. The theoretical numbers are much too high because the sun is not an exact point, but is actually spread over a few degrees of the sky. The sun’s arc parabola calculation brings the concentration factors down to realistic numbers. The formula for the sun image is independent of dish size and simply proportional to the focal length. It relies on the height and distance to the sun combined with the focal length, the longer the f.p. the larger the sun disk image. This approach actually makes the power levels much easier to calculate.
For a perfect parabola with a focal length of 1m, the real sun image will be 9.2mm, regardless of whether the dish is 5cm or 5m wide. A 2m wide dish with a one-meter focal length delivers a concentration factor of approximately 47MegaWatts per square meter, which is considerable. When the focal length is shortened, the intensity increases. For the same dish with a 0.5m focal length the real sun image is about 4mm wide, which produces an intensity of over 200MegaWatts per square meter. Both of these devices are incredibly powerful even when placed alongside the majority of modern lasers. The weakest one is nearly three times more potent than the solar device used in tests to melt stones and vaporize metals.
Mechanical methods can produce these curves because they are relatively deep and do not entail the precision cutting of the shallower curves. Ancient shield making techniques suffice to make the rough shape, followed by a laborious guided grinding and polishing procedure. This manual aspect can be sped up by using a potter’s wheel in a similar fashion to the long focal length devices. Instead of using a moving grinder on a pendulum, a fixed parabolic shaped grinder would be used. These methods are touched on in the Secrets of the Sun Sects. There is not much debate over ancient abilities to make these shapes since they are widely found in the artifacts from shields to bowls.
Archimedes and Syracuse
The persistent problem has always been how the ancients made long focal length mirrors. This is tightly bound to the famous Archimedes story of burning mirrors at Syracuse. The rationale runs that the ancients could not have burned the roman ships because they could not make or did not have parabolic mirrors with long enough focal lengths. Under the arc approximation, it seems that even if they did have near perfect parabolic mirrors with very long focal lengths it would still be very difficult.
Even if the high quality curves of pendulum method are considered perfect, then using the width of the sun means there will be a large disk of light on the target regardless. If the focal length of the dish is 30m the real sun image will be over 27cm across. If the ship is at 50m the sun disk image will be over 46cm wide. These are huge circles of light and would require similarly huge reflectors to provide enough energy to start a fire.
In ”Secrets of the Sun Sects”, the account of Archimedes Burning Mirrors is concluded with this paragraph.
”This short account neatly summarizes the use of burning mirrors as exceptional weaponry of ancient Greece. It also details the usual counter arguments that make it all seem a ‘bit far-fetched’. The ancient method of manufacture makes not only small short-range mirrors possible, but the technique is scalable for larger, longer focal length reflectors exactly as described. In fact, it appears that the longer range mirrors are easier to produce. A two-meter mirror with a sharp hundred-meter focal point is easier to construct than a fifty-centimeter device with a two-meter focal length. As shown, the power also increases radically as the focal point gets longer, which is counter to many modern methods of build. Whilst this possibility does arise, it is probably a red herring in the search for burning mirrors, misdirection is a useful tool for the concealing historian. The commonly held alternative views are more than likely correct. The Carthagians did have catapults and pitch, which is a much easier combination to fire the approaching boats.”
Under the Fusniak approximation, the statements remain true with the exception of the power increasing as the focal length increases, this only holds true under the point of light approximation. There is however, a small window in which the account could have some validity even under this more accurate calculation. It is linked to the limits of the size and types of devices found in the archaeological record and references to problems the Greeks had extending the range of the burning mirrors.
There is a recently discovered manuscript, which appears to be an Arabic translation of a supposedly lost Greek tract on the theory of conic sections. This is thought to have been written by Archimedes during the 2nd century BCE. This provides some interesting clues.
”The manuscript, written around CE 902, is a translation of a Greek manuscript on the code of research of burning mirrors. It outlined an important application of geometry that developed into new concepts on optics by the 10th century. This is probably the oldest copy of the optics manuscript known, though an identical copy made during the 14th Century exists in India. The manuscript references the burning mirrors of the Greeks, who are said to have discovered how to set light to objects thirty cubits away. They wanted to extend this achievement and meet a challenge to set light to objects at a distance of one hundred cubits. In Alexandria, during the 3rd and 2nd centuries BCE, burning mirrors were an important subject of research. Conon of Alexandria, Archimedes, Dosithcus, and Apollonitis are all described as dabbling in the area.”
If one follows the dimensions mentioned in this paper, a few conclusions can be made with the physics. The ”30 cubits” is about 14m, a range that would probably have put Archimedes life in jeopardy as the Romans arrived. However, this would indicate that the sun image would be about 13cm across. In order for a dish to produce fire with that image, it would need over 120 times the area. This results in a very flat dish with a diameter of 150cm, which is just about in line with the shield sizes of the time.
If the mirror range was the slightly safer distance of 30m the dish would need to be about 3m wide. The ”100 cubit” (45m) goal mentioned would require a dish of over 4.5m, which is probably why it remained just an objective. Whilst sun dishes ”twice the height of a man” have been noted in South America, I am not aware of any that large in ancient Greece. These factors leave the solution to the Burning Mirror problem in tact and the Syracuse story a ‘red herring’ in the search for uses of sun dishes in antiquity. The mirrors can retain their Trojan combat use as blinding devices, but are far less likely to be used as solar cannons for Archimedes.
Implications for the Solar Devices
It is worth summarizing the effects the arc approximation has on the extensive range of devices that are described in Secrets of the Sun Sects. The vast majority of the tools have been tested at least on a scale that is practical. There are a few applications that require adjustment for scaling or mechanical reasons.
SOLAR CHAMBERS: About half of the ancient devices are based on the simple premise that dark stones warm up when exposed to sunlight. The ancient solar chambers that utilize this property only require flat reflectors to work and are completely unaffected by the parabolic amendment. This means the simple and inexpensive domestic and industrial cookers remain perfectly viable. Likewise, the water heating, distillation, sterilizing and pumping equipment is still feasible in the ancient world. There is little doubt given all the evidence that the crop drying techniques were applied on a grand scale. All of these items still perform beautifully at both the small and large scale.
PARABOLIC DEVICES: For the parabolic dish devices, the changes only occur on the implementation side, the abilities remain the same. The power is still there at the heart of the burning mirrors, the intense beam is still the most potent entity in antiquity. The relatively shorter focal lengths mean that the use becomes slightly more restricted. In one or two cases, this means the devices have to employ a secondary reflector, which complicates matters slightly. Whilst these improvements have been added to the modern examples in The Sun Devices, when ancient uses were considered simpler was always chosen over complexity. This was primarily because the tool artifacts found are incomplete so less parts, means more likely.
COOKING: The parabolic cooking methods still hold in their entirety, the potency of the devices at this range remain unchanged, fried foods, solar grilled and even boiled remain unchanged. The ancient soldier could still cook his meal with the upturned shield. Any real volume cooking remains within the domain of the solar chambers mentioned above.
OPTICAL: The optical devices are unchanged by the arc addendum, these mirrors will still make excellent components in any reflector telescope ancient or modern. The implications remain that the ancients were scanning the skies with instruments rather than just the naked eye.
METALWORK: On the materials side, most metals could all still be melted, vaporized or worked whilst hot. The smith still had a solar forge in which he could liquefy metals then cast objects along with the ability to bend and fuse others with the intense heat of the beam. He could fuse some metals with a small dish, but not all. There remains the marginally more complicated method, which involves using an iron heated in the larger dish to carry out the same task. Cutting with light is no longer an option without a secondary dish concentrating the first image.
RECYCLING: Recycling methods remain unchanged, though it would not be possible to wander around a dump vaporizing rubbish with ease. This application was aimed primarily at the modern user, but clearly, in the ancient world metal objects would be recycled when damaged.
REFINING: It is noted that the smith and the ancient alchemist were probably the same person in deep antiquity. He still had the power and ability to readily experiment with refining techniques. He was more restricted in where he could practice this art unless furnished with a large flat dish to wander around. Instead of just pointing the dish at a variety of stones, each would have to be placed within the deep dish to find out if there were any useful effects or products to be had. This new material synthesis concept holds for ancient as well as modern. The largest problem here is that the limits on volumes are more restricted since fresnel arrangements of mirrors cannot be used easily.
STONEWORK: The closely linked areas of stone working and ceramics are the most affected techniques. All of the methods tested still work in exactly the same way provided the object is small. Ceramic pots or stones can have a glaze applied quickly and neatly within the confines of the dish. It is only the larger objects that become more awkward to work. Huge rocks can still be shattered by heat, simply by pointing the beam from a shield-sized dish toward the desired fracture point and pouring water on afterward.
When a huge object is to be glazed where it is standing, there are issues with respect to the dimensions of the dish relative to the focal length. These can be overcome in two ways. The first involves using a larger dish than originally envisioned. The second involves the primitive or double dish Cassegrain set ups described. The advantage of this more complicated arrangement is that it can do the fine work at high powers and apply the finishes at slightly lower power without restrictions. The primitive version involves using a flat panel on the object to reflect light onto a short f.p. dish. The result is an off center beam with lower power but flexibility in use. This is the same method as Lindroth proved with a small 30cm dish and a 2mm beam. It cuts via vaporization. Back from its maximum power, it can also glaze stones with ceramic paints or the natural mica within the stone.
The last is a true Cassegrain device akin to the designs of the modern patented solar cutters/polishers. The first dish points directly at the sun and directs the light to an inline dish. This second mirror reflects the beam back down through a hole in the center of the first. Both dishes are effectively concentrating the light to very high powers, which will cut through just about anything. Obviously, the power can be reduced for other tasks by using the device at a short distance from the true f.p. The issue with this device is that whilst it is relatively simple looking, the geometry is not. Dishes have been found with the necessary hole, dimensions and curves though the tripod for the second dish has not. There are some objects from antiquity that could do the task, but it is much preferable to find them all in one piece or at least in the vicinity. This more complicated set up and geometry may help explain why the stone cutting technique was so easily lost.
GEMS: Gem processing remains an easy and lucrative sideline for the solar artisan. The approximation does not alter the speed, ease or new/old techniques in this arena. The natural gems are simply placed in the beam for partial or complete transforms.
Experimental Confirmation and Failings
The details of the calculation have been checked by much better physicists and engineers than myself and none of them spotted the arc amendment. It seems to have been forgotten behind the headline that spherical reflectors actually make excellent long focal length mirrors and the astounding effects produced in test. To be fair, the guys were more intrigued by the effects and the possibilities raised by cheap long focal length mirrors. The tests were carried out with mirrors with focal lengths of a few meters at most. Invariably those built with the ancient method were small with high fp to dish ratios. This was because aim was to test the theory that the angle of pendulum dictates the accuracy of the curve to a parabola. Deep dishes can be made with standard mechanical methods now and in antiquity, there was no need to test these. All results seemed to fall into line with the predictions of the calculation, given the quality of the devices.
The test for the burning mirrors of Syracuse simply followed on from making small mirrors that could start fires easily. Under the point of light approximation, there was no reason to think that at greater distances the beam would be less intense. Under the arc approximation, the dish has to increase in a proportion equal to the increase in size of the focal point to maintain the potency. As the calculations above show, this does still permit a mirror just at the limit of the technology to burn a ship, but it was right at the limit of ancient mirror construction techniques as well.
The results were materially quite amazing, vaporized rather than melted metals, glass rather than fractured stones, all aspects at achieved at very high temperatures. The problem in experiment seemed to be keeping the power down rather than not enough. The prospect of even higher powers at lower angles seemed to be confirmed by scaled down versions. What we were in fact doing was wandering between the improvements in power caused by more accurate parabola construction and extremely high energy inputs from the larger cruder devices.
The sun’s arc approximation adds limits to the upper power of these devices; it does not change what has been done or what is possible. The ancient method of constructing relatively flat curves still allows for a greater degree of flexibility. The accuracy of the curves to the ideal parabola is still more than adequate for the purposes of burning mirrors. The wide range of applications was still available to the ancient artisans and scientists. The devices are still incredibly useful today.
The new calculation method removes the tendency of the point source calculation to increase to infinity in a neat and elegant way. It puts more realistic power figures on the devices that can be confirmed across all sizes and focal lengths. There is still a matrix of mirror sizes and focal length that need constructing and testing, hopefully, some will try. The new approximation suggested has greatly simplified the method of calculating the potency of these devices, for which the author is grateful.
The Secrets of the Sun Sects covers a large number of areas,
Here is a summary
THE SUN DEVICES OF ANTIQUITY
1. Burning Mirrors – an overview of what parabolic mirrors are able to do
2. Ancient Mirror Math – The simple math & geometric solution to Archimedes burning mirror problem
3. Dish Construction – How to make 10Mw/Sqm solar concentrators in antiquity or a garage
4. A New History of Mirrors – The implications for Greeks, Egyptians, Alchemy, Incans and more.
5. Star Wars – The use of burning mirrors on the ancient battlefields
The Sun Temples
6. The Sun Temples – A description of a solar chamber, energy and usage across the ancient world
7. Temple Mountains – The arrangement of sun chambers on step pyramids builds to ancient solar industries
8. Temple Distribution & Climate – The rationale for the solar chamber variances across the globe
9. Stone Circles – The solar premise applied to neolithic stone circles
10.Conclusion – The ancient world was powered by sunlight
THE SUN DEVICES
11. Solar Tools – A guide to making powerful sun dishes today
12. Food & Water – Using ancient techniques to fry, boil and cook at home or in the factory
13. Climate Control & Power – Using old technology to cool the home and produce power 24/7
14. Materials & Crop Processing – Solar Recycling, refining, materials synthesis & agricultural applications
15. Lost Techniques of the Solar Artist – Stone cutting, finishing, ceramics & gems
16. Miscellaneous Devices – How to make & use powerful Ancient Telescopes
17. Commercial Concerns – Benefits & reservations in the commercial environment
THE SUN SECTS
18. Revising the Past – Adding the Ancient Solar Sects to the record
19. The Inception of Civilization – Did civilization start with a hot black stone or fire?
20. European Sun Sects – The emergence of neolithic solar powered cultures
21. The Egyptian Sun Sects – The utility of sun gods & their temples/tools
22. Egyptian Priestly Orders – The skills hierarchy of the ancient solar orders
23. The Demise of the Sun Cults – The reasons for failure
Modern Solar Sects
24 The Transition Cultures – The switch from solar energy to sun worship
25. Eastern Religions – The Solar Cult legacies of the East
26. Western Religions – The Solar Cult legacies of the West
27. Miracles of Light – Biblical refs to solar devices
28. The Prophecies – 3 Ancient Prophecies reinterpreted
29. A Bright Future – Some very optimistic outlooks
A. Missing Greek Math – Tables of Hipparchus & Archimedes
B. The Power of Spherical Mirrors – The full math proof behind burning mirrors
C. Thermal Properties of the Sites – Detailed energy calculations for sun temples and stones
D. Projects – Completed and ongoing projects, High tech, low tech and historical