>I was curious to know why the pyramid builders who were normally very capable of fitting blocks to very fine >tolerance would choose to leave a large and variable gap at either end.
>I would have thought that the blocks would have been slid into place over a support structure and then lowered >into place. Which is easy enough even for the most primitive workforce.
>Rocking and removing wedges.
>I'm sure that you'd agree, lowering is no problem in comparison with lifting.
>I get the impression that they used fine cut blocks re-purposed from a prior building, roughly cutting them >down in length as necessary, and as you say, making good with plaster and mortar infill..
Here are a few guesses...?
1. "gaps at each end". The gaps were for someone small to get into the pit, once the blocks were in place. Someone small so they would see if any light was passing through, and re plaster that area. Inspection ports?
2. "I'm sure that you'd agree, lowering is no problem in comparison with lifting". Yes, I agree. It's about 1/10th the work.
3. "I would have thought that the blocks would have been slid into place over a support structure and then lowered into place." Over a support structure? What kind of support structure do you have in mind.
They slid the columns into the pit. A rectangular pit is dug. As you push the column block over the edge, it starts to rotate and drop. Before it does, you build up planks of wood, in the space it is trying to fill horizontally, against to opposite wall. This allows you to slowly continue pushing, and forcing the stone into a vertical alignment. Do one side,, and then do the other side, using less plank's to make up the difference.
4. "Rocking and removing wedges
I don't see where there is any rocking back and forth. Maybe wedges, though I would see it only as one rotation.
I will start just showing you examples in animation. It's actually easier.