> To much power would be needed to move water 40 meters up the
> escarpment and another 65 meters up the great pyramid. Also
> water is too volatile during movement. They had another source
> of power that was abundant at the top of the plateau and the
> surrounding desert,..it is called sand and rubble. An easy
> material to carry around and pour out and very abundanat from
> the surrounding desert,...it was used as a counter-weight
> The ancient Egyptians were experts in counterweights and the
> use of ropes. The shadoof counter weight system used to lift
> water out of canals so as to irrigate the farm lands are one
> example of their expertise in the use of counter weights. Also
> counterweights are probably the oldest systems used for
> automatic mechanizations,.
At this point I wouldn't attempt to rule out the use of sand and gravel as ballast. My primary problem with it is the long time required to empty the counterweight each lift. Even this problem is surmountable by using multiple CW's so they could just switch the ropes to an empty one when the full one came down. This would entail men working under the moving equipment which could be dangerous. Also I favor the idea of water as ballast because there is a water collection system surrounding the pyramid and this water is fed through canals to the cliff face where there are long CW runs. These are exactly 300' which is the distance Manetho said the stones moved toward the pyramid. These runs can be seen in the center of this photo and another just to the east;
There's another 300' run just at the NE corner but it's been mostly obliterated by time. This one pulled stone up for the eastern leg of the main quarry to the base of the pyramid. The other two pulled from the Sphinx quarry to the G1 causeway.
There is water erosion in the canal leading to the cliff face;
"The N.N.E. trench was traced by excavations along the whole length of 2,840 inches, up to where it is covered by the enclosure wall of the kiosk. It is fairly straight, varying from the mean axis 2.1, on an average of five points fixed along it. The depth varies from 14 to 20 inches below the general surface. It is 38, 40, 39.2, and 36 in width, from the outer end up to a point 740 along it from the basalt pavement; here it contracts roughly and irregularly, and reaches a narrow part 18.2 wide at 644 from the pavement. The sides are built about here, and deeply covered with broken stones. Hence it runs on, till, close to the edge of the basalt pavement, it branches in two, and narrows yet more; one line runs W., and another turning nearly due S., emerges on the pavement edge at 629.8 to 633.4 from the N.E. corner of the pavement, being there only 3.6 wide. From this remarkable forking, it [p. 50] is evident that the trench cannot have been made with any ideas of sighting along it, or of its marking out a direction or azimuth; and, starting as it does, from the basalt pavement (or from any building which stood there), and running with a steady fall to the nearest point of the cliff edge, it seems exactly as if intended for a drain; the more so as there is plainly a good deal of water-weanng at a point where it falls sharply, at its enlargement. The forking of the inner end is not cut in the rock, but in a large block of limestone."