> Also, one other thing. If I imagine that they
> could manipulate the density of stone to make it
> more soft, then when I observe that shape I see it
> with a pottery sculptors eye and it is consistent
> with that approach.
> Specifically with respect to that concavity on the
> outside top surface of the flaps, if this disc
> were softened to be able to cut the flaps off of
> the outer ring and manually fold them in, (whether
> it be by hand or by more precise mechanical means
> to maintain symmetry), then I can see that the
> general material stretching required to pull those
> flaps out and counter act the surface tension,
> would create that concavity.
> In other words, that concavity would be a result
> of the fabrication of that fold rather than a
> specific aspect of the geometry to serve some
> performance purpose. Its a bias that diminishes
> it as a specifically designed performance aspect.
> And that's distracting me away from this idea of
> 'purpose' in shape, and allows for the possibility
> of this piece being more of an artistic piece, or
> if not that, then less of a precise and critical
> element of a system per se.
Without knowing with certainty when that stuff was created, it at least opens up other possibilities besides the generally accepted limitations of the Dynastics based on what Egyptology has revealed so far to be the technology available to that culture. But there's no need to invoke digital 3D data or printing. A stone model could also serve as a visual/physical template when creating copies by hand, regardless of what other material(s) compose the "functional" piece.
How can any of us ever know, when all we can do is think?