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[探索发现] [整理] 2009-08-07 Ancient Egypt 走进埃及金字塔-8

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After the 400-mile river journey to Karnak, the chances of a mistake increase dramatically. Too much pressure in the middle, and the giant slab would snap under its own weight. But this was just the easy part. On arrival at Karnak, the giant granite lump was hauled up a mound, base first. With mental maneuver and sand to do the real work, the giant stone was skillfully lowered into place. With time and enough labor, anything was possible. But then, building techniques were about to change where along came scaffolding.

One king, by the name of Akhenton, was in such a hurry to realize his ambitions. He invented new methods of construction. Under his command, stone blocks were cut to a standard size. Known as a talatat, they measured about 50 centimeters long and could be easily handled by one man.

"It meant that the whole building process was freed up. An unskilled workman could easily carry the blocks right to the top of the building structure, and the whole process was much faster and cheaper."

But it didn't last. Small blocks were quick to build up, but / even quicker to pull down. And the next Pharaohs, Tutankhamun and Horemheb, both plundered Akhenton's buildings, the talatat blocks becoming rubble infill for their giant pylons.

So the Pharaohs returned to building big, and there is one structure at Karnak that not even a giant could pull down: the hypostyle hall is the largest single religious building ever constructed. The vast hall was begun by the Pharaoh Horemheb, continued under Seti I, and completed by his son, Ramesses II in around 1220 BC. It is a forest of columns 70 feet high. How was it put together?

"Ancient Egyptian temples are built using huge columns like this one and architraves that span between them. This was one of their biggest problems, because the architrave had to support not only its own weight but the weight of the great stone roof above."

Extraordinarily, building techniques were only moments away from solving this problem.

"We always think it was the Romans who invented the arch, but the Ancient Egyptians were building them over 1000 years earlier."



Talatat are stone blocks of standardized size (ca. 27 by 27 by 54 cm)
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After the 400-mile river journey to Karnak, the chances of a mistake increase dramatically. Too much pressure in the middle, and the giant slab would snap under its own weight. But this was just the easy part. On arrival of Karnak, the giant granite lump was hauled up a mound, base first. With mental maneuver and sand to do the real work, the giant stone was skillfully lowered into place. With time and enough labor, anything was possible. But then building techniques were about to change where along came scaffolding.

One king, by the name of Akhenaton was in such a hurry to realize his ambitions. He invented new methods of construction. Under his command, stone blocks were cut to a standard size. Known as a talatat, they measured about 50 centimeters long, and could be easily handled by one man.

“It meant that the whole building process was freed up. An unskilled workman could easily carry the blocks right to the top of the building structure, and the whole process was much faster and cheaper.”

But it didn’t last. Small blocks were quick to build up, but even quicker to pull down. And the next pharaohs, Tutankhamen and Horemheb both plundered Akhenaton’s buildings, the talatat blocks becoming rubble infill for their giant pylons.

So the pharaohs returned to building big, and there is one structure at Karnak that not even a giant could pull down -- the hypostyle hall is the largest single religious building ever constructed. The vast hall was begun by the pharaoh Horemheb, continued under the Seti I, and completed by his son Ramses II in around 1220 B.C. It’s a forest of columns of 70 feet high. How was it put together?

“Ancient Egyptian temples are built using huge columns like this one and architraves that spent between them. This was one of their biggest problems because the architraves had to support not only its own weight, but the weight of the great stone roof above.”

Extraordinarily, building techniques were only moments away from solving this problem.

“We always think it was the Romans who invented the arch, but the Ancient Egyptians were building them over 1,000 years earlier.”
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