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Mechanical Technique for Raising an Obelisk

Shiells JE

A simple technique is outlined which may answer the mystery of how the Egyptian obelisks were raised to their upright position. This technique relies on a mechanical ram which is characterized by equations that are derived in this article. The mechanical ram is basically a leverage device which would enable the ancients to apply a very large force with only a minimal input force. A paper analysis is developed to show how this technique may have raised the heavy 130,000 kg Thutmose obelisk upright, although the procedure would have been painstakingly slow. Note however, that no case is made here that the Egyptians actually used this technique.