Handbook of Rigging

 Handbook of Rigging

Handbook of Rigging

The art of rigging may be traced to prehistoric times. Levers
were used then, as now, to pry stones, roll logs, and move objects that were too heavy to be moved by hand. The inclined plane, or natural ramp, was in use even then to help move heavy objects up to higher elevations.

The first major rigging job, of which there is not only a record,  but also indisputable evidence, was the construction of the three pyramids at Gizeh, near Cairo, Egypt—about 2700 BC. Estimates are that preparation work must have taken about 10 years, and construction about 20 years.

As it stands today, the large pyramid—built to contain the re-
mains of Pharaoh Cheops (Khufu)—is 746 ft (227 m) square at the base and 451 ft (141 m) high. Originally, the structure was encased in fine grain limestone. But at some unknown time during the past 4600 years, or more, this sheath was removed. The large pyramid contains about 2.3 million stones—weighing from 2 to 30 tons each; a total of about 5.75 million tons—nearly 20 times the weight of the masonry in the 102-story Empire State Building in New York City.

Inclined Planes (Ramps) Records indicate that a sand ramp, Requiring nearly one million tons of sand, transported from the desert, was built-up on one side as the pyramid rose in height. Another million tons of sand were then required to backfill the interior of the pyramid. And, when the job was completed, the ramp had to be removed.

The construction crews had no mechanical equipment. Instead, 
they used levers, rollers, crude ropes, sledges, plumb lines, and string sightings to get the massive job done. The huge stones were hauled up the ramp on rollers, for an average lift of 100 ft, by the brute strength of 100,000 slaves in teams of 50 workers each, driven by the slave master’s whips. The pyramid remains today as indisputable proof of the ingenuity and brutality of the Egyptian constructors

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