FIrst post on this Forum for 2018. Not expecting much traffic. But anyways, have been very intersted in stone softening for a couple years now. Fascinated by the prospect and am interested if there’s any people who have building experience and have fallen down the rabbit hole on this?
Alot of stuff in Peru is very convincing, but from a building efficiency standpoint, really any megalithic work where its polygonal design, or at least, as in the great pyramid, is construction incorporating tight seamed work on non similar stones is really enough. Or I should say is either proof of a stone softening approach, or that these ancient engineers had a terrible case of OCD combined with being glutton for punishment, and had the construction effiency intelligence of an 8 year old. I have a hard time believing anyone who thinks our ancient relatives with the same brain size, would suffer such illiogical construction approaches.
I am not a fan of geopolymers as an explanation for these examples of megalithic seeming 'softened stone’ work. And I am certainly not believing the copper chisles and pounding stones ideas. I believe the bosses or knobs support the stone softening approach, as well as several other aspects that would require images.
Happy to discuss if there’s any interested. Cheers.
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I remember reading, somplace and quite some time back, about a bird the made it’s nest in stone cliffs. It woul rub some sort of leaf on the chosen spot. It took alot of leaves but eventually the stone started to ‘rot’ and crumble away.
The person that wrote the article suggested that the the pre-columbian Americans used this method, along with stone tools, to so finely fit their ‘building blocks’.
they are called cliff swallows and they use leaves and grass and other stuff for the nest for the eggs. and they make their bird house out of “mud”. and after a while the mud does break apart and crumble. you are right though about ancient cultures using mud to seal joints in masonry, stone construction. we call that “mortar”. i remember that documentary on the show called “Nature”, it is on tv just before Nova. in the 30 years i have been in the construction i have used natural stone, man made stone, concrete block, bricks, wood. sometimes i use mortar, someytimes just dirt, and sometimes nothing at all as the man made blocks are designed that way. i have visited many historcal places and it is obvious their construction methods and materials have not change that much.
I know about cliff swallows and so did the person writting the article. The birds they were speaking of were different. What made them stand out, in their mind, was that they formed holes in the cliffs by rubbing with the leaves and then pecking like wood peckers at the rock. They claimed that the nests ended up being 4 to 6 inches deep into the cliff face. They actually did make a comparison about the similarity between cliff swallows, weaver birds and these birds.
The Roman secret to concrete motar is to mix blood in the mix. Any type of blood. Knowledge handed down from a long line of true masons.
I’ve read about the many claims of some chemical plant based ‘stone softening’ thing. Not it. Its a reach. There’s no visible evidence of a chemical change to the stone. And there’s an implied gradual activation level and depth to the affect. It would be a tech we can’t explain. But the evidence I'm referring to which is in so many places around the world, have a degree of precision that, if considered as a result of the projection of our modern approach to building, would make riparianfrstlvr’s 30 years of construction experience seem like a sad waste of time. no offense. The architectural evidence demonstrates that if they needed to, they could have banged off hundreds of same size blocks which would in our experience, make building far easier. And yet they made stone structures with all different sized stone pieces. No big thing there, but then they have seam gaps that appear to have a fraction of a mm in tollerance. Zero chance that was done by hand, especially with any blocks that were big. If you start down the road of high level CnC work that falls apart too. Too much work. To high a level of precision in part rather than in whole. If you were to CnC all the pieces of the ascending passage in the great pyramid with CnC, there would still be a cumulative error issue in assembly. They built huge stone structures easily, and with the stone softening tech, it removes most of the pre visualization necessary for a large engineering project. Yada yada.
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Biology seems to have many secrets worth exploring. With biomimicry, biology seems to made a comeback.
Enjoys ancient trivia
I've seen many examples of this story. Some are supposedly first hand accounts of builders smearing some extract on the stones to make them fit. Another was a tunnel that had the surfaced processed this way leaving a "glazed" appearance.
It sounds very interesting but this has been discussed long enough for someone to positively identify this plant by now. All there is so far are vague descriptions of reddish leaves. I would expect to find it somewhere in the general area. If anyone ever produces this plant and demonstrates the process, I'll be more inclined to believe it.
Maybe the plant is now extinct and that's why we don't see this anymore. If it is a plant it would grow everywhere because we see this type of masonry worldwide. I think it was craftsmanship and was abandoned because it was too much hard work.
it would sure be nice to know how for instance patterns of Sigiria are made, or the giant stone monuments in India. I do wish we get to translate the not yet translated parts a.o.on melting of the ancient books that are on program. The plant in question is sometimes offered as a statutory gift and sometimes referred to as pomeogranades. If that is the very same plant used for melting would be interesting to know, anyone? Well, if not by plant so by what have all these intricate stone masonry ever been made?
I checked in on the vimana videos on Youtube and found out very interesting stuff on their machinery, i e also during different ages. The vedas translated by the Germans contain all about it. On a video on Pinterest nr 435 I found most useful hints on the machinery to fly in those various times, extraordinary introductions by several experts. There also was mentioned a plant. This plant in the vedas is called hauma or soma, slightly hallucinogetic, and is still grown around Afganhistan, has green stems and little red bulbs, no leaves, not unlike what you see on the stone reliefs being brought as introductory gift or means to get communication going or something by the birdlike guards and various gods, most plausible Ephedra. Maybe this plant on the reliefs is also for doing the melting, in that case it would have to be pretty much stronger than hauma or soma, that still exist today and is taken on and off. But anyway, an ancient plant….
In addition some other video told that the melting in South America may have been done by the help of big focusing concave plates with a hole in the bottom to do the very cutting, lika a laser, a golden one found in a temple. Sounds plausible but very inpractical since there is still the problem of lifting the stones and steering that plate heat. You will find the video in question under vimanas or Ancient Incas.
We keep looking, there must be a solution, of course different gravity be another factor too. Granbo for you!
According to cambodian myth where they have so callled music stones, a certain stone is banged in a certain way to the effect of a certain tone. Then the mountains in the area will start melting so patterns or engravings can be made, whole temples be dug out etc. Of course it would take a lot of banging or rather playing, but could be done on a grand scale. This would be the best explanation this far.
I read some time ago a german discovered the gold mining in S. America created some chemical sludge that was carried in a basket woven from a plant that mixed and set on lower courses of stone allowed an upper stone to “settle” into place by some chemical melting at Sacsahauman (bad spelling) but then how the higher stones wer lifted into place was still a mystery. But we have made progress in levitation today though only in pebble sized items lol
I have years and years of experience as a stone mason, in particular my experience working on a huge project ($1million of cut slate floors, quartzite wall panels, and granite boulder retaining walls) with just 2 other people gives me some valuable insite to offer here: we made retaining wals that started at the end of the driveway flanking it on either side, proceeding uphill around the driveway and around the property perimiter, roughly 50m by 50m plus a curving 30m x30m driveway kind of like the two symbols here: ❏﹆. we used granite boulders from slightly less than 1ton up to 7 ton for the perimiter retaining walls, and fit the boulders so tight that you could not even slide a playing card between them. they were all irregular shaped and sized and showed no signs of being cut, shaped, or altered once set in place. the bigger the boulder, the more primitive the tools was how we worked. using 1kg sledge hammers, chissels, and hammer stones, we could make the necesary cuts, and fit the boulders next to and ontop of eachother without the need for mortar as there were no joints visible. we made it look as if each boulder miraculously fit like a puzzle piece, perfectly and seemlessly in place with the surrounding stones. it could take 2 to 3 people up to 3 days to set the largest boulders which were about 3m x 1.5m x1m and over 7000kg (15.4k lbs). of course it would have been more efficient and cost effective to use 15” diamond blade masonery saws/grinders, or rotor-hammers instead of hand tools, but the ability to make such perfect cuts, legitimately mind blowing impossibly tight fitting joints on giant granite boulders was only possible doing it by hand and the slow way. we spent years on this project, but it was 2 sometimes 3 people working in the sierra nevada mountains of lake tahoe in inclement weather, and unfavorable conditions a lot of the time. but we produced a work of art where one would otherwise typically expect an unimpressive mundane granite stone wall. we did it simply to make a statement, wheter or not anyone would evemn appreciate it or notice it, given it would be covered with snow for 7-8 months of the year, and the client only intended to use the home as an occasional ski retreat a couple times a year at best. one of the reasons i guess was simply because we wanted to show what we could do with these boulders and make a statement and make people literally ask if that was real, or were they faccades, or was it custom pre-fab kit, or how was that even possible. it was for nothing more than to relish in hearing someone say, how did you do that? thats impossible, thats not real granite is it?
next, we laid 6500’ square of cut slate floors with no straight lines (every endge of the slate stones had to be scrolled, not cut straight, and every joint between the stones had to be exactly 1 cm, no more no less, and no 4 way joints (like a ‘X’ where 4 stones shared a corner joint) they could only be 3 way joints or of course double and single. for the slate we used 5” diamond blades on electric handheld grinders, as that is the easiest and fastest way to do such a ridiculous and monumental task for the 2 or 3 of us working. and agin, we made a metamorphic/sedimintary rock with naturally straight edges, crqcks, and layers into something that resembled a jigsaw puzzle instead of a stone floor. we did things that took impossible patience, time, effort, and costly amounts of materials just to prove a point; that anything is possible, no matter what people say.
so when i hear people say that these giant blocks in ancient polygonal masonry walls could only have been set inplace after somehow being ‘softened’ with some alchemical, occult, esoteric or otherwise lost ‘high technology’ or chemical process, etc., because even with cnc, water jet, or CAD assisted modern cutting, we couldnt replicate the precision and the tight fit and impossibly small joints, i cant help but say that everyone is all wrong. with nothing more than hand tools, time, experience, trial and success, and determination, it is absolutely possible to fit giant, hard, igneous blocks, boulders, monolithic polygonal masonry together so perfectly that not even a dollar bill can fit between them, if you just put your mind to it. and there does not have to be a functional or purposeful reason behind doing it. simmply wanting to make your work look impossible or better than anything anyone has ever seen before is well worth it today and i surmise it was worth is in antiquity as well. prestige in power. just my personal take on why it is not necesaary to explain precise fitting masonary through alchemical stone softening, geopolymer manufacturing, etc.
my apologies for the sloppiness of my post!
Thanks for your professional information on this subject – this is the first post I’ve seen anywhere that tells things from an sctual master stonemason person who knows what they are talking about. I think the thing we all forget is that in ancient times, even up to the Victorian age, hujmans did not have the same time constraint on their lives that we moderns do –people travelled all over the world, but they did not expect to arrive in a few days – they spent YEARS traveling if necessary. So I think that is why we can’t take in the idea of society spending multiple decades or even centuries building something great – even tho we knoiw for a fact that some of the cathedrals of Europe took several centuries to complete !
With only hammer stones one can absolutely recreate the stone walls at Sacsayhuaman, provided massive amounts of man hours and effort are invested in the project. People often claim that the stone workpiece is too hard, that you must have a tool that is harder than the workpiece to effectively cut and shape it. This is absolutely not true. Using a tool of the same material as the workpiece is effective, the only downside is that with every impact you remove part of the workpiece as well as part of the tool. So you just go get a new stone to use as a tool when the old one is no longer effective.
You can look for ways the ancients COULD have ‘softened’ the huge stones they cut and erected, then try to demonstrate the technique. Or you could wonder what they could have used to cut stones WITHOUT ‘softening’ them. But first, you need to confirm WHEN the stones were cut, which will tell how old the stone-cutting blades (if they were used) would be. How long would an iron implement, laying around in the elements, last? Science should tell you that, i.e., not long in the scheme of things, before rusting away into dust. But the dating of ancient history, particularly if you are looking for something that might be there, or might not, or might have been but rusted away, or any ruins that were resettled by people who DID NOT originally build them (and the Columbian-era tribes demonstrated neither any stone-cutting nor metal-forging capabilities) ...tend to be dubious, and maybe deviously way off in order to sell a theory that diverts from an undesirable truth (violent demise of the previous culture) or just keeps us confused (i.e., subjugated via tricks).
Nobody gets paid to tell the truth.
My son was a stone mason and actually showed me some examples of working stone of different grain and hardnesses. Sometimes the finished stone was amazingly fitted so tightly I thought it comparable to monumental stonework I had seen elsewhere. His primary tools were a set of differnt hammers of varing weight and shape, along with stones used to grind the finish into the stone,w hich the usage was guided by the product type of stone and the required finish.
I believe in the human accomplishment and skill of the proffessinal stone mason, not magic.
He worked fairly quickly overall but took his time when a precise fitting was wanted.
Never talked about some mysterious softening technuiqe or melting. Just hard work by the mason.
I like the idea of this forum as this is really useful to read