Huge amounts of intellectual horsepower have gone into trying to figure out how the ancients built giant stone structures like the Pyramids or Stonehenge. Over the past 200 years archeologists, engineers and physicists have all chipped in to try to solve the problem.
They should’ve asked a retired construction contractor from Michigan.
I find the part where Wallington rolls a 300 lb block like a log especially interesting. He’s using a square wheel. Over the years, I’ve seen lots of discussions of square wheels as geometric oddities or sources of humor but it never occurred to me, or apparently anyone else, that you could use a square wheel to roll a heavy square block as if it were a cylinder.
I’m sure the ancients had a lot more work cutout for them than Wallington’s experiments show. For example, they would not always have had smooth and level hard surfaces to move things one. Yet, it’s easy to see how the basic ideas could be used in almost any environment with a little work, like laying down paving stones.
On a related note, have you ever wondered how you go about drilling a square hole?