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Aliens and the Stonework of Ancient Egypt

Since I was a child there have been those who claim that proof of off planet visitors are the only explanation for the stone carving in Ancient Egypt, or the Mayans.  The Egyptians of that time worked with sandstone, limestone and alabaster. Alabaster was used for the floors, limestone and sandstone or the walls, and the outside facings were alabaster as well. 

These people look at the pyramids and say that the stones are made too precise, too smooth and the seams between them too tight to be made by the people of that time. No visitors or fantastic technology required. The detail and definition of the statues too good for ancient craftsman or the tools they had. This is all fake news.

The craftsmanship is amazing, but far from impossible for people of that time. Later time periods didn't have any better technology. 

Perhaps they should ask someone who works in a quarry. 

The David by Michelangelo is two stories tall, made of marble, and the definition of the piece (muscle tone and veins in the arms and body) is amazing, so much so it feels like it might move at any moment. It was carved from a single block of stone from a quarry ~200 miles away to the north of Rome. Brought to Rome, then carved and moved to where it stands now. 

Marble is generally harder than limestone. Marble is a metamorphic rock formed from the recrystallization of limestone under high pressure and temperature. The process of recrystallization in marble results in a more compact and dense structure, making it harder and more durable compared to limestone.

One piece granite monolithic statues can be found in India. There are five monolithic statues of Bahubali the shortest measuring more than 6 m (~20 feet) in height in Karnataka:

  • 17.4 m (57 feet) at Shravanabelagola in Hassan District in 981 CE
  • 12.8 m (42 feet) at Karkala in Udupi District in 1430
  • 11.9 m (39 feet) at Dharmasthala in Dakshina Kannada District in 1973
  • 10.7 m (35 feet) at Venur in Dakshina Kannada District in 1604
  • 6 m (20 feet) at Gommatagiri in Mysore District in 12th century CE
Other examples of these feats come from Ancient Rome.

Statue of Emperor Constantine the Great - This colossal statue once stood in the Basilica of Maxentius in the Roman Forum. It measured approximately 30 feet (9 meters) in height, though only fragments remain today.

Statue of Emperor Commodus as Hercules - Located in the Capitoline Museums in Rome, this statue portrays Emperor Commodus as the mythical hero Hercules. It stands around 19 feet (5.8 meters) tall.

Statue of Emperor Hadrian - This colossal statue of Emperor Hadrian once stood in the Temple of Venus and Roma in Rome. While its exact height is uncertain, it is estimated to have been around 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Statue of Antinous - This statue depicted Antinous, a youth and lover of Emperor Hadrian. It stood in the Hadrian's Villa in Tivoli, Italy, and measured approximately 20 feet (6 meters) in height.

Statue of Augustus of Prima Porta - The Augustus of Prima Porta statue, now housed in the Vatican Museums, portrays Emperor Augustus. It is around 6.8 feet (2.08 meters) tall but is mounted on a pedestal, making the overall height closer to 20 feet (6 meters).

From Ancient Greece:

Statue of Zeus at Olympia - Created by the renowned Greek sculptor Phidias, the Statue of Zeus at Olympia was a colossal seated figure of the Greek god Zeus. It was located in the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, Greece, and stood approximately 43 feet (13 meters) tall, including its base.

Statue of Athena Parthenos - Another masterpiece by Phidias, the Statue of Athena Parthenos was housed in the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens. It measured around 38 feet (11.5 meters) in height, including its pedestal.

Colossus of Rhodes - One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Colossus of Rhodes was a massive statue of the Greek sun god Helios. Although there is debate about its exact size, it is believed to have stood approximately 98 feet (30 meters) tall.

Statue of Apollo at Delphi - This statue of the Greek god Apollo was situated in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. While its exact dimensions are unknown, it is estimated to have been around 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Statue of Poseidon at Cape Sounion - Located at Cape Sounion in Greece, the remains of the Temple of Poseidon include a large statue of the sea god Poseidon. While the complete statue is no longer intact, it is estimated to have stood around 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Rome of the Christian era

Statue of Saint Bartholomew - Located in the Milan Cathedral in Italy, this statue stands at approximately 21 feet (6.35 meters) tall.

Statue of Saint Christopher - Found in the Saint-Pierre Cathedral in Beauvais, France, this statue measures about 20 feet (6 meters) in height.
Statue of Saint Mark - Located in the Basilica di San Marco in Venice, Italy, this marble statue is around 20 feet (6 meters) tall.

Statue of Saint Peter - Situated in St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City, this statue measures about 19.7 feet (6 meters) in height.

Statue of Saint John the Baptist - Found in the Florence Cathedral (Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore) in Italy, this statue stands at approximately 21 feet (6.4 meters) tall.

The whole secret you are looking for is called acid. Acid and water 'melt' limestone. Quite effectively. Acid and wire wool would have been very effective methods of carving all the stone questions you have. It would take very little effort to smooth and face the stones before they were placed so that they came together in a perfect seam. 

The ancient Egyptians used a variety of tools to carve rose granite statues. While the specific tools may have varied over time, here are some of the commonly used tools in ancient Egypt for carving granite:

Copper Chisels: Copper chisels were commonly used for carving granite. The copper chisel's hardened edge allowed artisans to chip away at the stone.

** It should be noted that iron tools were available to the Ancient Egyptians, though uncommon and highly prized. Only the best carvers would have had access to them. They were rare because they were difficult to make. 

Diabase Pounders: Diabase pounders, made of a hard and durable stone, were used to strike the copper chisels and help break the granite surface. Balls of diabase were used by the ancient Egyptians as pounding tools for working softer (but still hard) stones.

Flint and Bronze Saws: Flint saws and later, bronze saws, were utilized for cutting and shaping the granite. The abrasive nature of the flint or the harder bronze edge allowed them to create precise cuts.

Wooden Mallets: Wooden mallets were used to strike the chisels and provide the necessary force for carving granite.

Abrasives: The Egyptians also made use of abrasive materials like sand, quartz, and emery to aid in the carving process. These abrasives were used to smooth and refine the granite surface.

Drills: Bow drills or strap drills were used to create holes and indentations in the granite. The drills consisted of a rotating shaft and a drill bit made of harder materials like copper or bronze.

Polishing Stones: Various types of polishing stones were used to smooth and polish the finished granite statues, achieving a glossy appearance.

During the Middle Ages, the process of carving rose granite was a labor-intensive task that required the use of specialized tools and techniques. Here is an overview of how rose granite was carved during that era:

Quarrying: The first step in carving rose granite was quarrying the stone. Large blocks of granite were extracted from quarries using tools such as wedges, hammers, and chisels. The blocks were then transported to the carving site.

Rough Shaping: Once the granite blocks were brought to the carving site, rough shaping began. This involved removing excess stone from the block using chisels and hammers. The stone would be chipped away to create a rough outline of the intended sculpture.

Chiseling and Sculpting: Skilled stone carvers would use chisels and hammers to refine the shape of the sculpture. They would gradually remove stone in layers, working from coarse chisels to finer ones to achieve greater detail. The carvers would follow a design or template and carefully chip away at the stone, creating contours and adding depth.

Pointing and Tracing: To transfer detailed designs or patterns onto the granite surface, stone carvers would use a technique called pointing and tracing. This involved creating small holes along the design lines and then using charcoal or ink to transfer the pattern onto the stone surface.

Finishing and Polishing: Once the main sculpting work was completed, the surface of the rose granite sculpture would be refined and smoothed using abrasives. This could involve grinding, sanding, and polishing with various grades of abrasive stones or sand.

Fine Detailing: For intricate details and delicate work, stone carvers might use smaller chisels, drills, and other specialized tools to achieve precise features and textures.

Surface Treatment: Depending on the desired finish, additional surface treatments could be applied. This might include texturing, etching, or the application of pigments or stains to enhance the visual appeal of the sculpture.

Throughout the process, stone carvers would require physical strength, skill, and patience to work with the hard and dense rose granite. The tools used during the Middle Ages were similar to those used in ancient times, such as chisels, hammers, drills, and abrasives.

Again, the missing element is water....

how the Egyptians were able to accomplish the seemingly impossible task of constructing the famous pyramids.

To make their discovery, the researchers picked up on clues from the ancient Egyptians themselves. A wall painting discovered in the ancient tomb of Djehutihotep, which dates back to about 1900 B.C., depicts 172 men hauling an immense statue using ropes attached to a sledge. In the drawing, a person can be seen standing on the front of the sledge, pouring water over the sand, said study lead author Daniel Bonn, a physics professor at the University of Amsterdam. 

Chronemics for Writers

is the study of how time is used in communication, including how we use time to signal social status, power, and intimacy. Here are some examples of the kinds of events and time signatures that may be of interest to chronemics.

What is time, and how do we talk about it? Aristotle defines time as “the calculable measure of motion with respect to before and afterness.” 

In the English language, an abundance of expressions exists to talk about time, phrasal verbs being among the most numerous. Their formulas consist of a few words in a string comprising a verb and particle, e.g., “We ran out of time, so we scheduled a follow-up meeting.” These phrasal verbs are tricky to memorize for second language learners of English dialects; a missing, stray, or incorrect element can throw off the meaning and result in a humorous or harmful gaffe, and at the least, charming miscommunication, as in “We ran up to time, so we scheduled a follow-up meeting.” 

Native speakers of English may not think about using phrasal verbs consciously, yet they are everywhere we speak. Staying with the example of time, we: make, use, and put in time; have it to spare and also run out of it; carve it out; spend, waste, and save it; take a time out; and take time off. More poetically, we set it aside, and idle, while, and fritter it away. Time is money. It flies, and it heals all wounds.

Chronemics however, focus on what we are saying by what we are doing. Are we late, unresponsive, interrupters? What does that say about a character? It is a bit like body language, only for time. 

The Studies of Non-Verbal Communication

There are several related fields of study that focus on Kinesics. Some of these fields are:

Quotes from Anaïs Nin

Anaïs Nin said...

  • "We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are."
  • "The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say."
  • "Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage."
  • "And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom."
  • "I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me."
  • "I must be a mermaid, Rango. I have no fear of depths and a great fear of shallow living."
  • "I am not a Sunday morning inside four walls with clean blood and organized drawers. I am the hurricane setting fire to the forests at night when no one else is alive or awake however you choose to see it and I live in my own flames sometimes burning too bright and too wild to make things last or handle myself or anyone else and so I run. Run run run far and wide until my bones ache and lungs split and it feels good. Hear that people? It feels good because I am the slave and ruler of my own body and I wish to do with it exactly as I please."
  • "Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings."
  • "Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death."
  • The role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say.

  • "I am lonely, yet not everybody will do. I don't know why, some people fill the gaps and others emphasize my loneliness. In reality, those who satisfy me are those who simply allow me to live with my 'idea of them.'"
  • "I am an instrument in the shape of a woman trying to translate pulsations into images for the relief of the body and the reconstruction of the mind."
  • "The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head without any other consideration."
  • "I take pleasure in my transformations. I look quiet and consistent, but few know how many women there are in me."
  • "The dream was always running ahead of me. To catch up, to live for a moment in unison with it, that was the miracle."
  • "Anxiety is love's greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic."
  • Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings

  • "The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."
  • "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
  • "I postpone death by living, by suffering, by error, by risking, by giving, by losing."
  • "I want to live only for ecstasy. Small doses, moderate loves, all half-shades, leave me cold. I like extravagance, heat."
  • "The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery."
  • "The artist's duty is to express the spirit of the time."
  • "The personal life deeply lived always expands into truths beyond itself."
  • "It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see" 

The Varangian Guard

The Varangian Guard was an elite unit of the Byzantine Army, formed in the late 10th century AD. Its members were mostly Norsemen or Vikings, who were known as Varangians in the East.

The origins of the Varangian Guard can be traced back to the early 980s, when the Byzantine Emperor Basil II sent an embassy to the Viking lands in the north, in search of mercenaries to aid his campaigns against the Bulgarians. The Varangians impressed the Byzantines with their bravery and fighting skills, and they were eventually hired as mercenaries.

The Importance of Writing Fiction

Fiction is like a magical spell that transports readers to far-off lands, introduces them to unforgettable characters, and makes them feel things they never thought possible. It's a form of storytelling that has been around for centuries, entertaining and inspiring generations of readers. And it's more important now than ever before.

GTP and ME and Chess

You: Give me an annotation of the following game, noting and highlighting tactics, positioning, shifts in momentum and their causes, as we...