The El Giza Egypt Construction Essay

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This report emphasized on how the ancient people built these two ancient buildings and why these building are still stable until now. Buildings that we had chosen to write for this report is the Great Pyramid of Giza and Forbidden City. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest and oldest among the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a grave (tomb) for the 4thEgyptian Pharaoh Khufu and they spent over 20 years for the construction of this pyramid. The Forbidden City was the official residence for the emperors and their immediate families about 500 years ago. Many mechanical skills and theories were applied into the construction when these buildings were built to maintain them until today. Hence, this report aims to show the mechanical structures and the materials that were used to build these two ancient buildings which maintained their stability until today.

1.INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background

Among the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis which is now known as the El Giza, Egypt, the largest and oldest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is one of Seven Wonder of the Ancient World. Archaeologist believed that the motive of constructing the pyramid is to make it as the grave (tomb) for 4th Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu and they spent over 20 years for the construction of this pyramid. The Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest structure over 3800 years. Around 5.9 million tonnes is the estimated mass for the pyramid. Different scientific and alternative theories have come out about the pyramid's construction techniques. Three chambers were built in the pyramid. Egyptologists believed that the lowest chamber was originally burial place for the Khufu. However, the lowest chamber was not completed. In the pyramid structure, the King's and Queen's chambers are located higher. Besides that, the only pyramid that contains the ascending and descending passages is the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Forbidden City is situated at Beijing, China. It was the Chinese royal palace since Ming Dynasty until Qing Dynasty. About 500 years, it was the official residence for the emperors and their immediate families. The total time consumed to build the Forbidden City is 14 years,which is from 1406 to 1420. The amount of workers that took part in the construction of the Forbidden City is nearly one million. The name of the Forbidden City, "Zijin Cheng" has its own meaning. "Zi", or "purple", is referring to the North Star, which was known as "Ziwei Star" in the ancient China. "Jin", or "Forbidden", means that no one can get into or out of this city without the permission of the emperor. Then, in 1987, itwas professed a World Heritage Site. From 1925 onwards, the Palace Museum controlled many collections of artwork and artefacts that were made-up during the Ming Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty.

1.1.1

Great Pyramid of Giza

The construction of the pyramid consumed 20 years of time to complete and 100,000 men were needed to fulfil the requirement of labour. Even the large monuments can be built in one pharaoh's life time. The blocks were usually quarried and finished into standard size that needed. People used copper chisels, tempered and hardened by heat, to cut the lime stone. People that era knew that water would find its own level by running the channel surrounded the hill filled with water, thus, many channels were dug as filling those channel with rocks and sand. Stones with few stones were raised by using few methods. For example, sledges, levers or even rollers. The pyramid was built facing four directions (North, South, East and West).

Forbidden City

The Forbidden City was built with harmonies balance between buildings and open space. The design is within symmetrical layout. The Forbidden City was first imagined in a dream by a monk. The monk stated that Forbidden City was a place that the Lord of Heaven lived which is a building with purple enclosure. Stones needed for the construction were supply from Fangshan. During winter, one well was dug within every 50 meters of distance so that people can take water from the well and pour it on the surface of the road and let it become ice so that people can slide the heavy stones to the construction site. A large number of timbers and materials were carried from provinces that are far from the construction site.

1.1.2

Great Pyramid of Giza

No doubt that huge earthquake will not change the orientation of the pyramid. The base of the pyramid is still remained at the level within 15mm. Scientists states that the Mediterranean level has been raise about 2 meters since last 5000 years, but there are no effects on the tilt of the pyramid, which is 220 meters in land and 60 meters above the sea level.

Forbidden City

Theoretical calculation is used to protect Chinese ancient building, also with theoretical calculation and strengthening method on tenon-mortise joint of Tai-He Palace in the Forbidden City. The method of using steel-wood composite system to strengthen the joint is suitable which meets the demand of cultural relic's protection. The substructure is protected using method that strengthens tenon-mortise joint.

1.2 Problem

Great Pyramid of Giza

The current problem faced by the pyramid is the effects of the acid rain. The pyramid is located at Cairo, one of the most polluted cities. Pollution around the pyramid is formed due to the smokes of the automobile traffic that approached to the pyramid. The smokes caused acid rain to be formed which keep on corroding the top of the pyramid day by day.

Forbidden City

The current problem faced by the Forbidden City is the renovation of the most of the buildings. The renovation is divided into three respects. First, is to show the Forbidden City as what it should looks like in the prime of Qing ruling. Secondly, to lift the techniques and the materials used to prime level. Lastly, is to raise project management, ancient architecture protection, utilization and administration to an advanced level. And also let people to realize strictly modernized management of the renovation.

1.3 Purposes

Objective of this report is to find out the mechanical structure of the Great Pyramid of Giza and Forbidden City. Many mechanical skills were applied in the construction theories when they were building it. This is how ancient people can develop such a huge process successfully although they do not have the technologies as today. They did the perfect measurement on the building structure and they fully utilized the concept of mechanical structure in the process of building it. For example, they might move each stone with tones of weight without pulleys, wheels or iron tools. Hence, this report aim is to show:

how these buildings were built,

why these buildings are still stable until today.

1.4 Methods

1.4.1 The sample

There were 20 respondents of Tunku Abdul Rahman College Kuala Lumpur Main Campus (TARC), School of Technology chosen at random. Their age range is between 18 and 22 years old of opposite gender. The socio-economic of respondents are students of TARC. The place that we distributed the questionnaire was atcanteen of TARC.

1.4.2 Data Collection

A) Survey

Our group members haddiscussed and finally drafted out a questionnaire of a total number 17 questions. After our English teacher checked our draft questionnaire, a new improvised questionnaire was used to conduct this study. After we received the improvised questionnaire, we distributed at the canteen of TARC. The questionnaire is roughly about how both the ancient buildings (The Great Pyramid of Giza and The Forbidden City) were built and why these buildings are still stable until now.

B) Internet search

We had collected and gathered a number of information from different websites about the ways ancient buildings were built and how to maintain the ancient buildings.

1.5 Scope

This reportis about ancient buildings (The Great Pyramid of Giza and The Forbidden City). This study was conducted among TARC students. Other schools in TARC are not involved in this report. It emphasized onhow the ancient people built these two ancient buildings and why these building are still stable until now. Because of time limitation, a full research could not be conducted. Therefore, only 20 students were chosen randomly from School of Technology of TARC to participate in this study. The contributions that we received from the students are on how to maintain ancient buildings.

2. FINDINGS

2.1 Findings from Questionnaire

Question 1: What do you know about the history of the Great Pyramid of Giza's design?

A survey on the history of the pyramid's design was done. 13 out of 20 respondents (65%) believe that the history of the Great Pyramid of Giza's design is to let the soul of the King to reach heaven. 4 out of 20 respondents (20%) believe that the history of the Great Pyramid of Giza's design is to communicate with unknown object in outer space. No respondents (0%) believe that the history of the Great Pyramid of Giza's design is to build the highest building at that time. 3 out of 20 respondents (15%) believe that there is other reasons for the design of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Majority of the respondents believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza's design is to let the soul of the King to reach heaven. In fact, no one exactly knows the history of The Great Pyramid of Giza.

Question 2: What types of material do you think were used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza?

Based on the survey on the materials used to build the pyramid, 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) think that ancient people used casing stone to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Another 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) think that ancient people used sand to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. 2 out of 20 respondents (10%) think that two materials which is casing stone and sand were used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. None of them think that cement was used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. Majority of the respondents chose casing stone or sand as the materials that were used to build the pyramid because the outlook of pyramid shows them that these two materials are most possible to be used as the building material.

Question 3: How long did it take to build the Great Pyramid of Giza?

Figure 1 shows respondents' opinion on the period of time taken to build the Great Pyramid of Giza. 3 out of 20 respondents (15%) think that the ancient people took 10 years to build the pyramid. 8 out of 20 respondents (40%) think that the ancient people take 20 years to build the pyramid. 9 out of 20 respondents (25%) think that the ancient people take 30 years to build the pyramid. Whereas 4 out of 20 respondents (20%) think that the ancient people used more than 30 years or less than 10 years to build the pyramid. It actually took 20 years time to complete the Great pyramid of Giza. Most of the respondents believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built in 20 years time. They might think that a building which is built in 20 years time is counted as very slow due to the affects of technology nowadays. Most of the people nowadays do not understand the challenges faced by the labours those days. They can complete the construction in 20 years time is considered as fast due to all the works were conducted in human resources.

Figure 1: Opinion on the period of time taken to build the Great Pyramid of Giza

Question 4: Do you agree that the stability of the Great Pyramid of Giza is depending on the building skills?

According to the survey on the stability of the pyramid, all respondents (100%) who took the questionnaire agreed that the stability of the Great Pyramid of Giza is depending on the building skills. None of the respondents (0%) agreed that the stability of the Great Pyramid of Giza is depending on the building skills. When the ancient people were developing the Great Pyramid of Giza, many building skills were applied into the method of construction to strengthen the stability so that the Great Pyramid of Giza can stand until today.

Question 5: Do you believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza will still be stable for another 500 years or even more years to come?

Based on the survey we had done, 16 out of 20 respondents (80%) believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza will stand for another 500 years or even more while 4 out of 20 respondents (20%) do believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza will stand another 500 years or even more to come. Most of the respondents believe the Great Pyramid of Giza will stand for another 500 years because it is still stable after more than 3000 years, this show that the pyramid has a very stable structural. However, there is 16 respondents believe that the pyramid would not stand for more than 500 years because the pollution nowadays is getting worse and worse where the structural of the pyramid might get corrode from the acids rain.

Question 6: Do you believe that the specific design of the Great Pyramid of Giza is used to connect to the unknown object in the outer space?

From the survey, 11 out of 20 respondents (55%) believe that the Giza pyramid is used to connect the unknown object in the outer space while 9 out of 20 respondents 45%) do not believe that the Giza pyramid is used to connect to the unknown object in the outer space. The pyramid is laid on the intersection of the longest latitude and longitude. Its mystery position let the people believe that the pyramid can connect with the unknown object in the outer space. However, there are 9 respondents who do not believe the pyramid can be used to connect with the unknown object. This is because the study shows that the pyramid was built to bury the Pharaoh, in order to let his soul to reach the heaven.

Question 7: How do you think the people nowadays maintain and conserve the Great Pyramid of Giza?

Figure 2: Opinion on ways to maintain and conserve the Great Pyramid of Giza by people nowadays

Choices:

1 : Rude decoration (graffiti) left by visitors inside the pyramid was automatically

removed

2 : By changing the coffins in the chamber

3 : Salt residue is used to clean the Grand Gallery's walls

4 : By increasing the stones under the pyramid

5 : By cleaning first and second chambers' walls

6 : By creating more tunnels in the pyramid

7 : The Great Gallery's cracked walls have been repaired

8 : The pyramid is installed with a new lighting system

9 : Other

The bar chart (Figure 2) shows that 7 out of 20 respondents (35%) think that the rude decoration (graffiti) left by visitors inside the pyramid was automatically removed. 4 out of 20 respondents(20%) think that the pyramid is conserved by changing the coffins in the chamber. 12 out of 20 respondents(60%) think that salt residue is used to clean the Grand Gallery's walls. 4 out of 20 respondents(20%) think that the pyramid is conserved by increasing the stones under the pyramid. 5 out of 20 respondents(25%) think that the pyramid is conserved by cleaning first and second chambers' walls. 3 of out of 20 respondents(15%) think that the pyramid is conserved by creating more tunnels in the pyramid. 11 out of 20 respondents (55%) think that the Great Gallery's cracked wallshave been repaired. 14 out of 20 respondents(70%) think that the pyramid is installed with a new lighting system. Only 2 out of 20 respondents(10 %) think that other ways may be used to conserve the pyramid. Based on internet sources, the rude decorations left inside the wall of the pyramid by visitors was mechanically removed, salt residue is used to clean the Grand Gallery's walls, by cleaning first and second chambers' walls, the Great Gallery's cracked wallshave been repaired and the pyramid is installed with a new lighting system are the ways to maintain and conserve the pyramid by people nowadays.

Question 8: Do you know that the stones used to build the Forbidden City were transferred from a distance along frosty paths in the winter?

7 out of 20 respondents (35%) knowthat the stones used to build the Forbidden City were transferred from a distance along frosty paths in the winter. However, 13 out of 20 respondents (65%) do not know that the stones used to build the Forbidden City were transferred from a distance along frosty paths in the winter.This is because most of the people today have not seen the way to transfer big stone without using machine. Moving big stone along icy paths in the winter shows that people those days have the knowledge to overcome that problem in their life. Based on the internet sources, the icy paths (frosty paths) were used to transport stones during the winter because the icy paths can reduce the friction formed at the surface of the stone. The works that need to transport the stones were reduced. Thus, the stones can travel easily and faster.

Question 9:Do you know that white lime and glutinous rice are the ingredients used to make bricks of the wall of the Forbidden City?

According to the bar chart, there are only 6 out of 20 respondents (30%) know that white lime and glutinous rice are the ingredients used to make bricks of the wall of the Forbidden City while 14 out of 20 respondents (70%) do not know that white lime and glutinous rice are the ingredients used to make bricks of the wall of the Forbidden City. From internet search, white lime and glutinous rice are the ingredients used to make bricks of the wall. This shows that the method to build the brick wall of the Forbidden City is very unique and less people know about it.

Figure 3: Opinion on the materials used to make the bricks of the wall of the Forbidden City

Question 10: Do you know that the ingredients to make the cement used to build the wall of the Forbidden City are glutinous rice and albumen (egg whites)?

In this question, the survey shows that there are only 5 out of 20 respondents(25%) know that the ingredients to make the cement used to build the wall of the Forbidden City are glutinous rice and albumen (egg whites). 15 out of 20 respondents(75%) do not know that the ingredients to make the cement used to build the wall of the Forbidden City are glutinous rice and albumen (egg whites). This is because albumen (egg whites) and glutinous rice are food, so it is very strange that the ingredients to make the cement used to build the wall of the Forbidden City are glutinous rice and albumen (egg whites). This is the reason why most of the students do not know about it.

Question 11: Do you know that the construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years and almost one million of workers to complete the structure?

Based on the survey, 8 out of 20 respondents (40%) know that the construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years and almost one million of workers to complete the structure and 12 out of 20 respondents (60%) do not know about it. The percentages of students that do not know the construction of the Forbidden City took 14 years and nearly one million of workers to complete the structure are higher because it is unbelievable that it took so many years to finish a building and a large amount of workers that took part in it. Forbidden City is a great building, thus it is reasonable to take 14 years and nearly one million of workers to complete the structure.

Question 12: Most of the buildings in the Forbidden City are made from _____________.

According to this question, 5 out of 20 respondents (25%) answered that most of the buildings in the Forbidden City are made from cement. 8 out of 20 respondents (40%) answered that most of the buildings are made from wood. 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) answered that most of the buildings are made from stone and 1 out of 20 respondents (5%) answered that they are made from other material. From internet search, most of the buildings in the Forbidden City are made from woods. It can be seen from the appearance of the buildings. Therefore, most of them do not know much about the materials used to build most of the buildings in the Forbidden City.

Question 13: Do you believe that the Forbidden City was built without any nails?

Figure 4: Opinion on whether the Forbidden City was built without using any nails

Figure 5: Methods that were chosen on opinion 'Yes' on whether the Forbidden City was built without using any nails

Out of 20 students, 19 respondents (95%) answered 'Yes' and 1 respondent (5%) answered 'No'. From that 19 respondents that answered 'Yes', 9 respondents (around 47%) chose mortise and tenon joint method. 5 respondents (around 26%) chose the concept of "Lego" as the method used while 4 students (around 21%) chose cement as the method to build and only 1 respondent (around 5.7% ) chose that they used other method to build. According to the internet search, method of mortise and tenon joint was used to build the Forbidden City without any nails.

Question 14: How grand do you think about these two ancient buildings? Rate 1 to 10 where 1 is the least grand and 10 is the most grand.

For the Great Pyramid of Giza, there is ten respondents (50%) rated 10, three respondents (15%) rated 9, three respondents (15%) rated 8, one respondent (5%) rated 7, one respondent (5%) rated 6, one respondent (5%) rated 5 and one respondent (5%) rated 4. No respondent rate 1 to 3.

For the Forbidden City, there is five respondents (25%) rated 10, two respondents (10%) rated 9, 7 respondents (35%) rated 8, four respondents (20%) rated 7, one respondent (5%) rated 6 and one respondent (5%) rated 5. No respondent rate 1 to 4.

The reason why the rate for the pyramid is higher is because there are most of the students feel that the pyramid is grander than the Forbidden City. This might because the appearance of the Great Pyramid of Giza looks more unique than the Forbidden City.

Question 15: What is the reason that these two buildings are still stable until today?

Figure 6: Reason on why these two buildings are still stable until today.

Based on the answer from the respondents, 3 out of 20 respondents (15%) chose these buildings are lucky enough while 18 out of 20 respondents (90%) chose the building skills and 8 out of 20 respondents (40%) chose people keep maintaining them. None of the respondents chose other reason. The building skills that the ancient people applied on these building are very good and strong, so that is why these building are still stable until today.

Question 16: Do you think these two buildings are able to prevent from the natural disaster such as earthquake?

For this question, 11 out of 20 respondents (55 %) answered 'Yes' and 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) answered 'No'. Most of the people think that these two buildings are able to prevent from the natural disaster such as earthquake because the great building skills. It guaranteed these building to be stabled for so many years, so they are also able to prevent from the natural disaster such as earthquake.

Question 17: How do you think the people nowadays maintain and conserve the Forbidden City?

From the survey that we get from the respondents, 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) think that the method that the people nowadays maintain and conserve the Forbidden City is by painting it every year. Another 9 out of 20 respondents (45%) think that the method to maintain and conserve is not allowing the visitors to take photo inside the building as the flash light will affect the quality of the wood. Only 2 out of 20 respondents (10%) think that it is maintained by 3-D techniques and another 2 out of 20 respondents (10%) think there are other reasons to maintain and conserve the Forbidden City. Based on the source we get from internet, the actual way that people nowadays maintain and conserve the Forbidden City is by 3-D techniques. Most of the students do not know it is maintained and conserved by 3-D techniques because they did not learn about it as well as get to know about it.

CONCLUSION

As a conclusion, we found out that large quantities of rocks were used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza, which were moved from the nearby quarries. The massive lime stones of low grade were moved using the Nile's river. Then, the lime stones were cut into the shape and size required by using most fundamental tools such as chisels, saw, blade. Approximately 5.5 million tons of lime stone were used to build the pyramid. For surfacing the pyramid, cast stones (geopolymer cement) were used. As the stones were roughly cut, there are many gaps in between. Therefore, rubble and gypsum were used which will stabilise the pyramid. The pyramid was built by dragging the lime stones and bringing them up to their specific place. The total construction required average work force of 14567 people without the use of any hardware such as pulleys, wheels or iron tools. Approximately 10 years were used to complete the construction. After doing this research, we understand that the construction of the pyramid which is mostly of lime stones keep the pyramid to stand for more than 3000 years. Besides that, the construction is well good enough as to face against the man destroy and natural disaster. The base of the pyramid is very stable as the pyramid was built in such special and unique shape. Other than that, many ways were used to maintain and conserve the pyramid so that it can still stable until now.

As for Forbidden City, we found out that the construction last for approximately 14 years. Millions of workers had involved in the construction. The whole log of precious Zhenan wood found in the jungles from south of china were used for the construction. This is the main material for the construction of Forbidden City. The Forbidden City was constructed with a rammed earth core, also with three layers of baked bricks on both sides .The floor of the major hall ware paved with golden bricks. Besides the tenon-mortise joint's strengthening method, the Forbidden City is also protected by theoretical calculation and finite (limited) element model. Tenon-mortise joint's strengthening method may bring other effects to the infrastructure. Another method is more desirable which meets the requirement of cultural relic's protection is by using steel-wood composite system. After finished this research, we understand the most special part of building of Forbidden City is the method of tenon-mortise joint, this method can only be found in the Forbidden City, but no other places in the world. This special technique shows that this massive building can be built without using any nails .The materials used for the Forbidden City also shows that the emperor is the only one who can own the palace with golden bricks.

4. RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the research, we recommend both ancient buildings (The Great Pyramid of Giza and The Forbidden City) to use the following solutions to maintain and conserve their buildings.

Great Pyramid of Giza

Improve the security system and guide the visitor when they tour around the Great Pyramid of Giza to ensure that there will be no accident that can damage the building.

A short briefing should be given to the visitor so that visitor will know that what actions are not allowed to be done in order to protect pyramid.

Set up the visiting rules and regulations on a board around the building, so that visitor and understand what is the prohibited action. For those who purposely damage the building will be blacklisted and the visitor are not allowed to continue his/her tour.

Some mechanical system should be installed around the Great Pyramid of Giza so that the building is notaffected by seasonal climate that will cause the change of temperature, humidity, and ventilation.

Forbidden City

The tile and statues should be maintained by referring to the original design but not using the 3-D technique. This is because the broken tiles and statues may be destroyed badly as the original design cannot be seen.

The buildings made by woods should be kept away from tourists because the woods are more easily destroyed as compared to the buildings made by stones.

The management should display fakes things instead of using the real things as the real things may destroy, including statues, drawings, wall with statues and etc.

The management should limit the number of tourists per day to avoid accidents in the Forbidden City which may cause damage to the buildings.

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