Big rocks standing up, sticking out of the ground, were always a problem to explain. How did people without machines lift those big rocks, and move them around? How did they stand them on end? How did they dig holes deep enough into the ground to stand them on end? How many of them got crushed while moving the big rocks around?
The list of questions was endless.
Jake walked between the monolithic stones. “What do they weigh? 50 tons? 100 tons? How do you move something like that?”
It wasn’t like they could put hydraulic jacks under one end of a rock, and jack it up. They didn’t have hydraulic jacks 4500 years ago. Hell, 4500 years ago they didn’t even have gasoline.
“Well. I can certainly see the appeal of saying, ‘Aliens did it!’ It makes it a lot easier to explain.”
How did you get enough hands on any of those rocks to lift an end of it? You could get what, maybe 10 men in a line on one end. 10 men couldn’t lift 50 tons. It simply couldn’t be done. You’d need to use pulleys. But that left you with another set of problems. How do you get the pulleys up high enough to lift the rocks? How did you make the scaffolding that held the pulley’s strong enough to not collapse under the weight of the rock? And what the hell did you use for rope or chain?
“Chain? Ha! They didn’t even have steel back then. They had bronze at best. You can’t lift a 50 ton rock with rope made of woven together weeds, and pulleys of bronze and wood. You can’t do that. It’s like trying to have men line up on one end of the rock and lift it. You can’t get enough of them to lift it.”
He thought of the rocks in the desert that slid across the sand on a thin sheet of water, with a bit of wind. “Did they know about that?” Even if they did, how would they scale it up to work for 50 ton rocks?
He also wondered why there were no tracks where the rocks had been moved along the ground. “You drag a 50 ton rock across dirt, it’s going to leave a big damn trench.” Let alone if you hauled 20 or 30 of those rocks across the ground.
“Downhill is one thing. You can maybe figure out how to get the rock to tumble downhill.” But that wouldn’t move the rock 100 or more miles. That would move the rock down the side of a hill. Down the side of a mountain at best.
“Yeah, yeah. I know. Giants. Giants picked up the rocks and carried them.” But again, the math didn’t line up. If a giant was 12 feet tall, how much could it lift? Not 50 tons, that was for certain. Again, you had the problem of how many giants could you get working together to move the rock.
“Elephants.” Well. Maybe elephants could move the rock, if you had enough of them, and enough miles of rope. “How many ropes do you need to lift 50 tons?” He figured if one rope could lift 1000 pounds, that would be 100 ropes minimum to lift 50 tons. “100 ropes, 100 elephants. How would that even work? And could you even get 100 elephants to pull on the ropes at the same time?”
“If you can’t explain it, then it had to be aliens, right?” Jake laughed. Nope. Not aliens.
“They came from the Pleiades.” Except the Pleiades cluster was maybe 200 million years old. That wasn’t long enough for complex, intelligent life to form, let alone develop the technology needed to cross all those light years of space to get to Earth, and genetically engineer the human race.
“If it was aliens, they had to come from somewhere that’s older than Earth. Not from the Pleiades.”
Jake knew he couldn’t understand how they’d moved the rocks. It was beyond him. Beyond his ability to figure out. But that didn’t mean it was aliens. It meant that 4500 years ago they knew things about simple mechanics that modern technology had long forgotten.
Lost technology. Lost simple mechanics.
Like the bridges in South America made out of woven together weeds. 4500 years ago, they knew how to move those big rocks. Now, with all our modern machines, and tools, we’d forgotten how they did it.
“I’ll bet on them using water, wouldn’t you?”
Jake enjoyed touring the monolith rocks, and thinking about how they could have moved those rocks across the countryside, and how they could have stood them on end in holes they shouldn’t have been able to dig.
“I wonder what else we have forgotten over the centuries?”
A bunch of words
Written for Week 295 of Miranda Kate‘s Mid-Week Challenge. You can learn about Miranda’s challenge here. The stories people share for the weekly challenge are always little works of art, crafted with words, meant to be shared, and enjoyed. Please go read them.