Thursday, July 26, 2012

Moving mountains

In a post in August 2010, I had noted how the ancient Chinese had moved a 200-ton block of stone on ice over a great distance, and contrasted  it with the transportation of a 80-ton granite block by Raja Raja Chola in the 11th century by using elephants. 

Recently, a 340-ton boulder was transported over 100 km, in 12 days in California. No elephants were necessary. They used a 200 feet long trailer. This feat will now feature in the Guinness Book of World Records. (source)

Today, I read that the construction of the famous Angkor Wat in Cambodia also involved mind-blowing logistics. As this report explains: 

The sandstone blocks from which Angkor Wat was built were quarried more than 50km away (from the holy mountain of Phnom Kulen) and floated down the Siem Reap River on rafts. The logistics of such an operation are mind-blowing, consuming the labour of thousands – an unbelievable feat given the lack of cranes and trucks that we take for granted in contemporary construction projects. According to inscriptions, the construction of Angkor Wat involved 300,000 workers and 6000 elephants, yet it was still not fully completed.

What was the motivation for these people to attempt such feats?


Balajisblog said...

Raj - No lofty stuff like motivation to attempt such. I think only jobs available those days were such as these feats thought of by the kings - who also had to do it to keep people occupied. Moving mountains explained thus !

ramesh said...

work you menial worker or your skin will be stripped off .. motivation enough