Introduction

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EXHIBITS    >    The elevating mechanisms of the ancient Greeks    >   

Introduction


The moving of heavy load (stones) already appears from the 5th millennium B.C. in the impressive large stone constructions of Western Europe and later takes epic proportions with colossal construction programmes of the first great civilisations (Egyptian, etc.). However, concerning horizontal shifting, the traction on a specially formed inclined surface with the use of levers, “sleds” and ropes required synchronised manpower. The impressive constructions of the Mycenaeans belong to this category, with the gigantic wall-gate lintels and domed tombs.

The greatest revolution also in this sector was brought about by the Greeks (6th cent. B.C.) with the invention of the pulley and its use in various pulley-blocks (such as the two-wheeled pulleys, three-wheeled pulleys, etc. for the doubling, tripling, etc. exertion of force) with the combination of the invention and application of different types of winches for the increased exertion of force according to the ratio of the length of the motion lever-arms to the radius of the traction rope reel. The invention and development of multitude elevating mechanisms, such as the one-mast crane, the two-mast crane, four-mast crane (scaffolds), etc. in combination with the use of clever stone fastening methods, impressive methods of blocking and suspension, lubrication and special sliders, rollers and suitably wheeled vehicles led to the Greek architectural miracle.

Modern elevation technology is the direct evolution of the impressive technology of elevation with which great Greek engineers such as Archimedes, Heron, etc. dealt with.