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Golden Age of Construction Engineering?

  1. Feb 3, 2008 #1

    SF

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    I'm watching a NOVA documentary "Secrets of the Parthenon", and the storyteller tries really hard to hype the ancient engineering technology, by saying our modern technology isn't capable of understanding/replicating what the greeks did.

    Is it me, or are they just suffering from the "garden of Eden" syndrome (things in the past were way better)?
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 4, 2008 #2

    Danger

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    Things definitely weren't better... just different. There's no question that the old-timers were extremely clever at figuring out how to do things, but their methods were based upon the knowledge, materials, and labour force that they had access to. Just because we don't know how they did something doesn't mean that we don't know how they might have done it. There are all kinds of opinions about how the pyramids were built, for example. Some are psychoceramic (man, I just read that term on here tonight and I love it!), some are plausible but unlikely, and some are very serious contenders for being correct. The problem is that without a time machine, the discovery of new historical documents, or maybe some new type of forensic analysis, we simply can't know which is correct.
     
  4. Feb 4, 2008 #3

    FredGarvin

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    If we built everything out of marble and granite and had a workforce of thousands that we didn't have to pay, then I think we'd do a pretty good job at it.
     
  5. Feb 4, 2008 #4

    Pyrrhus

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    Hahaha i just looked up psychoceramic, very funny. Study of cracked pots. :rofl:
     
  6. Feb 4, 2008 #5

    mgb_phys

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    Was talking to a civil engineer about the same thing - he reckoned that the Victorian railway engineering was the greatest and all there is now is boring freeway extentions and interchanges.
    But then there is the Channel Tunnel, the Millau Viaduct and the amazing skyscrapers in Dubai.
     
  7. Feb 4, 2008 #6

    Danger

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    I also don't recall Neil Armstrong mentioning anything about seeing any 'anciently engineered' landing modules kicking about on the moon. (And the first person who brings up '2001: A Space Odyssey' gets smacked with a trout.)
     
  8. Feb 5, 2008 #7

    Pyrrhus

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    That is debatable. There are a lot of projects that in the antiquity they would not even be considered or believed to be possible.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2008 #8
    Psychoceramic. Love it! And people will contribute to it! There are lots of postings on CR4 about over-unity machines and magnetic motors etc and now I have a place to send them.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2008 #9

    Danger

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    Yeah, it's a beautiful word. I can't remember right now who first used it here, but it was one of the Mentors. Maybe Zapper...?
     
  11. Feb 5, 2008 #10

    russ_watters

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    We aren't confronted/constrained by the same issues that the ancients faced and we don't have the benefit of seeing the world through their eyes or the historical record of how they did their projects. So we have to conjecture. That doesn't mean we couldn't reproduce their efforts with their technology if we had to.
     
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