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Pyramid Game

  1. Dec 2, 2007 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    Our class exercise in World Prehistory was to figure out the volume of the building we were in and answer the following:

    How many a) basketloads, b) mud bricks, c) stone blocks would it take to build structure?
    How many worker-hours would it take?
    How many days/months/years would it take, given varying levels sociopolitical organization and population size?

    Levels of sociopolitical organization and population size:
    A. Complex chiefdom: population size 1000. Each adult owes 10% of his or her labor to the chief.
    B. Neolithic town: population size 3500. Each adult owes 10% of his or her labor to the leader.
    C. State/civilization: population size 100,000. 20% of the population is slaves of the state. 20% of the population is royal or noble and does not work. The other 60% pays taxes to support the state, but owes no labor.

    Basketload: one cubic foot, requires 2/5 worker hour to collect, transport, and set.
    Mud brick: 10x14x6 inches, requires 1/3 worker hour to manufacture, transport, and set.
    Stone block: 1 cubit by 2 cubits, by 3 cubits, requires 4 worker hours to cut, transport, and set.
    Structure is solid inside, no airspace.
    Modern 8-hour work day, work estimate need not include, support workers, only actual builders.
    For all populations, assume 40% ofthe population is adults.

    2. Relevant equations

    cubit = 1.5 feet

    3. The attempt at a solution

    The volume of our building was approximately 400,000 cubic feet
    Volume of brick things: Mudbrick: .5 feet cubed; Stone block: 20.25 feet cubed
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 2, 2007 #2
    So how many bricks or stones does it take to build the building? Clue: It involves a division. Once you get that, we can work on the other parts of the problem.
  4. Dec 3, 2007 #3


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    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    So, how many mudbricks go into a pyramid?
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