(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); 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

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# Pyramid Game

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