But turns out they likely used something much more like a sled. (Via YouTube / PawshPal)
The team figured out winter temperatures in Beijing were cold enough to ice the roads. And it was just warm enough that if the builders poured water on the roads, the ground under their sleds would stay slick for a few minutes.
The researchers did some math and figured out over 28 days, a team of workers slid the rocks down the icy roads. If a wooden sled had been used, the researchers estimate it took 46 men to drag it over the ice. If it was dragged on dry ground, more than 1500 would have been needed. (Via YouTube / MarkAllan)
All this makes perfect sense, according to the researchers, who told LiveScience they believe the workers would have preferred hauling the stones on the smooth ice to dragging them over a bumpy road.
Stone told the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences it was an amazing feat, writing: "You had on the order of a month to pull this off at the temperature conditions of Beijing … I think this just says a lot about their ability to engineer, their ability to plan."
An archaeologist at University College of London called the idea plausible, but told Nature this technique would not have worked in other parts of the world where the winters are not as cold.
In other words, as for Stonehedge, jury's still out on that one. (Via Wikimedia Commons / Teacher13)
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