Behind the 42 - 2
Side step: Question: Are there other kinds of questions I ask myself? Immediate answer: yes: this questions itself is of a different kind. An immediate negation: no. Reformulating the question in What are the other kinds of questions I ask myself? makes it fitting in the 5 W's. Lesson learned: don't ask questions with a yes/no answer. Ask open questions (or reformulate a temporary closed question as soon as possible).
- Follow the hyperlinks?
- Looking for answers?
- Try to find other questions?
- Think about the question and if possibly reformulate it?
- ... (Whenever lists are presented the ... stands for: What are the lacking elements in this list?)
What's on the agenda?
|Image credit: Ricardo Liberato|
Starting point: Pyramids, Egypt
- There are pyramids in Egypt.
- Some are (partially) made of huge blocs (megalithic pyramids) others aren't.
- Some have hieroglyphs, some haven't.
- All are tombs
- Some are tombs others are not
- There is an astronomical relation to position and orientation
- There is a relation with pyramids in other parts of the world.
And of course we might live in a completely simulated world.
Primary question network
- What are the natural stones?
- What are the potential artificial stones (sort of concrete)?
- What are techniques to distinguish natural from artificial blocs?
- Where do the natural stones come from?
- Why were huge blocs used?
- What are the physical properties of these blocs?
- What function (mechanical or other) might they have?
- What techniques might be used to transport them?
- What population was needed to transport them?
- What do they mean (individually and as a story)?
- Where does the interpretation of the meaning come from?
- What is the age of them (compared to the construction)?
- Why in some pyramids there are none?
Looking for the answers
- What are the floating conditions necessary to transport them (Archimedes law)?
- Can these floating conditions be achieved with the known techniques of that time?
- What materials where used for the boats/rafts?
- How long did these boats/rafts last?
- Was there enough building material for the boats or rafts available, and where?
- Could the Nile be used during the whole year?
- What technique(s) were used to get the stones on the boats/rafts?
- Is transport over land from the quarry to the Nile feasible (altitude profile, transport techniques)?
- What time would the transport take?
- What population is needed to support the workload?
- What social system was needed?
- Inaccessible answers: hidden in non public accessible scientific papers.
- Never been studied (low priority, no budget, taken for granted).
- Incomplete scientific data (meta data, raw data).
- Lost scientific data.
What is interesting to notice here is that starting with an archeological subject you cover domains like geology, hydrology, sociology, economy, ecology, astronomy, engineering, etymology and as we will see further on several other domains and implying a much more extended time span then the pure archeological context initially considered.
Taking a deep breath
|Image credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jenorton/|
- scientific carelessness, fear of loss of power/status
- carelessness, dogmatism