Great Excavations

Digging into History.


Human beings have always sought to alter the landscape to better meet with their needs. From cutting down trees for lumber to digging for stone and other ores to excavating foundations for construction.

As humans shifted from a nomadic existence to an agrarian life style construction and excavation became more and more important.


Well, well, well…Well.


Possibly the earliest findings of human excavation and construction with wood are located at a dig site in Eastern Germany that dates back to the Neolithic period 6000-4000BC.  Scientists discovered remnants of four ancient wells and the preserved oak timbers that supported their construction. These waterlogged timbers were dated between 5469 and 5068 BC. The workmanship on the timbers brings into question the perceived development of these early people.

As the complexity of the wooden construction demonstrates a culture far more advanced than previously expected.


Older than Stone Henge


Gobekli Tepe

Gobekli Tepe

The earliest evidence for excavation and construction in the medium of stone is at the site of Gobekli Tepe in Turkey and is dated to approximately 11,000 BC. This predates best estimates for Stone Henge by around 6000 years. Written records are non-existent for this discovery as the first writings in clay appeared in Sumer in 3300 BC. There has been more time passed between the founding of this Temple and the first written records than between now and those first writings. Yet a wealth of associated archaeological findings point to a well developed and sustained agrarian society well before the accepted dawn of the Neolithic period.


Wonder at the Ancients


By far the greatest and most enduring example of human construction is the Great Pyramid of Giza. This massive edifice is still the world’s largest construction with an estimated total mass of approximately 6 million tonnes. It comprises around 2.3 million blocks. From the simple sandstone blocks weighing in at 1 ½ Tonnes each, to the massive granite support beams that comprise the Kings chamber, some of which weigh up to 80 tonnes.

Perhaps more astounding, though lesser known, are facts about the foundations of this most Ancient of Wonders. Again written records of these methods are sparse and speculation surrounds them, however this incredible feat achieved at the time by the Fourth Dynasty Egyptians still confounds modern man.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid of Giza

The Great Pyramid was originally 146.5m tall and the area of the site is 13 acres. The base has been levelled to within 15mm and the entire site is aligned with true north. Each side is of equal length of over 230 metres with an average error of 58mm between each of them. The circumference of the edifice in relation to

the height forms the near perfect rendition of Pi. These and many other facts continue to cause wonder and speculation even in modern time. Many theories have arisen around the excavation of this site. Scientists surmise that clearing and levelling the site was probably done using a form of ancient hydro level where the site was flooded, smoothed and drained over and over until it was perfectly level.  Or perhaps it was aliens, no one really knows.


Thank you for reading and I hope you will continue to join me in an exploration of excavation.  Please visit Excavation Brisbane or Earthmoving Brisbane. for all of your excavation needs


Written by Jamie Grant for

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