The archaeological information that we have on the human resources of the project is scarse The best information available to date from the excavations of the city of workers on the site of Heit el Ghurab at the foot of the Giza plateau was given by the director of these excavations Mark Lehner who reports a maximum workforce of 2000 workers on the site of the pyramid
Labor and the Pyramids The Heit el-Ghurab “Workers Town” at Giza Mark Lehner University of Chicago and Ancient Egypt Research AssociatesExerp: A Colloquium held at Hirschbach (Saxony), April 2005Volume V, page 471
Vizier Ankh Haf, half brother of Cheops, was cited as the great organizer of the works , and as architect, Hemiunu , also a member of the royal family, whose mastabas were found around the pyramid containing their statues.
Unlike the totally empty chambers of the pyramid, their tombs housed their statues and some inscriptions and wall engravings, but no indication of the pyramid.
Through his excavations of the city of workers who stand on an area of around 150,000 M², Lehner unearthed dwellings of different kinds, luxury villas for executives and dormitories for workers, then called NFRW (neferou ) which we learned were organized by “Gang” of 4 “phyles” grouping 5 “divisions” of ten individuals,200 people in all, which gives 21 supervisory staff for 200 workers or 10%.
Taking into account the accommodation in collective dormitories of the workers, through various cross-checks Lehner reached a number of 1,600 to 2,000 workers accommodated in this city.
In the city of Heit el Ghurab for 1,600 to 2,000 workers, there are almost as many in supervision, food logistics, administration, care, entertainment.
While the NFRWs were arguably single, the staff around most likely came with their families with the children, bringing the population up to
around 3-4,000 in all.
According to Lehner, the excavations cover 10% of the entire site, which gives a population density of around 4 to 5,000 inhabitants per km²
Figure to be compared with the population densities of medium-sized towns in Bangladesh, for example:
The density ** is of the order of 3 to 4000 inhabitants per KM², for towns of the order of 140,000 inhabitants.
** http: //sedac.ciesin.columbia.edu/data/set/gpw-v3-population-density/data-download
According to Lehner’s commentary, the figure of 1,600 to 2,000 workers is rather a high limit.
The site of Giza at the time was far from any center of life, At the time, no roads and metro, the staff lived on site, the city had its supply logistics, we found traces of facilities ports and numerous meal reliefs, which show that the workers were very well fed, a nearby necropolis allowed to understand that they were also well cared for in case of injuries.
It emerges from all this that the workers of the pyramid were ultimately few in number with regard to the task, but well supervised, well fed and well motivated.
Many authors, including archaeologists, speak of a workforce of around 36,000 ( Borchardt and Croon 1937. Stadelmann 1985 ) men, or even 100,000 for some working intermittently on the site! Did they wonder where they would have found the accommodation? who would have supervised them? I think the figures put forward by these authors are 100% fanciful, they are not based on any observations found in the field.
In my study, which focuses on energy management to build the pyramid, what can we expect in terms of strength and ultimately energy production from this population of 2,000 NFRW?
In terms of force produced:
Employ workers to pull ropes while walking to move loads on sleds even on rollers, limits the force produced to a maximum of 20% of their weight because asking for more would cause the worker to go backward by skidding on the soles of his feet instead of making the load moving forward.
The generic method used was to use workers the force of their weight by lowering them on a support, thus the resulting force is 5 times greater than that of the hauler, while requiring the worker only to climb. stairs to reach a raised platform or to make the swing!
Ballasted to 100 kg, the 2000 workers of Heit el Ghurab thus represented a potential cumulative force of 2000 KN.
Archaeological data are scarce, however it seems logical to consider that these workers represented an elite by their physical capacities, selected, well supervised, well fed, they could be assimilated to what are today professional sports teams.
Specialists in long-term sports effort indicate that under these conditions, a worker could develop without exhausting himself, on average a power of 80 W in a 12-hour day.
Either a production of 1 KWH per day by NFRW,
2,000 KWH per day for the total workforce.
Many authors of theories based on sleds sliding on lubricated tracks, have dedicated this population to the grueling task of “pulling the ropes” on the shoulder, 12 hours a day, every day, under the Egyptian sun. , sometimes in groups of more than a thousand individuals harnessed to move megaliths of 65 t.
Did they think, comfortably installed in their cosy offices, that the “convicts of the pyramid” could have held out for many years in these appalling working conditions, even if properly fed?
In my study, I propose rigorous working conditions, but there is a margin between pulling out the rope for 12 hours on slippery and / or dusty tracks and climbing in small groups, along the pyramid of probably shaded stairs, with who knows ? accompanying music and “a shot of beer” upon arrival on the course.
An important wall: 200 m long, 30 m high, 10 m thick separated this city from the site of the construction site, “the wall of the Crow”, with a door undoubtedly well guarded. So the entry to the site (and the exit) was strictly controlled, I think that it is in this place that the workers received a ballast to ware which gave them a standardized weight, probably a sort of vest with copper weights.
Copper which at that time was almost as precious as gold abounded in tons on the site, we understand that when leaving the site, the workers were weighed again and had to give back their jackets complete!
Allow me to present the model NFRW to you, Mr. KWH, “recruited” in the land of Punt: