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World's Greatest Mysteries(Stone Softening........)
#1
Having been submerged in History, Archaeology, and Anthropology, almost all of my academic life, you would think that I would have been delving on this archaeological mystery, that is out front for all to see, all over the world, but still not properly explained.  For some reason I always wondered about it, but moved on to other topics that caught my attention.  

But I am now intrigued about this thing.  I have a YouTube account, which automatically sets up a page dealing with all of my subscriptions and topics I find interesting.  Well today one of my recommended videos to watch happened to be this one:

Megalithic Softening of Stone Part 1




Suddenly I was enchanted because I had skipped over it for decades and always put it on the back burner.  But this video had no Graham Hancock, Ancient Aliens, or whatever in the video.  Just a straight forward question: "How were the ancients able to do almost impossible stone work that we can only admire and wonder how.................

Here's Part II of the videos, which is also very good, and quietly asks us to apply our logic to something that seems so impossible.

Megalithic Softening of Stone Part 2




How in the devil was this possible?  One of the pages I went to mentioned the art of using plant extracts that could make the rocks softer and easier to manipulate.  But naturally today's technology knows nothing about how this would be done.  And yet it seems to have been practiced around the world prior to written languages.  

[Image: no-space-between-the-blocks.jpg]
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#2
I began digging in and started with a Google search of Softening stone from plant extracts.  I also searched here: Ancient Stone Softening.  There was an awful lot of pages out there with people commenting on the same thing.  But most of them tended to refer to this site owned by David Pratt who seems to be a huge follower of Theosophy in general.

Here's his two part article on the lost civilizations of the Andes.  Both sections are very compelling and are well written.  But in Part 2 he covers Inca Stonemasonry and Stone Softening. Clearly there is something the ancients used, world wide, that were never written down and consequently forgotten over time.  

The more I study all this the more I tend to believe the 'plant extract' theory.  Clearly the ancients did not have advanced technology, or help from all those Ancient Aliens that were supposed to be whizzing around the planet.  And as the old saying goes, "When something happens, the simplest explanation is usually the right one."

[Image: WEB-ONLY-peru-shutterstock_60093427-700x420.jpg]
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#3
A Hypothesis: How Did They Build the Peruvian Stone Walls? | Ancient Architects


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#4
Extremely interesting. Any idea what the recipé for this stone could be? No cement in it, or so it seems. If we can make granite or other stones today, why don't we? Closest thing I can think of is man-made counter tops and thresholds. Today, man-made marble is cheaper than the real thing, so why don't we use it for architecture in general?
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#5
It has been known for at least 20 years that "stone softening" and the construction of South American ancient walls was done using rhubarb leaves--which is high in oxalic acid, that dissolves calcium carbonate in rocks. I myself have made a soup of rhubarb leaves, put pebbles in it, and seen flakes of dissolved calcium immediately appear in the solution. A lot of the stone blocks that appear high up in the Andes mountains were actually poured there after being liquefied by rhubarb leaf juice.
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#6
(11-19-2018, 10:38 PM)Ron Lambert Wrote: It has been known for at least 20 years that "stone softening" and the construction of South American ancient walls was done using rhubarb leaves--which is high in oxalic acid, that dissolves calcium carbonate in rocks. I myself have made a soup of rhubarb leaves, put pebbles in it, and seen flakes of dissolved calcium immediately appear in the solution. A lot of the stone blocks that appear high up in the Andes mountains were actually poured there after being liquefied by rhubarb leaf juice.

How about a link? I did a search of "rhubarb" and "Stone softening" and saw only one link back to a forum where stone softening was discussed. But the forum posts didn't give a link to this either.
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#7
Here's a link for removing Kidney stones and gall stones with Rhubarb juice:

Does this count?
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#8
A bit late for me, I had to have my gallbladder remove last July.
The true purpose of democracy is not to select the best leaders — a clearly debatable obligation — but to facilitate the prompt and peaceful removal of obviously bad ones. 
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#9
(11-21-2018, 07:35 PM)WmLambert Wrote: Here's a link for removing Kidney stones and gall stones with Rhubarb juice:

Does this count?

I guess it does. I'm about to read it, because all this stone softening has me intrigued. Rhubarb will probably have to do Until we definitively identify the plant that can dissolve the entire stone blocks to come up with something that can work fast, outside of surgery.
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#10
I first learned about the use of rhubarb leaves for construction in the Andes in a PBS program that aired a couple of decades ago. They detected traces of rhubarb in the stone blocks, and showed where they probably made the limestone/rhubarb slurry. Then they just needed forms inwhich to pour the blocks.


Quote:Abstract

Due to its impressive appearance, Inca masonry, which mostly consists of volcanic, silica containing rock material, has received much attention. A high level of understanding has consequently been reached of the diverse working steps and tools applied. An exception is the reddish mud, “llancac alpa” in the quechua language, and the “gold”, mentioned by early chroniclers as mortar which fitted the stones and later disappeared. Such techniques were related to folklore and not taken seriously. This study tries to understand them and the question was asked: did Inca builders have access to very acid mud? They did, and used the acid mud from their mines, which generated sulphuric acid through bacterial oxidation of pyrite (fools gold). It reaches an acidity of up to pH = 0.5, which is 104 times more acid than humic acid which is known to weather silica containing rocks via silica gel to the clay mineral kaolin. This acid mud allowed dissolving and softening the rock material superficially to a viscoelastic silica gel. The process could be further enhanced more than tenfold by addition of (oxalic acid containing) plant sap, a skill suggested from popular tradition. In special cases moderate heating of crushed pyrite in gaps between chiselled stones generated additional hot sulphuric acid. Where the stone to stone contact transmitted weight, pressure dissolution in the acidic environment removed material, and silica precipitation regenerated material in cracks and pores elsewhere. It is attempted to reconstruct how the Inca builders applied the silica gel technology for shaping stones, for polishing and fitting them. The appearance of shiny and glassy Inca stone junctions and interfaces is explained via solidification of in-situ generated or additionally added silica gel. Modern processes for conservation of stone monuments against environmental deterioration have independently developed similar silica gel based technology.
Link: https://www.siftdesk.org/article-details...asonry/264

Note: Rhubarb leaves are very high in oxalic acid.

Quote:There is now very little doubt about how the Ancients actually built these incredible structures and indeed, softened or perhaps melting the stone has always really been the only possible explanation. The ancient Mayans were indeed quite capable of producing very large quantities of
the acids that were used by Dr Davidovits in his experiments from many plants that were quite common to the region in the distant past.
Plants such as: Fruits, Potatoes, Maize, Rhubarb, Rumex, Agave Americana, Opuntia, Ficus Indica and Garlic to name a few.
Link: http://projectavalon.net/forum4/archive/...9df259573d

The Incas and Mayans were pretty good chemists.
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#11
Here's another more recent video, by one of the contributors above.

This is How They Built the Inca Stone Walls | Ancient Architects


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