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Casting the Pillars
I have long had a problem with the pillars, the historical/biblical ones specifically. Nothing, absolutely nothing I have read about that era leads me to believe that the Israelites had the technology necessary to make a bronze or copper casting that size. I think we would find it rather challenging even today. Any thoughts on the matter? ping (talk) 09:59, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
- Ping, My thought is that the main problems would just be the raw materials, the enormous amount of fuel to melt all that metal in a clay trench. The traditional translation of "bronze" may just mean copper alloy, but anyway they had fire-pits to smelt iron, let alone soft metals, and remember the masonry skills to build pyramids! Well-digging is a very ancient art, and the size of the hollow pillars is conveniently wide enough for a workman or two. A well in "clay ground between Succoth and Zarthan" would easily bear the heat and pressure of a four-fingers thick copper-alloy casting.
- I imagine the men dug a well vertically into the clay ground - not even walled with stone, but trued with plumb-lines and smoothed with a circular former. Then the men build up a central clay/earth pillar, packing a wooden former-ring and bracing tierods across the four-finger wide gap to the well-walls (it does not matter that the outside of the clay pillar is uneven); the molten metal would be poured in to the current level of the core pillar; the workmen key the new top edge of the metal pillar for the next pouring, build up the next bit of the core, and repeat the exercise until they reach the top. Finally the clay/earth core is drilled/dug/broken out again, and the hollow cylindrical pillar excavated.
- Whether the whole pillar could be cast in one piece, or in sections joined together, I have no idea. At least the chapiter was added separately Jezza (talk) 21:42, 4 November 2010 (UTC)