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To the Editor of The Structural Engineer.
May I express appreciation of the letter from Mr. Van Vleck, published in your July issue. It may be that undue antagonism to Mr. Bossom will be read into it. For my part, I hope this will not be so. Mr. Van Vleck’s frank and kindly gesture, his invitation to enquirers, and willingness to communicate facts as to American practice will, I am sure, appeal to Mr. Bossom, and to all who on this side of the Atlantic
are interested in Building Structures.
The demand for fire-resisting construction in inside work and for the protection of outside work from the weather has resulted in the general practice of encasing structural steelwork in concrete. In addition, the concrete encasement of steel beams is frequently extended laterally to form parts of a structure, such as floors.
Robert A. Caughey and W. Basil Scott
To return, however, to the Pyramids on Gizeh Plateau, we find here several smaller pyramids whose respective states of dilapidation repeat the evolutionary history of the
larger pyramids. These smaller pyramids not only prove the impossibility of a universal
application of the accretion theory, but, in two cases shown on the accompanying sections, indicate an attempt to effect a compromise between the earlier defective sequence of construction and the sequence of construction adopted in the case of the Great Pyramid. In place of the continuous straight joints of the early pyramids, the two small pyramids illustrated (as the Fourth and Sixth Pyramids respectively) have bonded masonry in each step, with the older straight joint of each terraced step face broken by each successive course being slightly set back from the preceding lower course in the vertical ratchet effect shown. The latter provision proved ineffective, as the manner and extent of the dilapidation shows. Obviously the casing and the filling in between the casing and the terraced steps of the core masonry were built after the terraced steps had been completed. Altogether three types of construction are
shown on this series of illustrations. The distinctive types are obvious from the dilapidations - after what has been said as to the material facts of Pyramid construction. I may add that I am aware of the part played by the Arabs and others in demolishing the casings of the pyramids. My contention is that such demolition continued to a greater extent where defective construction and the subsequent effects of defective construction offered less resistance to demolition.