Treadmill-powered Crane

From the Haterii funerary relief - Rome, Vatican Museums.


Construction, loading and unloading materials.

Pulley or treadmill. The power reduction system is a multi-pulley tackle.

Inclinable frame comprised of two vertical mounts joined and bound at the top; pulley attached to binding. Winch beam in the lower part. The crane is sustained and angled by a cable-stayed system. This is the most ancient evidence of a crane model (cable-stayed crane), which would be used up to the Renaissance and beyond, with some modifications.

Interpretative Issues
Dimensions: In the absence of quantitative references we can assume the height was about 10 meters based on the dimensions of the treadmill, which must have had a diameter of at least 2.5 meters
Reconstruction: The crane was reconstructed based on the relic from the Haterii tomb and on the descriptions of this type of crane illustrated in Vitruvius’s De Architectura. There are no indications on the tackle. The vertical pulley sequence was determined through logical conclusion.


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