A Monumental Failure
If taken as the authentic history it’s presented as, this story should be alarming for a number of reasons:
What could have led the Emperor’s master masons to believe that they could transport three blocks, totaling 31,000 tons, twenty kilometers through the mountains?
How could the construction of the Emperor’s grand gift to his father have been entrusted to such a thoroughly incompetent group? Especially when considering that, overall, this was many, enormous blunders taking place over a very long period and would have involved a substantial number of people: it seems preposterous that the effort wouldn’t have been halted almost immediately, let alone being allowed to begin in the first place.
The severe differences in the size, placement, and shape of the cuts indicates that they were never meant to be placed together or even moved. If they were, they also wouldn’t have all been cut at the same time and in such disparate fashions.
Consider the long-running conflict that was being fought with the Mongols, which was soaking up much of their resources and attention, and the fact that, only years later, the country’s bankrupt treasury couldn’t even manage to find the funds to create a single print of their newly created encyclopedia. This strenuous period doesn’t exactly appear to be the time to embark on one of the most immense engineering projects known to man, a project that would have amounted to nothing more than an art piece.