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考古学家和广大公众长期以来对过去社会建造的纪念性建筑着迷。 无论是考虑俄亥俄河谷的土方工程还是埃及和墨西哥最宏伟的金字塔，人们都对如何利用技术有限的前现代社会能够建造如此杰出的规模和质量的古迹感到好奇。 建筑能量学是考古学中的一种方法论，它可以估算分配用于建造这些过去古迹的劳动量和时间。 该方法允许对建筑进行详细分析，尤其是对这些项目所依据的社会力量的分析。
Archaeologists and the public at large have long been fascinated by monumental architecture built by past societies. Whether considering the earthworks in the Ohio Valley or the grandest pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, people have been curious as to how pre-modern societies with limited technology were capable of constructing monuments of such outstanding scale and quality. Architectural energetics is a methodology within archaeology that generates estimates of the amount of labor and time allocated to construct these past monuments. This methodology allows for detailed analyses of architecture and especially the analysis of the social power underlying such projects.