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Old 08-13-2004, 03:43 PM   #1
spohlso
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My solution to the Staff of Ra problem.

As we all know, when Sallah takes Indy to see the old man to have the markings on the headpiece translated, the old man says the staff should be 6 Kaddams high.

To which Sallah mumbles, "About 72 inches."

Then the old man says to take back one Kaddam, etc etc.

Thus the staff is roughly 5 feet tall. When Indy uses the staff it is roughly 25% taller than him. Making Indy roughly 4 feet tall. Doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I was just thinking though; Sallah was hanging around Indy speaking English and probably translating Arabic or Egyptian or whatever between the two. When the guy said 6 kaddams, Sallah inadvertantly translated the word to 'feet' in his mind and figured '6 feet is 72 inches.' In reality though, a kaddam is probably not exactly 12 inches. It is more likely a totally different unit of measurement. Indy is NOT a dwarf, Sallah just made a mistake!

(Sorry if this has been poted before.)
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Old 08-15-2004, 12:31 AM   #2
theinfiniteweird
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Makes sense, except:

Did Indy measure the staff by what Sallaha said, or did he go and make sure he knew exactly what 5 kaddams was? See the problem.

Good solution none-the-less.
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Old 08-15-2004, 09:49 AM   #3
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Is it possible the old man screwed up his lines, and he was supposed to say "add" one Kaddam, instead of "take back"??
You would think that to honor the Hebrew God, as he said, you would give him something, instead of taking away.
'Blues
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Old 08-15-2004, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally posted by IndyBlues
Is it possible the old man screwed up his lines, and he was supposed to say "add" one Kaddam, instead of "take back"??
You would think that to honor the Hebrew God, as he said, you would give him something, instead of taking away.
'Blues


Good idea, but all of their lines revovled around that and it made sense.

My solution is that it was an honest mistake by Speilberg or Lucas and noone noticed it. This small mistake does not take away from the greatness of the movie.

If you go to www.moviemistakes.com you will find that almost every great movie has tons of mistakes. For example SPR has over 100 mistakes if I remember correctly. (Wierd thing is, all of the not so famous movies have very few mistakes. Figures )

Over and Out,
Kris "Indy_Jones88"
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:39 PM   #5
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I've watched this scene several times, and every time I've noticed something very peculiar...

When talking about kadams, forget the length of the stick for a moment, and look at the slab full of holes (or something like that) where Indy sticks up the pole... he checks his whatever booklet he has and then starts following the long line of holes down with his finger. At one spot you notice a hole that's clearly been cleaned recently, but Indy does not stop there, but goes down a couple more holes, then stops at one that is still full of sand and cleans it. Then he juts the pole in there. Perhaps this is what they meant with taking back one kadam... not the length of the stick in your hand, but the right spot in the slab you're meant to put it in. Belloq was digging in a wrong place because he had put his staff into a marker that was too high on the slab.

It still doesn't completely clear up all the stick talk, but could very give further explanation to the whole scene (and thus the odd length of pole as well).

Last edited by Finn : 08-15-2004 at 01:55 PM.
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Old 08-15-2004, 01:47 PM   #6
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I have never noticed that. I will have to go watch and see.

Very good ovservation Finn. You would make a great Observer .
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Old 08-16-2004, 06:12 PM   #7
theinfiniteweird
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When indy is walking with the stick, it is very tall. What you (Finn)say is a good theory, but this (walking with it) blows it away.

Disclaimer: I realize you said your post was not the answer, just a point to ponder. I wanted to mention this (walking with stick) anyway.
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Old 08-16-2004, 07:19 PM   #8
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The only hole in Finns theory, is when Indy says to Sallah,
"Belloqs staff is too long" I figure he says this because of the fact that Belloq didn't have the info to know to remove 1 Kaddam from the length.

Altho, it is very possible that Sallah is one of those Cliff Clavin type of guys who just spouts out info thinking no one else will know what the heck he is talking about, and Indy and the Old man don't want to break his stones and tell him he's talking out of his keister.
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Old 08-16-2004, 08:31 PM   #9
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How bout this guy's....He Had the wrong height! The Ark the found was a supernatural fraud or detour. The fourth Indiana Jones....Raiders Of The REAL Lost Ark
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Old 08-17-2004, 05:53 AM   #10
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Yeah, as I told, it does not clear out the stick talk, but I've still wondered why in the heck did Indy obviously not stick his pole in the same hole Belloq had used. (And down with dirty answers, please.)

One possible explanation is that they simply first mistook the length of one kadam (or rounded it up heavily - if it's for example about 15 inches, not 12), so that would make it more explainable... (but I in fact hate it when I have to explain a film mistake by something we don't really see on screen).
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Old 08-17-2004, 07:35 AM   #11
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Quote:
(And down with dirty answers, please.)
...must...fight...impulse...to ...give...dirty...answer...

How about if the length of the staff itself dictated which hole to use to properly line up with the sun?

The effect would have been lost if the staff was 5' - that is for sure.
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:26 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by Finn
why in the heck did Indy obviously not stick his pole in the same hole Belloq had used.


I had always assumed that the holes in the floor were a sort of calendar thing to compensate for the movement of the earth. Since Indy was in the map room a few days after Belloq, he shifted a few holes over.
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Old 08-17-2004, 11:43 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Junior Jones
I had always assumed that the holes in the floor were a sort of calendar thing to compensate for the movement of the earth. Since Indy was in the map room a few days after Belloq, he shifted a few holes over.


Yeah, sounds reasonable.

But unfortunately that still doesn't explain the staff problem…
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Old 08-27-2004, 04:47 AM   #14
Novaree
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Lightbulb How about this one..

I have a suggestion to the Staff of Ra problem. Let me hear what you think of it:

The old man says, the staff should be 6 kadams/72 inches tall. Right. Then he says to "take back one kadam to honour the Hebrew god, whose Ark this is".

I don't agree that by "taking back" you subtract one kadam. You add one instead. _You_ take back the kadam, thus _you_ add it to the height of the staff.

Mr. Ford is just about 72 inches tall - and then you see him with the staff, it is about one foot taller than him. Altogether, this amounts to 7 kadams/84 inches.

Regarding the use of a different hole than Belloqs (yehyeh, bring it on ), Indiana dusts off some sand from the stone model, revealing some hieroglyphs - something Belloq obviously did not do (as the sand then would not have been there). There is no apparent explanation to what these glyphs mean, but my guess is, that they are the ones telling Indy to move back the staff to holes on the model. After all, there are _not_ 12 inches between Belloqs and Indys holes, so the "take back one kadam = place the staff differently" does not make any sense to me.

That's just my two cents ..

//Novaree.
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Old 08-27-2004, 06:09 AM   #15
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Sounds good, Novaree. Not a bad theory at all.

And I'm also willing to accept the bit with a slab with holes as some kind calendar stone as was suggested here before...

Here we are, solving one of the biggest mysteries an Indyfan can stumble on to. Feeling proud?
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Old 08-27-2004, 08:54 AM   #16
spohlso
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That is very good Novaree, except for one minor detail:

Indy asks Sallah if he was absolutely sure if Belloq's headpiece only had markings on one side. When Sallah said 'yes' Indy was happy because Belloq's staff was too tall (because he never read the Take back one Kaddam' part.) If it was the way you had described Belloq's staff would be too short!
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Old 08-27-2004, 10:10 AM   #17
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That is correct. "Belloq's staff is too long. They're digging in the wrong spot." Next theory?
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Old 08-27-2004, 11:10 AM   #18
Novaree
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Dig

Doh! Missed that one. I'll just hide over there in the far corner, if you need me
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Old 08-27-2004, 03:41 PM   #19
spohlso
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It was still a good and logical attempt Novaree.

I'm still going with 'Sallah instantly translated the word Kaddams to feet instead of converting the unit of measurement when he said 72 inches.'

I am also proposing this: The Kaddam the old man mentioned was most likely something similar to the ancient Egyptian cubit. Roughly 20.6 inches. A staff 6 'cubits' high would have stood just over 10 feet tall. "Take back one" cubit (Kaddam, whatever) and it would be 8 feet 7 inches tall.

So if Indy was as tall as me (6' 2") the staff would be 2 feet 5 inches higher than Indy (minus however much sinks into the hole.)
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Old 09-01-2004, 11:07 PM   #20
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"...This Nurhachi is a really small guy."

Indy must be about 3 feet tall, that's funny.
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Old 09-14-2004, 12:57 AM   #21
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Just stumbled onto this thread and thought I'd add my 2 cents.
I have a call sheet from the Tanis Digs set and it states the props needed for the days shoot and a 7 foot staff is on that list.
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Old 09-14-2004, 01:41 PM   #22
spohlso
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Quote:
Originally posted by agent5
Just stumbled onto this thread and thought I'd add my 2 cents.
I have a call sheet from the Tanis Digs set and it states the props needed for the days shoot and a 7 foot staff is on that list.


Holy cow!!! Now MY staff is too tall!
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Old 09-14-2004, 02:58 PM   #23
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I too had always gone for the calender theory for the stone. As far as the staff goes, maybe "take back" was the old man's way of saying that they should "add on"...
I know, kinda thin.
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:07 PM   #24
spohlso
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Quote:
Originally posted by Battleflail
I too had always gone for the calender theory for the stone. As far as the staff goes, maybe "take back" was the old man's way of saying that they should "add on"...
I know, kinda thin.


"add on" wouldn't jive with the Indy lie, "Belloq's staff is too long.."
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Old 09-14-2004, 03:13 PM   #25
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Another case of "not shown in theatres".
Perhaps Indy and Sallah were both wrong. Perhaps while getting the staff, they went over what the old guy had said and realized thier mistake. Since the scene of getting the staff was never shown/shot, the world may never know...
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