Pliny the Elder, was a Roman writer who lived during the same time period as Jesus. He told a story of the setting of an obelisk, which when erect would stand 99 feet tall.
Twenty thousand workers where chosen to pull on the ropes and activate the hoisting apparatus. There was great responsibility and risk in the operation. Just one error could cause the obelisk to fall, ruining years of work.
The King demanded one act which insured the complete attention and best direction of the engineer. He ordered the engineers own son to be strapped to the apex of the obelisk, so that his heart as well as his head would be given to the task.