The Pyramids of Giza are the most famous monuments ofancient Egypt. These massive stone structures were builtaround 4500 years ago on a rocky desert plateau close to theNile. But the intriguing Egyptian pyramids were more thanjust tombs for kings. The mysteries surrounding theirsymbolism, design and purpose have inspired passionatedebate. It is likely that many of these mysteries will neverbe solved...
What was the purpose of the Egyptian pyramids? The people of ancient Egypt believed that death on Earth wasthe start of a journey to the next world. The embalmedbody of the king was entombed underneath or within thepyramid to protect it and allow his transformation andascension to the afterlife, and a place among the gods.Each of the Giza Pyramids formed part of a pyramid complexthat included an adjoining mortuary temple where rituals forthe dead king and for the Egyptian gods may have beencarried out. A causeway ran to a lower temple near the Nilefloodplain that acted as an entrance to the complex. Thecomplex around the Great Pyramid of Khufu also includedthree minor pyramids for his queens, pits for funerary boatsand numerous mastaba tombs for the royal family andofficials.
The pyramid shape might have represented the suns rays which the dead king would use as a ramp to the celestialrealm. Or, it may have symbolized a primordial mound from which the Egyptians believed the world was created.
How were the pyramids built?It seems likely that the Pyramids of Giza were notbuilt by slaves but by paid laborers motivated by afaith in the divinity and immortality of theirkings. Exactly how the pyramids were built isunclear. It is likely that a sloping embankment wasbuilt up to or around the pyramid. The huge blocksmay then have been hauled on sledges with the aidof rollers, papyrus ropes and levers. Although moststone was quarried locally at Giza, some had to betransported to the site along the Nile.
-Largest pyramid and a wonder of theworld is the great pyramid of Giza.-Pyramids would often have hidden trap doors to keep robbers out .-The pile of the stone used to build thepyramids where usually 50 feet high.-There were over 100000 people who helped build a pyramid.-The pharaohs relatives of people he knew where in tombs around his.-It took 20 years to build one whole pyramid.-The people used limestone to build the pyramids usually.-Each pyramid would begin to be made when a new pharaoh was picked ithad to be done by the time that he died.
Marvels of size and precision The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest of the pyramids ofancient Egypt. Khufu (Cheops to the Greeks) ruled about 2589-2566BCE when the Old Kingdom of Egypt was nearing a peak of prosperityand culture. His pyramid is astonishing for both its size andmathematical precision.It is often said that the Great Pyramid of Khufu contains 2.3 millionstone blocks, although some now question this figure. The four sidesof the pyramid are accurately oriented to the cardinal points of thecompass. The base is a near perfect square with sides 230 meterslong and a difference between them of only a few centimeters.The pyramid was originally encased in smooth, white limestone thatmust have gleamed in the harsh Egyptian sun. Unfortunately, thiswas plundered long ago to provide building materials for Cairo. Thiscolossal structure was originally 146 meters high until it lost thisouter casing and its capstone