There are seven wonders of the world today and the pyramids of Egypt are often on the top of the list. This is in part due to their age as well as the mystery that surrounds how and why they were built.
31 Facts on the Egyptian Pyramids
- The Great Pyramid of Giza is also known as the Khufu Pyramid
2. The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed around 2500 B.C in almost 20 years.
3. Within the Giza Necropolis, there are three Pyramids and the greatest of them is the Pyramid of Khufu
4. The Pyramid of Khufu is the oldest and the largest Egyptian Pyramid. It is as high as 481 feet. Archaeologists believed that it was the tallest structure in the world for about 3800 years.
5. Inside the Pyramid, the descending passage is pointed toward the star Alpha Draconis. It is said that there is no other star that has aligned with the passage since then.
6. It is estimated that 2 million 300 thousand stone blocks make up this pyramid. Those blocks weigh from about 2 to 30 tons The heaviest block weighs just about 50 tons. That is heavier than an elephant.
7. The Great Pyramid of Egypt is the oldest of all Seven Wonders of the World.
8. The weight of the Pyramid is estimated as 5 million 955 thousand tons.
9. The Great Pyramid of Giza has a swivel door at the entrance that weighs about 20 tons. It could be easily pushed open from the inside but on the outside, it was very difficult to find because it fit perfectly with the structure. There are three of these swivel door entrances.
10. The machinery that was used to build the Great Pyramid of Giza cannot be reproduced today, even though it has been analyzed by the engineers but they still can’t make it.
11. The interior temperature of this Egyptian Pyramid is constant and equals the average temperature of the earth.
12. The Pyramids were not built by Slaves. They were built by 100,000 highly skilled and trained laborers who were paid for their time. Indeed, at the time it seems like skilled workers were keen to be involved in the project.
13. It is estimated that it took 23 years to complete the building of the great pyramid of Giza. Other pyramids were being built simultaneously and also took about this length of time according to historians.
14. The mortar which holds the blocks in place has lasted over four and a half centuries. The mortar has been analyzed extensively by scientists but they still can’t work out its composition. Over 5 million tons of this mortar were used to construct the pyramids.
15. The temperature inside the pyramids is always 20 degrees Celcius, the average temperature of the earth. This is quite amazing considering that Egypt is a country that reaches very high temperatures. Again, no one has been able to figure out how this consistent temperature was and is achieved.
16. There is a network of tunnels under the pyramids. These tunnels are as old as the pyramids and also contain chambers, shafts, and many artifacts.
17. The Sphinx was the first royal statue in Egypt. It is said that the sphinx was created from limestone and was built with the pyramid of Khafre. The statue represents power with a lion body and human head.
18. The first pyramids were built in the time of Sneferu, the first pharaoh of the fourth dynasty in Egypt. Three pyramids were completed during this time.
19. The last Egyptian pharaoh to be buried in a pyramid was Menkaure.
20. The first pharaoh to be buried in a pyramid was Djoser. At the time, it was customary in Egypt to bury the dead with things they might need in the afterlife. Djoser was buried in the first pyramid-shaped tomb at Saqqara during the 27th century BC.
21. It is believed that the Benben stone was the model for the pyramids. This ancient stone was kept in the temple of Heliopolis city, the main religious centre of the time. Some believe that the benben stone symbolises the sun, and others associate it with afterlife gods.
22. The pyramids of Giza are the last of the seven ancient wonders of the world. The other six are The Hanging Gardens, The Colossus, The Temple of Artemis, Mausoleum, Lighthouse and the Statue of Zeus.
23. The pyramids and everything in them is protected by the curse of Pharaoh. Many archeologists and researchers who have explored the pyramids are said to have experienced bad luck. This could be due to the age of the pyramids rather than the curse.
24. The pyramids were more than a tomb. They were also designed to spiritually escort the dead into the afterlife. The Egyptians believed that the pharaohs transitioned to become gods when they died. The pyramids were designed to assist the Pharoah in the transition to the afterlife. The sphinx was built at the entry to the pyramids to protect the dead from spiritual attacks.
25. The Egyptians were not the first to build pyramids. Structures in this shape had been being built for some time. However, they are the ones whose pyramids have survived due to the materials used in construction as well as their respect for them.
26. Nubia in Sudan has more than twice the number of pyramids of Egypt – and their pyramids were built before the pyramids in Egypt. However, they are much smaller than the pyramids of Giza. They were meant to be tombs for just one person.
27. Giza was chosen as the location for the pyramids as it was on the west bank of the Nile. In Egyptian mythology, this means that it is the land of the setting sun as well as the land of the dead.
28. The Sphinx is 73 metres long, 6 meters wide and 20 meters high.
29. The pyramids of Giza used to shine. When they were constructed they were covered with a well-polished casing of limestone. It is said that when the sun hit the limestone casing the pyramids sparkled and could be seen from far away.
30. Ancient Egypt is heavily associated with hieroglyphics. However, there are few hieroglyphics in the pyramids. Indeed, there are no hieroglyphics in the areas of the pyramids that are open to the public. However, in 2011 researchers found some hieroglyphics in a secret chamber.
31. Egyptians didn’t have compasses but they were able to align the Great Pyramid of Giza with the north, south, east and west. Experts believed that this may have been achieved using a tool called a gnomon. The gnomon is similar to a sundial. It is used to trade a path during equinox and could therefore provide direction.