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Among the seven wonders of ancient the world, the Great Pyramids of Giza are marvelous feats of architecture, so complex they baffle scientists to date. The Giza Pyramids consist of three large structures built for the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. These grand structures were built somewhere between 2589 BC and 2504 BC, a full millennium before the advent of modern technology. How they were built is something constantly under debate, and nobody knows for sure.
These pyramids are part of the Giza Necropolis, the same complex that also houses the Great Sphinx, smaller pyramids built for queens and several other complexes for workers. Most historians agree that there was an immense amount of labor involved in building even the smallest pyramids, and some took as much as three decades to build; technical knowledge and great architectural skill that went into the pyramids is what has helped the structures remain standing today.
- There are more than three pyramids
The three pyramids of Giza are the most famous Egyptian pyramids, and many people don’t realize it, but there are as many as about 140 pyramids that have been discovered in the area where Ancient Egypt resided.
- Tallest building of the ancient world
Khufu’s pyramid, commonly referred to as the great pyramid of Giza, is the oldest of and largest of these pyramids, rising at 481 feet. Archeologists speculate that it was the tallest structure in the world for about 3, 800 years.
- The riddle of the Sphinx
The sphinx is a 73.5-meter long monument built during the reign of Pharaoh Khafra. Archeologist also suspects that the sphinx one had a mane, but degraded over time due to the fury of the elements. The only thing that remains unclear about this structure is why it was built. Archeologists speculate it was in dedication to ancient Egyptian gods, but unable to say for sure.
- The pyramid’s lost beauty
Menkaure and Khafre pyramids were built much smaller and simpler in design than Khufu’s massive structure, but when first built, they were all covered in white limestone, much of which eroded over the years.
- No slaves were used to build the pyramids
Contrary to popular belief, the Egyptian pyramids weren’t built by large groups of slaves, many historians agree. Egyptians were actually employed to do the work.
Archeologists estimate the workers had to set a 2.5 to 15-ton block every two minutes in order to finish Khufu’s pyramid in a 30-year time span.
- The King’s life after death
Historians widely believe that the purpose of the pyramids was to house the king’s body after death. The Giza pyramids were discovered to have elaborate tunnel systems containing gold and other valuable objects thought to be useful in the afterlife.
- True North?
The Pyramid of Cheops was built to face True North, and is, in fact, the most accurately aligned to the north of any structure in the world to date despite being made over a millennium ago.
The pyramid still faces True North with just a minimal error. However, this is more of nature’s fault because the North Pole shifts over long periods time, which means at one point of time, the pyramid was perfectly aligned.
- How come they lasted?
The Egyptian pyramids are a source of controversy since the technology they used was too advanced for the time, and some speculate aliens. However, one of the primary reasons they are so well-preserved is because of the unique mortar used to build they. It’s stronger than actual stone, but nobody knows what exactly it was made from.
- Last Wonder of the ancient World
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only still in existence.
- No Hieroglyphics
Although Egypt is widely associated with hieroglyphics, there have been no writings or hieroglyphics found inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.