Pyramids are, no doubt, the major attractions in Egypt. Most of the people plan trips to Egypt to visit the Pyramids. In fact, there are more than 118 pyramids in Egypt and they have different features, dates of constructions and event different features.
The study of Pyramids is very interesting and the tourists and scholars alike are attracted to this mysterious and magnificent showcase of human history. So, if you are planning to visit Egypt shortly, it is wise to have an idea about the Pyramids. This will make your trip to Egypt more enjoyable.
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Generally, the Great Pyramids of Giza are the most famous pyramids in the world. The Great Pyramids are that of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure. They are all situated in Giza off the Egyptian capital Cairo.
Though these three pyramids are the most important tourist spots in Egypt, there are many other pyramids that are worth a visit. In fact, there are so many pyramids with so much of mystery and history behind them that even a full-fledged tour to Egypt may not be sufficient to explore them properly.
So, take a look at the following 10 facts on Pyramids
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the only Ancient Wonder of the World that is still existent today. It was built almost 4600 years ago and at that time, at least 20,000 laborers were employed to construct this enormous structure. The pyramid has 2.3 million limestone blocks and the weight of the pyramid is approximately 5.9 million tonnes.
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The Pyramid of Djoser (pronounced Zoser) is the earliest known Pyramid in Egypt. Built in 27th century BC, it was originally 62m high. The Pyramid is also known as Step Pyramid as it consists of six mastabas placed on one another. The Pyramid is located in Saqqara necropolis that once served Memphis the capital of the Ancient Egypt.
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The Egyptian Pyramids are the oldest stone architectures in the world. They are not the most massive or largest stone structures in the world. However, the earliest examples of the Egyptian pyramids were slightly different from the smooth triangles that we see in the TVs and shows.
These ancient versions were called mastabas. They resembled the mud brick seat that could be found in the Egyptian households. These pyramids were flat topped. They were robbed easily and therefore, Egyptians started piling up one mastaba over another. This led to the Step Pyramids that can be still seen.
It is really amazing to see the amount of rocks that are used to construct each of these pyramids. In fact, if you break the Great Pyramid of Khufu into 30 cm slabs, you can build a 1 meter high wall that will encircle the entire France. On an average, the pyramids weight around 5,400,000 tons.
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Each of stone blocks used to construct the pyramids weigh around 2.5 tons. However, the largest stone block used in a pyramid can be found in the pyramid of Mycerinus and it weighs around 285 tons which is equivalent to the weight of around 200 to 250 modern cars.
The Pyramids were not only the place where the king’s or pharaoh’s corpse was preserved. Egyptians used to bury the Pharaoh’s pets, relatives and queens so that he gets the company in his journey to the kingdom of death. In fact, even the builders of the pyramids had their tombs.
In Giza, an enormous necropolis for the builders was discovered in 1990 when a horse accidentally stumbled on a stone. As the experts excavate the area, more than 600 tombs were uncovered. Some of these tombs are quite interesting in terms of the shapes and features.
The Egyptians used to keep huge amount of gold and treasure inside the pyramids. However, robbery was a common event after the pyramids were built. In fact, all the pyramids were robbed within a couple of centuries of the burials. The tombs that escaped robbery till modern times were not the pyramids but the tombs that are dug into the rocks. The examples of such tombs include that of Tutankhamen and Heterpheres.
The Egyptians did their best to deceive the thieves from robbing off the treasures inside the pyramids. In most of the pyramids, the passageway, or the entrance to the inside of the pyramids were blocked by a stone. They even sealed the stone. If someone broke in, even then, he will find the rock wall and give up. However, the actual entrance from there can be found in the ceiling behind a trap door.
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Egyptians used fiber cords for measurement. But, these were not accurate as they can expand and shrink. Still, it is amazing to see the accuracy with which they built up the pyramids. The biggest example of mistake in the Great Pyramid of Khufu is that of 20 cm only. They created an almost accurate base with just 1 cm of discrepancy in one side of the base.
The four edges of the Great Pyramid of Khufu were perfectly aligned to the four points of compass. Such a precise alignment was done simply by calculating the angles of the stars. The stones used to build the pyramid were leveled and cut by the Set Square. The blocks were cut in right angles and leveled properly. Otherwise, they won’t have met at the top edge of the pyramid.
The Egyptians used copper tools to cut and level the stones. Numerous people worked just to keep these tools sharp and effective. The massive stone blocks used for the construction of pyramids were moved using the rollers and slides. There were no wheels to move them.
As the Egyptian culture spread, the pyramids too, started to spread. In the later years, the pyramids were constructed in the southern parts and reached as far as Sudan. However, Egypt is not the place where the pyramids can be seen.
Many other ancient civilizations used to preserve the corpses inside pyramids. Examples of such pyramids can be found in the Mayan pyramids in the Central America. Recently, some pyramids are also discovered in Bosnia. Some of these pyramids are even bigger than that the Great Pyramids found in Egypt.