Guess which pyramid is the largest of all Egyptian pyramids?
The Great Pyramid of Giza is not only the largest pyramid in Egypt but also the only ancient wonder still standing upright today.
In today’s world, we have seven wonders that signify splendor and mesmerizing architectural feats. The ancient world also had seven wonders. But, the only vestige of the ancient wonders that is standing to date is the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Unbelievable, huh? Wait till you finish reading the article.
Pharaoh Khufu, his son, Khafre and Kahfre’s predecessor, built three pyramids in Giza, Egypt around 2,500 B.C. The three pyramids, along with the Sphinx, are known as the Giza Complex.
Of all the three pyramids, the largest one is truly a masterpiece. It’s considered such a marvelous feat of architecture that even today with all our current technology, we cannot replicate it!
But, how much do we know about it?
It’s sure been towering over the West Bank of the Nile for over 4,000 years. It has been sparking debate and numerous theories on everything from its construction to its connection with astrology.
In this article, I tried to shed some light on hidden facts and unfold the mystery shrouding the largest pyramid. I compiled 25 amazing facts about the largest pyramid that will literally make your eyes pop; the Great Pyramid of Giza.
1. Oldest, largest and tallest
The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as Khufu’s pyramid is the largest and oldest pyramid. It’s 146-meter long. Archaeologists believe that the pyramid remained the world’s tallest structure for about 3,800 years.
2. Astrological Connection
The Great Pyramid of Giza, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Miniature are perfectly aligned with the Constellation of Orion.
3. Constructed Between 2560 and 2540 BCE
Pharaoh Khufu began construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza after the completion of Sneferu’s 341-foot tall Red Pyramid. The Great Pyramid occupies the center of a complex that features tombs for Khufu’s wives, a valley temple, a mortuary temple, boat pits and a causeway. The Great Pyramid was the largest tomb to be built in the ancient world.
4. The Only Remaining Wonder of the Ancient World
The Pyramids of Giza is the sole remaining wonder of the ancient world. The rest of the ancient wonders were the Colossus of Rhodes, the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia. They no longer exist today. The Temple of Artemis in Turkey has only scattered remains.
5. The Realm of the Dead
All pyramids, along with the ones built on the Giza plateau, built in Egypt is located on the West Bank of the River Nile. That’s where the sun sets evening. Ancient Egyptians used to conflate sun setting with departure. So, the area is symbolizing the Realm of the Dead.
6. The Pyramid Had a White Casing
The Pyramids of Giza once were draped with a white casing made of glimmering limestone. The white casing made the pyramids look so polished that they used to reflect the sun’s rays. The pyramids no longer have the casings, as they slowly disappeared due to earthquakes, crumbling to rubble or being utilized as building materials for other construction.
7. Mystery Chambers
The pyramid architects routed four shafts from the burial chamber that apparently lead nowhere. Archaeologists have theorized that the shafts were designed to direct the Pharaoh’s soul to the afterlife. Early explorers named the first, shallowest chamber they encountered as the Queen’s chamber. Now a research has found the chamber was designed to contain a depiction of the Pharaoh.
8. Who Were the Builders?
Several types of research estimate that between 20,000 and 35,000 laborers had built the Pyramids of Giza, working for 80 years. It was a long-held belief that the laborers were slaves. However, their residence near the pyramid site suggests that they used to live near. And, their used items suggest they were well supplied and provided for. The laborers were a mixture of itinerant craftsmen and local residents. Skilled Workers- Egyptologists accept that tens of thousands of skilled workers built the pyramid rather than slaves.
9. How did the Workers build it?
Innumerable theories are still being passed on as to how the pyramids were built. There are quite a lot of theories as to how the Egyptians were able to leave such large stone blocks up to the top of the pyramids. Scientists and architectures theorized that they were likely to have used ramps to carry the stones up to the sides of the pyramid.
10. How Large Is It?
The base of the Great Pyramid is a perfect square and stretches over 13 acres of land. The base is large enough to accommodate about 10 football fields. The base of the pyramid covers an area of 55,000 m².
11. Hasn’t It Ever Eroded?
Yes, it actually did. Four millennia of erosion have shrunk it by about 25 feet. Yes, 25 feet of stone has been sliced from the structure.
12. How Many Stone Blocks Make Up the Pyramid?
About 2.3 million large stone blocks were used to construct the pyramid. On average, each stone block weighs about 2.5 tons. And, overall the pyramid is estimated to weigh about 6.5 million tons.
13. Whatever happened inside the Chambers?
As soon as the route to the burial chamber was invented, constant looting grappled the chambers. The chambers became almost completely empty due to constant looting. The only object still remains there is Khufu’s red granite sarcophagus.
14. Scorching Heat Outside, but Soothing Weather Inside
Yes, despite feeling the blazing heat in Egypt, one can feel the temperature inside rather soothing. The temperature inside remains a constant 20°C.
15. No Hieroglyphics within the Great Pyramid of Giza
Can you believe that no writing or any form of hieroglyphics was found within the Great Pyramid of Giza? Pyramids and hieroglyphics go hand in hand, yet no writing?
16. Egyptians were ahead of their Time
The construction of the cornerstones that builds the pyramid’s foundations shows that ancient Egyptians were well ahead of their time. The foundations were laid in a ball and socket construction. The type of construction made the pyramid capable of dealing with earthquake or heat expansion.
17. 203 Steps
Wonder what it would be like toppling the pyramid? Yes, you’ll need to climb 203 steps to reach the very summit of the pyramid.
18. Why was the Great Pyramid of Giza built?
Many can find it pointless to build such a structure that seemingly serves no purpose. The Great Pyramid of Giza was built to function as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu. Before constant looting, the pyramid contained all the treasures Khufu wished to use in the afterlife.
19.So, what about the King’s Chamber?
It’s one of the greatest mysteries that the King’s Chamber has an empty coffer. The coffer is constructed with a solid block of chocolate-colored granite. The granite walls of the King’s Chamber were rather weak compared to the coffer. Researchers have wondered about its purpose for thousands of years.
20. Where did the boat come from?
It was an interesting discovery that a magnificent ancient cedar-wood boat was found locked in a pit at the base of the Great Pyramid. The boat was buried in pieces, but it was reassembled and restored to a spectacular boat.
21. Family Practice
Khufu’s son and his grandson built pyramids on the same site. The Great Pyramid of Giza is actually part of a pyramid complex that includes a mortuary temple, small pyramids for the wives and tombs for the relatives and officials. Khufu’s son’s pyramid is 446-foot long. Since it was built on an elevated ground, it looks slightly bigger. His grandson built a modest 213-foot pyramid.
The mortar used as a building material is of an origin. Nobody knows where the mortar was produced. Chemists analyzed it and fragmented its composition, yet couldn’t trace its origin. They couldn’t reproduce it either. The mortar is stronger than the stone block and still holding up to date!
23. Swivel Door
At the entrance, the Great Pyramid once had a swivel door. Swivel doors were found only in two other pyramids: Khufu’s father’s and grandfather’s pyramid.
24. Curvature Matches the Radius of the Earth
The curvature forming the faces of the pyramid matches the radius of the earth.
25. Most Accurately Aligned Structure
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the most accurate structure to have been built. It faces true north causing the only 3/60th of a degree of error.
The pyramids of Giza are truly an incredible sight to behold. They have been hypnotizing people with mesmerizing architectural ingenuity for thousands of years. Listed in this article are the interesting facts that not many people know of the pyramids. Make sure you know all these facts about the only remaining wonder of the ancient world!