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Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Great Pyramid of Giza

In ancient Egypt pyramidal buildings made of stone were used to enclose royal tombs.

The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt.

Great Pyramid of Giza By Nina - Wikipedia Commons

The pyramid was built for Khufu, the second pharaoh of the 4th dynasty.

The ancient Egyptians called the Great Pyramid “Ikhet“, meaning “Glorious Light”. It’s been calculated that the pyramid with its original limestone casing stones acted like gigantic mirrors that reflected light so powerful that it was like a shining star, visible from the moon.

Beside the great pyramid at El Giza, the Egyptians buried two 43 metre long boats in 1,224 pieces in flatpack form to carry the pharaoh Khufu to the afterlife.

It is believed that it took about 23 years to build The Great Pyramid using 100,000 skilled Egyptian workers and was completed around 2570 BC.

When it was built, The Great Pyramid was 146.5 metres (481 feet) tall.

The Great Pyramid was the largest man-made structure for 3,881 years until 1311 when the 160-metre-tall (520 ft) spire of Lincoln Cathedral was completed.

The "Great Pyramid" was constructed using approx. 2.3 million stones, each weighing about two and a half tons. In order to finish the building in 23 years, the workers would have to set a block every two and a half minutes, every day of the week for 23 years using no wheels, pulleys or work animals.

At Giza the thousands of Egyptian laborers toiling in the construction of the Great Pyramid ate garlic, radishes and onions for strength. This was because they were considered to be medicinal herbs, which would help preserve their health.

Each block in the Great Pyramid of Giza weighed about 2.5 tons on average, and the pyramid itself is estimated to weigh 6.5 million tons, which is more material than it took to build all the churches and cathedrals in England.

The Pyramid base covers 13 acres and is flat and level to within 1cm.

Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th-century stereopticon card photo

Today, the Great Pyramid of Giza stands only about 455 feet tall—the structure has shrunk by about 25 feet after four millennia of erosion.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

The Great Pyramid of Giza would cost £4.5bn ($6bn) to build today.

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