Nekhebet.com - Wonders of Ancient and Modern Egypt

Play the board
game of wonders,
civilizations
and conquest!


7 Wonders
7 Wonders



Other Bestselling
Egyptian Books



The Pyramids of Giza

The most famous Egyptian pyramids to be built are the Great Pyramids of Giza, located in the outskirts of present-day Cairo. There are over 100 Egyptian pyramids of various sizes, and over 50 more in neighboring Sudan. However, the three Great Pyramids of Giza earn their fame by being the largest of these.

In the most popular pictures of the Pyramids of Giza, like the one shown below, the middle pyramid, that of Khafre (Chephren), appears larger due to the angle and because it was built on higher ground. The largest pyramid is actually the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), the one on the left.

The Great Pyramids of Giza

Contrary to popular belief, not all the Great Pyramids of Giza are considered part of the Seven Wonders of the World. Only the largest, the Great Pyramid of Khufu, is a member, and is the only one of the Seven Wonders that still stands. Egypt was also home to another of the Seven Wonders of the World, the Lighthouse of Alexandria, which was destroyed long ago.

The Pyramid of Khufu has a height of 145 m (475 ft) and a base area of 52,400 sqm (562,500 sqft). That area is large enough to fit over 20 Olympic-size swimming pools! And for thousands of years, until the rise of modern-day skyscrapers, the pyramid was the tallest building in the world.

What makes the pyramid an architectural triumph and one of the Seven Wonders of the World is the fact that the rocks used in its construction each way more than 2 tons. And there are more than 2 million of those rocks.

Pyramid of KhufuGreek travelers to ancient Giza wrote that it took a hundred thousand slaves 20 years to construct the pyramid. However, since they visited Egypt more than 2 thousand years after the Egyptian pyramids were built, the truth of their accounts are suspect. Modern engineers estimate that it would likely take less people and less time to build the pyramid using technology that was available at that time.

The Pyramid of Khufu was built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) in the 4th Dynasty circa 2560 BC, making it over 4500 years old! It is widely accepted that the pyramid was built to bury Pharaoh Khufu when he died. However, many other conspiracy theories abound as to why the pyramids were built, ranging from astronomical observatories to alien artifacts.

Since Egyptian Pharaohs were noted for being buried with their great treasure, Arab conquerors attempted to gain entrance into the Pyramid of Khufu in order to plunder it.

They managed to find a few narrow passages that led both up into the center of the pyramid, and down beneath the massive structure. However, all they managed to find at the end of these passages were empty chambers. No mummies or treasure was found in the pyramid.

During the Arabs' excavation of the Pyramid of Khufu, they encountered various boulders and slabs that were used to seal the passages and chambers within the pyramid. They also found hidden doors. This probably fueled the many myths about the Egyptian pyramids being booby-trapped, and where a grave robber who managed to get in would never get out alive.

A 17th century Englishman managed to uncover another shaft connecting the passages, but still no treasure was to be found.

Two conclusions can be derived from this. One, ancient tomb raiders have long since plundered all the treasure from the pyramid, leaving behind nothing but a few empty chambers. Or two, Khufu's mummy and treasure is still cleverly hidden within (or beneath) the Great Pyramid.

Want to know more about the Pyramids? Try this book from Amazon:

The Great Pyramid: Ancient Egypt RevisitedThe Great Pyramid: Ancient Egypt Revisited

Sweeping away centuries of myth and confusion, John Romer describes for the first time exactly how the Great Pyramid was designed and built. He argues that the pyramid makers worked from a single plan whose existence has long been doubted and even denied by scholars.

The second Great Pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khafre (Chephren), Khufu's son and successor. Both these great pyramids were once entirely covered by smooth limestone. Arab conquerors have since taken most of this limestone for construction projects in Cairo. Only a little of the casing remains at the top of Khafre's pyramid.

North face of the Pyramid of KhufuIn present-day Egypt, the Great Pyramids of Giza remain the most popular tourist attraction and the most recognizable part of Egypt.

The public is not allowed to explore the passages in the Great Pyramid of Khufu, but for those who do not suffer from claustrophobia, the descending passage and chambers in the third pyramid are open for public exploration.

Almost everyone in the world has heard of the Great Egyptian Pyramids. And thousands visit the Pyramids everyday to marvel at the only remaining member of the Seven Wonders of the World.



BackNext



Share |

Copyright © 2004-2013 Nekhebet All rights reserved  Sitemap |


Try these computer
games for free!


Eternal Night: Realm of Souls
Eternal Night:
Realm of Souls


Settlement: Colossus
Timebuilders:
Pyramid Rising