When it comes to architectural achievements perhaps nothing surpasses the building of the Great Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Cheops or the Pyramid of Khufu).
Completed by the ancient Egyptians around 2560 BC it is the only
one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still standing. What the ancient Egyptians accomplished by building this structure was amazing for that time in history; in fact for
over 3,800 years this building was the tallest man-made structure in the world. Today men, women and kids from around the world travel to Egypt to see for themselves how amazing
the Great Pyramid of Giza really is. Below we have a list of interesting facts describing how this pyramid was built, why it was built, and where it stands.
Construction of the Great Pyramid
Upon completion of construction the pyramid stood 481 feet (146.5 metres) high. Today it stands 455.4 feet (138.8 metres); lower than its original height due to erosion and the
fact that its capstone (pyramidion) is gone.
The pyramid is constructed with an estimated 2.3 million limestone blocks some weighing up to 80 tonnes (80 metric tons). An interesting fact is that the Egyptians would have to
have added approximately twelve blocks every hour, 24 hours a day, to the structure to complete the pyramid in twenty years. Even more amazing when you consider they mostly
dragged, lifted, and rolled these stones to the construction site and put them in place using brute human muscle power.
The pyramid was constructed with an amazing level of precision. The four sides are almost exactly the same length and the blocks fit together with amazing precision.
The Great Pyramid originally had beautiful polished white limestone covering it making a beautiful smooth surface. This stone has been stripped off and only remnants of it can be
seen around the base.
Inside the pyramid are three burial chambers; the King's Chamber, Queen's chamber, and the lower chamber.
The Great Pyramid is the only pyramid in Egypt that has interior passages that go up and down.
Interesting Great Pyramid Facts
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for Khufu who was the second pharaoh of the 4th dynasty.
The pyramid is located along the west bank of the Nile River south-west of modern-day Cairo in Giza which is the third largest city in modern day Egypt.
There are three pyramids on the Giza Necropolis (ancient cemetery); the Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest.
The ancient Egyptians name for this pyramid was Khufu's Horizon.
Egyptologists theorize that it took between ten and twenty years to build this structure and that it was completed around 2560 BC.
Several structures can be found around the Great Pyramid including smaller pyramids (Queens Pyramids), several small tombs, the Pyramid Temple, and of course the Great Sphinx.
There are no hieroglyphics or writing of any kind inside the Great Pyramid.
Throughout the centuries the Great Pyramid at Giza has been looted. First by the ancient Egyptians themselves. In facts tourist to this archaeological site usually enter the
structure through a tunnel made by tomb robbers.