The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact. It is situated high on the desert plateau immediately to the west of the urban district, itself located in the valley and centered around the Pyramids Road.
It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially, at 146.5 meters (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years.
There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid’s construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.
History of Pyramid of Giza
The three main Pyramids of Giza are the focal point of the Giza necropolis, or cemetery, that served the elite of the Old Kingdom capital of Egypt at nearby Memphis during the mid to late 4th Dynasty (late 3rd millennium BCE). Three pharaohs were buried here in turn – Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure – their astounding burials attracted a number of the surrounding, associated, burials of their queens, family members, and nobility.
The largest of all the tombs built in the ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the centerpiece of a complex that includes tombs for Khufu’s wives, a mortuary temple, valley temple, boat pits, and a causeway.
Interesting Facts of Pyramid of Giza
- The pyramid is estimated to have around 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh from 2 to 30 tons each and there are even some blocks that weigh over 50 tons.
- In terms of construction, the Great Pyramid was built on an artificially flattened site that deviates from a perfectly horizontal plane by just a minute 2 cm.
- The Great Pyramid is located at the center of the land mass of the earth. The four sides of the pyramid are almost immaculately oriented with the four cardinal directions of North, South, East and West.
- The granite coffer in the “King’s Chamber” is too big to fit through the passages and so it must have been put in place during construction.
- Most Egyptologists believe that it was the grand tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu, but oddly enough the historians have still not been able to find any remains of a person or a mummy inside the intricate halls and chambers of the Great Pyramid.
- The coffer was made out of a block of solid granite. This would have required bronze saws 8-9 ft. long set with teeth of sapphires.
- The Great Pyramid had a swivel door entrance at one time. Swivel doors were found in only two other pyramids: Khufu’s father and grandfather, Sneferu and Huni, respectively.
- With the mantle in place, the Great Pyramid could be seen from the mountains of Israel and probably the moon as well.
- The curvature designed into the faces of the pyramid exactly matches the radius of the earth.