The Great Pyramid

Pyramid of Khufu

Who doesn’t love Fame?? Who doesn’t want to be Remembered for forever??? Undoubtedly it takes legacy which is left by few and the Pharaohs of Egypt, are among those few who left so much, wondrous and mysterious so let’s discuss a chunk of that legacy today…..

The Pyramid of Giza (also called the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Giza, Egypt, built in around 2560BC.

Significance

It is one of the Seven Wonders of Ancient World and the oldest one as well and the only one to remain largely intact and with the height of 481ft, it remained the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800years until, 160m tall spire of Lincoln Cathedral was built in c.13oo.

Lincoln Cathedral

Duration

Egyptologists believe that it took around 20years period concluding around 2560 BC to build this Pyramid

Original appearance

The Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base and what is seen today, is the underlying core structure.

Transportation

The huge stones were moved from a Quarry then dragging and lifting them into place.

Chambers

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid.

The Lowest, underground carved into bedrock chamber is also known as Unfinished chamber

uf

The so-called Queen’s Chamber  is an above ground chamber, called the Queen’s chamber by early explorers but now it’s known that it was never intended to house one of Khufu’s wives but may be to house a sacred statue of the King himself.

Queen's Chamber

King’s Chamber is the highest one within the pyramid structure and held a red granite sarcophagus placed almost exactly at the center of the pyramid. The king’s chamber is accessed via the 26ft high (8m high) Grand Gallery, which was sealed off.

King's Chamber

The Grand Gallery

From the descending entrance corridor, the ascending passage, originally sealed with three, seven ton blocks of pink granite which are still in place. It runs for a length of 129ft.

Grand Gallery

Passages

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only pyramid in Egypt known to contain both Ascending and Descending passages.

Architect

Probably the minister of Khufu, Hemon.

Why Built?

It is believed the pyramid was built as a tomb for 4th dynasty’s Pharaoh Khufu and some say, it was never a tomb  and the Roman astronomer, Richard Proctor says that it was an Astronomical observatory.

Length

Each base side of the Pyramid was 230.4m (755.9 ft) long,

Weight

The Pyramid is estimated to have 5.9 million tons weight.

Volume

The total volume, is roughly 2,500,000 cubic meters

At Work

Based on the available estimates, it is believed that it would have taken 800 tons of stone every day for the Egyptians to build it.

There’s another estimation that moving an average of more than 12 of the blocks into place each hour, day and night could only make it possible to build such heavenly structure in 20 years.

Sir Flinders Petrie

He was the one who precised the measurements of the Pyramid and almost all the reports are based on his measurements.

Materials

Estimated 2.3 million blocks, 5.5 million tons of Limestone, 8,000 tons of Granite and 5,00,000 tons of mortar were used in The Great Pyramid. The largest granite stones in the pyramid, found in the “King’s” chamber, weigh 25 to 80tons and were transported from Aswan.

Way

Ancient Egyptians cut stone blocks by hammering wooden wedges into the stone which were then soaked with water. As the water was absorbed, the wedges expanded, causing the rock to crack and at completion, the Great Pyramid was surfaced by white “casing stones” – slant-faced, but flat-topped, blocks of highly polished white limestone

Earthquake

In AD 1303, a massive earthquake loosened many of the outer casing stones.

Casing Stone

An-Nasir

Bahri-Sultan, An-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan in 1356, took the outer casting stones to build mosques and fortresses in nearby Cairo

Mohammad Ali Pasha

Many more casing stones were removed from the great pyramids by Muhammed Ali Pasha in the early 19th century to build the upper portion of his Alabaster Mosque in Cairo not far from Giza.

Alabaster Mosque

Labour

The answer is, we don’t know exactly.

The Greeks believed that slave labour was used.

Modern discoveries say that it was built by tens of thousands of skilled workers.

Another theory says that One hundred thousand people worked on the great structure for 3 months of each year, during the Nile’s annual flood when it was impossible to farm the land and most of the population was unemployed. The Pharaoh provided good food and clothing for his workers.

Plan

It’s a mystery indeed. John Romer suggests that they used the same method that had been used for earlier and later constructions, laying out parts of the plan on the ground at a 1-to-1 scale. He also argues for a 14-year time span for its construction.

Interior

The original entrance was 17m (56 ft) vertically and 7.29m (23.9 ft) east of the center line of the pyramid and from the entrance, there is a descending Passage 0.96m (3.1 ft) high and 1.04m (3.4 ft) wide.

Modern entrance

Today tourists enter the Great Pyramid via the Robbers’ Tunnel. This tunnel was already dug during the First Intermediate Period or during the New Kingdom period and re-opened by workmen employed by Caliph al-Ma’mun around AD 820.

Robbers' Tunnel

Looting and Shipment

Thievery had always been a major problem which was resolved by putting heavy stones at the entrance and main rooms.

In 820 A.D. the Arab Caliph Abdullah Al Manum decided to make his own search for the treasure of Khufu. He gathered a gang of workmen and seems as if, the Arabs, in revenge for the missing treasure, stripped the pyramid of its fine white limestone casing and used it for building in Cairo. They even attempted to disassemble the great pyramid itself, but after removing the top 30ft of stone, they gave up on this impossible task.

Where’s the Treasure???

Common sense says that, like so many other royal tombs, the pyramid lost the treasure as being the victim of robbers in ancient times.

Khufu’s Mummy???

If we are to speak true, then we don’t know, actually Nobody knows.

Facts, Myths, Specialties

The 2 smaller pyramids nearby were for Khufu’s son, Khafre, and his grandson, Menkaure.

After this dynasty, great pyramid building stopped, probably because of the time and expense of these massive state projects.

The entrance was sealed after the Pharaoh’s body was placed inside.

The Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu are precisely aligned with the Constellation of Orion.

Three Famous Pyramids at Giza

The interior Temperature is constant and equals the average temperature of the earth, 20 Degrees Celsius (68 Degrees Fahrenheit).

The mortar used, is of an unknown origin. It has been analyzed and its chemical composition is known but it can’t be reproduced. It is stronger than the stone and still holding up today.

The Great Pyramid is the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60th of a degree of error. The position of the North Pole moves over time and the pyramid was exactly aligned at one time.

The 4 faces of the pyramid are slightly concave, the only pyramid to have been built this way.

With the mantle in place, the Great Pyramid could be seen from the mountains in Israel and probably the Moon as well.

Name Seal of Khufu has been found which is on display at Musee du Louvre museum, France.

Name Seal of Khufu

The ancient name of the Great Pyramid of Giza was Khufu’s Horizon.

The Great Pyramid of Giza once had a swivel door at the entrance. It weighed about 20tons and could easily be pushed open from the inside but on the outside it was very hard to find because it fit perfectly.

If we tried to build an exact Replica of this pyramid it would not be possible as we don’t have the precise technology that the ancient Egyptians had that was necessary to build this pyramid.

The owner of the largest pyramid of Giza is also known for having the smallest Egyptian royal sculpture ever discovered, the Ivory Statue of Pharaoh Khufu found at Abydos is 3 inch high.

Sculpture of Khufu

 

Once you are standing opposite to Pyramids, you are gonna feel like out of this Era into theirs…….I Swear!!!!

 

 

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