The Great Pyramid is a defining symbol and landmark in Egypt. It is the oldest and largest pyramid in the Giza pyramid complex located in the Giza Plateau near Cairo. The other two pyramids are the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. Although the Great Pyramid has been excavated and studied for years, the purpose of its construction is still a subject of debate. Below are some of the facts about this human-made wonder in Egypt.
It was constructed during the reign of King Khufu
The pyramid was constructed during the reign of King Khufu (2589-2566 BCE). Shortly after coming to power, the king set out to build his grand tomb upon which he would be buried. He also constructed other pyramids for his queens nearby.
The other two pyramids are for Khufu’s son and grandson
The Great Pyramid is just one of the three major pyramids in Giza. The middle pyramid is the Pyramid of Khafre which was built for Khafre (Khufu’s son). It is the second-tallest pyramid in Giza. The third and the smallest pyramid is the Pyramid of Menkaure (Menkaure was Khafre’s son)
Constructed over 20 years
According to the Egyptologist, it took about 20 years for the Great Pyramid to be completed. The Greek historian Herodotus posited that the work required 100,000 laborers who were divided into five zaa of 20,000 men each. However, recent evidence shows that the work required a workforce of 14,500-40,000 men.
The Great Pyramid may have been for a different purpose other than the tomb
Although it is widely belied that this landmark structure was constructed as the final resting place for king when he finally dies, some scholars argue that it was not a tomb as no mummies or graves have ever been found there. Studies are still ongoing to determine the exact use of the pyramid.
Tallest human-made structure for 3,800 years
The pyramid was the tallest structure made by human for a record 3,800 years until the completion of the Lincoln Cathedral (England) in 1300 CE. The pyramid is 479-foot and has a base of 754 feet. However, other scholars point to Eiffel Tower completed in 1889 CE as the structure that first surpassed the pyramid.
The Pyramid is surrounded by several other structures
The pyramid is surrounded by several structures, including smaller pyramids. The tomb of Khufu’s mother, Queen Hetepheres is also nearby. The pyramid is also surrounded by mastabas where the king’s officials and relatives were buried to accompany and support the king in the afterlife
Over 2 million blocks of stones used in the construction
The Egyptian monument comprises up to 2.5 million blocks of stones some of which are huge and immense, especially the granites in the King’s Chamber. One can only wonder how such immense stones raised and positioned in their place.
Sir William Flinders was the first person to excavate the pyramid
Sir William Mathew Flinders was the first person to use modern techniques and scientific analysis to excavate the pyramid. The British archaeologist first excavated the pyramid in 1880 CE, setting the standard for archaeological operations in Egypt, particularly Giza.
The Great Pyramid has three known chambers
The pyramid has three known chambers; Grand Gallery, Queen’s Chamber, and the King’s Chamber. The Grand Gallery was cut into bedrock and remained unfinished while the King’s and Queen’s chambers are higher up within the structure.
It is unclear how the Great Pyramid was constructed
There are many conflicting theories on how the pyramid was constructed. While some people believe that the blocks were dragged into place, others believe that they were either rolled or lifted. The structure may have been built by ancient Egyptians but the Greeks believe that it was constructed by the slaves.