Throughout much of human history, pyramids have been the largest structures ever built. While pyramids are often associated with Egypt, especially the Giza pyramid complex, the greatest total number of pyramids can be found in Sudan. In fact, as of 2018, Sudan contains a total of 350 pyramids, which is more than double the 150 that exist in Egypt. However, the Sudanese pyramids are between 20 and 98 feet tall, while those in Egypt are significantly taller, reaching a maximum height of 455 feet. The ancient city of Meroe had the biggest concentration of pyramids in Sudan, suggesting that it was a thriving settlement. In addition to Egypt and Sudan, pyramids are also present in Nigeria, Greece, China, Spain, North America, Mesoamerica, medieval Europe, the Roman Empire, Peru, India, and Indonesia. The largest pyramids in the world are highlighted below.
The Three Largest Pyramids in the World
Great Pyramid of Cholula
The Great Pyramid of Cholula is the largest pyramid in the world in terms of volume, and the largest monument ever built. Located in Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, the pyramid stands 177 feet tall, and its base covers more than 45 acres. Additionally, it has a total volume of 166,538,400 cubic feet, which is twice the volume of the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Unlike other pyramids, the Great Pyramid of Cholula consists of several structures stacked on top of each other. The pyramid was built in four stages between 3 BC and 9 AD.
Great Pyramid of Khufu
The Great Pyramid of Khufu, also known as the Pyramid of Giza, is one of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and likely the world's best-known pyramid. The pyramid is part of the Giza pyramid complex located in El Giza, Egypt. Archaeologists believe it served as a tomb and was built over a period of 10 to 20 years, with a completion date of approximately 2560 BC. It consists of about 2.3 million stone blocks arranged in a precise manner that cannot be replicated by modern technology. The structure was initially covered by polished limestone that reflected light, making it shine like a jewel, but this shiny surface has since eroded. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is the only pyramid built with slightly concave faces. The ancient structure was 481 feet tall, but erosion has reduced its height to 455 feet.
Pyramid of Khafre
The Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest and second tallest of Egypt's pyramids. Built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khafre, the pyramid was constructed in horizontal courses, as the stones at the bottom are larger than those at the top. Two entrances lead to the burial chamber, unlike most pyramids, which have concealed entrances. A satellite pyramid built along the centerline, just south of the Pyramid of Khafre, has since eroded, leaving nothing but its foundation and a few blocks.
The Giza Pyramid Complex
The Giza pyramid complex in Egypt contains the country's three Great Pyramids, Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure, as well as the Great Sphinx, which is a large limestone statue of a reclining sphinx. Believed to have been built as monuments and tombs for dead Egyptian Pharaohs, the three pyramids have become popularly recognized as emblems of ancient Egypt. It is unclear how the pyramids were built, but archaeologists suggest that they were constructed by dragging stones from quarries and lifting them into place.