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Ancient Egypt

Great Pyramid of Giza

History >> Ancient Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest of all the Egyptian pyramids and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It is located around 5 miles to the west of the Nile River near the city of Cairo, Egypt.


Pyramids of Giza
Photo by Edgar Gomes
Giza Necropolis

The Great Pyramid of Giza is part of a larger complex called the Giza Necropolis. There are two other major pyramids in the complex including the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. It also includes the Great Sphinx and several cemeteries.

Why was the Great Pyramid built?

The Great Pyramid was built as a tomb for the pharaoh Khufu. The pyramid once held all the treasures that Khufu would take with him to the afterlife.

How big is it?

When the pyramid was built, it was around 481 feet tall. Today, because of erosion and the removal of the top piece, the pyramid is around 455 feet tall. At its base, each side is approximately 755 feet long. That's well over twice as long as a football field!

In addition to being tall, the pyramid is a massive structure. It covers an area of over 13 acres and is constructed with around 2.3 million stone blocks. Each of the stone blocks is estimated to weigh over 2000 pounds.


The Great Pyramid of Giza
Photo by Daniel Csorfoly
How long did it take to build it?

It took 20,000 workers around 20 years to build the Great Pyramid. Its construction began around 2580 BC, shortly after Khufu became pharaoh, and was completed around 2560 BC.

How did they build it?

No one is quite sure how the pyramids were built. There are a lot of different theories as to how the Egyptians were able to lift such large stone blocks all the way up to the top of the pyramids. It is likely that they used ramps to move the stones up the sides of the pyramid. They may have used wooden sleds or water to help the stones slide better and reduce friction.

Inside the Great Pyramid

Inside of the Great Pyramid are three major rooms: the King's Chamber, the Queen's Chamber, and the Grand Gallery. Small tunnels and air shafts lead to the chambers from the outside. The King's Chamber is at the highest point in the pyramid of all the chambers. It contains a large granite sarcophagus. The Grand Gallery is a large passageway around 153 feet long, 7 feet wide, and 29 feet high.

Other Pyramids

The two other major pyramids at Giza are the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure. The Pyramid of Khafre was built by Khufu's son, Pharaoh Khafre. It originally stood 471 feet tall, just 10 feet shorter than the Great Pyramid. The Pyramid of Menkaure was built for Khufu's grandson, Pharaoh Menkaure. It originally was 215 feet tall.

Interesting Facts about the Great Pyramid of Giza
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More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:

Overview
Timeline of Ancient Egypt
Old Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
Greek and Roman Rule

Monuments and Geography
Geography and the Nile River
Cities of Ancient Egypt
Valley of the Kings
Egyptian Pyramids
Great Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
King Tut's Tomb
Famous Temples
Culture
Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life
Ancient Egyptian Art
Clothing
Entertainment and Games
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Temples and Priests
Egyptian Mummies
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian Government
Women's Roles
Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics Examples
People
Pharaohs
Akhenaten
Amenhotep III
Cleopatra VII
Hatshepsut
Ramses II
Thutmose III
Tutankhamun

Other
Inventions and Technology
Boats and Transportation
Egyptian Army and Soldiers
Glossary and Terms


Works Cited

History >> Ancient Egypt





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