structures with square bases and four smooth, triangular shaped sides that
come to a point. The most famous pyramids are those of Egypt. These are
among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
The ruins of more than 35 pyramids can still be seen today on the Nile River in Egypt. Each was built to protect the tomb of an Egyptian King. From 2700 B.C. to 1700 B.C., the bodies of Egyptian kings were buried inside or beneath a pyramid in a secret chamber filled with riches.
Many historians believe that the shape of the pyramids has a religious meaning to the Egyptians. The sloping sides may have reminded them of the slanting rays of the sun, by which the soul of the king could climb to the sky and join the gods
Funerals for the kings were held in temples connected to the pyramids. Most pyramids had two temples connected by a long stone passageway. Most of the time a smaller pyramid would be built beside the king's pyramid for the queen. The king's relatives would usually be buried close by in regular tombs called mastabas. These had steep sloped sides,but had a flat top.
The largest and most famous pyramid is called the Great Pyramid. This was built for King Khufu. This pyramid contains more than 2 million stone blocks that average two and a half tons. It stands about 450 feet high and its base covered about 13 acres. Most of the stones needed to build this pyramid came from near by quarries, but some of them came from across the Nile River. Many men would gang up on the blocks, drag them to the site and form the pyramid. To form the pyramid, they would build long ramps of earth and brick to make it easier to transport the blocks. Once they were done with a layer they would raise the ramp and keep working. Once they were done with all the bricks, they would cover the bricks with a coating of white casing stones.