The Great Pyramids of Giza
By Lauren R.
The pyramids of Giza, are located in Giza, Egypt, on the west bank of Nile River near Cairo. The pyramid is located at the northern edge of the Giza plateau. It lies in the desert west of Giza, next to the pyramids of Khafre and Menkaure (Khufu's son and grandson).
The Great Pyramid rises about 450 feet. It lost about 30 feet off the top over the years due to erosion. When it was first completed, the Great Pyramid rose 146.7 m (481.4 ft.), nearly 50 stories high. It covered 13 acres. The pyramid is thirty times larger than the Empire State Building. It did not always look as rough as it does today. When the pyramid was first made it was covered with a layer of tight-fitting, very polished, 20-ton stone slabs. The covering has been worn off over the years.
Description of the Interior
The interior of the Great Pyramid is very complicated with a series of passages leading to several rooms. The most important room is the King's Chamber, the room where Khufu's body was placed during his funeral. In this room the priests left items that Khufu, would need for the afterlife. Although the builders tried to block passages and doors when they left the pyramid after the king's funeral, tomb robbers did eventually take everything of value. The entrance to the Great Pyramid was set 17 m (55 ft.) above ground level. It was made to be used only once, during Khufu's funeral. The entrance leads to the Descending Passage. The walls in the King's Chamber are made of red granite. A number of corridors, galleries, and escape shafts either lead to the King's burial chamber or were intended to serve other functions. The King's chamber is located at the heart of the pyramid. Most impressive, is the sharp-edged stone over the doorway which is over 3 m (10 ft) long, 2.4 m (8 feet) high and 1.3 m (4 ft) thick.
None of the workers that built the pyramid were slaves. Most of the workers were probably farmers contracted to work for a limited period. It is estimated that 2,300,000 blocks of stone, weighing 2 to 70 tons each, were used in building the pyramid. But recent computer calculations estimated the total number of slabs to be about 590,712. Although no one knows how the blocks were put in place, a lot of theories have been suggested. One theory says that they made a straight or spiral ramp that was raised as the construction continued. This ramp, which was coated with mud and water, helped the placement of the blocks which were pushed (or pulled) into place. A second theory says that the blocks were placed using long levers with a short angled foot.
The Great Pyramid was built during Khufu's reign (2551 BC - 2528 BC). The great pyramid was built while Khufu was the pharaoh. It was built around the year 2560 BC to serve as a tomb when he died. The great pyramid is believed to have been built over a 20 year period. From about 2550 to 2530 B.C. The Egyptian Pyramids are the oldest and only surviving member of the ancient wonders.
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