Great Pyramids of Egypt

 

Welcome to Crazy Wilds! Humans have been living on this planet for hundreds of thousand years. But the oldest remains of any particular civilization go as far back as 6000 years. Since the dawn of civilization, man has started to change the world by his genius. And created such amazing wonders that are a mystery even to the people of this day. Some of them still exist today. And are still enough to amaze a man of modern times. One of them is the Pyramids of Egypt which are the largest among the 7 wonders of the ancient world. And they are the only ones that have remained after thousands of years. When, how and why were these mysterious mega structures built? And who built them? Let’s try to figure that out together.

 

Background

 

Egypt is known to be the cradle of ancient civilization as the remains of the 1000s of years old civilizations are found there.

 

These remains include the three Pyramids of Giza near the Egyptian capital of Cairo, which are considered to be the oldest man made structures.

 

According to experts, the number of pyramids discovered all around Egypt is 138, out of which 80 still exist today.

 

The most magnificent of them all are the great pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. These are the topics of this article.

 

The famous Greek historian Herodotus wrote in his book, ‘The Histories’ that almost a 100 thousand workers took part in constructing these pyramids.

 

However, modern archeologists believe that there were only 20 – 30 thousand who built them.

 

Considering their huge sizes, these pyramids were considered to be the highest man made structures in the world till the 20th century.

 

The Pyramid of Khufu

 

The ancient Egyptians used to call their kings Pharaohs and worshiped them like gods.

 

The Pyramid of the Pharaoh Khufu, also known as the Pyramid of Cheops is the largest among the 3.

 

Also known as the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one among the 7 wonders of the ancient world that still exists today.

 

It’s time of construction is estimated to be 2700 years BC.

 

It used to be as tall as 482 feet high but weathering reduced it to a height of 450 feet.

 

Its width is 755 feet on each side of its base and it occupies an area of ​​13 acres.

 

Almost 2.3 million pieces of stones were used in its construction with each stone weighing about 2.5 to 3 tonnes.

 

Some stones are even heavier than that.

 

Considering this, the total weight of all these stones was almost 5.75 million tonnes.

 

An estimate suggests that on average 800 ton stone were laid each day.

 

That means 12 or 13 large stones were fixed in their respective places in the pyramid each day.

 

These stones were laid so skillfully that it was not possible to insert a small plastic ATM or credit card between any stones.

 

The Egyptologist, Sir Flinders Petrie, was the first one to record the dimensions of the pyramid in 1880.

 

And published a book by the name of ‘The Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh’.

 

For a long time, this Pyramid has been the biggest and highest building in the world.

 

One popular theory suggests that these pyramids were built by slaves.

 

However, the famous Egyptian historian Dieter Wildung believed that the pyramids builders were not slaves.

 

Rather they were common people of Egypt, who had a high quality of basic facilities of life.

 

Three chambers have been discovered in the pyramid of Khufu, namely, the king’s chamber, the queen’s chamber and the underground chamber.

 

There is an entrance way to access these chambers.

 

The Pyramid of Khafre

 

The second largest pyramid of Giza is called the Pyramid of Khafre.

 

This pyramid was built by the 4th pharaoh of the dynasty, the son of Khufu, Khafre.

 

Seeing from a distance, Khafre’s pyramid appears to be bigger than that of Khufu but that’s not the case.

 

The height of this pyramid is 471 feet and the length of each side of its base is 707 feet.

 

Khafre’s pyramid is the only one among the three in Giza that still has its peak intact, giving us a glimpse of its ancient glory.

 

It shows that the top of the pyramid was lined with white limestone which came undone in an earthquake in 1303 AD.

 

Then later during the time of Nasir uddin Hassan of the Mamluk dynasty, limestone was removed from the pyramid, to build a fortress and a mosque.

 

Some historians also believe that Muhammad Ali Pasha in the 19th century, used stones from the pyramid to lay the foundations of Muhammad Ali Mosque in Cairo.

 

The Pyramid of Menkaure

 

The third and the smallest of the Pyramids of Giza is the Menkaure, built by the 5th pharaoh, son of Khafre.

 

He ruled for 18 or 28 years as per historians.

 

It is believed this pyramid was still incomplete when Menkaure died and it was later finished by his son.

 

The pyramid is 213 feet high with some parts underground and the length of each side of its base is 365 feet.

 

The Sphinx

 

Standing close to these pyramids is a gigantic statue known as the Sphinx.

 

The statue has a human head and the body of a lion.

 

Its Arabic name is ‘Abu Al-hol’ meaning ‘the father of terror’.

 

Experts are divided on the true age of the sphinx.

 

Some believe that it dates back to 7000 years BC or in other words 9000 years old.

 

While some others believe that it was carved out of a huge rock 2500 years BC or 4500 years ago.

 

The Sphinx is 240 feet long and has a height of 66 feet.

 

It looks like a mountain from a distance.

 

It was carved out of a limestone peak in the Giza desert 60 miles from Cairo.

 

Experts say that almost 100 skilled workers finished building the sphinx in 3 years.

 

There is a granite slab between the front paws of the sphinx that tells that Pharaoh Thutmose ruled till 1420 BC.

 

Once, Thutmose rested under the shade of the sphinx while he was out hunting in the desert.

 

There he fell asleep and had a dream. It was because of that dream that the granite slab is also called ‘the Dream Stele’.

 

A hypothesis suggests that the sphinx was worshiped as a form of the sun god.

 

The nose and the beard of the sphinx are disfigured.

 

It is said that Napoleon’s army demolished the sphinx’s nose with cannon fire in 1798.

 

But as a counter evidence, some paintings of the 18th century depict the sphinx with an already disfigured nose.

 

However many Egypt experts say that it was purposely destroyed by a Muslim Sufi, Muhammad Saim al-Dahr in the 15th century AD.

 

Apparently, he did this because people had started worshiping the sphinx.

 

How could a Structural Masterpiece be Constructed 1000s of Years Ago?

 

How were such heavy stones transported without any machine or technology?

 

What techniques made this possible?

 

It’s only natural to wonder about such questions.

 

For centuries, historians and archeologists have been trying to unlock the mysteries of the pyramids.

 

But most of them couldn’t go beyond hypotheses.

 

For instance, there’s a theory that suggests that these stones were transported by flying them using a kite.

 

This theory was presented by a software engineer from California.

 

She tried to prove it by successfully flying a 180 kg cement obelisk with the help of a kite.

 

Even then, this theory couldn’t get much attention.

 

Another theory suggests that the Egyptians had a special technique to counter the force of gravity to transport the stones to Giza.

 

This theory is known by the name of Levitation theory.

 

However, modern science has refuted it because so far we haven’t come across any technique to make things gravity free.

 

A rather famous theory tells us that the pyramids were either built by extraterrestrials or at least with their help.

 

It is pertinent to note that just recently the founder of SpaceX, Elon Musk, tweeted in support of this theory.

 

As a response, the Egyptian government invited him to their country so that he could examine the pyramids himself to be sure if they were built by aliens.

 

Another well known theory in this regard is the ‘Orion Correlation Theory‘.

 

This theory presents three stars in the sky, situated right at the top of these pyramids.

 

And it is believed that there is a correlation between the location of these pyramids and the location of these stars in the sky.

 

This theory was presented by Robert Bauval in 1983.

 

However, astronomer Anthony Fairall refuted the theory by saying that at the time of the construction of pyramids, these stars were not at this location.

 

Fairall also found that the angle formed by the pyramid was 45 degrees and that by the stars it was 54 degrees.

 

Therefore, despite these inconsistencies, the theory appears to be correct to a man in the street.

 

The most recent technological tools have revealed that the pyramids are in fact an epitome of technological design.

 

And the people behind it were fully aware of some of the deep secrets of the universe.

 

They were strangely well equipped with mathematics and geometry.

 

It is interesting to note that these pyramids perfectly align with the poles.

 

It is speculated that the Indian Circle method must have been used to perfect the pyramids.

 

Because there was no other way the pyramids could be so perfect with the technology of that time.

 

The Indian Circle method was a rather simple method for measurements used in ancient times.

 

In this method, the time of the year when days and nights are equal, meaning March Equinox or September Equinox, a large bamboo or stick was fixed in the ground and its shadow was marked in a circle.

 

This would give them the perfect idea of ​​the orientation of North and South.

 

The historians believed that 1000s years ago, this could have been the only technique to perfectly align the pyramids.

 

Another theory was presented by a French scientist Joseph Davidovits in 1980.

 

He proposed that these stones weren’t brought from any other place but were produced right there by molding stones from mud and limestone in wooden casts.

 

Nobody believed in what Joseph proposed initially.

 

But a few years later, a scientist by the name of Michael Barsoum presented his 5-year long research to suggest that Joseph could be right.

 

Other than these theories, lets now discuss some common legends.

 

Some believe that these stone blocks were brought from a place called Tora via boats through a canal especially dug for this purpose.

 

While some other granite blocks found inside the pyramids were brought from Aswan, 800 km away.

 

Reason for Construction

 

A pertinent question that comes to mind is why were these pyramids built?

 

Such questions have been tried to answer with many hypotheses.

 

One such hypothesis is that these pyramids served the purpose of a power plant.

 

The believers of this idea present the Baghdad Battery as evidence, which is a 2000 years old artifact found in Baghdad.

 

These artifacts are believed to be a way using which the ancients produced electrical power.

 

Another very well accepted theory is that the pyramids were in fact temples of the pharaohs, because they believed in life after death.

 

A strange thing is that there hasn’t been any mummy found in any of the discovered chambers.

 

Although King Khufu’s coffin was found in the king’s chamber, when it was opened, it was just empty.

 

However, during recent research in the area surrounding the great pyramids, some remains of ancient pharaohs were discovered.

 

Considering all our discussion, we can be certain about one thing; that these pyramids were built for some special purpose.

 

But what was that purpose, that question remains to be answered.

 

Pyramids and Tourism

 

According to a certain report, Egypt annually receives 15 million tourists.

 

And this tourism has been a great source of income for the country.

 

An estimated 12% of the economy of the whole economy is through tourism.

 

Since 2010, Egypt has been earning 8 – 12 billion dollars each year, through tourism.

 

Friends, these 1000s of years old pyramids are still carrying countless secrets within them.

 

And scientists are constantly putting their efforts to try and decode these secrets. Many secrets are waiting to unfold.

 

Hopefully, modern science will be able to decode the mysteries of these great pyramids real soon.

 

Friends, did you enjoy this article? And what else do you know about the pyramids?

 

Do let us know your feedback in the comments section.

 

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