10 Fun Facts about the Pyramids of Giza, Egypt you didn’t know.
The Pyramids are a true masterpiece and have rightly earned the title of the “Wonder of the world”. Historical analysis shows that the Pyramids were built between 2589 and 2504 BC and served as monumental burial sites only for the Pharaohs, the Ancient Egyptian kings.
- Each Pyramid built only for one Pharaoh and he was buried after mummification along all his prized possessions, which he would use in his afterlife.
- Most people think of Egypt when they think of the pyramids, but there are actually many similar structures built all over the world. In fact, the largest pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Cholula in the state of Puebla, Mexico. The most famous Mayan pyramid El Castillo (also known as the Temple of Kukulkan) located in the Chichen Itza, state of Yucatan, Mexico and gets over 1 million visitors every year.
- The Pyramids at Giza are not the only Pyramids in Egypt, there are close to 130 pyramids in Egypt alone. The oldest Egyptian pyramid is believed to be the Pyramid of Djoser, in Saqqara (30 mins from Cairo ) built around 4650 years ago (2640 BC).
- The first known pyramid architect was Imhotep, an Ancient Egyptian high priest, polymath, engineer and physician. He is considered the author of the first major pyramid – the Pyramid of Djoser. Also made infamous as the villain in “The Mummy” movie but in fact he was greatly respected and highly revered at his time. Not surprisingly, the movie was quite inaccurate and nonfactual about Egyptian history.
- Contrary to popular belief, the pyramids were not built by slaves or prisoners but regular paid workers. The Nile river used to get flooded for 4 months every year and during this time the farmers used to work on building the pyramids. They were provided remuneration, stay, food, wine and beer for their services and were very well taken care of by the Pharaohs. Roughly 1,00,000 people at one time worked on the construction of the Pyramids.
- On average, each pyramid would have taken 200 years to build as the workers were available only for 4 months in the year during flood season, which means there were often not just one but several pyramids being built at the same time.
- The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the last one still in existence. Until the Lincoln Cathedral was built in England in 1311, the Great Pyramid of Giza held the title for the world´s tallest man-made structure. It held the record for an incredible and unparalleled 3871 years!
- The three Giza pyramids are precisely aligned with the Constellation of Orion, which could have been the intention of the builders because the stars of Orion were associated with Osiris, the god of rebirth and afterlife, by the Ancient Egyptians.
- In spite of the enormous heat outside, the temperature inside the pyramids actually stays relatively constant, around 20 Celsius (60 F).
- The Great Pyramid of Giza is estimated to consist of 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh anywhere between 2 to 30 tons with some blocks weighing over 50 tons. The weight of the Pyramids is estimated to be about 6 million tons. How they carried these stone blocks from the quarries in the mountains to the top of the pyramids in still a mystery.
- One of the reasons why the pyramids are so well-preserved is because of the unique mortar used. It’s stronger than the actual stone, but we do not know what exactly it was made from.
- The pyramids were originally covered with casing stones made of highly polished white limestone. These stones reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramids shine like a jewel. The limestone casing act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerful that it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth and could be seen from the mountains in Israel.
- Although many people associate pyramids with hieroglyphics, there have been no writing or hieroglyphics found inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains a giant hall with no paintings, carvings or bass reliefs.
Fun things you can do at the Pyramids of Giza.
Watch this video for more interesting facts about the Pyramids.
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