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The Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza

History on the Pyramids of Giza

 

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Emily White

Emily White

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Although the pyramids of ancient civilizations were massive structures, their most impressive aspect is not their size, but rather the fact that they were built at all. Judged by modern standards, they performed no pragmatic, functional purpose. They were not storehouses for food, provided no protection from invaders, nor did they offer shelter from the elements...

Article: The Pyramids of Ancient E...
Source: Science and Its Times: Un...

A pharaoh was considered divine and therefore above the routine business of government and daily life. He rarely met the common people, and even visitors of the highest rank were compelled to prostrate themselves on the ground when entering his presence. Between the masses and their king stood an enormous bureaucracy of skilled and unskilled slaves, craftsmen, soldiers, scribes, priests, and specialists...

Article: Ancient Egypt
Source: Gale Encyclopedia of Worl...

Ancient Egypt was a conservative society with a deep reverence for the past. Once established, its institutions were difficult to change. The most resistant of all may well have been the monarchy...

Article: Ancient Egypt
Source: Gale Encyclopedia of Worl...

Egyptian pyramids are essentially royal tombs. Throughout the centuries their great size and architectural excellence have led to several alternative explanations for their existence, such as the medieval notion that they were granaries built by Joseph during the seven good years mentioned in the Bible (Gn. 41), but such theories are quite fanciful...

Article: Pyramids: Egyptian Pyrami...
Source: Encyclopedia of Religion

The second-largest pyramid of Giza was built for Khufu's son Khafre (Chephren), who became the fourth king of the Fourth Dynasty after the death of his short-lived elder brother and died c.2532 BC. Although many of his relatives were hastily buried in cheap tombs, the Pyramid of Khafre is almost as vast as the Great Pyramid of his father.

Article: Giza Pyramids  
Source: Giza Pyramids - Giza, Egy...

The Great Pyramid was made of 2.3 million stone blocks, weighing from 2 to 15 tons each. When completed, the Great Pyramid of Khufu weighed 6 million tons, the weight of all Europe's cathedrals put together! The pyramid was also the tallest structure in the world for thousands of years, until it was surpassed by the spires of England's Lincoln Cathedral around 1300 AD.

Article: Giza Pyramids  
Source: Giza Pyramids - Giza, Egy...

Precisely how the Egyptians built these colossal structures is still a matter of debate. To construct the Great Pyramid, workers had to cut, haul and assemble 2.3 million limestone blocks, weighing on average more than two tons. Contrary to the long-held belief that the workers were slaves, Egyptologists now believe the pyramids were ancient public works projects (which, unlike modern public works projects, actually got finished).

Article: Smithsonian.com
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Built 4,500 years ago as a tomb for the fourth dynasty pharaoh Khufu, it once stood 481 feet high. Because thieves (who robbed the burial chambers) stripped the pyramids of their outer casings of polished white limestone, they no longer reach their original heights. Today the Great Pyramid stands at 450 feet.

Article: Smithsonian.com
Source: Smithsonian Magazine

Khufu’s pyramid is perhaps the most colossal single building ever erected on the planet. Its sides rise at an angle of 51°52′ and are accurately oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass. The Great Pyramid’s core is made of yellowish limestone blocks, the outer casing (now almost completely gone) and the inner passages are of finer light-coloured limestone, and the interior burial chamber is built of huge blocks of granite. Approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone were cut, transported, and assembled to create the 5.75-million-ton structure, which is a masterpiece of technical skill and engineering ability. The internal walls as well as those few outer-casing stones that still remain in place show finer joints than any other masonry constructed in ancient Egypt.

Article: Pyramids of Giza
Source: Britannica Online Encyclo...

The designations of the pyramids—Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure—correspond to the kings for whom they were built. The northernmost and oldest pyramid of the group was built for Khufu (Greek: Cheops), the second king of the 4th dynasty. Called the Great Pyramid, it is the largest of the three, the length of each side at the base averaging 755.75 feet (230 metres) and its original height being 481.4 feet (147 metres).

Article: Pyramids of Giza
Source: Britannica Online Encyclo...
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