Home Art and cultureArt and AestheticsWonders of Egypt: The Great Pyramid of Giza
Wonders of Egypt: The Great Pyramid of Giza

Wonders of Egypt: The Great Pyramid of Giza

What comes to your mind the moment you think about Egypt? I bet it is the Pyramid. There are many pyramids that survive the test of time which means we now have the chance to observe them. Among the series of  pyramids, there is only one that is listed as one of the World Wonders in the Ancient times. It is the Great Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu. The Great Pyramid of Giza rests in the Giza Necropolis, in Cairo, Egypt.

The Great Pyramid of Giza

Great Pyramid is the oldest and the largest construction in the Giza Necropolis. It is the only remaining of the earliest World Wonders. It took the Egyptian builders up to 20 years to complete this architectural monument around 2560 BC. The Great Pyramid is the tomb for Pharaoh Khufu who was the ruler of the Fourth Dynasty. Khufu was the father of Khafre and the grandfather of the Menkaure. Khafre and Menkaure had their own pyramids in the Giza Necropolis.

Image of Egypt Pyramid Seven World Wonders
The pyramids of Giza. The Great Wonder (one of the World Wonders is the one in the top left.

Anyone who has tried to explain how the Great Pyramid of Giza came into being will face a significant difficult challenge. For long, no one has fought off the challenge. And how the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid remains a mystery. The construction consists of 2.4 million stone blocks. Most of them weigh as much as 2.5 tons while the stones to make the base weigh more. In the beginning, the Great Pyramid’s height reached up to 481feet (146m), turning it into the highest man-made structure. Many voices have been heard about how the Egyptians built the Pyramid but none becomes the official conclusion. Some believe that there were up to 200,000 workers working 365 days per year to complete the structure. If this were true, this would have required a great amount of manpower and organization in counting and administrating the construction.

Materials to build the Great Pyramid

The main materials to build the Great Pyramid were blocks of limestone and granite. The average weight of the stone blocks were between 2 and 4 tons while the heaviest might have weighed up to 80 tons. It is the largest pyramid in Egypt. The only pyramid in the world that can surpass the Great Pyramid of Giza is the Great Pyramid of Cholula in Mexico.

Image of the great pyramid
The Great Pyramid of Khufu

In the fourteen century (1301), many of the casing stones collapsed because of a massive earthquake. The outer casing stones later were carried away to build the worship house and fortress near Cairo by Bahri Sultan An-Nasir Nasir-ad-Din al-Hasan in 1356. The continuing excavations of the Great Pyramid cleared away the casing stones of the Great Pyramid.

What a Wonder

The construction of the Giza Pyramids always excites the archaeologists and scholars. By far, no one has ever solved the riddle how the pyramids were built. But the remains of the Great Pyramid teach us about the great manpower and the power political system in the Egyptian ancient times. Because only with such great manpower and political power could the Egyptians build such a wonder.

Image of the Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid in the nineteen-century photo

The builders of the pyramid must have been the skilled workers whom the Egyptian Pharaoh demanded to build the pyramid. The Pharaoh might have paid his workers sums of money to make his tomb come into being though. It is likely that the Egyptian ruling power tried to display the wealth and the power of their country through these national architectural projects.

If the total number of workers climbed up to 200,000, the requirements for the administration must have been very strict and subtle. Without the organizational and administrative mindset, there would be none other than chaos. And of course, there would be no Great Pyramid for us to observe now.

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