When someone mentions the pyramids, the first thing that comes in mind is the pyramids of Giza. For more than a century, the site of the most well-known Egyptian pyramids have been the subject of continuous investigation. Archeologists and researchers keep uncovering new things never known before and only known to their architects and creators of these massive monuments. To expand your knowledge on the Egyptian pyramids, we have gathered some interesting and unknown facts about them.
1. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the last one still in existence.
2. The pyramids were once the tallest human-built structures.
Estimated to be built between about 2,550 to 2,490 B.C, the Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, was truly colossal and remained the tallest human-built structure for many centuries.
3. While the pyramids of Giza are popularly known, there are actually more than 100 pyramids in Egypt.
According to some estimates, there are more than 130 pyramids, and experts believe more will be discovered in the coming years. While the exact reason as to why so many were constructed is still a mystery, it is clear they had a very important role to play in Ancient Egyptian culture.
4. Pyramid stones weigh more than an elephant.
Egyptologists estimate the average weight of a pyramid stone block to be 2.5 tons. However, many weigh as much, if not more, than an average elephant.
5. The pyramids are not completely solid as it appears to be from the outside.
Another fascinating yet interesting fact about the pyramids is that there are intricate passages, and chambers within, and underneath, the pyramids at Giza. While many theories exist to explain the importance of these passages, the exact reason as to why they exist is still unknown.
6. The Great Pyramid was very well constructed.
Not all of the pyramids survived intact to the current day. But archaeologists believe that as they kept building them, the Egyptians got better over time. Some researchers also believe that ancient Egyptians also had trouble cutting the stones in a precise manner, which limited them from making tight seals on the edges and preventing moisture from entering. Over time, the moisture caused the joints to expand and contract with the change in weather, eventually pushing the stones apart.
The Great Pyramid however was built using granite, which is less absorbent than some other solid surfaces. The Egyptian craftsman also could have learned how to make tight joints to stop moisture from entering, thus preserving the pyramids longer than others.
7. It is estimated that as much as 100,000 people were involved in the construction of the pyramids.
While the exact numbers are unknown, archaeologists estimate the numbers to be around 100,000.
8. The Giza pyramids are guarded by the Great Sphinx, the largest monolith statue in the world.
The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.
9. While experts usually agree that the pyramids were built from huge stones carved with copper chisels from stone quarries, the methods used to move and place the stones remain the matter of further debates and speculations.
10. The Great Pyramid of Giza is extremely heavy.
According to some estimates, the Great Pyramid of Khufu weighs 5,750,000 tons. To put that staggering number into perspective the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world, weighs 500,000 tons.