The best Great Pyramid facts on the web! Did slaves build the pyramids? How many stones were used? Were there mummies in them? You'll be amazed when you read this post.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the most impressive buildings in all of human history. It's so old that it's really hard to get your head how long it's been around. It's even harder to picture some architect coming up with the idea in the first place--and then getting all those people to build it. I'm sure glad they did. We're still talking about it today!
Read on for 16 fascinating pieces of trivia
1. How many stones make up the Great Pyramid?
2. How big is each stone?
3. Who built the Great Pyramids of Egypt?
Labor was done by architects, stone cutters, stone haulers, carpenters, overseers, artists, priests, and more.
These builders had an enormous support crew: bread bakers, cooks, beer brewers, launderers, barbers, basically a small village of people.
4. How tall is it?
By comparison, the Statue of Liberty is 300 feet. The tallest dinosaur (the Sauroposeidon), stood at 58 feet.
By the way, the sides of the pyramid are each over a quarter mile long. So if you walked around it once, you would travel more than a mile!
5. How much does it weigh?
Let's break it down mathematically:
The building is constructed of approximately 2.3 million blocks of limestone. Each block weighs around 2.5 tons (2267.96 kilograms). So 2,300,000 x 2267.96 = 5,216,308,000 kilograms (5,750,000 tons). In other words, it weighs around 12 billion pounds.
The heaviest is the Great Wall of China, and the 2nd heaviest is the Three Gorges Dam in China.
6. Did slaves build the pyramids?
Also, the workers were buried in sacred graves--right next to the monumental structure. This was a great, great honor, and showed how much they were valued and respected.
7. How did the builders get paid?
The construction crew would have been paid in rations like meat, bread, and beer. The laborers could then turn around and barter these 'wages' for other things. Also, they were provided with healthcare, a place to live, access to priests, and much more.
8. How long did it take to build them?
9. Were there mummies in the pyramids?
10. Who was buried in the Great Pyramid?
The famous Cheops monument was built for Pharaoh Khufu. However, we have no idea where Khufu's mummy is, or if he was ever buried in the King's Chamber. It's likely that raiders broke into the pyramid before modern explorers arrived on the scene.
That's Khufu's heavy stone sarcophagus (coffin) pictured above. Was it ceremonial? Or did it hold his mummy at one point in time? We simply don't know. It's not shaped like a mummy, that's for sure.
Here's something interesting: look closely at the photo--you might think it's ancient writing on the wall. In fact, it's modern graffiti!
11. Has a mummy ever been found in one?
12. What did they put in the pyramids?
Not only was Khufu's mummy 'gone', but archaeologists also found no treasure inside the huge structure. Contrast that with the picture above of the grave goods found in King Tut's secret tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
- Statues of gods and goddesses
- Wigs, ointments, mirrors, combs
- and much, much more
13. Was there really a boat at Khufu's pyramid?
On the bright side, explorers found one incredible treasure at Giza. It was sealed inside a pit at the base of the pyramid complex. It's the solar ship seen above.
No one knows the real purpose of this boat, also called a solar barge, but it's believed to be a ritual vessel used to carry the deceased pharaoh across the heavens, with the help of the Egyptian sun god, Ra.
The boat is 143 feet (44m) long and 19.5 feet (6m) wide.
14. Can you go inside them?
Khufu's pyramid has multiple chambers and shafts inside.
How many rooms does it have? Three (3) that we know about. They are as follows:
- The King's Chamber (where the sarcophagus is located, see Fact #10). You can reach the King's Chamber via the Grand Gallery, which is an impressive feat of architecture that also serves as a structural purpose. It spreads out the building's weight so that the building doesn't collapse onto the King's Burial Chamber.
- The Statue Chamber (most often referred to as the Queen's Chamber, but that's a mistake. No queen was buried here).
- The Subterranean or Underworld Chamber. The purpose of this subterranean room remains a mystery.
15. What is written inside the King's Chamber in the Great Pyramid?
16. Are there still mysteries to discover?
There's no doubt that the world will continue to ask questions and try to find answers. Maybe that's why it's called one of the Seven Wonders Of The World.
Top 16 Great Pyramid Facts
- It's made of 2.3 million stones
- The stones weigh around 2.5 tons each
- Pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid
- It's 450 feet tall
- It weighs 5,750,000 tons
- Slaves did not build the pyramids
- The workers were paid in goods and services
- It took around 30 years to build
- Uncertain if pyramids were ceremonial, not burial
- Khufu may once have been buried inside
- No mummy has ever been found in one
- Burial goods were probably housed inside
- A boat was found in a pit at the base
- You can go inside the Great Pyramid
- Nothing is written in the King's Chamber
- There are still mysteries to be solved
NEXT: Read these fun facts about Pharaoh Khufu, the man behind the Great Pyramid of Giza.