The Great Pyramid of Giza

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The pyramids at Giza, Egypt
The pyramids at Giza, Egypt

The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt is one of the most recognizable human feats every undertaken. The structure took over 20 years to build by an estimated 20,000 workers and slaves. At its completion, it was the tallest man-made structure the world had ever known. This dominance lasted for nearly 3800 years.

The Great Pyramid was modeled after a sacred stone called the benben, which represented the rays of the sun.

Pyramids of Giza
Pyramids of Giza

The site of the Great Pyramid was selected by priests and astrologers. The Pyramid’s builders floated large stones down the Nile river and other workers cut, chiseled and polished them. The stones were then pushed up ramps and put into position by primitive cranes and pulleys. The task was so demanding and required so many people that literally little towns sprung up for the sole task of feeding and taking care of the workers.

Obviously one may ask just why on Earth was such a complex, expensive and labor-intensive structure such as the Great Pyramid even built?

Artist conception of what the Great Pyramid of Giza might have looked like in its prime in ancient Egypt
Artist conception of what the Great Pyramid of Giza might have looked like in its prime in ancient Egypt

The answer to this is that it was built as the tomb and final resting place of the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu. The ancient Egyptians belied that once a Pharaoh died in the material world, his body needed to be preserved (hence why Egyptian pharaohs were mummified) to carry out special duties after death. Because they believed that pharaohs traveled to heaven on sunbeams, the pyramid, which represented the rays of the sun, acted as a springboard for such a cosmic journey.

The great pyramids at Giza, Egypt
The great pyramids at Giza, Egypt

Built in 2560 BCE, the Great Pyramid is still very much with us today.


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