construction of the
pyramid is also famous for its accuracy. At the base the average length
four sides is 755 feet (230.12 meters). The difference between the
baselines is just eight inches (20 centimeters), and the four corners
almost perfect right angles to within a fraction of one degree. By
the stars, the builders of the Great Pyramids were able to align its
face the cardinal points of the compass, also to within fractions of a
With an angle of elevation of 520 the Great Pyramid rises to
height of nearly 490 feet (150 meters).
Flinders Petrie, the
archeologist, calculated that 100,000 men transported the blocks to the
and another 4000 worked on the actual construction.
methods were simple, yet accurate. To level the Pyramids bedrock
the base area was surrounded by mud and then filled in with water.
were dug in the rock floor at equal depth from the rock surface. Then
was run off and the rock chipped away to the level of the trenches.
how they leveled the foundation to the accuracy of half an inch.
limestone blocks used
construction were quarried in the Mokkatam Hills. The Egyptians in
had no pulleys or cranes to lift the heavy stone blocks. They used an
plane - a long ramp built to cover one side of the pyramid. Legend and
belief also suggests that the Egyptians might have used levitation
powers) to move these heavy stones for building.
inside of the pyramid
built around a vertical core of masonry. The core was then cased with
blocks to give a stepped effect. The steps were then filled in with
blocks' and lastly the sides were dressed with smooth facing stones.
centre of the great
Pyramid lies Cheops burial chamber. Built of granites it measures 34 by
(10.5 by 5.3 meters) and is 19 feet (5.8 meters) high. The Kings
sarcophagus (Coffin) still lies in the room's west side. From the
the North face of the Pyramid, a corridor descended into the foundation
leading to an uncompleted burial chamber. This continues into a wide
passage, called the grand gallery at the top of which is the King's
by rows of low, flat tombs called 'mastabas' and three small pyramids
his family and high officials were buried. By the south wall is an
chamber, discovered in 1954, which contained Cheop's funeral ship
believed the spirit had to travel to reach heaven and they provided a
sail, food, clothes and even buried servants to help him), untouched
being placed there 4600 years before.
Pyramid of Chephren,
second great pyramid, lies to the South-West of the great Pyramid and
slightly smaller 460 feet (140 meters) high and 709 feet (216 meters)
with a slightly steeper angle of elevation. Unlike Cheops Pyramid,
which has the
top limestone facing completely stripped off, the Pyramid of Chephren
limestone facing intant.
third and the smallest
Pyramid, lies South-West of the Pyramid of Chephren. It is the Pyramid
Mycerinus. It is 354 feet square (108 meters) and 230 feet (70 meters)
and needed less than 1/10th of the limestone used for each of the other
pyramids. It was faced both in pink granite and limestone.
from its pyramids.
"The Sphinx" is the most famous feature of Giza. It is carved out of
rock in the form of a lion with a human head. It was a portrait of
was also considered to be representing the Sun-God and was worshipped.
Sphinx is 66 feet (20
meters) high and 240 feet (73 meters) long. It guards the way to the
Chephren. The evolution of the Pyramids is related to the Egyptian Sun
For them a Pyramidal shaped stone represented the Sun God and was
the sun's rays and was regarded as the stairway for the dead king to
heaven. The Egyptians believed that the soul of the deceased takes time
reach the heavenly destination after death and they did their best to
their pharoahs, even after life. They treated and worshipped their
with the mummyfied (preserved) dead body in it's sarcophagus, great
of Gold and Silver were kept along with large supplies of food and
Sometimes even the personal servants were also buried along with the
that they can serve him in the afterlife also.
walls of the burial
chambers were elaborately decorated with paintings and pyramid texts in
hierographics. They consisted of collection of Egyptian mortuary
and spells intended to protect a dead King or Queen and ensure life and
sustenance in the life after death and even some magical spells.
Egyptians had many Gods,
human, animal and material forms representing the powers of nature and
ideas. These Gods were also painted on the walls of the burial chambers.
"The book of the dead" was
placed beside the dead body. It contained spells written on papyrus
These texts constitute the oldest surviving body of religious and
writing available to modern scholars. The famous pyramids of Giza still
as a monument to the great civilization of the Egyptian Pharoahs many