The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the heavenly constructions that can truly exhibit the brilliance and dedication of the Human Race and transcends the common understanding of art & science to a whole new level of comprehension. The main purpose of this article is to offer every traveler and scholar all the information and details about the Pyramid of Khufu a.k.a the Pyramid of Cheops. This article was written by a group of a very knowledgeable team of Egyptologists, tour guides, and tour operators who know a great everything about the legendary pyramid of Giza. When men began to take control of their destiny a great monument was created to stand as living evidence of the power and intelligence of the ancient Egyptians. There are many structures around the world that truly exhibit the brilliance and dedication of the Human Race, but there is one monument that transcends art & science to new heights “The Great Pyramid of Giza”. The pyramid was a true representation of the social structure of the ancient Egyptian community and contained religious importance as the pyramid was a replica of the primeval mound where the universe was created by the hands of the creator God Amun. The pyramid of Giza is a true mystery that is able to capture the minds of everyone from tourists to archaeologists and even scientists.
The Pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khufu in the Fourth Dynasty around 2560 BC during the old kingdom (2686-2181 BC) to be his final resting place; it is also known as the pyramid of “Cheops” by the Greeks who chronicled their visits millennia later and it is the first of three Pyramids built during Egypt old kingdom. The ancient ruins of the Memphis area, the Pyramids of Giza, Ṣaqqārah, Dahshūr, Abū Ruwaysh, and Abū Ṣīr, were collectively designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
The Pharaohs of the 4th dynasty was known as the builders of the pyramids who were able to utilize their resources such as the stability of the government and the wealth through trade, the strong government, and high population to construct incredible & immortal construction, the first pharaoh to realize that was Sneferu, Khufu' father. Khufu started his plan to construct this pyramid after he came into power. He chose Giza to be the site of his necropolis as there were no other great monuments to compete for attention close by, plus Khufu's mother Hetepheres I (2566 BCE), was buried there.
The process of dating the great pyramid of Khufu depended on many means that involved historical chronology, radiocarbon dating that was able to accurately determine the history of Khufu, and the great pyramid which is roughly between 2700 and 2500 BC. Many great historians document the great pyramid of Khufu such as the ancient Greek historian Herodotus one of the first major authors to give full detail of the pyramid in the 5th century BC. The ancient Greek historian Diodorus Siculus was able to visit Egypt Between 60–56 BC and write a lot of details about the history, land, customs, and monuments of Egypt including the Great Pyramid. The Greek geographer, historian, and philosopher visited Egypt in 25BC and stated that the pyramids were the burial place of kings. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder wrote about the great pyramid during the first century AD and attempted to understand how the pyramid was built. During the greek and Coptic eras, many scholars and historians documented everything surrounding the great pyramid.
During the Islamic periods in 820 AD, the Abbasid Caliph Al-Ma'mun (786–833) is said to have tunneled into the side of the structure and discovered the ascending passage and all of its connecting chambers. Many Islamic historians and scholars such ass Al-Maqrizi (1364–1442) Arab polymath Abd al-Latif al-Baghdadi (1163–1231) studied the pyramid in great detail to discover its secrets and wonders. During the Battle of the Pyramids on July 21, 1798, the military engagement of Napoleon Bonaparte and his French troops captured Cairo and he entered the great pyramid of Khufu.
The pyramid of king Khufu is located with the famous Giza pyramid complex on the bank of the Nile at the exact intersection of the longest line of latitude and longitude. The great pyramid of Giza has the Coordinates of 29°58′45″N 31°08′03″E. It is located south of the Great Pyramid near Khafre’s valley temple is the Great Sphinx.
The great pyramid of Giza, Pyramid of Khufu, or the Pyramid of Cheops is the oldest one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain entirely intact. It was known by the ancient name "Akhet Khufu" which means Khufu's Horizon. It was used as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu of the fourth dynasty during the 26th century BC. It was the tallest man-made structure on earth for more than 3,800 years until the construction of the Lincoln Cathedral, England in 1311 AD, and again by the Eiffel Tower that was completed in Paris, France in 1889 AD.
The great pyramid took 20 years to construct by the hands of Khufu’s vizier, Heminuu using 2.3 million blocks of limestone, each block weighs 2.5 tons which makes it has a total mass of 5.9 million tons plus mortar, some granite. It has a height of 146.6 m (481 ft) or 280 cubits originally and 138.5 m (454 ft) contemporary on a base of 230.3 (756 ft) long. The Volume of the Khufu pyramid is 2.6 million m3 (92 million cu ft). The pyramid sides rise at an angle of 51°50'40" and are oriented to face the four cardinal points of the compass. The great pyramid of Giza is known to have three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid plus the gid void. All the numbers above prove how it is a true living Miracle of pure genius engineering, precise architectural Skill, and a true sight to behold next to the other pyramids of Giza.
King Khufu (2589–2566 BC) was the second Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, his original name was Khnum-Khufu. Khufu succeeded his father Sneferu as a king and he was crowned in the 26th Century B.C. The duration of his reign is uncertain but according to ancient Egyptian and Greek historians, Khufu ruled for 50 or 63 years but many modern scholars say he might have ruled between 23 to 46 years. Khufu's name is immortalized in history due to his pyramid in the Giza necropolis. The only completely preserved statue of the pharaoh is a three-inch high ivory figurine found in Abydos in 1903 which can be found in the grand Egyptian museum. The mummified body of King Cheops, or Khufu, has never been found, as it has been stolen from the Great Pyramid at some point in time.
What makes the great pyramid an absolute wonder is the construction methods as some theories suggest it was built using slave labor but it was proven wrong as to reach this level of unmatched precision, you need to understand and utilize the dynamics of Management and a critical path analysis methods to control a workforce that peaked at roughly 100,000 skilled members on rotating shifts, the labor force was organized by a hierarchy and divided into teams. About 5.5 million tonnes of limestone, 8,000 tonnes of granite, and 500,000 tonnes of mortar were used in the construction; White limestone from Tura for the casing, and granite blocks from Aswan, weighing up to 80 tonnes, for the King's Chamber structure were used. The pyramid was covered in white limestone giving it a smooth heavenly look but it was removed over the centuries to build fortress and mosques across Cairo. Once the great pyramid was finished a special block made of a shining material like gold or electrum was placed on the top of the pyramid.
How the pyramids were built is a highly important and debated question but many historians and scholars believe that process involved encircling and sloping embankment of brick, sand, and the earth was increased in height and in length as the pyramid rose. The limestone stone blocks were hauled up the ramp by means of rollers, sleds, and levers. You can read more about how the Pyramids were built.
The interior of the great pyramid has been the subject of many fringe unorthodox theories. It is comprised of the King’s burial chamber, Queen’s burial chamber, a mortuary temple which consists of two mortuary temples; one close to the pyramid and the other near the Nile connected by a causeway, plus it holds the tombs for Khufu's family and court, and a valley temple; all enclosed by a strong limestone wall plus the big void, smaller "satellite pyramid" and five buried solar barges.
There are three known chambers inside of the pyramid, the first one is the king’s chamber which is made entirely from granite and the only object in the chamber is a rectangular granite sarcophagus and on top of the chamber is the five rooms called relieving chambers, between them is a limestone beam. The king’s sarcophagus is carved from a single, hollowed-out granite, measures about 198 cm (6.50 ft) by 68 cm (2.23 feet), the external 228 cm (7.48 ft) by 98 cm (3.22 ft), with a height of 105 cm (3.44 ft), and a thickness of about 15 cm (0.49 ft) plus it sits completely empty at the exact central axis of the great pyramid. The burial chamber was sealed with a series of massive granite blocks and the entrance to the shaft was filled with limestone to obscure the opening.
There is an unfinished subterranean chamber whose function is an enigma plus a number of so-called ‘air shafts’ that radiate out from the upper chambers. The goal of these relieving chambers was to absorb the enormous pressure on the King’s great chamber and to redirect it into the surrounding stones.
Above the floor are two narrow shafts in the north and south walls and appear to be aligned with the stars or certain areas of the northern and southern skies as these shafts helped in ascending the king’s spirit to the heavens. The grand gallery is an ideal example of stonemasonry, it is 8.6 meters (28 ft) high and 46.68 meters (153.1 ft) long, and holds a corbelled vault at an angle about 26 degrees that peaked just short of 30 with corbelled arch stacks stones on each successive layer with a slight overhang until the structure meets at the high point which makes the grand gallery a little more impressive.
The Queen's chamber where the wife of the pharaoh was kept has the same design as the king's chamber with some different designs. The third one is the Grand Gallery, a passage providing access to the royal burial chambers, it is 8.6 m (28 ft) high, 64.68 m (153.1 ft) long and the walls of the gallery are lined with massive granite blocks baring no carvings, no murals, no artifacts or decorations of any kind.
The Pyramid's temple was built on the eastern side of the pyramid complex. It measures 52.2 meters (171 ft) north to south and 40 meters (130 ft) east to west. It consists of a big courtyard of rectangular shape which is coated with black basalt. The temple complex has almost entirely disappeared with the passing of time. The mortuary temple leads to the King’s burial chamber, which remains in the best condition in this pyramid. The three smaller pyramids were are in much better condition which were constructed for preserving the memories of Khufu’s mother Hetepheres I, his wives Meritites I and Henutsen.
on the southern side of the pyramid, Khufu is two huge, rectangular stone-lined pits that contained completely disassembled boats. One of which was removed and reconstructed. It is known as the solar boat of Khufu which can be found at the Grand Egyptian Museum. This solar boat measures 43.3 meters (142 feet) in length and was constructed of 1,224 separate pieces stitched together with ropes.
The great pyramid still holds many unsolved mysteries that witched the minds of an endless number of people as in 2017 a team of Japanese researchers discovered a Big Void above the Grand Gallery with a length of 30m (98 ft) using muon radiography. The purpose of the cavity is still unknown. Many have linked the pyramid to strange theories linking it to the Atlantian origin as to "the lost city of Atlantis" or even alien origin. The Orion correlation theory which states that the pyramids were an accurate reflection of Orion's belt, Leo's constellation, and the milky way has been discussed heavily by the science community which argued that the pyramids might be older than what is believed to be and its purpose could entirely different.
Ancient Egyptian history is a collection of wonderful and mythical stories, so you can witness the Great Pyramid of Giza through our Cairo day tours if you are in Cairo, or check our Egypt private tours which mixed by Nile river cruise to enjoy a perfect holiday in the land of Pharaohs and its beautiful cities Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, Hurghada and much more.
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