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The Great Pyramid of Giza

Updated on August 16, 2013

During the Ancient Egypt period, the Egyptians built pyramids, as tombs to protect the mummified bodies of their Pharaohs and their family. The Egyptians believed life continued after death. Their mummies were meant to stay in the pyramids forever, while the pharaohs spirits travelled to the afterlife.

Historians believe that the triangular shape of the four sides of these huge structures may have been designed to indicate the journey of the pharaoh to the heavens and the afterlife.

The Egyptians built the pyramids on the west side of the Nile River in the path of the setting sun.

The most famous pyramids of all are those at Giza, just outside the city now known as Cairo in Egypt. These three massive tombs were built more than 4,500 years ago. The pyramids at Giza were built for Pharaoh Khufu (also known as Cheops), Pharaoh Khaefre and Pharaoh Menkaure.

Khufu's pyramid is known as "The Great Pyramid", it is the largest, but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

The Great Pyramid of Giza built around 2550 BC was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It covers an area of about five hectares and was approximately 147 metres high. It is one of the largest stone monument on earth and is an example of Egyptian scientific skill - each of its sides aligns almost exactly with north, south, east and west. The Great Pyramid also represents an amazing building effort.

Its sides are built at an angle of 51.5 degrees and it consists of at least 2,300,000 blocks of granite weighing 2.5 tonnes each. At its base are three smaller pyramids one for each of Khufu's queens . Historians think that it took approximately 100,000 men and 20 years to build the Great Pyramid.

How the pyramids were built?

How the pyramids were built remains a mystery. Historians think that the Egyptians organised peasants labourers to work on the project and that each stone was brought by a barge along the Nile from the quarries, lowered into the wooden rollers and dragged by group of workers up the earthen slopes.

As each level of blocks was positioned, sand ramps had to be built so that the next layer of stones could be moved into position,once all the blocks were in place, a smooth covering of limestone was placed on the outside of the pyramid. This meant the pyramid could be seen from a great distance, sparkling brilliantly in the strong sunlight.

Architects designed the inside of the pyramids to include chambers, tunnels and storerooms. Artists covered the wall with beautiful paintings of the pharaoh's life and sculptors carved many intricate scenes. These paintings still exist and give us a very good idea about what life was like for the important people of those times.

One of the biggest problems facing the builders of these enormous tombs was creating secret passages or false tombs, to trick the grave robbers.

The Pyramids

Khufu - Khufu's great Pyramid was surrounded by mastaba tombs build for the wealthy elite and three queens pyramids. Originally there was a mortuary temple attached to the pyramid but this was vanished. It is the largest but appears smaller as it sits on lower ground.

Khaefre - Khaefre was Khufu's son. Khaefre's pyramid is smaller than the Great Pyramid, but looks larger because it was built on higher ground.

Menkaure - The grandson of Khufu, Menkaure, built one large pyramid, plus three smaller pyramids for the most important royal women.

Guarding the Royal Pyramids

The pyramid of the Pharaoh Khaefre is guarded by the Sphinx -- a huge limestone statue of a lion with the head of a man, presumably that of the pharaoh himself. Egyptians believed that the Giza sphinx was a form of the sun god.

For most of its 4500 year life, the Sphinx was covered in sand.

Pollution from nearby cars and factories in modern times resulted in large amounts of the Sphinx being worn away. However, the Egyptian government has recently restored parts of it.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      The Pyramid of Giza is the 3D shape: Square based pyramid.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Cool but you could have told more about the problems they had building this pyramid or what kind of mud, sand or dirt was used. But overall it is really good and awesome!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      where the pyramids guarded well after the burial by security guards or something?

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      im doing a project and i cant find what i want!!!!!!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      What 3D shape is the Great Pyramid of Giza???

    • profile image

      Winnie Foster 

      7 years ago

      I have just one question to ask. Is it true that this pyramid ( the one of Pharoh Khufu's) is made to honor the esopogus bodies? have heard that from a website and a friend said it was true when i asked her it on the test yesterday. that was the option i thought was right or sarcophagus.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I do have a project on the Great Pyramid due on Wed. need to know facts, pictures, and have a model of it. Thanks and hope this helps me!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I was wondering how much a tour of the pyramid costs would you care to tell me please thank you(:

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      i am from egypt and itis very huge

    • marieryan profile image

      Marie Ryan 

      8 years ago from Andalusia, Spain

      I have always been fascinated by Ancient Egypt, like many others. How strange that Ancient Egypt seems to attract and fascinate all of us so much. Do you think we are under some mystical, all-powerful Ancient Egyptian spell?

      I look forward to reading more!


    • stars439 profile image


      8 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

      love everything about egypt. god bless you

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      The Great Pyramid is the only one of the three that have no hieroglyphs. It is also the only one that had casing stones, white boulders from top to bottom that must have reflected sunlight spectacularly. It also has a missing capstone, probably representing the head cornerstone (Jesus) that the builders rejected (as touched on in the Bible). It shows signs of water erosion which leads me to suggest that it was built before the Great Flood. I think the other two pyramids are copycat structures built after the Flood.

      sybercat said:

      "it must be over 10.000 years old too because there is water erosion all over the walls of the shafts"

      Explained by the Flood approximately 4.400 years ago, in my opinion.

    • profile image

      Angela Brown 

      9 years ago

      Hi friends

      I am really fascinated with the ancient Egyptian civilization and their mythology. The most interesting thing is the story of life after death and how they made a well made plot about what the dead person may experience after his death. You can find more information about their mythology in

      <a href= Ancient Egyptian Myths</a>

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Nice little hub, the main pyramid was far more than a tomb tho, somebody just decided to get buried in it I think ;] it must be over 10.000 years old too because there is water erosion all over the walls of the shafts.. which leads us to this site below check it out and see what you think, this shows the comparision between the Pyramid and a RAM pump. Note also the coincidence in its name ;] why is the modern day RAM pump called that......

    • William F. Torpey profile image

      William F Torpey 

      9 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

      Fascinating subject. Well done, MM Del Rosario.

    • prasadjain profile image


      10 years ago from Tumkur

      Good hub. Thanks.

      Many researches have now been conducted on the usefulness of pyramid like structures.One finding is that , this structure increases the concentration and memory power. It is told that, if we prepare pyramid like cardboard/plywood structures and hang it on our head, in our study place, it helps concentration in study. Many such researches have now been published.

    • MM Del Rosario profile imageAUTHOR

      MM Del Rosario 

      10 years ago from NSW, Australia

      @ G-Ma. Eillen and Whitney ---ladies, thanks for dropping by I have never been to Egypt, but i am always interested in these magnificent structure, i am just fascinated by the way they built it and how innovative they were on those days......

      I am planning to write and research more on other topics about ancient Egypt...

    • G-Ma Johnson profile image

      Merle Ann Johnson 

      10 years ago from NW in the land of the Free

      I saw a whole program on TV about how they think they built these and was truly amazing..hard hard physical work for the men..and in the re-inactment most couldn't handle it..there is a great story too about how these line up with the sun and moon and so on..sorry have forgotten where I saw it tho..History or Strange any rate  had to add my  2 cents worth,,Hee Hee  LOL  great hub and Thank You for reminding me...G-Ma :o) hugs

    • Whitney05 profile image


      10 years ago from Georgia

      Very interesting hub. I love how the pyramids line up like the mountains on (is it) mars (or the moon).. I forget. It's been a while since I've looked into it, but I used to be a huge fan/researcher on the topic.


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