We’ve all seen pictures, photos and maybe even been lucky enough to visit the Pyramids in Egypt, but here are some interesting facts about them :-
Pyramids were built as a huge stone tomb as a burial chamber for the Pharaoh’s.
All the Pyramids were built from enormous stones, yet it is not known how the workers carried them from the boats on the River Nile to the Pyramid site, it is thought they used some form of sledge to slide the stones to the build.
The burial chambers were filled with many jewels, artefacts and riches from the Pharoah’s Kingdom for the Pharoah to take into the afterlife.
Unfortunately, this made the Pyramids a haven for robbers, so the builders incorporated hidden traps like false doors. corridors and staircases to fool the thieves and catch them “red handed”.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops (which is the oldest and largest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one which is mainly intact, and is situated in the Giza Necropolis bordering El Giza, Egypt) has a base that measures 230 metres x 230 metres – thats the equivalent of 7 to 8 football pitches.
The actual burial chamber is approximately the same size as a modern day house – measuring around 10 metres x 5 metres x 6 metres high.
The Pyramids were built close to the Nile on the West bank as this is where the sun sets, this was to do with their religious beliefs. Also, some of the large stones were carried from the quarries by boat and it made sense to keep the buildings near so that the workers did not have to carry them too far.
The ‘Books of the Dead’ were instructions written to help the dead find their way to the afterlife.
The earliest religious writings known were written on the walls of the chamber and are known as ‘The Pyramid Texts’. Then came ‘The Coffin Texts’ which were written on the inside of the coffin and finally the last writings were written on Egyptian paper (papyrus) and were rolled up and placed inside the dead man’s coffin.
It is thought that it would have taken between 70-80,000 craftsmen/workers around five years to complete each pyramid. They were partly paid in food stuff like garlic and radishes, which was believed to help keep them healthy.
It is believed that the average weight of a pyramid would be around 5,400,000 tons, with the average stoe block weighing around 2.5 tons.
There are 96 known pyramids in Egypt, the latest one was discovered a few metres from the Great Pyramid back on 7th January 1993.