The Great Pyramids of Giza are one of the world’s seven ancient wonders. Amid the arid Egyptian desert stands a complex of massive pyramids that once served as the tombs for powerful rulers of the 4th dynasty (c. 2575–c. 2465 BCE) – King Khufu, King Khafre, and King Menkaure. The mysterious landmarks are mighty architectural achievements that capture the attention of millions of visitors each year, and as the oldest standing monuments in the world, it’s no wonder why. Embark on a virtual journey to Egypt and discover these facts about the Great Pyramids of Giza.
1 OF 12
WHAT’S WITH THE POINTED DESIGN?
In ancient Egyptian culture, kings were viewed as divine beings. When it came time to design their eternal resting place, pyramids were built with angled sides to emulate the rays of the sun. They believed this helped the king’s soul ascend to the heavens.
2 OF 12
THEY TOOK A LOT OF MANPOWER TO CREATE.
Historians estimate that it took approximately 100,000 workers several decades to complete the Pyramids.
3 OF 12
WHAT’S THAT NEAR THE GREAT PYRAMIDS?
The Sphinx is a mythical figure that serves as a spiritual guardian, hence why a large Sphinx monument was built at the site of the Great Pyramids, as per the request of Pharaoh Khafre.
4 OF 12
VISITING THE PYRAMIDS COMES WITH STRICT GUIDELINES.
Approximately 14 million people visit the Great Pyramids every year, but the rules when visiting them have changed throughout the years. Tourists could once freely climb the sides of the pyramids, but doing that now could land you up to three years in prison.
5 OF 12
HIEROGLYPHICS TELL MORE THAN JUST A STORY.
Researchers believe that hieroglyphics discovered on the floor of a (once) hidden chamber within the largest Great Pyramid are engineering blueprints and mathematics of sorts.
6 OF 12
HOW MUCH WOULD THEY COST TO BUILD TODAY?
Factoring the cost of labor and supplies (limestone isn’t cheap, at least not for the amount you’d need to build a pyramid), it would cost an estimated $1 billion to build the Great Pyramids today.
7 OF 12
ETERNAL HAPPILY EVER AFTER.
Pharaoh Khufu’s pyramid has two burial chambers–a large one for himself, which is preceded by a grand gallery, and a smaller one beneath his for the queen.
8 OF 12
SKIP THIS SLIDE IF YOU’RE CLAUSTROPHOBIC…
The narrow access corridors that run throughout the Pyramids are barely wide enough for a person to crawl through. Would you enter a shaft?
9 OF 12
THE TALLEST PYRAMID IN THE WORLD IS THE GREAT PYRAMID OF KHUFU.
When it was built over 4,500 years ago, the pyramid of Khufu stood at 481 feet tall. But over the years, erosion has caused the pyramid to shrink down a bit. It now stands at 451 feet tall.
10 OF 12
Excavations in the late 1980s and early 1990s revealed a small district was built around the Great Pyramids’ site in Giza. This area served the laborers and had bakeries, stores, and shallow tombs.
11 OF 12
HOW MANY BLOCKS MAKE UP A SINGLE PYRAMID?
Over two million blocks of stone make up the Great Pyramid of Khufu.
12 OF 12
THE WEIGHT OF A BLOCK…
Speaking of stones, a single limestone brick used in the Great Pyramids weighs approximately 2.5 tons, on average. With no mechanical machinery around during the days of construction, it’s a wonder how the bricks were moved.
Alex is an entertainment and lifestyle writer who has a penchant for pineapple pizza, paranormal podcasts, paddleboarding, and alliteration.