The Great Pyramid – The First Wonder of the World
The Seven Wonders of the World refers to a well known list of seven remarkable construction projects from classical antiquity.
The Seven Wonders of the World are believed to have been compiled from ancient guide books written for Greco-Roman tourists. As a result, the Seven Wonders of the World are located around the Mediterranean Sea.
The Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest structure at the Giza necropolis, which is located on the outskirts of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. The Great Pyramid is the only surviving member of the Seven Wonders of the World. The Great Pyramid is believed to have been built as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu, who ruled Egypt during the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt’s Old Kingdom.
The Great Pyramid retained its title as the world’s tallest building from the time of its completion, around 2560 BC, until 1300 AD with the completion of the Lincoln Cathedral in Britain, a period of nearly 4,000 years.
The Great Pyramid is the focal point of a complex of buildings that includes two mortuary temples built to honour Khufu. One is located on the banks of the Nile and the other is located at the base of the Great Pyramid. Included in the Giza complex is a town for the workers who built the Pyramids as well as the pyramid of Khafre, Khufu’s successor, in addition to the tombs of their queens.
Around the base of the Great Pyramid lie hundreds of smaller mud-brick tombs called Mastabas. These were reserved for use by the various members of the Egyptian royal court.
The Construction of the Great Pyramid
Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid was constructed over a period of 14 to 20 years and was completed in 2560 BC. At the time of its completion, the Great Pyramid is believed to have been 480.97 feet tall. However, with the loss of its capstone and erosion over the course of time, today the Great Pyramid is 455 feet tall.
The estimated weight of the Great Pyramid is believed to be approximately six million tons. It has been estimated that a minimum of 250 tons of stone would have to have been moved per day in order for the Great Pyramid to be constructed in the estimated 20 year time frame. Additionally, the blocks of the Great Pyramid are fitted so precisely that it is impossible to fit a piece of paper between them.
The Great Pyramid consists of 2.3 million limestone blocks. Historians believe that the Egyptians shipped the rough stone from quarries along the banks of the river to the construction site where they were finished and set in place.
Over the centuries, many people have theorized about how the Pyramids were built. Most conventional theories accept that the Pyramids were built by cutting, dragging and lifting large pieces of limestone, where experts disagree is how those blocks were quarried and moved in the first place. The ancient Greeks believed that the Pyramids were built using slave labour. This theory has since been rejected on the basis of new evidence. It is now believed that the Great Pyramid was built primarily by craftsmen and skilled artisans.