Written by SoudipOctober 6th 2014
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Great Pyramid of Giza Historical Facts and Pictures
Built in 2540 BC on a rocky plateau near the river Nile, the Great Pyramid of Giza, also called the ‘Pyramid of Khufu’ and ‘Pyramid of Cheops’, is the largest and tallest within the Giza complex amidst the pyramids of Khafre & Menkaure. Like most other pyramids, the Great Giza pyramid is mysterious from inside with a knotty network, which is intricately designed by some masterminds. Unlike other pyramids, it has both ascending & descending passages of equal length & width.
Construction and Structural description
The vizier of Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, Hemon or Hemiunu, is believed to be the architect of this great pyramid, which was built as a tomb of Khufu. The pyramid was considered as 146.5 meters tall during the time of its construction, but subsequent erosion and the absence of its pyramidion have resulted its present height as 138.8 meters. It remained for more than 3,800 years as the world’s tallest man-made structure, until the erection of Lincoln Cathedral in c. 1300. Comprising of 2.3 million blocks, an estimation of 5,500,000 tones of Tura limestone, 500,000 tones of mortar and 8000 tones of granite stones were used to build this historical structure.
Interior of Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid has hard bedrock, which forms the square base, and three main interior chambers – the lower chamber and the queen and the king’s chamber placed high above in the pyramid. On entering, it takes a narrow descending way inclined at an angle of about 26 degree, which goes down to the masonry at the horizontal level, then further down to the lower chamber. At 93 ft from entrance, there is a hole in the roof of the descending passage, from where the ascending passage begins, giving way to the Grand Gallery. A horizontal passage from the gallery leads to the Queen’s chamber. This pointed-roofed chamber comprises a 4.67-meter high niche on the eastern end. There are horizontal shafts located within the chamber in the south and the north walls.
The casing stones of the pyramid has eroded away by an earthquake, while the remaining ones (white Tura limestone) were mostly looted and plundered during the making of the Middle Kingdom. What remains now is the core surface of limestone and some blocks of granite. The sides of the square base correspond to the four cardinal compass points, exemplifying the perfection of human craftwork and architecture at that early period.