25 Fascinating Facts About Egyptian Pyramids You May Not Know

Most people just know the Egyptian pyramids are big, impressive structures built very long time ago in the Ancient Egypt. It is also generally known that the pyramids served as monumental burial sites where the Pharaohs, the Ancient Egyptian kings, were buried. But in fact, there is a lot more interesting things and little known curiosities about these fascinating structures. To expand your knowledge on the Egyptian pyramids, check out these 25 fascinating facts about Egyptian pyramids you may not know.

25. The three pyramids in Giza Necropolis are the most famous Egyptian pyramids but in fact, as many as about 140 pyramids in total have been discovered in the area of the Ancient Egypt.


24. The oldest Egyptian pyramid is believed to be the Pyramid of Djoser which was built in the Saqqara Necropolis during the 27th century BC.


23. While the Pyramid of Djoser is considered the oldest, the Pyramid of Khufu (also known as Great Pyramid of Giza or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the largest. The original height of the pyramid was 146.5 meters (481 feet), the current height is 138.8 meters (455 feet).


22. Until the Lincoln Cathedral was built in England in 1311, the Great Pyramid of Giza held the title for the world´s tallest man-made structure. It held the record for an incredible and unparalleled 3871 years!


21. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the last one still in existence.


20. The estimates of the number of workers involved in the construction of the pyramids differ significantly but it might have been as many 100,000 people.


19. The Giza pyramids are guarded by the Great Sphinx, the largest monolith statue in the world. The face of the Sphinx is generally believed to represent the face of the Pharaoh Khafra.


18. All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the River Nile, which as the site of the setting sun and was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.


17. The Ancient Egyptians buried their nobility in the pyramids with burial goods that ranged from everyday objects to the most expensive items such as jewelry. They believed the dead would use it in the afterlife.


16. The first known pyramid architect was Imhotep, an Ancient Egyptian polymath, engineer and physician. He is considered the author of the first major pyramid – the Pyramid of Djoser.


15. While experts usually agree on the hypothesis – that the pyramids were built from huge stones carved with copper chisels from stone quarries – the methods used to move and place the stones remain the matter of further debates and speculations.


14. What also seems to be obvious is the fact that the techniques used for the pyramid construction have developed over time; later pyramids were not built the same way as earlier ones.


13. After the end of the pyramid period in Ancient Egypt, there was a burst of pyramid-building in what is present-day Sudan.


12. There was an attempt to destroy the Giza pyramids in the 12th century. Al-Aziz, a Kurdish ruler and the second Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt, tried to demolish them but had to give up because the task was too big. However, he did succeed in damaging Menkaure’s Pyramid where he left a large vertical gash in its north face.


11. The three Giza pyramids are precisely aligned with the Constellation of Orion, which could have been the intention of the builders because the stars of Orion were associated with Osiris, the god of rebirth and afterlife, by the Ancient Egyptians.


10. The Great Pyramid of Giza is estimated to consist of 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh anywhere between 2 to 30 tons with some blocks weighing over 50 tons.


9. The pyramids were originally covered with casing stones made of highly polished white limestone. These stones reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramids shine like a jewel.


8. With the casing stones covering the entire pyramid, it could have been seen from the mountains in Israel and maybe even from the moon.


7. In spite of the enormous heat outside, the temperature inside the pyramids actually stays relatively constant, around 20 Celsius (60 F).


6. It is hard to determine the exact number but the weight of the Pyramid of Cheops is estimated to be about 6 million tons.


5. The Pyramid of Cheops was built to face true north. In fact, it’s the most accurately aligned to north of any structure in the world. Despite being made millennia ago, the pyramid still faces that direction with just a minimal error. However, this is because the North Pole shifts over time, which means at one time, the pyramid was spot on.


4. On average, each pyramid would have taken 200 years to build, which means there were often not just one but several pyramids being built at the same time.


3. One of the reasons why the pyramids are so well-preserved is because of the unique mortar used. It’s stronger than the actual stone, but we do not know what exactly it was made from.


2. Contrary to popular belief, the pyramids probably were not built by slaves or prisoners but regular paid workers.


1. Although many people associate pyramids with hieroglyphics, there have been no writing or hieroglyphics found inside the Great Pyramid of Giza.


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