Saturday, 3 September 2011

Pyramid of Giza

Still lots of mysteries are surrounding the Great Pyramidof Giza which probably are never going to be revealed, but I think thatit’s the shade of a mystery which makes the wonder even more magnetingand admiring. Going through the notes and research works about the Pyramid Ifound some particularly interesting and catchy facts which are highlightedbelow:

1. Let’s start with a little funny paradox; didyou know that the owner of the largest pyramid of Giza is also known for having the smallestEgyptian royal sculpture ever discovered? The ivory statue of paraoh Khufu (AKACheops) found at Abydosis 7.5 cm (3 inch) high.

2.But you wouldn’t call Khufu a small guy in real life; in fact he is knownas a big and cruel leader. As described by Herodotus: “Cheops moreovercame, they said, to such a pitch of wickedness, that being in want of money hecaused his own daughter to sit in the stews, and ordered her to obtain from thosewho came a certain amount of money (how much it was they did not tell me): andshe not only obtained the sum appointed by her father, but also she formed adesign for herself privately to leave behind her a memorial, and she requestedeach man who came in to give her one stone upon her building: and of thesestones, they told me, the pyramid was built which stands in front of the greatpyramid in the middle of the three, each side being one hundred and fifty feetin length.”

3. Hereare some significant figures: Khufu was 20 when he came to the throne and atonce began building his “Stairway to Heaven”. Khufu was the first pharaohwho builds a pyramid at Giza. Theentire project took about 23 years to complete, 2,300,000 building blocks,weighing an average of 2.5 tons each (Although some weigh as much as 16 tons)were used to build the great pyramid. The length of each side of the pyramid atthe base is 755 feet (230.4 m). They rise at an angle of 51 52′ to aheight, originally, of 481 feet (147 m) but nowadays 451 feet (138 m).

4. Somebelieve that Khufu’s pyramid at Gizawas built by slaves, but modern Egyptologists accept that it was built by manytens of thousands of skilled workers rather than slaves. It is known thatKhufu’s nephew Hemiunu was appointed head of construction for the GreatPyramid and that Khufu provided good food and clothing for his workers.According to Herodotus: “On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptianwriting how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the workmen,and if I rightly remember that which the interpreter said in reading to me thisinscription, a sum of one thousand six hundred talents of silver wasspent…” In the video below, you’ll find interestinginformation about the pyramid builders.
5. Experts havetalked a lot about the methods by which stone blocks were raised into position,it is usually assumed that wooden and bronze levers were used to put the blocksinto position. “This pyramid was made after the manner of steps whichsome called “rows” and others “bases”: and when theyhad first made it thus, they raised the remaining stones with machines made ofshort pieces of timber, raising them first from the ground to the first stageof the steps, and when the stone got up to this it was placed upon anothermachine standing on the first stage, and so from this it was drawn to thesecond upon another machine…” – describes Herodotus.
6. About600 years ago, beautiful smooth blocks known as Casing Stones covered theentire exterior of the pyramid, encasing the whole structure, before the Arabsbegan to tear the stones off. The ancient writer, Strabo, said: “Itseemed like a building let down from heaven, untouched by humanhands.”  It has been calculated that the original pyramid with itscasing stones would act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerfulthat it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth. At thepresent, only a few of these are left in position on each side at thebase.  One of the largest remaining Casing stones is nearly 5 feet high by8 feet at the bottom, and weighs about 14 tons.

7. Thereare three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid – King’s chamber,Queen’s chamber and unfinished chamber. A team of French Egyptologists(Gilles Dormion and Jean-Yves Verd’hurt) claims that an undiscovered roomlies underneath the pyramid’s Queen’s Chamber and insists that itis the actual burial chamber for Khufu and not the one known as theKing’s chamber. However, even those who believe that the King’schamber was never put to use believe that Khufu may have been buriedelsewhere rather than in another, hidden chamber. Well, there are still lots ofmysteries concerning Khufu’s burial to be.. or never to be revealed.

8. One ofthe most mysterious parts of the Great Pyramid is the empty coffer in theKing’s Chamber, it is made from a solid block of chocolate-coloredgranite and is even harder than the granite walls of the King’s Chamber.For thousands of years, researchers have wondered about its purpose. Ancientlegend says that it came from Atlantis or even from America.  It was neverinscribed or decorated. Also, since it is too large to pass through the lowpassages leading into the King’s Chamber, it is considered to be placedin the chamber before the chamber was closed and passages were sealed.

9. Theinterior temperature of the Pyramid is constant and equals the averagetemperature of the earth, 20 Degrees Celsius (68 Degrees Fahrenheit).
10.Another pleasant discovery in the Great Pyramid is a spectacular ancientcedar-wood boat, which was found sealed in a pit at the base of the Greatpyramid. This boat was interred in pieces and has since been reassembled,restored and preserved in a climate controlled museum over the site of theoriginal pit. The name “Djedefre”,  who was Khufu’s sonand successor, is found on some of the slabs of stone that sealed the pit,indicating that probably the boat was put there by Khufu’s son.


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