Of all the Seven Wonders of theAncient World, only one still stands today: The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Gizain Egypt. They were many of thousands ofyear ago, before Christ was born. Nevertheless, one intriguing question popsfrom my head, how in the world did the Egyptians build such a building? Theirtechnology wasn’t as advanced as are our today in the 20th century. They didn’thave mechanical devices such as craters, or even cars. All they had were theirhands, and maybe a wheel of some sort.
Surprisingly, it is by far theoldest of the Seven Wonders. It was already more than two thousand years old inthe time of the ancient Greeks. For more than four thousand years, the fourhundred eighty-one-foot-high pyramid was the tallest structure ever built byhumans. It is about as tall as a fifty-story building. No other buildingreached that height until the Eiffel Tower was created in 1887 (Putnam 20). Thepyramid’s square base, seven hundred fifty-six feet long on each side, isthirteen acres, or the size of seven city blocks.
The five biggest cathedralsof Europe could be all fitted into the pyramids at the same time. How did thisawe-inspiring structure come to be? Why was it built and how, and who built it?Some writers have called the pyramids mysterious, but recent archaeologistshave found many answers to these questions. When one knows how and why thepyramids were built, the Egyptians’ achievement seems even more impressive. Thepyramids were the tombs of ancient Egyptian kings, or pharaohs.
The pharaohswanted to make sure that after their death, they would rise to the heavens andbe worshipped as gods. According to Dr. Zahi Hawass, the director ofarchaeology at Giza, building a pyramid was a way “to help the king becomea god.
” The pyramid shape may haveoriginated from prehistoric Egyptian burial mounds, which were made of heaped-upearth. The shape had a religious meaning. The ancient Egyptians believed thatthe Earth had been formed as a mound rising up out of a vast sea. “Thepyramid was essentially this mound of creation,” says the MFA descriptionof the image. The first large-scale buildingsin Ancient Egypt have been dated to 2,686 BC, during the reign of PharaohJasejemuy (2709-2682).
The pharaoh of the dynasty II was buried in Abidus andbuilt important temples in adobe in Hierakonpolis, place where he wanted to seethe origin of the great Egyptian stone constructions. On the other hand, thefirst real statues were created, as well as the first slabs that identified theowner of the tombs; origin of false doors”.Withthe arrival of the Third Dynasty, the so-called Ancient Empire began.
Furthermore, it was a period of such importance that undoubtedly marked to alarge extent the hallmarks of later Egypt. The third pharaoh of this dynasty,Dyeser, was one of the most prominent rulers of Ancient Egypt, and he was alsofortunate to have among his subjects the presence of one of the most importantgeniuses of the ancient world: Imhotep. Imhotep, besides treasurer and priest, was a remarkable doctor and exceptional architect. To him the idea of ??constructing in stone was the funeral monument for his lord in what was to be the necropolis of Memphis, Saqqara. A building that although it was conceived with a single plant, later and sure by the different religious conceptions that were being carried out.
It happened to turn into a stepped building with which it had to pretend to facilitate the ascent of the spirit of the dead king towards the other world, with the transcendental consequences and by all so well known: the birth of the pyramids. Maybe Imhotep managed to access secret writings and instructions. These instructions taught the Egyptians from night to morning to build with polished stone, with a technique called ashlar masonry. An ashlar is a stone carved by several of its faces, generally in the form of a parallelepiped. The ashlars usually have a size and weight that forces them to manipulate them by machines, unlike the masonry, which, as the name suggests, are put with the hand.
The only structure known with certainty was built by Imhotep is the Pyramid of Dyeser, in Saqqara. 121 x 109 meters, with a height of 60 meters. In addition, Imhotep was later revered as the greatest architect, physicist, scientist and magician in the history of Egypt.
His grave has not yet been found, but it is not supposed to be very far from Dyeser’s in Saqqara. If one day it is finally located, perhaps it will give us many answers to the great mystery of the origins of Egyptian science. From the Pyramid of Dyeser to the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza (also called Cheops), only 79 years passed, and as mention above, it went from building small structures in adobe to building the most famous building in the history of humanity . The Giza pyramid has been the tallest structure built by humans for 3,800 years, and the precision with which it was built has only been matched in the 20th century of our era.
Therefore, one of the great mysteries of Humanity remains to know how in such a short period of time such technological progress could be achieved, building a pyramid that in size, alignment and precision far exceeds, even today, any other construction of mankind. With dimensions of 146.61 m high, by 230 of sides, it is the largest pyramid in the world. Let’s think that the faces are perfectly aligned with the four cardinal points (there is hardly a deviation of 3 minutes with respect to the real north), and they have a maximum difference of 58 mm in their length. In addition, the base of the pyramid is completely horizontal, with a maximum deviation of 15 mm. These pyramids were completed by the more than 2,400,000 stone blocks that were used in its construction, some weighing sixty tons.
Also, the approximate amount of work force that the great Greek historian Herodotus estimated when he visited the pyramids back in the 450 ac was 100,000 workers, for 20 uninterrupted years. All these data is even more impressive if you take into account that the Egyptians did not know the use of pulleys, iron tools and did not use the wheel in their constructions. The granite stones, precisely the heaviest among those used, had to be moved from 800 km.
to the south of the pyramid site, in Aswan. The great mysteries to be solved in the construction of the Egyptian pyramids is the extreme degree of precision with which the entire structure was dimensioned, and with which the stone blocks (which do not allow a simple knife between their joints) were assembled, as well as their perfect alignment with the axis of the Earth and the stars. They are still one of the main mysteries of the history of humanity. Regarding how it was built, it has been debating and launching theories for centuries, without reaching any conclusive results. The last theory, and perhaps the definitive one, was provided by the French architect Jean-Pierre Houdin in 2007. According to this theory, two ramps were used to transport the immense blocks of stone: one outside, which served to lift the first 65 meters of pyramid, and another inside spiral that was built in parallel and was used to finish the construction of the rest of the pyramid, and then dismantled in part to close the construction.
Another of the great mysteries about the construction of the pyramids is how in almost eighty years such technological progression could be achieved, and why after the milestone of the construction of the Pyramid of Giza, those that followed it could never equal it nor in size or in precision. In fact, progressively were smaller and more and more mediocre and inaccurate finishes. Moreover, the mysterious technology that allowed the construction of the pyramids and that appeared so dazzling, vanished in the same way.In the final analysis, the pyramids ofEgypt have fascinated the human being for many centuries. At some point inhistory, long before the advent of Christ, all knowledge was lost of when theywere built, who were its builders and the function they had, surpassing withoutdoubt the simple funerary monument. This information has been recovered withmuch patience and effort since the nineteenth century, but even today there ismuch to discover.