The Great Pyramid of Giza is the only structure on the list of Ancient Wonders of the World that to this day is still pretty much all intact. It is the oldest and largest of the three Pyramids of Giza.
According to Egyptologists, the pyramid was built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops in Greek) during the fourth dynasty over two decades. It's believed that work was completed around 2560 BCE.
At 481 feet, the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.
It was originally covered by casing stones to create a smooth outer surface. The bulk of what you see today is the core structure though some of the casing stones can be seen around the base.
The Great Pyramid and its construction spark great debate and even conspiracy theories. Most believe it was built by carrying stones from a quarry and dragging them into place. That's no easy task considering is made up of around 2.3 million limestone blocks.
The Great Pyramid is made up of three chambers. The lowest chamber was cut into the bedrock and was left unfinished. The Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber are located higher up within the structure.
There are two other pyramids located in Giza. The middle pyramid was built for Khafre (Chephren in Greek), the fourth of the eight kings of the fourth dynasty. The pyramid originally measured at 471 feet.
The last pyramid to be built was for Menkaure (Mykerinus in Greek), the fifth king of the fourth dynasty and measured 218 feet.
Over the centuries, all three pyramids were pillaged both internally and externally leaving just the structure.
Today, you enter the Great Pyramid using the Robbers' Tunnel dug by workmen employed by Caliph al-Ma'mun around 820 AD. The tunnel is cut straight through the pyramid for around 89 feet. Make sure you're wearing sensible shoes because not only is it a pretty long walk under extremely cramped and stuffy conditions, the ramps leading through the tunnel are pretty steep.
AS20151121Published On: Friday, August 2nd, 2013