All Gizah Pyramids in one shot
June 19, 2006 at 14:01
Author: Ricardo Liberato
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Inside Snofru's Red Pyramid
For thousands of years, the largest structures on Earth were pyramids: first the Red Pyramid in the Dashur Necropolis and then the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the only remaining Wonder of the World. The largest pyramid ever built, by volume, is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in the Mexican state of Puebla. This pyramid is considered the largest monument ever constructed anywhere in the world, and is still being excavated. The greatest pyramids (or most well known ones) are in Egypt but there have been many other pyramids all over the world but none quite so big. Strangely though, they all seem to be linked in with death and burial.
The most famous pyramids are the Egyptian pyramids (top picture) — huge structures built of brick or stone, some of which are among the largest man-made constructions. There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008.It was one of the Seven Wonders of the World, and the only one of the seven to survive into modern times. The Ancient Egyptians capped the peaks of their pyramids with gold and covered their faces with polished white limestone, though many of the stones used for the purpose have fallen or been removed for other structures.
(Source: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Who Built the Pyramids?
Contrary to some popular depictions, the pyramid builders were not slaves or foreigners. Excavated skeletons show that they were Egyptians who lived in villages developed and overseen by the pharaoh's supervisors.
The builders' villages boasted bakers, butchers, brewers, granaries, houses, cemeteries, and probably even some sorts of health-care facilities—there is evidence of laborers surviving crushed or amputated limbs. Bakeries excavated near the Great Pyramids could have produced thousands of loaves of bread every week.
An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 workers built the Pyramids at Giza over 80 years. Much of the work probably happened while the River Nile was flooded.
Huge limestone blocks could be floated from quarries right to the base of the Pyramids. The stones would likely then be polished by hand and pushed up ramps to their intended positions.
It took more than manual labor, though. Architects achieved an accurate pyramid shape by running ropes from the outer corners up to the planned summit, to make sure the stones were positioned correctly. And priests-astronomers helped choose the pyramids' sites and orientations, so that they would be on the appropriate axis in relation to sacred constellations.
(Source: 1996-2008 National Geographic Society)
Living in the shadow of past greatness is not always easy.
The pyramids are proof of Egypt’s endurance and what distinguishes it from modern confections, like Saudi Arabia, a nation founded 76 years ago, named after a family and built on oil wealth. But these monuments to Egypt’s early ingenuity are also an ever-present symbol of faded glory. It is hard to escape comparisons between an Egypt that once led the world in almost everything and modern Egypt, where about 40 percent of the population lives on $2 a day.
Cairo is a city of about 18 million people that is layered with history stretching back to the birth of civilization. The ubiquitous nature of antiquities — stick a shovel in the ground almost anywhere and it is difficult not to find something — has helped mold a collective consciousness, a national identity, that is uniquely Egyptian.
Yet growing up and living amid so much history has something to do with that view, too; the abundant antiquities in everyday life are a constant reminder of one’s place in time. People come and go, pharaohs come and go, even President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for 27 years, will go, too (though talk of that certainty is discouraged).
(Source: MICHAEL SLACKMAN, NYTimes.com, November 16, 2008)
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