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Mare Nostrum

The Great Pyramid at Giza

by E.S.


"Man fears Time, yet Time fears the Pyramids"
~Arabian proverb (qtd. in Ashmawy)




~The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), which lies in on the Giza plateau on the Nile River in Giza, Egypt

Important facts about the Pyramid

    The Great Pyramid of Khufu was built 1500-2000 years before the others (King 2). It was built around 2560 BCE as the tomb for the Egyptian pharaoh, Khufu (Cheops) who ruled during the Fourth Dynasty, in the Old Kingdom (King 16). Strangely, it is the only Wonder that still survives (Silverberg 12).

    The Great Pyramid lies in Giza, Egypt (Silverberg 12), having been built on a plateau near the Nile River nearly two millenia ago (King 16).

A description of the Pyramid

    Khufu's pyramid stands 451 feet tall. It was originally 481 feet tall, but invading Arabs stole the top 30 feet of stone for their own buildings around CE 650 (Silverberg 13). Despite that, it was the considered largest structure in the world until the 19th century CE (Ashmawy).

    The Pyramid is made up of a total of 2,300,000 blocks of stone, which vary in weight, the smallest block weighing about 500 pounds, and the largest weighing about 15 tons (Silverberg 13). So much stone was used that some people estimate that it could be used to build a complete wall 10 feet high and 1 foot thick around the entire country of France (Ashmawy).

    The sides of the Pyramid are nearly uniform (Silverberg 13). Each side of the Pyramid measures about 756 feet, has an angle of 51 degrees 51 minutes, and is perfectly aligned with one of the cardinal points of the compass (Ashmawy, Silverberg 13).

    When it was built, the Great Pyramid had a casing of white limestone blocks, which would have made it a shining white beacon under the hot Egyptian sun. Unfortunately, the limestone was weathered in time by the wind, so modern man cannot see it in it's full glory (Silverberg 13).


History and Thought of Western Man
Rich East High School * Park Forest, IL 60466

This page was created by E.S. Last revised 05/12/00.


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