The Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid is the main site in Giza Plateau, it is one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world, and it is the only wonder still exist, the other 6 wonders disappeared one after the other. This building used to be the tallest and biggest building on earth for thousands of years till the twentieth century.
The Great Pyramid is attributed to king Khufu, 4th dynast, Old Kingdom, and it is said that it is the pyramid number 5 in the pyramid constructions in Egypt, after the Step pyramid in Sakkara, Meidum pyramid in Meidum (south of Cairo), the Bent Pyramid in Dahsur and the Red pyramid in Dahshur. But there are remains of pyramids at Sakkara from the 3rd dynasty.
The Great Pyramid was built with more than 2,300,000 blocks of limestone, and there are around 50 huge blocks from rose granite inside the so-called king chamber. We don’t know exactly how many blocks (casing stones) were required to build the external smoothed surfaces, there are some few blocks still attached to the pyramid from the north and the east side.
The blocks are in different sizes, the smallest blocks are 1.5 tons and the average weight for the other blocks is around 5 tons, but we are not sure about the weight of the blocks deep inside the pyramid.
The limestone blocks were cut from a nearby quarry, the casing stone were made from what we call it fine limestone, and its quarry is at the east side of the Nile from Tura quarries, and rose granite is from Aswan. It is believed that the Great Pyramid lost its casing stones because the area was used as a quarry for centuries starting from the Roman time in Egypt, but there are other opinions suggesting that the pyramid lost its casing stones because of natural disasters like earthquakes.
The height of the pyramid was originally 146.59 meters (or 146.7m) nearly 480 ft, please not that because of the missing of the casing stones and the capstone we can not be very accurate when we measure the height or the width of the pyramid. The current height is 138.8 meters (455 ft).
The base of the Great Pyramid id a square base, each side is 230.33 meters (756 ft), the angles of the bas are perfectly 90° degrees, the angle of the slope is 51°52’40”
There are 3 chambers inside the Great Pyramid, or to be more specific, there is one room under the base of the pyramid, it is called the subterranean room, and there are 2 rooms inside the pyramid itself, the first room which close to the middle level of the pyramid is called the queen’s room, and the one in higher level is called the king’s room.
The subterranean room which is on the level of 105 under the base of the pyramid, is empty and there is a kind of a well, it is not deep and leads to nothing.
The so-called queen’s chamber is empty, and it has niche on the east wall but it is not is the middle of the wall as we expected, it is off center, in the north wall and the same in the south wall, there is a rectangular opening goes deep into the wall but no one could tell us any further information about what could be inside this shaft, and it used to be called air shafts.
But in 1993 a German engineer called Rudolf Gantenbrink designed a robot (crawler robot) to go inside the southern shaft, the robot climbed till 65 meters (213 ft) and found a limestone block (door !) with 2 pieces of cooper attached to it (like door handles), and in 2002 National Geographic explored the 2 shafts with a similar robot, but this time the robot had some extra options, the robot was able to drill through this block and send a camera inside, they found another “door”. The other shaft was very difficult to explore because of its sharp angles.
The ceiling of this room is an A frame ceiling and it consist of 2 layers of stones (2 A frame ceiling).
The third room which is called the king’s room is the only room in the pyramid has granite blocks on its walls, or we can say it was built like a granite vault inside the limestone pyramid, it is a big room, it is almost 10 meters X 5 meters. There is a granite box in the western side of the room, and this box doesn’t have a led, and we did not find any fragments of this led.
There are 5 rooms above the so-called king’s room, they call these rooms, the relieving chambers, thinking that these rooms are helping the ceiling of the king’s room to stand against the heavy weight above it, but I must ask this question, what about the queen’s room??
The was attributed to king Khufu, the second king of the 4th dynasty, Old Kingdom, and it has the name Akhet Khufu, which means the horizon of Khufu.
In the eastern side of the Great Pyramid we can see the remains of the so-called the mortuary temple, the whole temple is destroyed except the floor, we still can see the blocks of the floor which is made out of basalt stone, we see some scattered pieces of rose granite pillars, but without any writings or carvings, but there are very strange cuts in the sides and edges of the blocks, these cuts are very similar to the cut marks of the present tools (the advanced tools), that’s why there is a group of researchers, engineers and other scientists believe that there was an earlier advanced civilization in Ancient Egypt.
In fact, that the whole Great Pyramid has no writings except that questionable red ocher graffiti in the so-called Campbell’s Chamber, this fifth one.
In the southern side of the pyramid there are t pits, boat pits, the eastern one was discovered in 1954 and it was in a great condition, they called it Khufu boat, but the official name is the Solar Boat.
In 1985 they built a small museum in the southern side of the Great Pyramid to house the Solar Boat, to visit this museum you will need to buy an extra ticket.
The second boat is not in a good condition so there is a Japanese group is working on a project to restore the 2nd boat and put it back together.
You can buy an extra ticket to visit the Great Pyramid from inside during the working hours (public visit), but in this case you will be able to visit just one room, the king’s room because the other rooms are always closed, but you can still have the chance to do a special permission to visit the Great Pyramid after the working hours (private visit), you are going to spend 2 hours inside the Great Pyramid and will have access to the 3 rooms (the 3 rooms will be open).
So, we can understand that the pyramid wasn’t an individual structure, it is part of a huge complex, the Pyramid Complex. According to what we know about the pyramids and the surrounding construction we can say the components of the Pyramid Complex are 13 components, the very important ones are:
– The pyramid itself
– The southern tomb (small pyramid)
– The mortuary temple
– The causeway
– The funeral temple (valley temple)
– The surrounding wall of the whole complex