The Giza Pyramids are full of secrets and mysteries, some of which are still unraveled. With every new discovery, other puzzles start to surface, realizing there is much more to discover about this ancient marvel.
Let’s bust some myths and uncover some surprising facts about the Great Pyramids of Giza. Shall we?!
1. Engineering Miracle
The Great Pyramid was considered the tallest man-made structure for about 3,800 years until the 19th century. Can you imagine? – However, the baffling thing about it isn’t the height, but the ability to build such a significant figure using prehistoric tools and techniques. Even with the high technology and sophisticated machines, it was hard, if not impossible, to replicate these huge pyramids.
2. The Pyramids’ Whopping Weight
Did you know that the Great Pyramid alone has a mass of 5.9 million tons and a volume of 2.5 million cubic meters? – With no cranes or advanced machinery, the ancient Egyptians could transfer, lift, and join blocks, weighing from 5 to 10 tons each! The pyramid consists of 203 steps, gracefully placed with striking perfection and precision. Unfortunately, the ancient Egyptians didn’t leave any document or relief to explain the mysterious process.
3. The Afterlife Journey
According to an ancient belief, the Pharaohs are the descendants of the Gods, so they had a significant position among the Egyptians. Believing in the afterlife journey, they needed tombs to serve as their burial place, where they kept their food, precious possessions, and clothing with them. That’s how the idea of a majestic pyramid started!
Aside from being their burial tombs, they believed that pyramids spiritually escort their souls into the afterlife. Their religious beliefs resulted in a variety of complex rituals and ceremonies to get ready for this transition cycle, including mummification. To ensure continuity of life after their death, people would pay homage to the Gods for a safe trip. Also, offering tables were set outside the burial chamber with food, drinks, and household equipment to be used in the glorious afterlife.
4. The Enigmatic Serdab
As the ancient Egyptians believed in immortality and the afterlife, building their pyramids was a crucial thing. As important as their pyramids was the enigmatic Serdab, also known as “Cellar.” It was an ancient structure close to the Pharaoh’s corpse, where they kept his Ka Statue. The ancient Egyptians believed that this statue held the Pharaoh’s life essence after death. So, by any means, if the mummy was destroyed, his soul can escape and live inside the statue until the afterlife. With the magnificent treasures and wonders inside the tombs, they suffered the danger of theft and ruins. The Serdab and Ka statue were the keys for a pleasant and serene journey.
5. The Hieroglyph Texts
Normally, the Hieroglyph texts depict the life in ancient Egypt, giving an insight into the culture, and history, and civilization. They give a glimpse of the Pharaohs’ beliefs, responsibilities, and lives centuries ago. The texts inscribed on the inner passages and burial chambers’ walls are actually spelled to help the Pharaohs pass safely to the afterlife. Being the oldest religious texts in the world, these delicately-carved inscriptions have stirred people’s attention and aroused their curiosity all over the world.
6. The Mysterious Coffer
Another puzzle, inside the main chamber of the Great Pyramid, the archaeologists found a huge granite coffer. At the first sight, you won’t find anything suspicious or strange. But on second thoughts, you’ll notice that the coffer is too large to pass through the narrow entrance passage. It was never identified whether it was brought in after construction or the great pyramid was built around it.
7. The Pharaohs’ curse
While the Sphinx was supposed to guard the dead kings, the Pharaoh’s curse is believed to offer protection to the pyramids, and kings, along with their belongings. Although many experts stated that the sudden illness is totally caused by bacteria, Egyptians believe the curse is real. What do you think?
8. The Slave Myth
Many people believe that the Great Pyramids were built by slaves, following a theory developed by Herodotus. However, studies have shown that skilled artists and paid workers contributed to the construction of this great wonder. The builders were highly respected, well-fed, and paid. Also, the workers who died during the construction were buried, with jars of food, next to the Pharaohs’ tombs as a sign of respect and honor.
9. The Location Theory
In 1877, a great discovery has revealed that the Great Pyramid is located exactly in the center of all the planet’s landmass. Amazing right?
According to an ancient belief, the setting sun was directed to the Pharaohs’ necropolis. And, a smart observation has proved that the pyramids are situated exactly where the sunsets. It is proved that the pyramids are all pointed to the north, resembling constellations. This advanced knowledge and precise masterwork remain a mystery until now.
10. Constant Temperatures of 20°C
Say hi to the primitive air conditioning system!
Despite the ever-changing temperatures and harsh conditions, the pyramids maintain a constant temperature of 20°C no matter what. Weird! How the ancient Egyptians managed to develop such an advanced structure is still a mystery until today.
11. The Guard of Khafre
Standing on the Giza Plateau, the famous Sphinx is a mythical character with the body of a lion and the head of a human, resembling an Egyptian king. In ancient Egypt, the colossal limestone statue stands proudly, guarding the temples and pyramids, the Khafre Pyramid in particular.
12. The Once-glittering Pyramids
At the time of construction, the pyramids were polished with sparkling limestone white casing. So, when the sun was shining, the pyramids would literally sparkle like diamonds that they were seen from far away. Over time and with the effect of earthquakes and erosion, the coverings fell off the pyramids while others were cut off and used in other structures.
13. The Pyramids Identify the Time
Yes, the Great Pyramid is full of surprises, but did you know it can tell the time?
The memorable structure acts as a gigantic sundial. The pyramid’s shadows tell the hour specifically when they fall on marks carved in the stones. That’s is not it; the pyramid helped the Egyptians recognize the solar year by identifying solstices and equinoxes.
14. Intricate Web of Tunnels
Another interesting fact, the pyramids beholds many underground, intricate tunnels, passages, and chambers. These tunnels whispers with hundreds of mysterious tales and fuzzy secrets. Under the government’s supervision, these tunnels were excavated and numerous artifacts were found. However, this process was carried out with high confidentiality and the details were never shared with the public.
15. The Mysterious Mortar
The remarkable structure of the Great Pyramids has mystified archaeologists and historians for years. The super mysterious mortar used to hold the block in place is behind the long life of this imposing entity. Although many scientists did their research and analyzed this substance over and over, they all failed to know the exact ingredients. A study has shown that about 5 million tons of mortar were actually used to join these huge bricks together. Impressive, right?
16. A Tragic Assault on Menkaure
Do you know that there were many intentions to demolish the magnificent Giza Pyramids?
Yes, this was the plan! There wouldn’t have been a trace of the Great Pyramids on earth, destroying an important part of our history. Such a shame!
During the 12th century, Al-Aziz Uthman, the second Ayybubid Sultan of Egypt, decided to destroy the Great Pyramids, encouraged by his ignorant court. He gathered a massive crew of workers and ordered them to pitch their tents near the site to start the destruction. Too determined, he didn’t spare any expense and even raised funds to complete what he started. For eight months, the workers tried every technique to remove the huge stone, ending in failure. They just succeeded to destroy the small stones and fractions of the big ones. With every falling stone, the earth would tremble, causing a terrible noise and they weren’t even close.
Realizing the process is beyond them, the Sultan finally abandoned the idea, however, the tragic attempt resulted in a terrible gouge in the north face of Menkaure. This experiment gave us an idea of the ancient engineering brilliance and the significant work standing the test of time. And, that’s how they became the last surviving Wonder of the Ancient World!
17. The 20-ton Swivel Door
Over the years, various bizarre theories have circulated the construction process but they always got busted, leaving one of the biggest mysteries ever. Aside from the ridiculously-huge blocks, can you imagine that the Great Pyramid has three magnificent swivel doors, each weighing about 20 tons? – Yes, astonishing! Surprisingly, the enormous door has the exact correct dimensions, perfect design, and specifications so it perfectly fits into the wall. It’s also well balanced that you can open it with one hand from the inside but impossible to open it from the outside. You can’t really hide your amusement at this well-crafted work, can you?
18. The Mastabas
Only the Pharaohs, elite, and powerful military figures had the privilege of being buried in special chambers inside the pyramids. So, Mastabas served as tombs for the ordinary people. Historians believe that the only reason behind their construction is that these souls will serve their kings in the afterlife.
19. Average Time of Construction
Majestic and accurate, the Great Pyramids have always been an enticing subject of research and study. Even precise scholars couldn’t understand nor explain this high level of engineering and masterwork. So, can you determine how many years it took them to build these magnificent structures? – Actually, a study has estimated that the Great Pyramid took about 23 years to be completed.
20. Modeling the Benben Stone
You are probably wondering what the Benben Stone is. It is a primeval conical shape discovered in the Great Sun Temple in Heliopolis. This mysterious stone is associated with a famous Egyptian methodology in the ancient religion. According to the legend, this stone was the mound that rose from the waters of Nu, in which God Ra shaped our world. Many historians believe that the pyramids were originally influenced and modeled from the Benben Stone.
Ready to visit Egypt’s, Crown Jewel?
Looking for an adventure? – Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Pharaohs through a day trip to the Great Pyramids. You can enter one of the pyramids and have a little venture in the dark corridors and chambers. And, don’t worry Anibus won’t tear your heart to weigh your sins and Amemet won’t devour your heart if you are found guilty.
Also, you can never be disappointed with the magnificent “Sound and Light Show” in the evening. With the enchanting lighting and tranquil environment, you get to enjoy a whole new experience as the narrator tells amazing stories beyond description. The great news is you can easily book the show online through our website with just a few clicks!