The Pyramids at Giza

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Presentation Transcript

Slide 1: 

The Pyramids at Giza

Slide 2: 

The Pyramids at Giza

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The Pyramids at Giza The Giza pyramids were built 4600 years ago during the Fourth Dynasty. There are three Giza pyramids.

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The Pyramids at Giza 2) The pyramids served as tombs for Pharoahs. 3) They are the only wonder(s) of the ancient world still standing.

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The Pyramids at Giza 4) Aside from the pyramids, the Sphinx is the most famous feature at Giza. Carved out of living rock, it stands 66 ft and resembled a human-headed lion. It was originally meant to be the portrait of a pharaoh, but the Egyptians later worshipped it as a sun god. It guards the causeway leading to the second Giza pyramid.

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The Pyramids at Giza 5) The pyramid form is connected with early Egyptian sun worship. 6) The benben was a pyramid-shaped stone that symbolized the sun god. Its sides were slanted to represent the sun’s rays.

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The Pyramids at Giza One explanation for why the early pyramids are much larger than later ones is that building the earlier pyramids was one way of keeping peasants employed during the “slack” season of the Nile flood, when farming was impossible. Building the early pyramids was also meant to bring a sense of unity and nationhood to the Egyptian people. “Public works vs. End result”

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The Pyramids at Giza The largest of the Giza Pyramids is the GREAT PYRAMID (Pyramid of Cheops/Khufu), with a total base area of 570,000 sq ft.

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The Pyramids at Giza The Great Pyramid contains roughly 2,300,000 limestone blocks, each weighing 2.5 tons and measuring three feet in each direction (on average).

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The Pyramids at Giza 10) At the base, the average length of each of the Great Pyramid’s sides is 755 feet. The pyramid’s construction is highly accurate, with only an eight-inch difference between the longest and shortest sides.

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The Pyramids at Giza 11) Using the stars as their guide, the builders of the Great Pyramid were able to align the pyramid’s sides to face the cardinal points of the compass.

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The Pyramids at Giza 12) Herodotus cited his Egyptians guides as saying that a force of 100,000 oppressed slaves spent twenty years building the Great Pyramid with complex machines. This is likely not the case, as scientists have calculated that fewer men and less complicated equipment were needed for the process.

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The Pyramids at Giza 13) To make the pyramid’s bedrock foundation level, the base area was surrounded with mud and filled with water. Workers dug trenches in the bedrock along the perimeter of the base at equal depths from the water’s surface. Afterwards, they drained the water and chipped the rock down to the same level as the trenches. Accuracy: within ½ an inch.

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The Pyramids at Giza 14) The limestone blocks were brought to the site by sledge and barge.

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The Pyramids at Giza 15) The blocks were raised to the necessary height by means of an inclined plane—a long ramp (most likely earthen and layered with brick for strength) built to cover one side of the pyramid. Some historians believe the ramp was a single incline (left), while others believe it spiraled around the pyramid (right).

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The Pyramids at Giza 16) The inside of the Great Pyramid may have been built around a vertical core of masonry. The core would have then been cased with the limestone blocks to give a “stepped” effect. The steps were then filled in with packing blocks 17) Finally, the outer sides of the pyramid were dressed with smooth facing stones. These stones were often colored. The smallest Giza pyramid was originally pink and green.

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The Pyramids at Giza 18) The Egyptians buried their Pharaoh-Kings, whom they believed to be gods, in elaborate tombs—some above ground, others cut into the rock below mountains. The dead leaders were buried with the many things it was believed they would need in the after-life to come, including much treasure. 19) Tomb robbing was always a major problem. Egyptian architects tried combatting the thieves by designing passageways plugged with impassable granite blocks and by creating secret rooms and decoy chambers. Nevertheless, the robbers always found their way into the tombs. King Tut’s treasure box (left) and tomb (right)

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The Pyramids at Giza 20) Khufu (Cheops) was ostensibly buried within the Great Pyramid.

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The Pyramids at Giza 21) The Arab Caliph Al Manum and his men, during their search of the Great Pyramid in 820 A.D., burrowed through the softer limestone of the pyramid walls in order to get around the huge granite plugs that blocked the passageways. The granite plugs probably looked very similar to the granite blocks that make up this ceiling beam in the “King’s Chamber”

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The Pyramids at Giza 22) Al Manum discovered the “Queen’s Chamber”, the “Grand Gallery, and the “King’s Chamber”.

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The Pyramids at Giza The “Queen’s Chamber” was completely empty. It is unlikely that a queen was ever buried there. Instead, historians believe that the room once housed a life-sized statue of the king.

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The Pyramids at Giza The “Grand Gallery” was a high-roofed, ascending passage way at the junction of an ascending and descending passageway. It led to the “King’s Chamber”.

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The Pyramids at Giza The “King’s Chamber” was 34 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 19 feet high. It was completely empty except for a huge granite sarcophagus without a lid.

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The Pyramids at Giza 23) In “revenge” for not finding any treasure in the Pyramid, the Arabs stripped the Pyramid of its white limestone casing and used it for a building project in Cairo. They soon gave up after only removing the top thirty feet of stone. 24) According to conventional wisdom, King Khufu’s treasure was stolen by ancient robbers.

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The Pyramids at Giza 25) In 1638, English mathematician John Greaves found a narrow shaft that connected the Grand Gallery with the descending passage. While some archaeologists conclude that this was the passageway the thieves used to exit the Pyramid with Khufu’s treasure, others argue that the shaft was much too narrow for the massive amount of treasure and the missing sarcophagus lid to have been removed through it.

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The Pyramids at Giza 26) Some astronomers believe that the descending passage of the Great Pyramid was used to observe the transit of certain stars, and that the Grand Gallery could have been used for mapping the sky during the Pyramid’s construction.

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