The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the pyramid of Khufu, was the tallest man-made structure in the world for approximately 4,400 years. It is the largest of the three pyramids on the Giza plateau and it was built approximately 4,500 years ago. The Great Pyramid is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and it is the only one that is largely still standing.
The Great Pyramid was built to house the remains of the Egyptian King Khufu who started construction on this magnificient building as soon as he came to power (approximately 2589 BC). Some texts state that the lead architect of the pyramid was the king`s vizier, Hemon (or Hemiunu). Construction took approximately 20 years to finish which was approximately the time of king Khufu death (2566 BC). The whole construction process was gruelling and on a scale unimaginable for the age. More than 2, 300, 000 blocks of granite and limestone were used in the pyramid’s construction with some of the blocks being brought from quarries over 500 miles away. Each block weighed 2.5 tonnes on average, but there were some that weighed more than nine tonnes. The weight of the whole pyramid is approximately 6.5 million tonnes.
The fascinating thing is that the stones were moved and placed without the aid of machines (the Egyptians had not even invented the wheel at that time). The pyramid structure we see today does not closely resemble the pyramid constructed 4,500 years ago. The Great Pyramid was 481 feet high when completed and the outer casing consisted of highly polished limestone (a beautiful type of limestone called ‘Tura’). The original limestone casing was probably removed for use on other construction projects at later dates and now the height of the pyramid has been reduced by 31 feet (now 450 feet).
A fascinating fact about Giza pyramids is that all three perfectly align with the Constellation of Orion. The Great Pyramid has slightly concaved sides that perfectly match the radius of the curvature of the Earth, but still retain a perfect pyramid shape. The Great Pyramid is also perfectly aligned to the Earth’s North Pole with only 3/60 of a degree error.