It is hard to find a historical site on the planet that does not feature pyramids. The Egyptians, Aztecs, Inca, and Mayans were among those civilizations that built them as temples or tombs for their rulers.
The word ‘pyramid’ comes from the Greek “Pyr,” meaning fire, so it’s no surprise to learn that these monuments have been associated with occult ceremonies throughout history. And many people still believe they hold an air of mystery and magic today. But how did they come into being? What purpose do they serve? And how are they constructed? This article looks at all aspects of this ancient architectural wonder: its origins, who builds them, and why; what we know about their interior chambers; as well as some of the most famous pyramids around the world.
Pyramids were built in many different ways, depending on the materials available and the culture of the people who constructed them. The most common method was to pile limestone blocks on top of each other until they reached the desired height.
Great Pyramid of Giza:
- The Great Pyramid of Giza, which was built around 4,500 years ago, is one of the oldest and largest pyramids in existence. It is made up of an estimated 2.3 million limestone blocks, each weighing about two tons.
- The pyramid was originally covered with a smooth layer of white limestone, which gave it a shining appearance that could be seen for miles around.
- It is believed that the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu, who ruled from 2589 to 2566 BC.
- The Pharaohs were buried in pyramids because they believed that their bodies would be preserved and they would be able to enter the afterlife.
- The interior of the Great Pyramid contains three chambers: the King’s Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber, and the Grand Gallery.
- The King’s Chamber is where Khufu’s sarcophagus (coffin) was found. The Queen’s Chamber is thought to have been intended for Khufu’s wife, Queen Hetepheres, but her body has never been found.
- The Grand Gallery is a 150-foot-long (46 m) hallway that leads to the King’s Chamber. It is thought to have been used for religious ceremonies.
The Great Pyramid is not the only ancient wonder in Egypt. The country is home to more than 90 pyramids, most of which were built between 2600 and 1700 BC.
- The second-largest pyramid in Egypt is the Pyramid of Khafre, which was built for Khafre, the son of Khufu.
- The third-largest pyramid in Egypt is the Pyramid of Menkaure, which was built for Menkaure, the grandson of Khufu.
- The fourth-largest pyramid in Egypt is the Pyramid of Djoser, which was built around 2630 BC.
- Djoser was a Pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, which preceded the Fourth Dynasty when Khufu ruled.
The largest pyramid in the world is not in Egypt but Mexico.
Great Pyramid of Cholula:
- The Great Pyramid of Cholula is a massive structure located in Cholula, Puebla. It is made up of two Pyramids: the smaller one, which is about 2,000 years old, and the larger one, which was built on top of it around 1400 AD.
- The combined height of both pyramids is about 150 feet (46 m).
- The Great Pyramid of Cholula is thought to have been a temple dedicated to Quetzalcoatl, the feathered serpent god of Mesoamerica.
- It is the largest pyramid by volume in the world, with an estimated capacity of more than 4.3 million cubic feet (122,000 m³).
Use Of Pyramids:
- Pyramids were built for a variety of reasons, the most common being as tombs for pharaohs, their queens, and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods in Ancient Egypt.
- Pyramids were also built as temples to the gods. The sun god Ra was said to have created the first pyramid, which served as his home on earth.
- The most famous example of this is the Pyramid of Djoser, which was built around 2630 BC.
- During the New Kingdom period, pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs and their consorts, but they were also used as places of worship and pilgrimage.
- The best-known example of this is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which was built around 4,500 years ago and is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Construction Of Pyramids:
- Pyramids were constructed using a variety of methods, the most common being limestone blocks cut from nearby quarries.
- These blocks were then transported to the construction site and assembled into the desired shape using mortar, mud bricks, or wooden pegs.
- The blocks were then covered with a smooth layer of stucco or plaster, which gave them a shining appearance.
- Pyramids were often decorated with hieroglyphics, reliefs, and statues of the pharaohs, their queens, and their gods.
- The most famous example of this is the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is adorned with the faces of Pharaoh Khufu, his queen, and the sun god Ra.