Ten Things to Know about Pyramids
- If you broke the Great pyramid into slabs 30 cm thick you could build up a wall 1 metre
high that would stretch all the way around France! If you had a little more time you could
cut it into rods about 6cm 2 - join them together and it would be enough to reach a
quarter of the way to the moon!
- Some people have said that the pyramids are more than simply large graves; they were
granaries or treasure houses.
- All of the pyramids were probably robbed of their treasures within a couple of hundred
years of the burials. The only tombs to escape until modern times were those dug into
rock, not placed in pyramids. They belonged to Tutankhamun and Queen Heterpheres.
- The Egyptians mummified more than their pharaohs. They also mummified the Pharaoh's pets
and buried them in the pyramids to keep the dead kings company.
- If you could weigh an average pyramid it would be around 5,400,000 tons. The average
stone block weighs as much as 2 modern cars (2.5 tons). The largest single stone block (in
the pyramid of mycerinus ) must weigh about 285 tons- thats 200 to 250 cars.
- Pyramid -builders tried to fool thieves by placing a blocking stone at the end of a
passageway and plastering it in. If thieves broke through the plaster then they would come
to the stone and give up. The real way into the tomb would then be through a hidden
trapdoor in the ceiling.
- The Egyptians didnt have accurate measuring tape. They used fibre-cords that could
shrink or stretch. Still, the greatest mistake in the Great pyramid in just 20cm on the
side of 230 metres. They were even accurate in building a flat base. The Southeast corner
is just one centimetre higher than the North-west corner.
- The pyramids are not the most awesomely large human construction. The Great wall of
China is much more awesome and the Mexican pyramid of Quetzacoatl is an even more awesome
54 metres tall and has a volume of 3.3 million cubic metres. The Great pyramid of Cheops
is just 2.5 million cubic metres. But the pyramids of Egypt are the oldest stone
buildings in the world.
- Early tombs were flat-topped. These were called Mastabas because they looked like the
mud brick seat found outside Egyptian peasant homes. Mastaba tombs were easily robbed. So
someone built a slightly smaller Mastaba on top of the first one then another on top of
that, then another, and they ended up with a step pyramid.
- It is forbidden to climb the pyramids today. There have been to many accidents, so now
you have to have special permission.
How many Hieroglyphs were there?
There were 700 hieroglyphs in all but most of them are sounds. Archaeologists have
found hieroglyphs on pyramid walls.
to the Topics index