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The Great Pyramid of Giza

History:

The Great Pyramid of Giza The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex bordering present-day Giza in Greater Cairo, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

Origin of the Pyramid:

Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb for the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu over a 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially standing at 146.5 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. It is estimated to weigh approximately 6 million tonnes, and consists of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing as much as 80 tonnes. It was originally covered by limestone casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure, although a few casing stones can still be seen at the base. It was built by extracting huge stones from a quarry and lifting them into place, but there are varying scientific and alternative theories about the exact construction technique.

Inside the pyramid:

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The lowest chamber is cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built and was unfinished.The main part of the Giza complex is a set of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honour of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs for nobles surrounding the pyramid.

Why it was built:

Egyptologists believe the pyramid was built as a tomb for the Fourth Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (often Hellenized as "Cheops") and was constructed over a 20-year period. Khufu's vizier, Hemiunu (also called Hemon), is believed by some to be the architect of the Great Pyramid. It is thought that, at construction, the Great Pyramid was originally 146.6 metres (481.0 ft) tall, but with the removal of its original casing, its present height is 137 metres (449.5 ft).