There are seven documented wonders known to the world today, and the first one is the mysterious pyramids of Giza. These ancient structures are quite impressive on the eye, and their age is also so intriguing. The pyramids are widely known as burial sites for dead pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Unfortunately, that’s all that many people know.
There are very many facts about this masterpiece, and some will sound like a myth to you. For example, have you ever heard of a construction brick weighing 10 tons? I guess not. This is one primary reason the great Egyptian pyramids have rightly earned themselves the title of a “wonder." Even with the highly advanced technology, science has not been able to replicate these pyramids. The only thing they’ve been able to say is that they were constructed around 2504 BC.
There have been many questions about the erection of the great pyramid of Giza, and some people don’t believe a hundred percent if this was actually an Egyptian work of art or something created by an extraterrestrial form of life, way more intelligent than ancient Egyptians. To understand more about this ancient wonder, we have rounded up a list of 26 facts very few people know about the mysterious pyramids of Egypt.
Updated by Alex Renee on December 27, 2021: Travelers and wanderlusters around the world are famliar with the Pyramids of Giza. This ancient wonder has inspired and captivated visitors for centuries, and have many secrets researchers are still uncovering today. This massive structure is so well-known, but some of its secrets are not! That's why we updated this article to include accurate statistics, numbers and relevant links. We even added a new interesting fact about the pyramid being slightly 'lopsided' (yet standing tall, proud, and marvelous)!
26 The Pyramids Were Built By Paid Workers – Not Slaves
There has been a theory, propagated by a Greek historian Herodotus that the great pyramids of Egypt were built by slaves. The fact of the issue is that many skilled artisans wanted so much to be involved in the construction of this great wonder. Research facts show that the builders were well fed, well paid, and highly honored. As a result, many of them who died during the construction were buried next to the final resting place of Pharaoh as a sign of honor.
25 Bricks That Weighed More Than An Elephant
The mystery continues, and the next fascinating fact is the weight of the building bricks. Can you imagine a 50-ton stone block? These mysterious pyramids are said to have been constructed with over 2 million bricks that weighed between 2.5 and 15 tons each. How they were transported and lifted in an age where technology and heavy machinery never existed still remains a mystery. The estimated number of workers involved in this noble course was over 100,000 skilled men.
24 The Sphinx Protects The Pyramids
The Sphinx is ancient Egyptian mythology of an image containing a lion body and a human head. In Ancient Egypt, the Sphinx was built anywhere the Egyptian were seeking spiritual protection like in tombs and temples. The most famous sphinx is the one that protects the great pyramid of Giza, also known as the Great Sphinx. The Great Sphinx is 73 meters long, six meters wide, and 20 meters high. Its eyes alone are 2 meters tall.
23 The Pyramids Were Once Glittering
The great pyramids were once glittering in the reflection of sunlight. They were highly polished with glimmering limestone white casing. These coverings have fallen off the buildings with time, and thus you can no longer see the shining surface. Some of the polish has gotten loose and fallen off due to earthquakes, while others have been cut off and taken away. When new, the pyramids reflected the sun rays you would think they were some giant jewels. The Great Pyramid of Giza is made of over 2 million blocks of limestone.
22 The Pyramids Are Precisely Aligned To The True North
The pyramids lie on the west bank of River Nile. This is the site of the setting sun, and according to some Egyptian mythology, it was mostly associated with realm of the dead. The ancient Egyptians have the knowledge of how to align structures precisely to true north, which explains why these mysterious structures have such a perfect alignment. The Great Pyramid of Giza is aligned to True North within a tenth of a degree. Scientists are still unable to explain this ancient Egyptian brilliance.
21 The Construction Site Was Not a Random Pick
Although there are some of the ancient Egyptian pyramids located at different places like in Saqqara, all others are found some miles outside of Cairo, in Giza. This was no coincidence. As we know, the pyramids were built as burial tombs for pharaohs and ancient kings. Being at the west bank of river Nile, Egyptian mythology explains that this is the land of the setting sun, which is also the land of the dead. The location also made it easy for transportation of materials.
20 There’s A Country With Twice The Number Of Egyptian Pyramids
It’s your choice to believe this, but before you disagree, you might want to pay a visit to Nubia in Sudan. Nubia was once a part of ancient Egypt, and the fact of the matter is that the Nubian pyramids were influenced by the Pyramids of Giza. They look like the Egyptian pyramids, only they’re much smaller in size. Most of them were built to accommodate only one person as a burial tomb for the ancient kings and queens.
19 Egyptians Were Not the First People to Build Pyramids
People have been constructing pyramid structures for ages before the Egyptian pyramids, and the Nubian pyramids are a good example. The ancient Egyptians are the most famous builders because they highly treasured them, and also because many of them survived. The Egyptians built pyramids with limestone, a stone that was readily available in the country. They used the rough and easy to mine stones on the outside, and the rare, hard to mine stones on the inside. There were other precious stones used, but mostly limestone.
18 They Were Built To Escort Pharaohs Into The Afterlife
Apart from being burial tombs for pharaohs and their families, the pyramids were also built to spiritually escort the dead pharaohs into the afterlife. The ancient Egyptians were quite religious, and they believed the pyramids were safe entries into the other life after death. The Egyptians believed in many gods and believed that after death, the pharaohs transitioned to gods. They built the sphinx on the pyramids entry to protect the dead kings from spiritual attacks. These beliefs led to the construction of this highly treasured structures.
17 The Curse Of Pharaoh Protected The Pyramids
While the Sphinx was meant to protect the dead pharaohs from spiritual disturbance as they transit to gods, the curse of Pharaoh is said to have offered protection to the pyramids, and everything in it, including pharaoh’s family and belongings. This explains why many archeologists and researchers looking to unveil the mysteries of the pyramids have been stuck with bad luck and sometimes literal death. Some experts say that the illnesses are caused by bacteria, but the Egyptians know for sure that it is more than that.
16 The Pyramid of Khafre looks Bigger than the Pyramid of Khufu.
From the appearance and the setting of these two pyramids, Khafre looks bigger than the pyramid of Khufu. The fact is that the pyramid of Khafre was erected on slightly higher ground. Khafre is the most attractive, the most complete, and the most original of all the pyramids of Giza. Its limestone covering is still intact, which gives a glimpse of how beautiful these tombs looked like when they were new. And also how attractive they would be if they had all the limestone encasing.
15 It Is The Last Wonder Of The Ancient World
The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World is a list of seven remarkable structures that were believed to have a special historical value. These wonders, which were mostly taken from around the Mediterranean Sea were listed in some of the oldest travel guidebooks, talk of a century or two BCE. One of these wonders is the great pyramid of Giza, which is the only sole remaining of those seven wonders. The only one remaining intact. The other six are The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, The Colossus of Rhodes, Temple of Artemis, Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
14 The Pyramids Shapes Must Have Been Modeled From The Benben Stone
The Benben stone is an ancient conical shaped stone that was venerated in the temple in Heliopolis city. The temple was the primary religious center in ancient Egypt during the age of pyramids. The Benben stone was the basis of pyramidal designs, and most probably, also the basis of the pyramids of Egypt. Several Egyptologists have claimed that Benben stone was symbolic to the sun, as Atum was later associated with Ra, the sun god. It is also believed to be associated with the afterlife god.
13 Djoser Was The First Pharaoh To Be Buried In The Pyramid.
In earlier days before the age of pyramids, the Egyptians buried their dead, including pharaohs and kings in pit graves with some valuable things believed to help them transit into gods in the afterlife. The first tomb was the mastaba, a flat-roofed structure with inward sloping sides. Mastabas were built with mud bricks or stone. Architect Imhotep designed the first pyramid shaped tomb at Saqqara, which was used to bury Pharaoh Djoser in the third dynasty during 27th century BC.
12 The Great Pyramid Of Giza Was The Pinnacle Of Pyramid Construction
The last Egyptian pharaoh to be buried in a pyramid was Menkaure, who is believed to be the son of Pharaoh Khafre and a grandson to Pharaoh Khufu. These three rulers were the successors of Pharaoh Sneferu. It is during this dynasty that the most famous and the last Egyptian pyramids were constructed a few miles outside of Cairo, on the plateaus of Giza. The pyramid of Khufu, which is also the largest pyramid in Egypt, is the only one remaining intact in the seven wonders of the ancient world.
11 The Granite Coffer Inside The Great Pyramid Of Giza
There’s a granite coffer lying inside of the main chamber of the great pyramid of Khufu (great pyramid of Giza). At first glance, you won’t notice anything out of the ordinary. It seems just perfectly normal. But when you take a closer look, you realize that it is made of one solid huge piece of granite that cannot fit through the passageway that you just walked through to access the chamber. Was it brought in here, or was the great pyramid built around it?
10 The First True Pyramid Was Built During Sneferu’s Reign
Sneferu was the first pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, and it is during his time that ancient Egypt saw a great revolution in the construction of pyramids. There were major pyramid design innovations. Three pyramids were completed during this time, and the third one, The Red Pyramid, was the first successful attempt at creating a true pyramid tomb. Being the largest of Sneferu’s pyramids, The Red Pyramid was built at a constant angle of 43°. The medium pyramid was the first, followed by the Bent Pyramid.
9 The Great Pyramid of Khufu Was The World’s Tallest Structure For 3,800 Years
The Great Pyramid of Giza reigned as the world’s tallest man-made structure for 3,800 years. The original height of the structure was 146.5 meters but was replaced by the Lincoln Cathedral which was completed in 1300 AD at a height of 160 meters. The current height of the great pyramid, after erosion and the absence of the uppermost stone, remains at 137 meters. The great pyramid has an estimated mass of 5.9 million tons and a volume of 2.5 million cubic meters.
8 The Sphinx Is The Earliest Royal Statue In Egypt
The Sphinx is the oldest royal statue in Egypt which was first built with the pyramid of Khafre. Most of the many Egyptologists who have written about the sphinx argue that the statue was built out of an outcrop of a limestone stone that remained after quarrying enough for the pyramid. The result was the birth of one of the oldest and the most iconic statues in the world. The image is a combination of a lion (symbol of power) on the body, and a human being on the head.
7 The Pyramids At Abu Sir
Egypt is a land of pyramids, and it seems like they’re on every corner of the country. Did you know about these four pyramids at Abu Sir? They are not very popular, and they were also not constructed very well. They initially had very smooth and beautiful limestone casing that gave them a shining surface, but it is no longer there. The limestone was stripped away ages ago to be used to encase other buildings. What remains are some rough pyramid structures.