During the second century B.C., a Greek writer drew up a list of what he thought were the seven most wondrous structures on earth.
Six of these structures, called the Seven Wonders of the World, have vanished. The only one of the seven to survive the centuries is the pyramids of Egypt, the oldest of the Seven Wonders!
A pyramid is a structure with a square base and limn- triangular sides. Many pyramids were built in Egypt. The largest and most famous pyramids are the three near Giza, not far from the Egyptian capital of Cairo. The largest of these, called the Great Pyramid of Khufu, was the largest single structure of the ancient world.
Most experts agree that this pyramid was built to serve as the tomb of a pharaoh named Khufu, or Cheops. The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh would live on after death, so the pharaoh. was often buried along with many of his worldly possessions.
The burial chamber inside or underneath the pyramid would then serve as his home after death, and the ruler would have use, in death, of everything he had in life. Because of the jewels and other precious items buried with the pharaohs, the pyramids were all broken into and robbed many centuries ago. Today, they hold none of the treasures they once contained.
The Pyramic of Khufu was probably built around the year 2600 B.C. some people believe it was built much earlier. The colossal tomb measures 756 feet on a side and once rose to a height of 481 feet. The area covered by the base of the Pyramid is about 13 acres. How big is that? The playing field in a football stadium covers a little more than one acre!
To construct the pyramid the Egyptians had to quarry, cut, transport, and place into position some 2.5 million limestone blocks. Each block weighed an average of 5,000 pounds, and some weighed as much as 15 tons.
Thousands of workers toiled for decades to complete the pyramid. It was difficult work, they did not even have the use of wheels. It’s been said that there’s enough stone in the Great Pyramid of. Khufu to build a wall completely around France!
Today, the Pyramids of Egypt stand not only as the largest constructions of the ancient world but also as the oldest structures on earth that look very much now as when they were built, almost 5,000 years ago.