It was constructed with 186 stones, each weighing an average of 2.2 tons. In 22 days, 12 quarrymen chiseled 186 stones, and 44 men built the building. They made do with iron hammers, chisels, and levers (this is a modern shortcut, as the ancient Egyptians were limited to using copper, later bronze, and wood).
The pyramid itself was not built in one go but over a period of four years. It was designed to be dismantled after Pharaoh's death so that its precious materials could be used again for other monuments. The builders used water-powered drills and pickaxes to break up some of the rocks.
They started at the top of the mountain and worked their way down, layer by layer. Each new layer was slightly smaller than the last - it should have been easy to build a perfect square with these mountains! As well as making the job easier, this also meant that every stone in the monument had its use. Some were used as ballast, others as rubble. Still others were taken as spoils of war by the king who ordered the construction of the pyramid.
It's thought that around 5,000 people may have been involved in its construction. This is more than could be employed on the land around Giza, so many workers must have come from far away. There are reports of slave labor being used on the project. These people would have been bought from tribes across the African continent.
The Great Pyramid was constructed by quarrying an estimated 2.3 million massive pieces weighing a total of 6 million tonnes. The bulk of the stones are not consistent in size or shape, and they are only loosely prepared. Mortar was used to hold the outer layers together. Local limestone from the Giza Plateau was mostly utilised. The Egyptians built their pyramids as tombs for themselves and their relatives.
How did they transport all these heavy rocks? They didn't use trucks or tractors, because these technologies weren't invented yet. Some researchers believe that elephants might have been used for this purpose. But since no elephant bones have been found inside the pyramids, this theory is not widely accepted by scholars.
The most plausible explanation is that humans were employed to carry the stones. Geologists know that some large rocks can be lifted with ropes under controlled conditions. It has been conjectured that many slaves may have been used for this purpose. The ancient Egyptians had a unique system of locks that allowed them to open up sealed quarries after thousands of years. This shows that they believed the dead would need access to the next world without getting ill. Also, they cut openings in the tops of some pyramids (not all though) to allow smoke to rise in prayer. These are examples of rituals performed during the construction of the pyramids.
The webpage explains how the Ancient Egyptians built the pyramids out of man-made stones that resemble natural stones. The Giza Pyramids include about 5 million chunks of limestone. They were once thought to be sculpted stones. According to new evidence, they were made of agglomerated limestone concrete.
Concrete is a composite material composed of mineral aggregate (stones, sand, gravel), a binder (cement) and water. As a construction material, it has many advantages over other materials such as steel or wood. Concrete is strong, durable, lightweight, and easy to work with. It can also be colored or molded into different shapes. Disadvantages include its cost and lack of versatility. Concrete can only be used where sufficient quantities of water are available to mix its components together. Other materials could be used instead, depending on the intended use for the pyramid.
Ancient Egyptian monuments are abundant in the Nile River Valley but also in other parts of Egypt and in other countries around the world. Some examples: the Sphinx in Giza, the Great Pyramid at Giza, the Second Pyramid at Giza, the Red Pyramid at Dahshur, the Viaduct at Abu Simbel, and more. All of these monuments share similar characteristics: they are all made of stone except for the Sphinges and the Great Seal of Egypt which are made of gold and silver, respectively.
Over 2 million pieces of rough yellow limestone were excavated from the earth on site to build the tallest pyramids. The majority of the blocks were dug into the earth and then extracted with wooden levers. They utilized enormous wooden sleds that they hauled across damp sand to transfer the heavy stone. Some blocks were so large they had to be brought in by oxen or horses.
The exact method of construction is not known because no intact tombs have ever been found, but most historians believe that they were built over a very long period of time. It's possible that there were many different builders who used the stones as a sign of status.
In 1877, an English architect named Sir Charles Newton built himself a huge tomb made out of a single block of limestone. It was located near Giza in Egypt and was intended as a copy of one of the pyramids. Modern archaeologists think that this is evidence that the Egyptians may have built some of the pyramids.
Newton's tomb was demolished by workmen who thought it was a giant's house. All that remains today is its foundation which can be seen below:
This video was created by Andy Hayman.