Obtaining construction materials: The pyramids were constructed using limestone, granite, basalt, gypsum (mortar), and baked mud bricks. Limestone blocks were mined near Giza, as well as potentially other locations. Granite was most likely brought upriver from Aswan. Alabaster was obtained from Luxor, while basalt was obtained from the Fayoum depression. Gypsum was taken from the Sinai desert.
It is believed that the pyramids were built by conscripted labor. Men, women, and even children were required to help construct the pyramids. It has been suggested that there were enough workers provided by the government to keep them busy all year round, but since only two seasons are considered important for agriculture (the Nile River flood season and the desert windstorm season), most likely only these two seasons were considered important.
The pyramids were not built in a single sweep, but rather over many years. It is estimated that it took about three years to build one side of a pyramid. Then, after four more years, it would be complete. This means that eight years would have passed before the next phase could begin. However, since some pyramids are larger than others, this estimate may not hold true for all cases.
It is widely accepted among archaeologists that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built by King Khufu. There are few records of ancient Egypt's history, but what little information we do have suggests that this king was the first to build a large pyramid.
Because numerous varieties of stone, notably limestone, are available in Egypt, stone was used extensively in the construction of the ancient Egyptian pyramids. Pyramid cores were made of low-quality, rough limestone, whereas interior floors were often made of alabaster or basalt. The pyramids' outside casings were often made of beautiful white limestone. But many other kinds of stone were also used throughout Egypt at various times. Natural stones included granite, diorite, gabbros, and sandstones. Man-made materials included marble, porphyry, and brick.
The Egyptians built their pyramids for several reasons. First, they were able to afford such extravagances because they were one of the most powerful nations in the world. Second, the pharaohs wanted to show themselves to be immortal like the gods; therefore, they needed a way to prove that they had been buried with all their treasures and jewelry. Finally, the Egyptians believed that some of their body parts kept them alive after death, so they wanted to make sure that any remains that might be found would still be present when discovered by a future king or queen.
The Ancient Egyptians constructed their pyramids as tombs. They were designed to protect the occupants inside from the elements and provide eternal shelter. Inside the pyramids, archaeologists have found many fascinating items which help us understand more about the culture and religion of ancient Egypt.
In conclusion, the Ancient Egyptians built pyramids as monuments to honor themselves and their gods.
The Great Pyramid of Giza/Materials: Limestone, Granite, Basalt, Mortar
The Great Pyramid was built with 5.5 million tonnes of limestone, 8,000 tonnes of granite (transported from Aswan, 800 kilometers distant), and 500,000 tonnes of mortar. This massive stone was part of an exterior layer of fine white limestone that would have fully smoothed the sides.
Pyramids were built entirely of stone throughout the early ages. The core body of these pyramids was made of locally mined limestone, but the outside casing was made of a superior grade limestone obtained near contemporary Cairo. The Egyptians carved the interior of the pyramids into chambers where the pharaohs could pray to their gods (similar to the Christian catacombs) and where their bodies would be preserved after death. Although no actual pyramids are being constructed today, many types of structures are available online and in home improvement stores for building your own private cemetery or memorial.
The choice of material for the construction of the pyramid depended on several factors such as cost, availability, and skill of the working crew. Limestone is the only material used throughout most of history. Only during the Old Kingdom period (26th century BC to 21st century BC) did builders use sand for some parts of the structure. Before this innovation, all pharaohs were mummified with the help of natural substances including papyrus, linen, and hemp. When sand was used, it was usually in combination with mudbrick for lower levels of the structure or for sections where weight was not important.
In modern times, concrete is often used instead of stone because it's cheaper and easier to work with.