What interesting facts about the Egyptian pyramids defy logical explanation? Who built them and how? Is it worth going to Giza (Cairo) from Hurghada and Sharm el Sheikh for the pyramids? Here is the most useful and interesting information about the greatest landmark of the ancient world and Egypt.
The sacred number 7
Why are there 7 major pyramids in Egypt? Scientists believe that this number is linked to the divine image of Osiris. In ancient Egypt, it was believed that the King of the Underworld would pick up the dead at 7pm. After crossing over to the underworld, the dead pass through seven rooms and seven doors. The pyramids are the tombs. There could not be more or fewer of them. There are other ‘clusters’ of pyramids throughout ancient Egypt — about 140 structures in all.
The secret mortar
All the pyramids at Giza (a suburb of Cairo) are built from huge limestone blocks. They are joined together by a strong mortar whose composition has not yet been deciphered. Some scientists say that some of the substances are of extraterrestrial origin. The mysterious mortar was so dense that not even a needle could pass between the blocks! It is now a little less dense, but it still holds the frameworks of the Egyptian pyramids securely in place.
How much does the pyramid of Cheops weigh?
The estimated weight of the pyramid of Cheops is 5 million tonnes. Just imagine: that’s like 700 Eiffel Towers! No wonder the pyramid is sinking into the ground. During all time of its existence it has already fallen by 8 meters. The same thing is happening to its «neighbours».
Scientists have calculated that a single pyramid took decades to build, not centuries as was previously thought. Some builders were engaged in delivery of materials, others laid the blocks, others prepared the mortar — the work progressed quickly. It is considered that the pyramid of Cheops was erected in only 20 years. By comparison, Notre Dame de Paris in France was built over 200 years, and the technology at the time was far superior to that of ancient Egypt.
It is known that about 100 thousand people were involved in building the pyramid of Cheops in Egypt. And most of them were well paid — slave work was not used.
The magic of numbers and measurements
If you divide the perimeter of the pyramid of Cheops by two heights, you get the number Pi. Each facet of each structure faces strictly one side of the world. Egyptologists claim that the pyramids served as a theodolite, compass and model for known linear and temporal measurements. They may indeed have been a reference point for orienteering.
No crypts inside
Many tourists go on a tour to Cairo to see the crypts of the pharaohs inside the pyramids. In fact, they are nearby — in the so-called Valley of the Kings. There are 3 burial chambers in the pyramid of Cheops. Curiously enough, they are located underneath each other.
A real wonder
The Pyramid of Cheops is listed as one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World (it is the only wonder that has survived to this day). Several centuries ago it was even more beautiful. Its facets were covered with limestone polished to luster. The pyramid in Egypt is said to have sparkled like a huge jewel.
The Egyptian pyramids have an enormous system of tunnels that link the interior to the exterior faces. They are too large and there are too many of them to be called ventilation. At the same time they are too small to serve as passageways for people. Scientists have not yet solved this mystery of the Egyptian pyramids.
Curious facts about the Egyptian pyramids are often associated with legends and curses. Some are easy to dispel. For example, there is no mysticism in the story of the dead scientists. The group members were poisoned by the vapours of poisonous mushrooms. But the stories about the labyrinths are true. Dozens of explorers died in the many passages of the pyramids. Scientists have never been able to count how many rooms, doors and labyrinths lurk inside these mysterious giants.