Journey Around the the World: Great Pyramid Edition
I just come back from vacation: travel the US to see the sights and family. It dawn on me that great sights: monuments that test the man's ingenuity and technology he had the time. So I want show some of the original sight or wonders. The wonders I am talking about is the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
- The Great Pyramid of Egypt
- The Hanging Gardens of Babylon
- The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
- The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
- The Mausoleum at Halicarnassus
- The Colossus of Rhodes
- The Lighthouse of Alexandria
This wonders were the pinnacle of human technology. While there other great wonders that exist at time of the Seven Wonder that can rival them in beautiful and grandeur. The Greeks may or may not know about them.
The first wonder is the Great Pyramid
The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu or the Pyramid of Cheops) is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis bordering what is now El Giza, Egypt. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
BUILDER AND LIVING GOD
|Khufu: Builder of the Great Pyramid|
Khufu, son of Snefru and second ruler of the 4th dynasty (time line) moved the royal necropolis to Giza, north of modern-day Cairo. According to ancient Greek historian Herodotus, Khufu (aka Cheops to the Greeks) enslaved his people to build his pyramid. He visited Egypt around 450 BC and included a description of the Great Pyramid in a history book he wrote. Herodotus was told by his Egyptian guides that it took twenty years for a force of 100,000 oppressed slaves to build the pyramid (with another 10 years to build a stone causeway that connected it to a temple in the valley below). Stones were lifted into position by the use of immense machines. The purpose of the structure, according to Herodotus's sources, was as a tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu.
Herodotus, a Greek from the democratic city of Athens, probably found the idea of a single man employing such staggering wealth and effort on his tomb an incredible act of egotism. He reported that even thousands of years later the Egyptians still hated Khufu for the burden he had placed on the people and could hardly bring themselves to speak his name.
But archaeologists have since disproved his account. Khufu's contemporary Egyptian subjects may have seen the great pyramid in a different light. To them the pharaoh was not just a king, but a living god who linked their lives with those of the immortals. The pyramid, as an eternal tomb for the pharaoh's body, may have offered the people reassurance of his continuing influence with the gods. The pyramid wasn't just a symbol of regal power, but a visible link between earth and heaven.
WONDER OF THE WORLD
Based on a mark in an interior chamber naming the work gang and a reference to fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC. Initially at 146.5 meters (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years. Originally, the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface; what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories about the Great Pyramid's construction techniques. Most accepted construction hypotheses are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.
On the Giza Plateau, Khufu's builders oriented his pyramid almost perfectly north. The largest pyramid ever built, it incorporates about 2.3 million stone blocks, weighing an average of 2.5 to 15 tons each. It is estimated that the workers would have had to set a block every two and a half minutes.
There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid. The first is underground, carved into bedrock and was unfinished. The second, aboveground chamber was called the so-called Queen's Chamber by early explorers. We now know it was never intended to house one of Khufu's wives but perhaps a sacred statue of the king himself. The third is the King's Chamber, which held a red granite sarcophagus placed almost exactly at the center of the pyramid. The main part of the Giza complex is a setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles. The king's chamber is accessed via the 26-foot-high (8-meter-high) Grand Gallery, which was sealed off from thieves by sliding granite blocking systems.
The Great Pyramid was the centerpiece of an elaborate complex, which included several small pyramids, five boat pits, a mortuary temple, a causeway, a valley temple, and many flat-roofed tombs for officials and some members of the royal family.