Foundational Knowledge: Pyramids

Derby Roan, Managing Editor

The Egyptian pyramids hold the fascination of many. Their impressive structure, unique culture, and morbid association set them apart from other ancient monuments.
The largest and most commonly-known pyramid is the Great Pyramid of Giza, built for Khufu, the second king of the fourth dynasty. It is one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Near Khufu’s pyramid is a pyramid for his son Khafre. The Great Sphinx is in Khafre’s pyramid complex.
The pyramids were built in a time of wealth. The Great Pyramid alone required over 3.5 million tons of stone and 20 years of labor. Contrary to some conspiracies, neither aliens nor slaves built the pyramids. Instead, Egyptian farmers worked on the pyramids during high tides when their fields were flooded.
Due to both ancient and modern vandals, the pyramids aren’t the glorious structures they used to be. When they were constructed, the outsides were covered in white limestone that would reflect the sun, making them look like a shining desert mirage. Today, most of that limestone has been stolen, dulling and shortening the pyramids. Many of the artifacts and bodies inside the tombs have also been stolen.
But, the pyramids will always be an iconic piece of Egypt’s history, and still draw tourists by the millions annually.

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