Egypt's Great Wonder of the World: The Pyramids of Giza

The pyramids of Giza are wonderful, historical monuments and the oldest of the Seven Great Wonders of the World. They leave all other pyramids behind in terms of size, architecture, and legacy.

These 5,000-year-old pyramids were built in the plains of Giza near Cairo, Egypt. They have triggered awe and speculation since 1818, when Italian explorer and archaeologist Belzoni discovered the entrance to the pyramid of Khafre.

The pyramids were named after several pharaohs, or rulers in ancient Egypt. The largest pyramid, Cheops, which is also known as the great pyramid of Khufu, was named after the pharaoh Khufu. The second largest of these pyramids is Kephren, which was named after the pharaoh Khafre. The smallest is Mycinerus and was named after the pharaoh Menkaure.

Archeologists know that the pyramids of Giza were built by teams of architects, engineers, and mathematicians, though common belief holds that they were erected by slaves. The pyramids, even by modern day standards, are architectural and technological miracles. Researchers believe that to have built a pyramid the size of Cheops, for example, 100,000 stone blocks would have had to be made and moved to the site where the pyramid stands every day for 21 years—the entire duration of the reign of Khufu. The pyramid of Cheops reaches up to 252 feet high.

The pyramids of Giza were, and remain, miraculous feats of science. They present many mysteries, even in just an architectural sense. Will we ever figure out all the secrets that these pyramids hold? Only time will tell.

[Source: Amazing Places, The Atlas of World History]

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