Great Pyramid of Giza

Panoramic View of the Great Pyramids of Giza
Photo by: kallerna, Creative Commons

The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the three oldest and largest pyramids in the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Necropolis is located on the Giza Plateau, which stands bordering Cairo, Egypt. It is one of the seven wonders of ancient world and is the oldest of all seven. Out of seven wonders of ancient world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only to remain largely intact.

Man Made

After its construction, the Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest man made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. Initially this pyramid had a height of 146.5 meters, but due to erosion the height has come down to 138.8 meters. Today only the core structure of the pyramid can be seen, but originally it was covered by casing stones which formed a smooth outer surface. These casing stones can still be seen around the base of the pyramid.


Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza was built as a tomb for pharaoh Khufu, who was a fourth dynasty Egyptian. It is believed that the pyramid was constructed over a 20 year period and construction was completed at around 2560 BC. The estimated mass of the pyramid is 5.9 million tons, and the approximate volume is 2,500,000 cubic meters.

It consists of an approximate 2.3 million stone blocks weighing 2-30 tons each. The pyramid has huge stone mass which keeps the temperature constant at 20 degree Celsius inside the pyramid. The mortar used in the construction of the pyramid is of an unknown origin, it is stronger than the stones that it hold together. The chemical composition of mortar is known but it cannot be reproduced.


The pyramid has two passageways, descending passageway and ascending passageway. The tourists enter the Great Pyramid of Giza through the “robber’s tunnel,” but the original entrance is 55 feet vertically above the ground level and about 24 feet east of the center line of the pyramid. The descending passageway starts at the original entrance and the ascending passageway originates from a square hole in the roof of the descending passageway. The descending passageway is about 345 ft in length. The ascending passageway is approximately 60 ft away from the entrance and is 129 ft in length.

The Chambers

There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid of Giza. The King’s chamber, Queen’s chamber and an unfinished chamber. The King’s chamber is built entirely of rose granite. In the entire pyramid, the stones used in the construction of this chamber are the heaviest. The walls are made up of 101 stones and the floor is made up of 21 stones. A granite sarcophagus is present in this chamber and small apertures originate from here which lead to shafts on the north and south walls.

The Queen’s chamber is located at the 25th course of masonry, and is made up of limestone and has a pointed roof. According to some people, this chamber was never finished, because the floor appears to be partially completed. Additionally, there are prematurely discontinued small rectangular apertures in the north and south walls. The unfinished chamber is the lowest chamber and it was cut into the bedrock upon which the pyramid was built.

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

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