Ancient Egypt was considered to be the first major recognized civilization in human history. While there were several cities that popped up like Jericho, the Kingdom of Egypt became one of the most premier and well-known in the world. The history here is abundant, and it seems we're discovering more about them by the year. In fact, despite being thousands of years old there are some major things we've only uncovered since 1900.
Despite being one of the most amazing places in the world for history buffs, it seems that we still must learn more. The hard part is getting clearance to do it. What most find here tends to be tomb related more than anything else, yet more often than not it is a tourist that visits Egypt than another archeologist. People come from all over the world to see the major sites that make this place amazing.
It is likely that they come to see one thing if anything else...the pyramids. Yes, the pyramids are known to be some of the most amazing structures known to man. Keep in mind, they were made thousands of years ago without the help of the equipment we have today. A lot of the material they used has seemingly worked out well, as the pyramids are mostly still intact. There is a lot to look at here, but the history behind them is amazing.
That is what our list is on, the history behind the great pyramids. While it is possible people know some of the things we'll bring up, it's likely everyone will learn something they never knew before. With that said, we hope you enjoy our list of the 30 interesting facts about the Egyptian Pyramids that most tourists don't know.
30 Most Of The Stones Weigh As Much As An Elephant
Imagine having to make these pyramids with pre-historic tools, which meant you could not use any sort of major technology we have today. We have exo-suits that can help people these days, just think about that. For these people, they had nothing of the sort and barely had a hammer and nails at this point. The stones used on the great pyramids are often quite heavy. It is estimated that almost all of the stones used on the outside weigh as much as an elephant.
The estimated total is anywhere between 2-10 tons per stone. They were all used one by one and put on top of one another. Naturally, it took many years to make these pyramids as a result. Could you imagine having to physically pick up these stones? Even with many men, this had to be near impossible. It is said that scientists and historians are still trying to figure out how exactly they did it. The easy answer is aliens though.
29 Ancient Air Conditioning?
The first true air conditioner would not be invented until the 1900's, but the Egyptians had one ready to go. It's an odd situation being in Egypt as the country typically always has insanely warm temperatures. Their power bills must be insane right? The fact is that due to the high heat, it would be nearly impossible to keep any place cool. Much less a place like the pyramids as there is no true protection from the sun...or is there?
Despite temperatures reaching over 100 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, they maintain a solid temperature of 20 degrees Celcius or about 68 degrees Fahrenheit. The reason is likely due to the drafts of air that do make it through. The stones are also so insanely large and thick that any sort of sun that hits them would never make its way inside like it would to a normal home. So there is your secret to saving on power, make your house of large stones!
28 Pyramid Of Giza Built Around A Chest?
The main and likely most known Pyramid is the Pyramid of Giza. Inside this pyramid, you'll come across something known as a "coffer." This is basically a chest, which often held valuables or major artifacts. The coffer is insanely large and would have never fit inside the narrow passageways inside the pyramid. This led to an investigation in figuring out how it got in there.
After many discussions and checks, it was found that the only way the workers were able to get this coffer inside the pyramid was to build around it. That's right. The Pyramid of Giza was built around this ancient chest, which to many is shocking. Why could they not just move it? Why didn't they consider breaking it and getting it out of the way? It is thought that the chest could have been useful, which is likely why they kept it exactly where it was. Either that or it was cursed, which is thought to be the idea among conspiracy theorists.
27 20-Ton Swivel Door Is Light As A Feather
During the construction of the pyramids, one of the most important things the workers could do is build a proper way to get in and out. They wanted to make a door on them that allowed for easy access, with Giza being the most prominent to do this with considering all it was made to do. There are 3 doors on the pyramid, all of which are swivel doors. They are amazingly well-balanced, which is thought to have been an engineering masterpiece due to the lack of proper tools and supplies they had access to at this point.
It is said that you could open the door from the inside with just one hand, and yet it still fits and works exactly as a door should. It opens up without an issue for anyone, both inside and out. They stay balanced perfectly to where when it closes, it truly closes. There is a seal and everything to where it fits perfectly. It looks so perfect that it almost blends into the wall where you cannot even see the impression of the door. Yet one could open it without an issue. Impressive work, considering the door is literally 20 tons.
26 The Time It Took To Make The Pyramid Of Giza
There is likely a huge question that most ask when it comes to the pyramids, which is how long it took to make them. Keep in mind, these men were working with a huge handicap. They did not have our tools. But understand that these pyramids even today, if formed by people in 2018, would still take some time to complete. The complexity of the design, as well as everything perfectly designed from the inside, clearly would take time. The average home today takes around 6 months to complete.
These pyramids could take upwards of a year or two to complete perfectly today. They finished the Pyramid of Giza then in 23 years. It was clearly impressive to be able to complete them in such a period of time. While it might take us far less time to do today, the fact that they could complete Giza in 23 years is flat out amazing to say the very least.
25 The Pyramids Were Almost Destroyed
Centuries ago there was a point where we likely could have lost these great pyramids we all know and love. There was once a King by the name of Al-Aziz. He was the son of a Kurdish ruler named Saladin. He hated the pyramids and Egypt itself for a long time, and he wanted to take away the precious historical material from the Egyptians. So in the 12th Century, he plotted to do just that. He was likely going to accomplish his goal had he tried a bit harder.
He was able to leave a huge gash in the Menkaure Pyramid, which is why there's one there for those that were unaware. The problem was that still due to the lack of technology they had access to even years later, Al-Aziz was unable to break through even one of the pyramids enough to make it worth doing. He saw it as far too big a task and gave up on the idea soon after. Talk about toughness, right? The pyramids survived an assassination attempt!
24 The Unbelievable Record Once Held By The Pyramid Of Giza
For several years, it was believed that the Pyramid of Giza would forever be known as the largest and most grand man-made structure to ever exist. For many years, it made sense to believe too. They were called "great" these pyramids, not because they looked cool but because of the amazing ability, they had to stand for so long. You'd be surprised to know that Giza held the record for the tallest man-made structure until it was beaten out by England's Lincoln Cathedral.
This cathedral was built in 1311. That means that the Pyramid of Giza held the tallest man-made structure record for a total of 3,871 years. Seriously, any record held for over 1,000 years should be considered amazing.
23 Speaking Of Giza's Age
The Pyramid of Giza is considered one of the most amazing things to see in the world. Thus, it has been added to the list of Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This was years and years ago, of course. This is saddest yet also the most amazing thing about this list. While the current Seven Wonders are able to be seen by anyone they choose to go see them...that cannot be said about the ancient world. The Pyramid of Giza is the oldest of all the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.
However, it is also the only one remaining. That's right, this wonder is the oldest AND the "only" remaining of all the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. To most, this may not seem like a big deal. But the list of those wonders includes massively historic wonders like the Statue of Zeus, the original Lighthouse of Alexandria, and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon. All are gone, sadly. Giza is the only one remaining, and thus it has become such a huge item of protection that Egyptians would fight to keep it from being destroyed.
22 The Pyramids Used To Shine From Miles Away
When the pyramids were first built and even for a bit of time after, they would stand out for miles. The reason for this was due to limestone that would be highly polished. It gave them their white look, which due to simple science, allowed them to be seen from miles. Some would say people could see the pyramids as far as Israel. Talk about a long-distance, right?
The idea behind this was that the white would catch the sun's rays and make the pyramids shine. This was basically put together because Egypt wanted their great pyramids to stand out, especially their most well-known types. The limestone would serve its purpose for years, as the casing stones were able to use the limestone in a very good way. Today that white is no longer truly there, due to the brown that the pyramids come out to now.
21 There Are More Than 3 To 4 Pyramids In Egypt
For some time people have made the huge mistake of assuming that Egypt has the great pyramids such as the one at Giza, but they don't have any others. This is not true. In fact, the great pyramids are called this because they are the greatest among the pyramids made. Outside of Egypt, there are hundreds. Some of them are still standing today. The Aztecs even made one in what is modern-day Mexico. They are not the only ones, as they can be found all over the world.
Apparently, the pyramid design or concept was used all over the planet after the Egyptians did them. There were even some discovered in what is now Antartica, which were made seemingly before it was too far to the South of the world where people could no longer possibly live there. In Egypt, we know of at least 130 pyramids that have been discovered. It is theorized that the number of them all over the world could be unknown, as some are already underwater.
20 The Queen Pyramids
The Great Pyramid of Giza was built for Pharoh Khufu, which is often why Giza is referred to as Khufu by some historians or Egyptians...just in case you were wondering. Khufu was a man of many wonderful things, likely nothing more important than his wives. Unlike some Kings or Pharaohs, Khufu made all three of his wives a Queen. Usually one becomes Queen and the rest merely are a wife or concubine. Not the case with Khufu. As a result of his love for them, he wanted to be sure to be with them after passing too.
So next to Giza you'll find 3 pyramids that are all for his Queens. They have a smaller mastaba, which is a pyramid with a flat top than a pointed one. These structures were often built for the family such as a wife or child so that they could accompany the Pharoh in the afterlife. Now that you know why those smaller pyramids are there, it's worth a second look we're sure.
19 Why It Took So Long To Make Pyramids
While Giza took a mere 23 years to make, most of the other major pyramids in Egypt took hundreds of years to finish according to historians. That's right, some made it their life goal to finish up these pyramids. The reason for the lack of them being made at a faster pace was that they rarely focused on making one at a time. Usually, all the pyramids made took so long because multiple were being made at the same exact time. That means workers would have to be split among the different projects.
Why would they take so long and what caused them to make so many? The short answer is the passing of Kings and Pharaohs. Typically a King or Pharoh would have a long time before his passing, so his pyramid would usually be prepared for him before his life contract expired. However, the only reason it could be assumed they could have one was that workers would literally spend years making them. So they had to work on so many at once for royalty and storage of various things. Some did not have their resting place ready upon passing, but most did. Meanwhile, others, such as King Tut, were not put inside a major Pyramid.
18 Why Pharaohs Were Put Into Pyramids
Usually, when a Pharoh passed away, he would naturally be buried like we all would. Yet the tomb and pyramid concept made the royals happy. They felt that they were basically Gods themselves, and they wanted their people to see them as such. Even though people did not believe many were, it was the fact that they said they were that made such a difference. Sometimes they would do things to fool people into believing as well.
However, the idea behind the pyramid was to honor the Pharoh or false God. They wanted to rise up to be with the Sun God, which is known as Ra by Egyptians. The pyramids would be high up, thus help them in rising to be with Ra. Although a bit weird, this was the original reason for it. The thought of the time by many, as some Pharaohs tried to put it, the Sun God spoke through them. This very well could have been why the people were never against the pyramids. Many Pharaohs also took care of their people, with only a few being horrific dictator-like royals.
17 Not All Pyramids Were Created Equal
Likely the biggest difference has to do with the pointed top for the Great Pyramids and the flat top for the others. Many are also not nearly as big as the major three. Techniques in how they are made changed and developed over time. Keep in mind, these pyramids were made for hundreds of years. This meant that even in Egypt you can find pyramids that are clearly different. They might not be as smooth as the Great Pyramids or nearly as massive. However, there are far more differences too. Such as the blocks and stones used to build them.
16 The Amazing Tunnel System No One Has Mastered Since
While the Romans were known for their impressive aqueduct system, it seems that learned a lot about how to do this project from the Egyptians. The Egyptians truly mastered the tunnel system, and there is no better proof for this than the tunnels you can find inside the pyramids. They contain some of the most amazing tunnels you've ever seen. They lead to major openings inside the pyramids or smaller rooms, and sometimes outside of the pyramid beneath the desert.
Some are used for the royalty that is meant to be there while others are used for treasure. The passageways are spoken about at length by many historians and anthropologists across many decades of time. All agree that the Egyptians were far ahead of their time with how these were formed.
15 Heat Spots Found In Giza
A thermal scan was done on the Pyramid of Giza back in 2015, and the results found were pretty amazing. The pyramid put off forms of heat inside. While they are in the desert with the continent of Africa having some of the highest record temperatures on the planet, the heat spots were not conducted using thermals from the outside of the pyramid. This is why some assumed the heat spots inside may have come from passageways that led outside that allowed for this warmer air to get in. Others believe that there are parts of Giza that people have yet to see.
14 The Pyramid Actually Has 8 Sides
We're sorry, but school lied to you. Yes, most pyramids do not have 8 sides. In fact, one would say that sides of a pyramid are sort of hard to tell. However, you can see them pretty well with the Pyramid of Giza. The best possible way might be in the air, as this will prove to people that Giza has 8 sides to it rather than the 4 that everyone seems to think it has. You can see in the air view that all 8 sides indent, allowing us to know the amount.
Some think that it was part of the design of the pyramid while others believe erosion played a major role. This seems to be a case of design, as they were able to perfectly make this pyramid. The precision is simply astonishing, and an engineering marvel to most. The indentions between sides are half a degree to a degree, making it absolutely incredible. It seems like it would be tough for erosion to do this, so we're thinking it is by design.
13 What Can Be Found Or What WAS Found Inside Them
Keep in mind that there are several pyramids, so this does not completely go over the entire list of what you could find inside a pyramid or what was found in them already. Ancient Egyptians typically would bury nobles in the pyramids via mummification, and eventually inside a sarcophagus. The burials are usually accompanied with a number of things. Some believed anything that they were buried with could be taken with them in the afterlife.
This is why a number of expensive items would be buried alongside the noble. A lot of things could be there such as jewelry and crowns.
12 The Sad Result Of This Decision
While burying loved ones or royalty with treasured possessions or major things like a crown or jewelry seems all well and good, the people who thought that they could take them into the afterlife were not exactly smart about things. The natural result of this decision was that grave robbers or "tomb raiders" if you will, would go into various pyramids and rob them of the things they were buried with. One of the worst things is that a lot of these pyramids have been raided over the years.
This has led to almost all of the major items being taken. There are some places that were known to have been littered with major items that are now empty except for the passed Pharoh. Some of the items have been recovered and restored to a few but by no means will we ever find all the things that were stolen.
11 Mysterious Shafts Inside The Pyramid Of Giza
There are a number of mysterious things we now know about the pyramids. However, it is likely that the Great Pyramid of Giza will forever contain secrets that we just cannot overlook. What is it about Giza that made it the place where Egypt carried some of its most grand secrets? We may never know, but what we do know is that there have been new discoveries made. Years ago, it was found that the shafts were of some importance to the pyramid, as it was perfectly aligned with celestial bodies.
The accuracy of everything involving these pyramids are so amazing but the Pyramid of Giza will forever be the place that people seek to understand the impossible nature in which people made the whole thing. People believe some unknown technology had to be used in order to accomplish this. The shafts alone are a work of art as they are made so perfectly that builders and engineers today at the top of their field could not make something with such tremendous accuracy.
10 The Hidden Chamber Inside The Pyramid Of Giza
When it comes to the Pyramid of Giza, none of us should be surprised when something new is found...especially a hidden tunnel, shaft, or chamber. The Egyptians were simply amazing with the pyramids and Giza alone proves their might in the field of engineering. This pyramid is more than 4,000 years old. And we JUST DISCOVERED a hidden chamber there at the end of 2017. Egyptians are happy to hear about it as the economy has slowed down due to tourists not coming as much.
9 Santa At The Pyramid Of Cheops?
Okay, we're exaggerating with that line but this is still a pretty interesting fact. The Pyramid of Cheops is an interesting structure that was made with extreme precision just like many others. It was built to accurately face North, so much so that it actually still faces toward the North Pole despite all the changes the Earth has had in the thousands of years since it has been built. Most structures either crumble or start to stretch out, or at the very least lose part of the outside.
That is not the case with the Pyramid of Cheops. It has managed to stay in place. There are some who believe that due to the Earth changing after the build, there is a small error today regarding where it faces. However, it still faces North but may not be exactly on point. Some think the Egyptians made the pyramids knowing the Earth may shift, so they may have actually made the structure where it could adapt to various changes. If so, we could easily remain impressed by them.
8 The Indiana Jones Movies Were more accurate than people think
Have you ever watched the Indiana Jones movies? We'd come across movies like this or possibly Tomb Raider and see the star have to escape a building due to it falling down on them, or they may have a huge stone ball coming at them 30 mph. To be honest, it seemed a bit odd to assume that this would happen. However, booby traps and hidden doors were put into these pyramids to avoid anyone from robbing the place. Sadly we know today that most of the pyramids have been robbed completely.
Some like King Tut saw most of his stuff be taken shortly after his passing. There is a lot of evidence to point to the fact that not everyone made it out of the traps set up for people. Some have been ended due to them, and the bones of these people could be found inside. The overall thought is that the traps are clearly amazing just like the structure. However, we now know that the movies are not quite lying to you about them. They're very real.
7 We Do Not Technically Know What All Is Inside The Pyramid Of Giza
Remember what we mentioned about traps? The Pyramid of Giza has not accurately been searched through likely due to these major traps that many believe are bound to be set up. It is also insanely large, and trying to find your way through it could be nearly impossible. Traps cannot be seen through thermal readings or anything really. They did not use technology as we do now. We know what is partially inside Giza, which is why we have been allowed to look inside. However, most of the pyramid has yet to be discovered.
That is the ultimate, sad fact about all of this. Most of the Pyramids have been looked into, but Giza is the largest among them and is clearly tougher to deal with. It is speculated that even the craziest grave robbers and tomb raiders wouldn't go in there. When you think about it, that says a lot.
6 The First Pyramid
The first pyramid ever built in Egypt was said to be the Pyramid of Djoser. It is by no means the most impressive of the pyramids nor the grandest. It is not massive in size nor in width. However, it was the first and a true marvel for its time. It is located in the Saqqara necropolis within Egypt. For those unaware, a necropolis is an area where many of the expired are buried or under the ground in some way. Treat it like a cemetery, but with a little more to it.
This pyramid was made in the 27th Century BC, which is amazing to even consider. While this pyramid is mostly a collection of mastabas stacked on top of the other, it does count as a pyramid. While the Pyramid of Djoser may not seem grand in all it has, there cannot be enough said about how impressive it is. Despite being the first, it still stands today.
5 The Inventor Of The Pyramid Concept And First Builder
The pyramid we just told you about above was the very first, of course, and invented by a man who went by the name of Imhotep. Obviously an Ancient Egyptian himself, he developed the idea of the pyramid concept and everything that came along with it. The Pyramid of Djoser is in no way as amazing as the Pyramid of Giza or many others for that matter. However, it is impressive and the base of how all pyramids were formed. Everything he did was copied and made into a much larger scale by Egyptians later on.
4 Cleopatra Is Actually Closer To The Time Of The iPhone Than The Pyramids
Cleopatra may very well be the most famous Egyptian monarch outside of King Tut, but unlike Tut it seemed Cleopatra made history in many ways that positively affected Egypt. Meanwhile, other things would never make it the same again. She is the last of the Ptolemy clan to rule Egypt. Yet despite the assumption that she is part of Ancient Egypt, she technically isn't.
She lived from 51-10 BC. Jumping all the way to the 2000's when the iPhone was made, she was close to 2050 years from it. Meanwhile, the Pyramid of Giza was formed by 2580–2560 BC. Therefore, Cleopatra is closer to the time of the iPhone's invention than the construction of any major Pyramid. Messed up your entire history timeline right?
3 There Are No Hieroglyphics In The Pyramid Of Giza
Many people tend to associate Egypt with hieroglyphics, and that isn't a bad thing. They are filled with them in numerous places, even temples and a number of pyramids. However, people naturally assume the Great Pyramid of Giza has a lot of them too. Yet it doesn't. Thus far, Giza has never had any known hieroglyphics inside it. Many of the other pyramids do, but not this one. While we have yet to truly discover every area of this pyramid, due to the large-scale and numerous traps inside of it...nothing has been found yet.
2 Mortar Used On The Pyramids Is Still Considered A Genius Invention
One of the most important things a lot of these ancient pyramids had was a special mortar used between the stones and all over the pyramid itself. It has kept these pyramids from falling over the years, which is clearly a great thing. However, no one truly knows how this mortar has stayed in place for so long. Scientists have taken samples of this special stuff from the pyramid and looked it over in labs. They tried to replicate it but nothing ever seems to come out the same way.
It is widely assumed to be the strongest adhesive ever invented. It is stronger than glue, concrete, everything. Science has no way to explain it, and they have stopped trying. Sometimes the unexplainable is best left unexplained.
1 the people who built the pyramids
A lot of people tend to assume that slaves were used to build the pyramids. We can assure you that none of the Great Pyramids were built in any way by slaves. In fact, these men were not prisoners or anything of the sort. They were asked to come and help build the pyramids. The ambitious project would take skilled men with proper brains and brawn. They had to have considerable skills to properly be of use, rather than a slave which could not do much of anything that they needed. They were all paid for their work and properly fed. They were even given proper places to live during the time they were there.
References: Listverse, ListAl, History, AncientEgypt.co.uk