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( Great Pyramid of Giza )

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid and served as the tomb of pharaoh Khufu, who ruled during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Built c. 2600 BC, over a period of about 27 years, the pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only wonder that has remained largely intact. It is the most famous monument of the Giza pyramid complex, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Memphis and its Necropolis". It is situated at the northeastern end of the line of the three main pyramids at Giza.

Initially standing at 146.6 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the world's tallest human-made structure for more than 3,800 years. Over time, most of the smooth white limestone casing was removed, which lowered the pyramid's height to the current 138.5 metres (454.4 ft); what is seen today is the underlying core structure...Read more

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid and served as the tomb of pharaoh Khufu, who ruled during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Built c. 2600 BC, over a period of about 27 years, the pyramid is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only wonder that has remained largely intact. It is the most famous monument of the Giza pyramid complex, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site "Memphis and its Necropolis". It is situated at the northeastern end of the line of the three main pyramids at Giza.

Initially standing at 146.6 metres (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the world's tallest human-made structure for more than 3,800 years. Over time, most of the smooth white limestone casing was removed, which lowered the pyramid's height to the current 138.5 metres (454.4 ft); what is seen today is the underlying core structure. The base was measured to be about 230.3 metres (755.6 ft) square, giving a volume of roughly 2.6 million cubic metres (92 million cubic feet), which includes an internal hillock. The dimensions of the pyramid were 280 royal cubits (146.7 m; 481.4 ft) high, a base length of 440 cubits (230.6 m; 756.4 ft), with a seked of 5+1/2 palms (a slope of 51°50'40").

The Great Pyramid was built by quarrying an estimated 2.3 million large blocks, weighing 6 million tonnes in total. The majority of the stones are not uniform in size or shape, and are only roughly dressed. The outside layers were bound together by mortar. Primarily local limestone from the Giza Plateau was used for its construction. Other blocks were imported by boat on the Nile: white limestone from Tura for the casing, and blocks of granite from Aswan, weighing up to 80 tonnes, for the "King's Chamber" structure.

There are three known chambers inside of the Great Pyramid. The lowest was cut into the bedrock, upon which the pyramid was built, but remained unfinished. The so-called Queen's Chamber and King's Chamber, which contain a granite sarcophagus, are above ground, within the pyramid structure. Hemiunu, Khufu's vizier, is believed by some to be the architect of the Great Pyramid. Many varying scientific and alternative hypotheses attempt to explain the exact construction techniques.

The funerary complex around the pyramid consisted of two mortuary temples connected by a causeway (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile); tombs for the immediate family and court of Khufu, including three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives; an even smaller "satellite pyramid"; and five buried solar barges.

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Nina - CC BY 2.5
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