Why the Great Pyramid of Giza was built is a question that has been challenging archeologists, philosophers, and historians for hundreds of years. What we do know is that the Egyptians built it during the fourth dynasty under the rule of King Khufu in the area known as Giza. (i) The amount of people that it took to build such a massive structure has been the subject of dispute for hundreds of years.
The Greek historian Herodotus believed that it took one hundred thousand workers over a twenty-year period to build the great pyramid, but recent archaeologists using modern calculations believe that the pyramid was built by four thousand primary laborers and sixteen to twenty thousand secondary workers but also over a twenty year time period. (ii) There are many competing theories on why the great pyramid was built, none of them are definite but all of them are interesting. Many other pyramids have been built in the Middle East but none of the same stature.
Other pyramids have been found to be burial chambers for various kings and pharaohs, but the Great Pyramid contained no burial remnants even though its essential design is the same as other pyramids, even containing special chambers for a king and a queen. (iii) Modern day scientists have discovered many interesting correlations between the location and dimensions of the Great Pyramid, that relate to the earth, the stars, and the seasons. (iv) Several controversies have risen over the last hundred years about the reasons for the building of the Great Pyramid.
Some theories believe that the Great Pyramid was built by or aided by alien beings because of the precise nature of its location and dimensions. While others believe that, the pyramid represented a symbol of ultimate power for the king. There are those who think the pyramid was a temple or an astrological observatory. As well as some who think it was just a big sundial to tell of the time and change of seasons. Some theorists also believe that it may have been a combination of all these things. (v)
According to Egyptian and Sumerian mythology, there was a battle between two families of gods for supremacy and control over the ancient lands and the pyramids of Giza were strategic strongholds for the gods. (vi) The different shafts and chambers of the great pyramids are said to point to various constellations that represent several Egyptian gods. (vii) It is also thought by some that the pyramid may have been a place where Egyptians made a pilgrimage to honor the gods or their pharaoh who, according to legend was a descendent of the gods. iii)
Scientists have discovered that in the ceiling of the grand gallery the thirty-six ceiling stones were individually removable. Because of this, it is believed that during the construction of the pyramid it could have been used as a stellar observatory. They have also noticed unusual facts, such as the descending passage of the pyramid pointed to the pole star Alpha Draconis, which was the North Star of that time period. The southern shaft in the king’s chamber pointed to the star Al Nitak which was associated with the god Osiris.
The southern shaft of the queen’s chamber pointed to the star Sirius which was associated with the god Isis. It has also been discovered that the Giza pyramids are a mirror reflection of the Orion constellation. (ix) There are many interesting theories about possible environmental uses of the pyramid, seeking what it may have been used or intended for. The Great Pyramid has been shown to clearly indicate the arrival solstices and equinoxes. At noon on the spring equinox, the pyramid casts no shadow because of its shape and latitude.
The Great Pyramid is stated to be the most accurately aligned structure in existence and faces true north with only 3/60ths of a degree of error. The Great Pyramid is also said to be located at the center of the land mass of the earth, the east/west parallel and the north/south meridian that crosses the most land on earth intersect exactly with the Great Pyramid. There are also several measurements outside and within the pyramid that when divided by 100 or Pi equals exactly 365. 24 the exact number of days in a year.
Other dimensions within the pyramid are said to calculate the mean distance to the sun, the sun’s radius, the earth’s polar radius, the radius of the earth, and the precession of the equinoxes. (x) Because the Great Pyramid is the only remaining structure of the seven wonders of the ancient world, (xi) many people have debated over how it was constructed. Contemporary scientists and engineers believe that there was a primary group of four thousand workers who were the quarry workers, haulers and masons.
They also believe that these primary workers were supported by twenty to twenty five thousand secondary workers who built ramps, made tools, mixed mortar, and provided the basic needs of the workers such as food and clothing. (xii) It has also been debated weather or not the work force was made up of slave labor or even possibly alien visitors. Modern historians believe that workers were not slaves but volunteers who believed in the national pride of Egypt and who were called up in three or four month shifts to work on state projects, similar to the draft.
Recently, forensic scientists have taken DNA samples of many of the remains from the pyramid and found that only human remains existed, wiping out the theory of alien visitors. (xiii) The Great Pyramid is not great only because of it unique features in relation to the seasons and measurements of the earth, but also because of its size. A recent study by the supreme council for antiquities in Egypt has determined that the Great Pyramid has one million limestone rocks, weighing approximately 2. ons each.
One hundred forty four thousand of these stones are said to be casing stones, which are highly polished and flat to an accuracy of 5/1000ths of an inch. The mortar used to hold the stones together is said to be of an unknown origin. Its chemical composition has been analyzed but scientists have not been able to reproduce it. (xiv) The Great Pyramid is spread over 13. 3 acres with each side covering more than 5 acres. The height of the pyramid is 484. 415 feet to a point. (xv)
Several surrounding communities have been found in the ruins of Giza near the Great Pyramid, leading to the belief that the size and workforce of the pyramid were so large that small cities were built to support them. These ruins have been determined to have supported the large work force and their families because of many long, row style houses, pottery, and toys found under the dirt and dust of the desert. Other supporting staff believed to be present was embalmers and those of the royal administration along with metalworkers, joiners, painters, and draughtsmen because of various workshops found in the ruins. vi)
It has been thought that feeding these armies of workers were extensive bakeries because bread mold from the same period has also been uncovered. (xvii) All these discoveries are the main reason why it is believed that this great giant of a structure was built out of national pride, by volunteers and not by slave labor as previously theorized. When one looks at the overall task and complexity of building this Great Pyramid, it certainly will always remain one of the greatest accomplishments of humankind.