Great Pyramid of Giza
Great Pyramid of Giza was the world's tallest building from ~2570 to ~1300 .*
Preceded | ,
Location | ,
Status | Complete
Constructed | ~2570 BC
Roof | 138.8 m, 455.2 ft (Formerly height: 146.6 m, 480.9 ft)
* Fully habitable, self-supported, from main entrance to rooftop; see for other listings.
Great Pyramid of Giza from a 19th century card .
The Great Pyramid of () is the oldest and only remaining member of the . Most agree the pyramid was constructed over a 20 year period concluding around 2560 . It is generally believed the Great Pyramid was built as the tomb of pharaoh (Cheops), after the person who created it, it is sometimes called Khufu's Pyramid or the Pyramid of Khufu. Khufu's , , is credited as the architect of the Great Pyramid.
The Great Pyramid is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the bordering what is now , in Africa. It is the main part of a complex setting of buildings that included two mortuary temples in honor of Khufu (one close to the pyramid and one near the Nile), three smaller pyramids for Khufu's wives, an even smaller "satellite" pyramid, a raised causeway connecting the two temples, and small mastaba tombs surrounding the pyramid for nobles. One of the small pyramids contains the tomb of queen (discovered in 1925), sister and wife of Sneferu and the mother of Khufu. There was a town for the workers of Giza, including a cemetery, bakeries, a beer factory and a copper smelting complex. More buildings and complexes are being discovered by The Giza Mapping Project.
A few hundred metres south-west of the Great Pyramid lies the slightly smaller , one of Khufu's successors who is also commonly considered the builder of the , and a few hundred metres further south-west is the , Khafre's successor, which is about half as tall. In modern day, the pyramid of Khafre is the tallest of the three pyramids since the Great Pyramid has lost about 8 metres of material from its tip. In ancient times, King Khufu's pyramid was indeed taller, but even then, Khafre's pyramid appeared taller because its sides are at a steeper angle than Khufu's pyramid and it was constructed on higher ground.
Mainstream Egyptologists believe that it was constructed in approximately 20 years. Their generally accepted estimated date of its completion is c. 2500 BC. Although this date contradicts radiocarbon dating evidence it is loosely supported by a lack of archaeological findings for the existence prior to the fourth dynasty of a civilization with sufficient population or technical ability in the area.
RJ or RL-shaped supports possibly used to raise several-ton stone blocks.
Materials and workforce
Many varied estimates have been made regarding the workforce needed to construct the Great Pyramid. , the historian in the 5th century BC, estimated that construction may have required 20,000 workers for 20 years. Recent evidence has been found that suggests the workforce was in fact paid , which would require accounting and bureaucratic skills of a high order. Wieslaw Kozinski believed that it took as many as 25 men to transport a 1.5-ton stone block. Based on this, he estimated the workforce to be 300,000 men on the construction site, with an additional 60,000 off-site. 19th century Egyptologist proposed that the workforce was largely composed not of slaves but of the rural Egyptian population, working during periods when the river was flooded and activity suspended. posited that the labor was organized into a , consisting of two gangs of 100,000 men, divided into five zaa or phyle of 200 men each, which may have been further divided according to the skills of the workers. Some research suggests alternate estimates to the accepted workforce size. For instance, calculated that the workforce may have been 50,000 men at most, while and placed the number at 36,000. According to Verner, a workforce of no more than 30,000 was needed in the Great Pyramid's construction.