The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt
The only wonder of the ancient world that still exists, the Great Pyramid of Giza, was built around 2584 to 2561 BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu (referred to in Greek as Cheops) and was the tallest manmade structure on the planet for just about 4,000 years. It is situated in the north of the country near to Cairo and the Nile. The three pyramids of Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure were built between approximately 2700 BC and 2500 BC and served as illustrious tombs for the pharaohs. The biggest and most amazing pyramid, Khufu’s pyramid, covers around 13 acres of land and is believed to contain more than two million stone blocks weighing from 4,000 to 60,000 pounds (2 to 30 tons) each, and it took until the 19th century for anyone to build anything taller. Incredibly, the pyramids were constructed without the use of modern technology or building instruments and it is thought that the Egyptians used sledges and rollers made of logs to move heavy stones and boulders. The sloped walls, which were intended to represent the beams of light from the sun god, Ra, were initially worked as steps, and after that, limestone was used to fill them in. The pyramids’ interiors have narrow halls and concealed chambers in an attempt to thwart graverobbers. Although present-day archaeologists have discovered great treasures among the remains of the pyramids, many of the valuables had already been looted. Exploration of the inside of the pyramids only started in earnest in the late 18th and mid-19th centuries and early scholars had no knowledge of their complex interiors. It was simply the external structure with its perfect symmetry and amazing height which inspired ancient travelers.
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