English 27


Three massive stone structures pierce the sky in the middle of the hot desert of Egypt: the Pyramids of Giza. These structures were built as monuments for three different Pharaohs – Cheops and his two sons, Chephren and Mycerinus,1 and are the only surviving one of the original Seven Wonders of the World.

The largest pyramid, known as “The Great Pyramid,” was built for Cheops and originally stood the tallest at nearly 400 feet high. It’s2 faces are positioned almost exactly, in the directions3 of the four cardinal points (north, south, east and west) with less than one degree of error. It is also built at the exact center of the earth’s landmass and4 divides the earth’s landmass into approximately equal quarters. 

A structure this heavy requires an extremely strong foundation to support it, and the pyramid is built directly on top of a solid granite mountain.

Originally the pyramids were covered with a protective coating of polished white limestone.5 The coating gave off such a shine from the hot desert sun that the pyramids could be seen not only from hundreds of miles away, and they would have also been visible from the moon.6

Unfortunately, the protective coating no longer covers the pyramids: during an earthquake the stones were loosened and later stolen. Because7the inner limestone was not as resistant with8 the elements as was the outer coating, so the pyramids have become rough, and worn down,9although the cement that attached the stones remains intact and watertight even today.

(1) No discussion of the pyramids would be complete without mention of their eternal guardian – the Great Sphinx10 of Giza. (2) In Greek mythology the Sphinx was a mythical beast with the head of a woman, the body of a lion and the wings of a bird. (3) She would ask visitors entering the city of Thebes to answer a riddle, and if they could not answer they would be put to death. (4) In ancient Egypt, however, a sphinx was seen with the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion normally11. (5) The most famous sphinx is, of course, the Great Sphinx of Giza. (6) Its face has been severely damaged over the centuries, yet it still watches over the Pyramids. [12]

Despite all that is known about the pyramids, however, there still remain13 much about their actual construction that continues to astound researchers and enthusiasts instead14. For example, the base of the Great Pyramid, which is made up of more than two million stones, has sides that differ by no more than eight inches. How could the Egyptians place15 them with such precision? The answer may never be known.