According to Greek historian Herodotus, the ancient Great Pyramid of Egypt was built in no more than20 years, with the manpower of around 100,000 people. Despite this, mainstream Egyptologists argue differently and say that the Great Pyramid of Giza—the only standing ancient wonder of the world—was built in less than 20 years and that no more than 20,000 people participated in its construction at one given time.
But whether it was 100,000 people or no more than 20,000 workers, the Great Pyramid is a true ancient wonder, not only because of its incredible size but because everything related to it is a wonder of its own.
It has been estimated that the Great Pyramid of Giza weighs around 6.5 million tons and that it was built with around 2.3 million blocks of stone, some of which weight more than 20 tons each. Egyptologists have calculated that the builders of the Great Pyramid made use of 5.5 million tons of limestone, 8,000 tons of granite (from Aswan) and more than 500,000 tons of mortar.
All of this while building the pyramid without knowledge of the wheel, or even the pulley.
In other words, the ancient builders of the pyramid managed to complete a pyramid that our architects and engineers today would have a hard time building. The ancients did it, according to Egyptologists, with the most primitive of tools. The builders of the pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid of Giza, somehow managed to transport supermassive blocks of stone, weighing several dozen tons, from quarries located around 800 kilometers away from the pyramid’s construction site. That’s pretty impressive on its own, don’t you think?
It has been claimed by Egyptologists that the ancient builders of the pyramids made use of no better tools than sticks and stones, and a few bronze and copper instruments. They argue that the massive stone blocks were dragged across the desert, by thousands of people pulling one block. Egyptologist argue that some of the heavier stones were transported using the Nile River, and were then—somehow—moved to land, where people would again pull the stones towards the pyramid, and then using ramps, move the stones upwards eventually building a pyramid of more than 100 meters in height.
And while all of this is theoretically possible—at least say, scholars—we are left awestruck by the fact that there is not a single ancient text that has been found to describe how the Great Pyramid of Giza—or for that matter any other pyramid—was built in ancient times.
It comes as a surprise that a civilization that is well-known for being excellent record keepers did not seem to have been interested in documenting in writing the process involved in quarrying, transporting, and building the pyramid. There are no ancient texts that mention how the massive stones were dragged up the pyramid, whether by ramps or by means of machines, as noted by Herodotus.
Whatever the case, the pyramids are a true ancient wonder: the builders constructed a supermassive structure that would endure for thousands of years, becoming the only standing ancient wonder of the world.
Times went on, history wrote itself, wars were waged, cultures rose and fell and eventually, the land of the Pharaohs was no more. But although ancient Egypt’s history was slowly buried beneath the golden sands, its massive structures, the ancient pyramids, would remain for future generations to see and admire. To see and learn. To see and question.
The Pyramids are perhaps the greatest legacy left to us by the ancient civilizations. Not only did the ancient Egyptians build them, but cultures all around the planet would build pyramids during their civilization’s lifespan. Pyramids were built everywhere, and some of them challenge our understanding of ancient civilizations.
Take the Egyptian pyramids for example. These massive structures were so well built that not only did they survive for thousands of years in relatively good conditions, but these structures were constructed with such precision and quality that they can easily be appreciated from space.
Here below are just some of the many images that show the beauty of the Pyramid of Egypt, as seen not only from the air but as far away as space, where the International Space Station orbits Earth.
Enjoy this stunning collection of images that show that the pyramids of Giza, and all other pyramids on Earth, are not just ordinary tombs as we have been led to believe.