25 Stupefying Images That Show the Massive Size of the Great Pyramid of Giza

If the Pyramid was really built in twenty years' time as mainstream scholars suggest, it means that a bock of stone had to be moved into place about every 5 minutes of each day and night.

The Great Pyramid of Giza (also known as the Pyramid of Khufu) is the oldest of the seven wonders of the world and the only one that still endures, in addition to being the largest of the pyramids of Egypt.

It is believed to have been commissioned by Pharaoh Khufu of the fourth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The architect of the monument is thought to have been Khufu’s Royal Vizier Hemiunu.

Void of its original casing stones, what we see today is the underlying core structure of the Great Pyramid. Shutterstock.
Void of its original casing stones, what we see today is the underlying core structure of the Great Pyramid. Shutterstock.
Mainstream scholars argue the Great Pyramid was built as Khufu's eternal resting place. Shutterstock.
Mainstream scholars argue the Great Pyramid was built as Khufu’s eternal resting place. Shutterstock.

The estimated date of completion of the construction of the Great Pyramid is around 2570 BC. C., being the first and largest of the three great pyramids of the Giza Necropolis, located on the outskirts of Cairo, in Egypt.

It was the tallest building on Earth for 3800 years until in the fourteenth century it was surpassed by the spire of Lincoln Cathedral, in England.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to have been constructed with around 2.3 million blocks of stone. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to have been constructed with around 2.3 million blocks of stone. Shutterstock.
The three major Giza pyramids are believed to have all been built during ancient Egypt's Fourth Dynasty. Shutterstock.
The three major Giza pyramids are believed to have all been built during ancient Egypt’s Fourth Dynasty. Shutterstock.

The pyramid is thought to have been built with about 2.3 million blocks of stone, whose average weight is believed to be two and a half tons per block, although there are some blocks of stone that weigh more than 80 tons. The Pyramid is believed to have stood initially 146.7 meters in height, although currently, the pyramid rises 138.8 meters into the air.

The entrances to the Great Pyramid. Shutterstock.
The entrances to the Great Pyramid. Shutterstock.
According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the Great Pyramid was built in twenty years. Shutterstock.
According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the Great Pyramid was built in twenty years. Shutterstock.

The massive structure was originally covered by about 27,000 blocks of white, polished limestone, several tons each. The Great Pyramid maintained this aspect until the early fourteenth century when an earthquake detached part of the limestone lining.

Subsequently, the Ottoman Turks used this coating for the construction of various buildings in Cairo. The mastermind behind the megalithic construction is thought to have been royal vizier and architect Hemiunu.

At completion, the Great Pyramid was surfaced with white "casing stones." Shutterstock.
At completion, the Great Pyramid was surfaced with white “casing stones.” Shutterstock.
Scientists have calculated that building the pyramid today would cost us around $5 billion. Shutterstock.
Scientists have calculated that building the pyramid today would cost us around $5 billion. Shutterstock.

Hemiunu is believed to have been the son of the architect Nefermaat who was the architect of the pyramid of King Sneferu, the father of Khufu. Archaeologists have found mentions of Hemiunu with titles approximately translated as Master of works and Vizier.

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Hemiunu’s tomb was located near the pyramid of Cheops and contains reliefs of his image.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to weigh more than 6 million tons. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is believed to weigh more than 6 million tons. Shutterstock.
The entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza is on the north side, about 18 meters above ground level. Shutterstock.
The entrance to the Great Pyramid of Giza is on the north side, about 18 meters above ground level. Shutterstock.

Some stones of his mastaba are marked with dates that refer to the reign of Khufu. Although dating the Great Pyramid is nearly impossible, archaeologists argue the monument was most likely constructed during ancient Egypt’s fourth Dynasty reign of Pharaoh Khufu.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest pyramid built in Egypt. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest pyramid built in Egypt. Shutterstock.
If the Pyramid was really built in twenty years' time, it means that a bock of stone had to be moved into place about every 5 minutes of each day and night. Shutterstock.
If the Pyramid was really built in twenty years’ time, it means that a bock of stone had to be moved into place about every 5 minutes of each day and night. Shutterstock.

The exact date of construction is a mystery since for some reason, there are no ancient texts that mention the purpose nor the construction methods of the Great Pyramid.

The Pyramid’s interior is equally mysterious as its exterior. The Great Pyramid of Giza is made of three main chambers, two located inside the pyramid and referred to as the king’s chamber and the queen’s chamber, and one beneath the pyramid, cut into the bedrock and dubbed the subterranean chamber.

The Pyramids is believed to have been built in around 20 years. Shutterstock.
The Pyramids is believed to have been built in around 20 years. Shutterstock.

The Pyramid is also home to the so-called Grand Gallery, a passage about 47 meters long and 8 meters high. The walls of the Grand Gallery are vertical from the ground to a height of two meters and, from there upwards, the blocks of stone in the walls are corbelled inwards by 7.6 centimeters on each side.

The Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest pyramid on the Earth for more than 3,800 years. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Giza remained the tallest pyramid on the Earth for more than 3,800 years. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid is the largest of the three Giza pyramids. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid is the largest of the three Giza pyramids. Shutterstock.

The so-called king’s chamber is made up of granite slabs and is rectangular in shape, it has smooth walls and ceiling, without decoration, and currently only contains an empty granite sarcophagus, without inscriptions, deposited there during the construction of the pyramid and not after the pyramid was constructed, since it is wider than the pyramid’s passageways.

The Great Pyramid's volume, including an internal hillock, is roughly 2,500,000 cubic meters (88,000,000 cu ft). Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid’s volume, including an internal hillock, is roughly 2,500,000 cubic meters (88,000,000 cu ft). Shutterstock.
Experts suggest that around 20,000 workers participated in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Shutterstock.
Experts suggest that around 20,000 workers participated in the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Shutterstock.

The so-called queen’s chamber, as named by the Arabs, although according to Mark Lehner and the vast majority of Egyptologists, was not destined for the king’s wife but for a Ka statue of the king (Serdab, a room intended to contain the spiritual representation of the deceased: a Ka statue), is located almost on the axis of the pyramid.

Archaeologists argue that at construction, the Great Pyramid of Giza was originally 280 Egyptian Royal cubits tall (146.5 meters (480.6 ft)). Shutterstock.
Archaeologists argue that at construction, the Great Pyramid of Giza was originally 280 Egyptian Royal cubits tall (146.5 meters (480.6 ft)). Shutterstock.

It is accessed through a horizontal passage, which connects with the lower area of the Grand Gallery, initially hidden by stone slabs. It is rectangular in shape, it has smooth walls, and features no decorations whatsoever.

Some of the blocks of stone were transported from Aswan to Giza. Shutterstock.
Some of the blocks of stone were transported from Aswan to Giza. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is perhaps one of the most massive single buildings ever constructed on the planet. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Khufu is perhaps one of the most massive single buildings ever constructed on the planet. Shutterstock.

The underground chamber of the Great Pyramid of Giza was excavated in the bedrock and is rectangular in shape, with irregularly shaped ground, flat walls, and roof. It is accessed by a descending passage, prolongation of the first passage of the pyramid. It is also connected to the Grand Gallery through a narrow tunnel, almost vertical, drilled in the blocks.

Interestingly, the Great Pyramid of Giza is also the only eight-sided pyramid in existence.

The Great Pyramid of Giza is missing its capstone. Shutterstock.
The Great Pyramid of Giza is missing its capstone. Shutterstock.

Flinders Petrie observed, among other morphological aspects, that the horizontal section of the Great Pyramid has an octagonal, four-pointed star shape, since each of the faces is composed of two planes, with a slight slope towards the center, hardly appreciable to simple sight due to the almost total absence of the cladding, since only some blocks of limestone, from the quarries of Tura, have been preserved in the first course of the northern face.

The Pyramid has stood the test of time. Shutterstock.
The Pyramid has stood the test of time. Shutterstock.

This unique characteristic and its orientation towards the geographical North generates a shadow-cast phenomenon on the north and south faces during the equinoxes: towards dawn, for a few minutes, the west half of the north and south faces is illuminated by the sun’s rays, while the eastern half remains in shadows; towards the sunset it happens, the other way around as the sun illuminates the east half of the north and south faces, while the western half remains shadows.

The Pyramid is the only standing ancient wonder of the world. Shutterstock.
The Pyramid is the only standing ancient wonder of the world. Shutterstock.
The original entrance to the pyramid is massive. Shutterstock.
The original entrance to the pyramid is massive. Shutterstock.