THEY’RE one of the most impressive sights on Earth, and the only remaining Ancient Wonder of the World.
Here is everything you need to know about the incredible Egyptian pyramids.
How were the Egyptian pyramids built? How many are there?
There are an estimated 138 surviving Egyptian pyramids, with the Great Pyramid of Giza, near Cairo, the most famous.
The 455ft Great Pyramid is the only surviving landmark out of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Many have questioned how it would have been possible for the ancient Egyptians to build such incredible constructions using 4,000-year old technology.
While some conspiracy theorists have suggested aliens may be involved, scientists and archaeologists aren’t convinced.
They believe that workers used sledges to pull blocks around and a pulley system to haul them up the pyramid’s slopes.
Water would be used to lubricate the stone blocks as they were lugged along the sand, before being winched into place on the slopes.
While many of the earlier “step” pyramids didn’t have smooth slopes, later pyramids all did, reflecting how much the Egyptians’ techniques improved over time.
However, we still don’t know exactly how the extremely sophisticated buildings were constructed, and historians still disagree on many of the details.
When were the Egyptian pyramids constructed?
The oldest known pyramids in Egypt are found at the Saqqara burial ground, northwest of Memphis.
Among these, the Pyramid of Djoser was the first to be built, having been completed in 2611 BC after 19 years of construction work.
Pyramid building peaked around 2300 BC, with the last pyramid built at some point between 1550 – 1292 BC.
Who made the Egyptian pyramids?
The pyramids were ordered to be built by pharaohs, the kings of ancient Egyptian society, who would recruit high-ranking architects and engineers to oversee their construction.
However, the back-breaking construction work was left to an army of skilled labourers, who are believed, in some cases, to have worked in return for food and a salary.
Why were the Egyptian pyramids built?
Most of the pyramids were built as tombs for the pharaohs who ruled over ancient Egypt.
They served as the final resting places of Egypt’s ancient kings, who showed off their status in life by being buried in enormous pyramid tombs in death.