The pyramids of Egypt are considered to be one of the world’s biggest mysteries. After centuries of research, experts still can’t confirm how they were made. And every now and then, there is always something new to be discovered about the pyramids.
Archeologists have managed to solve some things about these mysterious structures. But it seems like the centuries worth of research were just a scratch on the surface. Read on to find the incredible discoveries and interesting facts about the ancient pyramids of Giza.
The pyramid was not built by slaves
Movies and TV shows have depicted that the pyramids were built by slaves. It’s a theory that has been going on for a long time until 2010 when it was discovered that the pyramids were actually built by paid workers.
During an expedition, archaeologists found tombs of the pyramid workers. Their bodies were well-preserved in sand and they were buried with bread and beer for the afterlife. It was an indication that these workers were highly respected for building the pyramids.
The only surviving ancient wonder of the world
The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The rest are the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, Myth Colossus of Rhodes, The Temple of Artemis, the Mausoleum at Halicamassus, and the Statue of Zeus at Olympia.
Among those seven ancient wonders of the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is the only one that is still standing to this day. The pyramid had stood the test of time. It has not been brought down by earthquakes and other natural calamities.
The Great Pyramid has more than four sides
When people look at the Great Pyramid, it is a common assumption that it has four sides. It definitely looks that way if you are viewing it from the ground. But the aerial view of the Great Pyramid tells a different story. From the top, the Great Pyramid has eight sides.
Experts believed that it was built this way so that the stone blocks will not shift out of place. Others say erosion caused the other four sides. Among the two theories, the first one is more embraced since the division into eight sides is very precise.
The Great Pyramid has a hidden door
From the outside, it looks like a mystery how people entered the Great Pyramid. But it actually has a door – the only thing is that it is hidden from the outside and it can only open from the inside.
The doors are very heavy – it weighs 20 tons. But despite its weight, it can be moved with just a single hand and with minimal effort. This is because the doors were created with balance and precision. Until now nobody knows how they managed to make this door.
It is not hot inside the Great Pyramid
Ever wonder what it’s like to be inside the Great Pyramid? Most people think it is hot inside and add to that the narrow passageways that you have to maneuver – it’s a claustrophobic nightmare. But despite’s Egypt’s hot weather, the chambers are surprisingly cool.
This is thanks to the numerous air shafts in the pyramid. All of these shafts lead to the pharaoh’s chamber. In fact, the mysterious thing is that no matter how hot it is outside, the chambers remain cool at 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
There is a maze of tunnels below the pyramids
The mystery of the pyramids is not limited to the surface – underground, there is a labyrinth and to this day, the whole thing has not been totally explored yet. The intricate tunnel system is made out of limestone.
Every path of the underground labyrinth leads to a new discovery like the different ancient texts that were found to be about 55 miles south of Cairo underneath the city of Hawara. Some are dead ends while some go on for great distances.
There were mysterious boxes in the underground tunnels
One of the recent discoveries involving the pyramids was made by archeologist Brian Foerster. He found mysterious 100-ton boxes in the intricate tunnels below the pyramids. These huge and heavy boxes were cut from Aswan granite.
It was believed that these huge boxes were a burial place for prized bulls but there was no evidence to support this theory. Some experts believe that the boxes contained an ancient and mysterious form of energy.
The huge and empty chamber
Among the recent discoveries in the Great Pyramid, a new chamber was found through cosmic-ray imaging. The chamber was dubbed “the Big Void” because it is just one huge empty space. It does not seem to be connected to any known passages.
The Big Void happens to sit just above the grand gallery, which connects the Queen’s and the King’s chambers. Some experts believe that the chamber was made to relieve weight on the grand gallery and prevent the ceiling from caving in.
The pyramids emit energy
In 2015, a thermal scan was made on the Great Pyramid. They found three areas generating some form of heat. Heat spots were found in the chambers of Pharaoh Khufu and his wife and at the top of the pyramid.
The electromagnetic energy in these areas made researchers believe that the Great Pyramid had more passageways and chambers leading to the top. This theory seemed more legit when a hidden chamber was found in one of the areas that had energy.
The ancient Egyptians could have had electricity
There is a group of scholars that believed ancient Egyptians had electricity. Some ancient carvings were showing Egyptians holding torches that looked like they were powered by wireless electricity. But how was this possible?
These scholars think that if water was passing through the underground tunnels of the pyramid, that passing water can be used to create an electrical current. The airshafts made out of granite were slightly radioactive and it could have acted like an insulating cable.
Ancient Egyptians know astronomy
The air shafts of the Great Pyramid are one of its mysteries. The angles of the shafts actually correspond to the celestial bodies. Not only that but the Khufu, Kafre, and Mankaure pyramids are perfectly aligned with the three famous stars of the Orion’s Belt.
The idea of Orion’s Belt came to light 2,000 years after the pyramids were built. Experts say that the ancient Egyptians believes the stars are a guide for the dead to the afterlife. Back then, the constellation was associated with Osiris, the god of rebirth and afterlife.
Ancient Egyptians knew math
Ancient Egyptians were aware of mathematical constants. When you subtract the length of the Great Pyramid from its height, the answer is 314.16-100 times Pi. When the two sides are added together in meters, you get the Golden Number or 100 times Phi.
These mathematical constants did not come to light until 1793. Ancient Egyptians measured in cubits which is 0.563 meters and a circle’s circumference that has the diameter of one cubit is equal to Pi. The ancient Egyptians were ahead of their time.
The Great Pyramid can be used to tell time
And did you know that the pyramids could be used to tell the time? The Great Pyramid does not cast a shadow at noon – indicating that it is not just a grand tomb but a giant sundial. Sundials are the earliest forms of timekeeping.
The sundial is also one of the most accurate ways to tell time. To have a huge structure like the Great Pyramid be one of the most accurate sundials ever has baffled the experts. Were the ancient Egyptians also aware of time? It’s not surprising if they did.
The pyramids point to the true magnetic north
We know that the pyramids have pointed tops. But did you know that these pyramids point north with greater precision than the Royal Observatory in Greenwich? Not just a general direction of the north but the true magnetic north.
Not only that but the southeast corners of the pyramids are aligned. How can an ancient civilization know about astronomy and work with such preciseness – more precise than our current civilization?
The Great Pyramid was built on a special place
How the Great Pyramid was built is not the biggest mystery about it. There is also the question of where it was built. It turned out that the very spot it sits on is the spot where the world’s most extended lines of latitude and longitude meet.
This means that the Great Pyramid is the center of all of Earth’s landmass. Did they know this while building the Great Pyramid? Given all the mysteries involved, we won’t be surprised if the Great Pyramid was built there on purpose.
Pyramids help the pharaohs ascend to Sun Ra
In ancient times, pharaohs were not only royalty – they were also treated like living deities on Earth. When they die, they are expected to go back home and ascend to Sun Ra, the Sun God. They are expected to continue living like deities in the afterlife.
This is why all pharaohs are buried with their gold, jewelry, and other treasures that they may need in the afterlife. Some are buried with statues that are believed to come to life and provide service in the afterlife.
Some of the pyramids were looted
The smaller pyramids used to be grand tombs but most of them have been looted. The looting even happened before they were discovered by our current civilization. An example is the Djoser Pyramid, which is the oldest pyramid found so far.
The Djoser Pyramid has been around since the 27th century BC. When archaeologists first found it, the burial chamber had long been ravaged. There were no treasures and the tomb was emptied from looting. Even the mummy of King Djoser was gone.
There was an attempt to destroy the pyramids
Back in the 12th century, an attempt to destroy the pyramids was made. The attempt was made by Al-Aziz, a Kurdish ruler and the second Ayyubid Sultan of Egypt. Al-Aziz believed the pyramids were against his religion so he ordered their destruction.
In fact, his attempt did leave a mark on the Menkaure Pyramid. You will see a noticeable slash on one side. This was as far as Al-Aziz got to do before he gave up because the task was too big. This just goes to show how sturdy the ancient structure is.
Earlier pyramids had flat tops
Not all pyramids were triangular in shape and had a pointed top towards the sky. The earliest pyramids actually had flat tops and were created as step pyramids. They were smaller in size and used smaller stone blocks and the Djoser Pyramid is an example.
The Djoser Pyramid was designed by Imhotep (not to be confused with the Imhotep from The Mummy film franchise). The real Imhotep is actually a master architect and chief minister to Pharaoh Djoser.
The Great Pyramid of Giza used to shine
The Great Pyramid of Giza was also known as “ikhet” meaning “glorious light” because it used to shine. The original surface was made out of smooth and shiny white limestone. The Great Pyramid is used to reflect the sun that could be seen from the mountains of Israel.
But an earthquake in 1303 AD loosened up the polished limestone. The Egyptians took the limestone away and reused it for their mosques and other fortresses. What we see now is the inner shell of the Great Pyramid.
There is a theory that aliens built the pyramids
Because of the advanced tools and knowledge that the ancient Egyptians showed, there is a theory that aliens came to them and helped them build the pyramids. The involvement of astronomy just added fire to this well-known theory.
In fact, they say the energy in the pyramids is sending out signals into outer space through the pointed tops of the pyramid. In fact, if the Great Pyramid had its original reflective limestone layer, it can be seen from outer space.
The Great Pyramid could be created by a more advanced civilization
It took over 20 years to finish the Great Pyramid. Each block weighs 2.5 to 15 tons and the Great Pyramid is made out of 2.3 million stone blocks. This meant the workers would have to lay down a block every 2.5 minutes for the Great Pyramid to be built in 20 years.
No type of wood could withstand the weight of the stone blocks or primitive tools to manage them either. Because of this, some experts believe that the pyramids predate the Egyptians and were created by a different and more advanced civilization.
Pharaoh Khufu’s coffin was ahead of its time
Pharaoh Khufu is the Egyptian ruler who had the Great Pyramid made. His sarcophagus is is heavy, weighing 3.75 tons. It was too heavy and too large to be brought into the pyramid – unless it was already inside as the pyramid was being built.
The sarcophagus was carved from one solid piece of granite, a very strong material. It would take a strong and sharp tool to penetrate it, which could not exist at that time. Holes were drilled into the sarcophagus and there was no way a primitive tool could do that.
Nobody knows how the stone blocks were moved
The pyramids were made out of huge limestone and granite blocks and some of them came from the Nile. This meant that the blocks had to be transferred for 500 miles. Considering that each block weighs about 2.5 to 15 tons, it was a mystery how they manage to do this.
The wheel has not been invented during that time and there was no steel or iron yet. At that period, they only had wood and stone to work with. It was believed that ropes and pulleys were used but even then, no wood could handle the weight of the stone blocks.
Nobody knows what kind of adhesive was used
To this day, nobody knows what kind of adhesive they used to make the structure stand strong for centuries. The adhesive used to hold the stones together has yet to be broken down, which could take years if they can get a sample.
All the experts know so far is that the glue holding the stones together is very strong – strong enough to make the pyramids almost indestructible. If our current civilization gets to know the secret behind this adhesive, our structures would see a great improvement.
The Great Pyramid is the largest structure in the world
The Great Pyramid was considered to be the largest manmade structure in the world for centuries. In fact, it held the record for the tallest manmade structure for 4,000 years until it lost the title to England’s Lincoln Cathedral.
But the Lincoln Cathedral lost the title 238 years after in 1549. The central spire collapsed that year and no attempt was made to rebuild it. If you look at the Lincoln Cathedral today, you would never believe that it was once taller than the Pyramid of Giza
Pyramids had no hieroglyphics
Did you know that the pyramids remained to be a mystery for a long time because of the absence of hieroglyphics inside the chambers? Most of the pyramids that have been found had empty walls.
It was not until 2011 when a fiber-optic micro snake camera discovered hieroglyphics in red paint – the first hieroglyphs known to be found inside a pyramid. We have yet to see if it would help solve some of the mysteries about the pyramids?
The pyramids are not lone structures in the desert
Today, the Pyramids of Giza are lone structures in the desert but it was not always this way. There used to be a lot of buildings and structures around them. They used to be surrounded by smaller tombs called Necropolis or the City of the Dead.
Also, other religious buildings were built to honor the pharaohs. These buildings were nearby the pyramids they were buried in. The staff assigned to take care of these temples lived next to them in smaller buildings.