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The Pyramids
• In Ancient Egypt the pyramids are the burial
places for kings, queens, and other people
wealthy enough to afford them.
• When most people
think of Egypt they
think of the pyramids.
These monuments
remain thousands of
years after they were
The Queen’s Chamber in Khufu’s Pyramid
• To build pyramids Egyptians needed an
understanding of engineering, mathematics,
science, and technology.
• Slaves were originally thought to have built
the pyramids.
• Today because of a recent discovery
(2002) of a “workers village” found in Giza,
we know that most work on the pyramids
was done during the flooding of the Nile
when people could not farm.
• It is estimated that it took 100 000 workers
about 20 years to move the 2 million stone
blocks to construct a pyramid.
FUN FACT: The pyramid is estimated to have about
2,300,000 stone blocks weighing from 2-30 Tons each
with some weighing as much as 70 tons.
• About 80 pyramids are
known today.
FUN FACT: The mortar used is of
an unknown origin. It has been
analyzed and its chemical
composition is known but can't be
reproduced. The mortar is stronger
than the stone and still holding up
• Places of the dead
(pyramids and
cemeteries) were
built on the West
bank of the Nile
because it was
believed that the
sun “died” there
every night.
• Technology used to produce
the pyramids include: plumb
line, set squares, mallets and
So how were the pyramids built?
• We still don’t know today how the
pyramids were really built.
• There is also debate about what they were
used for.
• But there are A LOT of theories.
• View the 7 resources using your QR code
• In your duotang, record your answers to
the questions on a piece of loose-leaf.
Last Question
• Consider the technology of building a
pyramid with the use of ramps:
8a. Which ramp theory do you think is most
likely to have been used?
8b. Why do you think the other theories are not
• Saqqura is a vast, ancient burial ground
for the ancient Egyptian capital of
• Saqqura has numerous pyramids.
• The earliest stone pyramid was built at
Saqqura around 2700 BCE; it is the Step
Pyramid of Djoser.
• The pyramid was built
for the burial of
pharaoh Djoser by
Imhotep, his vizier.
FUN FACT: The real Imhotep was
deified 1400 years after his life.
• There are 6 “steps” to the pyramid.
• The burial chambers of the Step Pyramid
of Djoser are hidden underground in a
maze of tunnels.
• Giza is the place where the three largest and
sturdiest pyramids were built.
• The largest pyramid is known as the “Great
Pyramid” at Giza, it was built for pharaoh Khufu.
FUN FACT: There are no hieroglyphics or writing in the Great
• The second pyramid was built for pharaoh
• The third or smaller pyramid was built for
• The limestone
beast with the
head of a man
and body of a lion
is called the
Sphinx. It was
built about 4500
years ago. Its
face is thought to
by that of Khafre,
the builder of the
second largest
pyramid at Giza.