Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is a huge pyramid in the desert near Cairo in Egypt. It is also called the Pyramid of Khufu.
It is the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that still exists! There are two other large pyramids at the same site, called the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, as well as three much smaller pyramids, monuments and the Great Sphinx – a limestone statue of a lion with a human head.
The Great Pyramid took over 20 years to build and was completed in around 2560 B.C. It was unique because the sides of the pyramid were smooth, rather than having steps.
Great Pyramid of Giza Facts for Kids
- The pyramid lines up perfectly with the points of a compass – the north side of the pyramid faces exactly north, the west side faces exactly west, etc. The sides of the pyramid are also almost completely symmetrical and equal.
- For over 3,800 years, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest manmade structure in the world. It lost this title when Lincoln Cathedral was built in England in 1311 A.D.
- The pyramid is around 480 feet tall and the base of the sides are around 750 feet long. It is made of around two million pieces of stone. Both granite and limestone were used. When it was built, the pyramid would have sparkled, because the outside of it was covered in polished white limestone. Although this sparkly limestone is no longer to be seen, the pyramid remains an extremely impressive sight.
- No one is entirely sure what the pyramid was built for, but the most common thought is that it was made to be a tomb for King Khufu, the pharaoh that ruled from around 2589 B.C. until 2566 B.C.
- Building the pyramid would have been a huge challenge. They had to move huge and heavy bricks and pieces of stone around, but cranes hadn’t been invented then! The stone must have been either lifted, dragged or rolled into place – but no one knows for sure! The entire pyramid probably weighs around 5.9 million tons.
- Tens of thousands of workers from all over the country helped to build the pyramid. It is believed they were paid for their work. Some of their graves have been found near the pyramid. It probably took around twenty years for these workers to build the pyramid!
- Inside there are three rooms and two passages. The rooms, or burial chambers, are known as the Lower Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber and the King’s Chamber. In the King’s Chamber is an empty stone coffin called a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus was open when the pyramid was discovered and the body of King Khufu has never been found.
- The inside of the pyramid is always the same temperature – 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Interestingly, this is also the average temperature of the earth! This consistent temperature might be due to a system of air vents that lets outside air into the chambers, like a kind of early air conditioning system.
- Visitors to the Pyramids of Giza can ride around them on a camel or even go into them to explore further.
- The Great Pyramid, like all pyramids in Egypt, is built on the west bank of the River Nile. This is where the sun sets each evening, so it is associated with the land of the dead.
Question: How many pyramids are there in Egypt?
Answer: There are between 118 and 138 pyramids in Egypt.
Question: Which of the pyramids at Giza was built first?
Answer: The Great Pyramid / The Pyramid of Khufu was built first.