Seven Wonders Of The World
The New 7 Wonders of the World are an international list of the most impressive and meaningful
structures of our modern history:
The Great Wall of China
Petra in Jordan
Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro
Machu Picchu in Peru
Chichén Itzá in Mexico,
The Colosseum in Rome
The Taj Mahal in India
besides these 7 magnificent structures, the list also includes the Great Pyramids of Giza, which received a place of honor on the list. Much about these massive pyramids remains unknown to this day, and it is not clear how they were actually built.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
There are countless theories, such as the absurd theory that aliens placed it on earth, but now the mystery could finally be solved. To uncover the history, we go more than 5000 years back in time when Ancient Egypt, one of the most advanced civilizations in history, arose along the Nile river.
To this day, humankind admires their culture and their advances in almost all areas of life, including math, language, medicine, and also architecture. One of their greatest achievements - The Great Pyramid of Giza - still remains with us and continues to fascinate people around the world. This colossal structure was built in only 27 years and was originally 146.5 meters tall. In total, it consisted of 2.3 million blocks with an average weight similar to an SUV.
The fact that even today some people believe that it was built by aliens, shows how far they were ahead of their time. The Great Pyramid also looked quite different when they built it as it was covered in smooth white limestone. This shiny encasing concealed the pyramid’s core and made it dazzle in the desert sun. The tip of the pyramid was covered with gold-plated capstone giving it an exquisite look visible for many kilometers in every direction. Over time, the shiny casing stones loosened up and were removed to build other monuments like the Cairo Citadel and Mosques all across the Capital. That’s why the Great Pyramid of Giza is standing 8 meters smaller at 138.5 meters today.
Read Also: The Great Wall Of China: History, Materials Used To Build It, How It Was Built, Decay, Claims And Myths
But how did the Egyptians do it? Despite the lack of modern tools, how did they manage to quarry, transporting, and position these massive stones?
Most of the blocks were quarried near the pyramid in what is known as the Central Field. It is believed that they used wooden sleds to move the blocks through the sand. But when they were dragged through the hot sand, they dug into the sand, which made it very difficult to move. Their simple secret to overcoming this problem was wetting the sand first. This reduced friction and made the sand harder, making it much easier to move the heavy blocks to the construction site.
However, the white limestones for the casing of the pyramid had to be transported by boat from Tura, which is around 10km to the south. And what is really impressive: The researchers found out that about 8,000 tons of granite stones came from Aswan, which is located about 900 km south of the Nile. They were used for the king's chamber and every single block reached a weight of up to 80 tons -approximately the weight of 12 African male elephants. The next challenge was to install these stones perfectly as the construction progressed to greater heights.
Over the centuries, scientists have come up with many different theories. Most of the theories revolve around the use of ramps. Without cranes and other modern building tools, using ramps is thought to be the only possible method of transporting the massive stone blocks toward the top of the pyramid.
The first theory is that they used a single straight ramp on one side of the pyramid that was raised throughout construction. For such a ramp the inclination would need to be at a maximum of around 8 percent, otherwise it would be too difficult to drag the stones up. However, that leads to the fact that the ramp would extend to around 1.8 kilometers. Building such a ramp would have been a massive project, which might even be a bigger challenge than the pyramid itself.
The second and more efficient way would be a ramp that went around the outside of the pyramid towards the top. The problem with such a ramp is the corners wouldn’t be complete until the end of construction. This makes it very difficult to carefully measure the angles at the corners, and it makes it almost impossible to ensure that the corners are straight and meet perfectly at the tip.
French Architect Jean-Pierre Houdin wasn’t satisfied with the existing explanations and in 2003, he presented another theory. After around 7 years of researching and creating these 3D models, he realized that an external ramp would only be practical to construct one-third of the Pyramid starting from its
base. For the remainder of the structure, they could have used internal ramps that go up towards the top in a corkscrew shape. This way, the ramp for the first third would be much smaller and also it would be easier to align the corners. And there is even evidence that supports this idea.
In the 1980s the Great Pyramid of Giza was scanned using microgravimetry, which measures
the density of objects. At the time they were searching for hidden chambers inside, but couldn’t find any. In one of their pictures, however, it looks like the internal ramp theory might be an explanation for this lower density spiraling around the pyramid. This could indicate tunnels that were used to build the pyramid. Unfortunately, these have not yet been able to be examined more closely, since no entrances
to the tunnels have been discovered.
Besides the question of how it was built, there is an interesting fact about who built it
According to a popular myth first put forward by Greek historian Herodotus, the Great Pyramid
was built by slaves. However, multiple studies have shown that this is most likely not true. Archaeologists have located the remains of villages exclusively built for the thousands of workers who probably came from faraway settlements along the Nile river in search of work.
The slave theory was further debunked In 2010 when Egypt displayed newly discovered tombs that held a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders. The skeletons were perfectly preserved and were buried along with jars that once contained beer and bread meant for the worker's afterlife. Egyptians followed the same rituals for their Kings and Elites which shows that the workers commanded a lot of respect.
To this day, it isn’t 100% proven how it was built. And perhaps we will never truly find out. But one thing is certain: Ancient Egypt's had the resources and knowledge to realize this project in just 27 years and that shows what a remarkable and advanced civilization they were.