Countless seafarers could have sighed in relief upon the first sight of the Lighthouse of Alexandria. Children could have gazed straight up in awe, dwarfed by the Colossus of Rhodes and the Statue of Zeus.
Photographers may have wanted to capture the many colors around and within the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.
Historians would have been able to feel the devotion in the halls of the Temple of Artemis, and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The Seven Wonders of the World are gone… save for the Great Pyramid of Giza, the largest of the many pyramids of Egypt.
These hulking structures have been the tallest buildings of the world for a considerable number of centuries. They are the most potent representations of Ancient Egyptian civilization, and it cannot be denied that the rocks which form them have been witness to an infinite number of events as the world turned since the humble beginnings of human existence.
Though pyramids are known to exist in other parts of the world, the word “pyramid” itself can be associated to Egypt. When one is asked to describe to draw a pyramid, he or she will probably create an illustration identical or close to how they looked in Egypt: a three-dimensional image of three (or four) triangles converging on one point.
Substantial amounts of evidence in the form of ancient texts give us an equally substantial picture of the purpose of the pyramids. They served simply as massive tombs for the pharaohs of the Old/Middle Kingdoms which reigned over Ancient Egypt, complete with inscriptions and other material they believed would prepare the deceased royal figure to the afterlife.
Many people today may marvel at the height and overall beauty of modern-day structures around the world. However, the fact remains that builders nowadays have more methods and means than ever to create buildings straight out of their wildest dreams.
Ancient Egyptians did not have the same luxury, and that makes the sheer longevity of their pyramids more admirable.
One must wonder how they were constructed. It is unfortunate, however, that though many people have wandered and found many artifacts representing the glory of Egypt during the ancient times, nobody has ever found any clues as to a definite procedure of how the pyramids were built.
These structures have always been the target of curiosity since the modern human has noticed them, and since then there have been many theories which have been derived.
Though a consensus has never been (and probably will never be until a significant clue is found) made in the world of science regarding an exact idea of how they were made, almost all who are interested agree that it was a work in progress. In other words, one pyramid was made in one way, the next pyramid was constructed with what the Ancient Egyptians thought was a better method, and so on and so forth.
There are many questions that a historian willing to have a go at it would have to think about. An enormous amount of rock was needed to construct the pyramids. How were these rocks moved from the source to the site? Some believe that the sheer number of workers available during the time were able to push the giant slabs (which served as the pyramid’s building blocks) through sleds or rollers. Still some believe that certain newly excavated devices made this staggering task a whole lot easier.
Another thing to consider would be the method of how to fill the gaps between these massive stones. Gypsum was considered the closest thing to mortar at the time, and it needed to be heated for a considerable amount of time for this material to achieve its purpose. Many have believed that wooden fires would have been able to do the trick, but many question this appalling task, as it may very well have taken all the wood in Egypt to do it.
Moving the rocks and keeping them together are already feats on their own, but these pyramids also rose to very considerable heights. Another question to ask would be: how were the rocks used to top off the building brought to where they were? Theories lead us to consider a lever system utilizing short wooden logs to raise rocks as if they were moving up some stairs, firm ramps of salt and sand with rocks going straight up or through a pattern of zigzags, yet another machine built for that sole task, and a thought that the pyramids were built from the inside out, among many others.
Time has been generous enough for the modern world to answer the many whats, whens, wheres, and even whys asked by the curious human being. The pyramids represent the sheer difficulty, even impossibility of learning how things happen. It may be possible that what needs to be known may have been destroyed centuries ago. It may also be possible that the sands of Egypt still hide the secrets of the Pyramids.
I believe only time will reveal.
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