The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the three pyramids located in Giza, Egypt (only 15 miles from Cairo) and is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Standing at a staggering height of 481 feet, it remained the tallest man-made structure for more than 3800 years. The pyramid is believed to be built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu but what differentiates it from other pyramids is not only its immense size, but the precision of its workmanship.
It was built with 2.3 million stone blocks so accurately placed together that a single human hair was unable to pass through their gaps. All four sides of the base have a shared average error of only 58 millimetres in length. They also align closely with the four cardinal compass points based on true north. The pyramid also aligns with the Orion belt and the points to Alpha Dragonis, the pole star. The pyramid was originally covered with an outer layer of polished limestone, which made it shine like a diamond in the daytime. This layer was unfortunately dismantled due an earthquake in the 13th Century. Lastly and most fascinatingly, the pyramid is located exactly at the centre of the land mass of our planet. These are the places that the parallels and meridians of Earth meet and the Great Pyramid is built on one of the two.
Historians and archaeologists have puzzled for centuries over how exactly the pyramids of Giza were built. How could such a precise and well-thought-out structure come from the minds of an ancient civilization from 4600 years ago? Surely, there must be another factor involved in the creation of the majestic Pyramid of Giza, which has amazingly lasted out of all the Ancient Wonders of the World and stands, tall and proud, till this day. Here are several theories that have gone around regarding its construction.
Possibly one of the most popular theories, fans of aliens and UFOs argue that the pyramids could not have possibly been built with such speed and skill by human hands. Reason number one, two diagonal lines extend from the pyramids on either side of the Nile River delta. The Ancient Egyptians could have known this at their time. Reason number two, the Great Pyramid lines up perfectly with the magnetic North Pole. The Egyptians did not have compasses at that time and thus could not have known where the North Pole was located. Reason number three, the pyramids line up with celestial objects. The Ancient Egyptians could not have the advanced mathematical skills to achieve this. Reason number four, the sun sets exactly in the middle of the Great Pyramid and its neighbouring pyramid. The Egyptians were not aware of the length of a year or the time of the summer solstice. An additional argument is the fact that the sun circles the head of the Sphinx on the winter solstice. Alien conspiracy websites like outworld.com claim that aliens descended from their UFOs and were advanced and intelligent enough to build the pyramids and provide photographs of what are supposedly UFOs seen near the pyramids.
This was the term used by travellers to Egypt in the Middle Ages to describe the pyramids of Egypt. Granaries are storerooms for grain and non-Egyptians believed that the pyramids served as giant granaries for the people of Egypt. Since the ancient times, grain was commonly stored in bulk in elevated rooms. The term was derived from a passage in Genesis 41 which says, “he gathered up all the food of the seven years when there was plenty in the land of Egypt, and stored up food in the cities … And Joseph stored up grain in great abundance, like the sand of the sea, until he ceased to measure it, for it could not be measured”.
The Quran similarly states, “”(Joseph) said: ‘Give me charge of the granaries of the land. I shall husband them wisely’”. This notion was dismissed during the Renaissance period, when travelling to Egypt became more frequent. It was quickly realized that the pyramids were not hollow structures and thus could not serve as granaries.
Another theory considers Noah, the prophet who built The Ark, as the mastermind behind the pyramids. A British publisher, John Taylor, theorized in 1859 that Noah built the Great Pyramid himself. Taylor made several calculations and came up with the term the “pyramid inch”. One pyramid inch is 1/1000 greater than a modern British inch and 1/25 of a “sacred cubit”, another ancient measurement term coined by Isaac Newton. Taylor also discovered that adding up all four sides of the Great Pyramid in pyramid inches makes 36524, which is coincidentally the number of the days in a year multiplied by 100.
Charles Piazzi Smyth, a Scottish astronomer, continued Taylor’s studies and published a 664-page book in 1864. He also emphasized the coincidences between the measurements of the pyramids and the solar system. Smyth claimed that that the Pyramid itself could be read as a history book, detailing both the past and future of the Earth. The Grand Gallery of the Pyramid, which slopes downwards, marks the beginning of the world. 33 pyramid inches later, we reach the Crucifixion of Jesus. The gallery ends somewhere between 1881 and 1911 inches. Smyth believed that this signified the Great Tribulation before the Second Coming of Christ.
A paper was presented in 1884 in a conference in Philadelphia which claimed that the pyramids were once natural hills. They served as quarries from which rock to be used in construction was excavated. Eventually, the constant excavation caused the hills to wear down and the Ancient Egyptians decided to make them the pyramids instead. This theory also serves to dismiss the theory that giant stones were carried from far away to the site of the pyramids.
The last theory does not hold back on creativity either – the pyramids were made with acoustic levitation. This is not your classic form of levitation but rather “a vibrating and condensed sound field (that can) can nullify the power of gravitation”, according to Swedish engineer Olaf Alexanderson. In 1939, Dr Jarl, a Swedish doctor, travelled to Tibet where he witnessed a priest using sonic levitation to lift huge rocks up a cliff 250 meters high. They thus connected this with the pyramids of Egypt, stating that this must have been the way the slaves moved the giant rocks used in its construction across great distances.
Ancient manuscripts also mention the use of sound to help lift rocks and stones. A high-tech example can be that of the acoustic levitation machine invented in Japan recently. The key, the theorists say, is to find a scale that elicits a subtle vibratory response from the stone one wishes to levitate. That sound is sustained for a long period of time which causes the stone to levitate. Ancient texts further state that the power of the levitation was dependent on the number of singers and musical instruments.
The truth has finally been uncovered, officially debunking all these interesting theories. So how did the Ancient Egyptians move 2.5-ton blocks of limestone and granite across 500 miles to build the Tomb of Khufu? The Pharaoh ensured that only the best architects and engineers were in charge of the supervision. The slaves also enjoyed a good quality of life. This tells us that the entire process was very organized and continued without much hassle. The answer of the question lies in the oldest papyrus in the world – some 4600 years old.
Pierre Tallot discovered rolls of papyri in a remote cave in 2013. They are actually journals written by men who participated in the construction of the Great Pyramid. One of them stand out from the rest – the scroll of an official named Merer. Merer describes his job, which involves him leading a group of 200 men from one end of the country to the other, delivering and picking up different goods. One half-day account states him stopping in Tura, a town somewhere along the Nile which was famous for its quarry of limestone, filling his boat with stone and then continuing up the Nile to Giza.
Merer then goes on to report to Khufu’s half-brother, who was overseeing the construction. As Tura limestone was used as the outer layer of the pyramid, this tells us that the report was around the time of the final stages of construction.
This revelation is startling for historians. It seems that slaves dug out artificial canals prior to the construction to divert water from the Nile to Giza. Then they were able to bring their wooden boats right up to the site of the construction, unload, then set off again.
The journey from Tura to Giza is estimated to have been 3 days. So where did all that water go? Archaeologists have discovered evidence of the canals underneath the pyramids. Apparently, there was a central canal flowing through the Giza plateau. Seven boat pits have also been discovered around the Great Pyramid. And as the last and final conclusion to the case, traces of wooden ceremonial boats have also been discovered in the area.
While the reality may not have been exciting as the thought of aliens dropping out of their UFOs to build majestic structures for their own purposes, it is certainly fascinating to observe the wonders of human engineering and the precision of mathematics. The ancient pyramids have stood the test of time for thousands of years and will probably continue to do so, as they were made by a civilization that was way, way ahead of its time.