Pyramids of Egypt
The pyramids were gigantic tombs built so that the dead bodies of the pharaohs might lie mummified and undisturbed. The most impressive are the three which stand on the Giza plain near Cairo – those of Cheops, Chephren, and Mycerinus. Of these the largest is the Great Pyramid of Cheops, built c. 2720 BC. It covered an area of about 13 acres, measured 481 feet in height, and was 756 feet along each side of the base. It was built of about 2,300,000 blocks of limestone, each weighing about 2½ tons. The erection of this pyramid, which Herodotus said took 20 years, is perhaps the most extraordinary feet of building in history; for the Egyptians had do bulldozers, cranes, or pulleys – nothing but the simple lever, roller, and inclined plane. Thousands of slaves (Herodotus says 100,000) dragged the great blocks of stone from the quarries down to the Nile and ferried them across to the site. From a distance the Great Pyramid looks just as it always did except that it has lost its original polished limestone casing and about 30 feet in height; the inside has long been gutted of all its valuables.
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