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Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Great Pyramid of Khufu

One of the greatest works of ancient man is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, or Cheops at Giza in Egypt. It is considered one of the “Seven Wonders of the Ancient World” and is the only one that still stands, it also ranks as the largest pyramid ever built. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, he visited Egypt around 450 BC and was told by his Egyptian guide that it took 20 years to build the pyramid, the work of just hauling the stones was broken into 3-month shifts, using the labor of 100.000 men in each shift.

Originally the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface, and what is seen today is the underlying core structure. Some of the casing stones that once covered the structure can still be seen around the base. There are three known chambers inside the Great Pyramid, it is the only pyramid known to contain both ascending and descending passages. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for fourth dynasty Egyptian King Khufu, although some have suggested that it was never meant as a tomb, but as an astronomical observatory.

If the Great Pyramid was indeed a tomb, what happened to Khufu´s mummy and treasure? No one knows. Widespread explorations have found no other chambers or passageways. Is it possible that, in this one case, the King and his architect outsmarted both the ancient thieves and modern archeologists and that somewhere in, or below, the last wonder of the ancient world, rests Khufu and his sacred treasure.

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