With the first issue of History Revealed hitting the shelves this week – where we explore the mysteries of Ancient Egypt – here are five facts about the Great Pyramid…
1) Completed c2560 BC, the Great Pyramid stands at 147 metres tall and took over 20 years to build. This meant it was the tallest manmade structure in the world for about 3,800 years. It was finally outdone by Lincoln Cathedral in the 1300s.
2) It required 2.5 million stone blocks to be cut, moved and positioned. Some of the stones are limestone quarried from near the site, but the larger granite stones came from Aswan, over 500 miles away.
3) The Great Pyramid – also named the Pyramid of Khufu after the fourth dynasty Pharaoh for whom it was built – sits alongside the Pyramids of Menkaure and Khafre, and is perfectly aligned with the constellation of Orion.
4) Although they are long gone, highly polished limestone blocks – known as casing stones – covered the surface of the Pyramid. It is thought that a massive earthquake loosened many of the stones and they were taken away to build mosques in nearby Cairo. The stones reflected the Sun’s light so well that the Egyptians called the Pyramid ‘Ikhet’, meaning the ‘Glorious Light’.
5) It was built by the people of Atlantis… or at least, that’s what German conspiracy theorists Stefan Erdmann and Dominique Goerlitz wanted you to think. They were given access to the Great Pyramid in April 2013, which turned out to be quite a mistake. The pair took specimens from cartouches in an attempt to prove Khufu took the credit for the structure when it was the people of Atlantis that built it. They were arrested, along with their cameraman and several members of the Egyptian Antiquities Ministry.
Join us this Friday 28 February when the boy king Tutankhamun is taking over our Twitter feed to answer all of your questions. You can send us your questions on Tut via our Twitter or Facebook accounts or our Contact page.
Discover more about Ancient Egypt and the pyramids in issue one of History Revealed for just £1! It is available from all good retailers from Thursday 27 February.
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