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Demystifying the Egyptian Pyramids with Hard Facts

Sunday, March 11, 2018 7:25
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An illustration depicting the construction of the Egyptian pyramids

It has always fascinated, and worried me at the same time, how many people I meet that are still mesmerized by aspects of the pyramids in Egypt that archeologists solved many years ago. The when, how, what and where aspects are all now understood, leaving “why” as the real mystery.

How Many People Built The Great Pyramid?

Archeologists, Engineers and amateur enthusiasts debate on exactly “how many” people contributed to the building of the pyramids in Egypt, which were erected for each of three pharaohs: Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. Most Egyptologists over the last two decades have thought this number to be between to 20,000 or 30,000 based on the size of the tombs and the cemetery, but famed Egyptologist, Zahi Hawass, believes around 36,000 ancient Egyptians built the pyramids.

The first attempt at guessing what this elusive number might be was made by the Greek historian Herodotus, who estimated that “100,000 men worked in three shifts” to build the structures. The trouble with this account is that it was unclear whether each shift contained 100,000 men, or 33,000 men worked three shifts. According to a archeologist Mark Lehner of the Giza Plateau Mapping Project at the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago and Harvard Semitic Museum postulated a different number.

Map of the Giza Plateux by MesserWoland, work created in Inkscape.

Section: – Reconstructing the story of humanity’s past


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