Saturday, August 22, 2009

Day 76, the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt (7)

We feasted with Mo last night...but now we must make an early start this morning...we are now going to the Great Pyramids of Giza.

There are about eighty (80) surviving pyramids in Egypt, the three largest and best preserved of these being at Giza.

They were built at the beginning of what is called the Old Kingdom, starting around 2560BC (over 4,500 years ago!)

The largest of the Pyramids at Giza is the "Great Pyramid" constructed for the pharaoh Khufu. It is 146 metres high and covers more than 52,609 square metres.

Historians believe that it took over 100,000 workers and an estimated 2.3 million stone blocks about 20 years to built this pyramid.

Many modern historians think that the Pharaoh Khufu employed people for three months of each year during the time of the Nile's annual flood which made it impossible to farm the land and most of the population was unemployed.

By working on Khufu's "Great Pyramid" the people had food and clothing during these periods of inactivity.

So, yes, Marti, the Pyramids can almost be seen as an ancient job-creation scheme, with the flood waters also making it easier to transport building stone to the site.

This is supported by the discovery of a pyramid-builders' settlement, complete with areas for large-scale food production and medical facilities. Ongoing excavations on the Giza Plateau are providing more and more evidence that the workers were not the slaves of Hollywood tradition, but a highly organised workforce of Egyptian farmers.

The pyramids were built as tombs or burial places for the Egyptian pharaohs or kings.

It was very important to the ancient Egyptians to protect the bodies of their phar
aohs as they believed in an after-life when they would climb into the sky and join the gods. To keep the mummified body safe the insides of the pyramids were like mazes, with secret doors, dead-end passages and booby-traps.

To help the pharaoh in his after-life jewelry, food, clothes, furniture and even servants and pets were entombed with him. Because of this almost all the tom
bs and pyramids were ransacked or "burgled" by tomb robbers many thousands of years ago who stole most of the treasures.
Oh, there is a "ship of the desert"

and so let's mount our individual camels for a short ride across the sands of Giza...towards the Sphinx

By the way, did you know that Giza is the most important site on earth for many New Age followers, who are drawn by the pyramids' mysteries and ancient origins?

An interesting observation is that the Great Pyramid is perfectly aligned to true north, south, east and west. This has led to speculation about an astrological meaning to its position. A number of theories have been advanced concerning occult meanings, secret codes or prophecies derived from the pyramid's dimensions.

Is it a gateway to the stars??

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