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The Egyptian Pyramids

Step Pyramid at Sakkara

No single article can answer all the questions related to the pyramids.
Below, is a sampling of the most-often asked questions and their answers.

How many pyramids are there?

There are numerous structures which have/had the shape of a pyramid. The genuine pyramids, however, are those which consist of solid core masonry, and there are ten of them.

Tell me about these genuine masonry pyramids.

These ten pyramids are located within 50 miles (80km) of each other. They were all built during the 3rd and 4th Dynasties. In a little more than a century, twenty-five million tons of limestone was used to build these pyramids. Later, ungenuine pyramids were built during the 5th and later Dynasties.

So, what are these ungenuine pyramids made of?

The Superstructure (Rubble "Pyramid") of Unas

They were built of loose stone rubble and sand, sandwiched between stone walls. Most are now little more than heaps of rubble, because this type of construction rapidly deteriorates, once the casing is badly damaged or removed.

How did these later shoddy, ungenuine pyramids vary from the earlier masonry pyramids?

The inner structure of these later pyramids is totally different from the great older pyramids. The later ones have the normal spacious passages, offering rooms and other funerary features found in both earlier and later tombs. There is not the slightest doubt that these later pyramids were built to serve as tombs, and nothing but tombs.

Can you tell me a brief chronology of the pharaohs responsible for the ten pyramids?

The Pyramid Age started with the Pharaoh Zoser who left his identification in the underground chambers, and later built the Step Pyramid on top. However, the other nine pyramids are totally void of ANY official inscription. They have been attributed to specific pharaohs based only on some nearby buildings and tombs, which indirectly refer to these pharaohs’ names, but not as the builders of these pyramids.

Pyramid Pharaoh Dates
#1 Zoser 2630-2611 BCE
#2 Sekhemkhet 2611-2603 BCE
#3 Khaba 2603-2599 BCE
#4 Snefru 2575-2551 BCE
#5 Snefru 2575-2551 BCE
#6 Snefru 2575-2551 BCE
#7 Khufu 2551-2528 BCE
#8 Djedefra 2528-2520 BCE
#9 Khafra 2520-2494 BCE
#10 Menkaura 2494-2472 BCE

Did slaves build the pyramids?

The alleged "tyranny of Khufu (Cheops)" cited by the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 500 BCE), was generally accepted, and even elaborated upon, by non-factual writers.
Firstly, there is no evidence to suggest that people were compelled to work against their will. Indeed, if anything, the opposite is more probable. Upon rational reflection, it is reasonable to suppose that they labored willingly. This is not hard to comprehend once the notion of the pyramid being a tomb is dismissed. The sheer quality of craftsmanship in the construction of the pyramids suggests a pride in the work.

Secondly, rational scholars challenged the notion of slave labor, since managing such huge numbers of disgruntled slaves, gathered in one small area, would have been a potentially explosive task.
Thirdly, Herodotus reported that his Egyptian guide told him that Khufu’s predecessor, Snefru, was a good king. Yet the three mighty pyramids at Dahshur and Meidum, attributed to Snefru, required much more stones and labor than that required for the Great Pyramid itself. This is a major contradiction in Herodotus’ account of the tyrant and good kings.
Herodotus was relating information that has been transferred by word-of-mouth, over a span of 2,000 years. One should expect some inconsistencies.

Lastly, the role of the Pharaoh was not to rule/govern, but to be the medium between the people and the supernatural forces, for the benefit of the health and well-being of the land and people.

How about these temporary ramps, which the Egyptians used to build the pyramids?

This is a total invention, but it has been repeated so many times that it became a fact, in most peoples’ minds.

Herodotus never mentioned such ramps. His historical account described the typical stone causeway between the base of the pyramid and the Valley Temple. Such a causeway was a permanent feature which was, as Herodotus described, 3300’ (1006m) long, 60’ (18m) wide and 48’ (15m) high.

Many scholars want to believe that the only way to build the pyramid is by increasing both the height and length of a temporary ramp, as it was raised to the successive levels of the pyramid.

Was it at least possible?

The people who are stuck on the ramps theory, make reference to the temporary mud ramp found at Sekhemket’s Pyramid, in Saqqara. That ramp was only 23’ (7m) high and they were hauling blocks of 9.8” x 5.9” x 3.3” (25 x 15 x 10cm) weighing 50-100 pounds (22-45 kg) apiece. You can’t compare that to the height of the Khufu’s pyramid of 481’ (147m) and stone weighing from 2.5 tons to as high as 70 tons apiece.
The Danish civil engineer, P. Garde-Hanson, calculated that a ramp built all the way to the top of the pyramid would require 17.5 million cubic yards of material (seven times the amount needed for the pyramid itself). A work force of 240,000 would have been needed to build such a ramp, within Khufu’s reign.
To dismantle the ramp at the completion of the pyramid, it would have required a work force of 300,000 and a further eight years. Such a huge amount of rubbish is not visible anywhere in the vicinity and was never mentioned by earlier historians, which invalidate this theory.
After reaching such unbelievable figures, Garde-Hanson theorized a combination of a ramp and a lifting device. He theorized a ramp that reached halfway up the pyramid. At such a level, about 90 percent of the material needed for the pyramid would have been used. The second element of his modified theory, i.e. the mysterious lifting device of some kind, was and is still an unresolved question.

Hypothetically, if we agree with Garde-Hanson’s theories, try to visualize the staggering figures: 4,000 year-round quarrymen producing 330 blocks per day. During inundation season, 4,000 blocks per day are transported to the Nile, ferried across, hauled up the ramp to the Giza plateau, and set into place in the core - at a rate of 6.67 blocks per minute! Imagine 6.67 blocks every 60 seconds! This rate is impossible to achieve. This is another reason to disregard the validity of the quarrying and ramp theories.

What is even more staggering is the case of Snefru (Khufu’s father). If the two main pyramids at Dahshur are to be attributed to Snefru, and possibly a third pyramid at Meidum, it means that Snefru, in the course of his reign of 24 years, was responsible for the quarrying, transport, and dressing of several times the quantity of the Great Pyramid. Even trying to calculate the logistics of such work, in modern terms, is too overwhelming.

How were the pyramids built, then?

Read the stunningly simple answers in our book, Pyramid Handbook - Second Edition

What is the truth about Ancient Egyptians changing their minds and abandoning earlier work?

The abandonment theory is the common escape route for those people who made up their minds before considering all the evidence. Once they adopted the idea that the pyramids were tombs, they had to twist the evidence to fit into their stubborn theories. In the process, they had no problem fabricating answers.
In the Giza and Dahshur pyramids, which provide no evidence of any kind of burials at all, almost every pyramid, according to this crazy theory, underwent one or several of these peculiar changes of mind. How is this logical, in the face of the fact that the Giza and Dahshur pyramids are more superior than the pyramids that followed in every respect of size, workmanship, and elaboration.

Moustafa Gadalla


For much more information, including answers to more than 250 questions about the pyramids, read:
Pyramid Handbook, by Moustafa Gadalla Pyramid Handbook
by Moustafa Gadalla
192 pages, 5.5" x 8.5"
List Price: $11.95 USD (paperback)
$ 7.95 USD (eBook)

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Books by Moustafa Gadalla [available in paperback and/or electronic book (PDF) formats]:

The Ancient Egyptian Culture Revealed
Egyptian Divinities The All Who Are THE ONE
Egyptian Cosmology The Animated Universe
Egyptian Mystics Seekers of the Way
The Ancient Egyptian Roots of Christianity
Egyptian Rhythm The Heavenly Melodies
Egyptian Harmony The Visual Music
Historical Deception The Untold Story of Ancient Egypt
Egyptian Romany The Essence of Hispania
Pyramid Handbook
Tut-Ankh-Amen The Living Image of the Lord
Exiled Egyptians The Heart of Africa
Egypt A Practical Guide
Sacred Geometry and Numerology Tutorial
Egyptian Musical Instruments
The Twilight of Egypt
The Egyptian Alphabet of Creation [Pending]
Egyptian Architecture [Pending]
Duperie Historique La Vérité Dissimulée sur l'Ancienne Égypte
Der Betrug mit der Geschichte Die unveröffentlichte Geschichte des Alten Ägypten
Divinidades Egipcias Todos son el Único

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