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Left to right: the pyramids of Menkaure, Khafre and Khufu, with the pyramids of Menkaure's queens in front
Why did they build the pyramids? - gods, pharaohs and the afterlife
How did they build the pyramids? - measuring, cutting, moving and fitting blocks - ramps, sleds, tools, and more
Tall Buildings - Learn about some famous buildings which have held the record for tallest structure in the world, and compare their heights to the pyramids (features all the buildings made in the workshop)
The pyramids of Egypt have amazed people for thousands of years. The most famous are at Giza, near Cairo, the capital of Egypt, but there are lots more - about 100 in all. After more than 4,000 years many are in ruins, but some are still in good shape, because they were made with such incredible skill.
Countless travellers have gazed up at these huge monuments and wondered why they were built, how they were built, and who built them. How could a people who had only copper, stone and wood tools cut such enormous (2½ tonne) blocks of stone, move them up to such great heights (the Great Pyramid is 146m), and fit them together with such amazing accuracy (each of the four sides of the Great Pyramids is 230m, with no more than 4cm difference between them, and the base is level to within 2cm)?
Perhaps the biggest mystery of all is, what on earth could make the Egyptians go to so much trouble?
Follow the links on this page to learn the answers to some of these ancient mysteries.
What is a pyramid? - their shape, how they developed from step to true pyramid, and the reasons for this shape
The pyramid of Khafre, guarded by the Great Sphinx. The Sphinx probably represents Khafre, as a lion.