Example Of Essay On The Pyramids At Giza: How Were The Pyramids Constructed?
The Pyramids at Giza: How Were They Constructed?
The mystery of the Great Pyramids have baffled historians for many years, and still to this day there is not one absolute conclusive theory on how the ancient Egyptians managed to build these amazing structures. The facts regarding the Great Pyramids at Giza are staggering. Built nearly 4000 years ago and towering nearly 480 feet high, the pyramids were all constructed with stone block. Approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone were used, weighing around 6.5 million tons (History.com, 2009). All of this was done without modern machinery, and would have been done by hand. This is extremely hard to fathom and because of this, many theories have emerged among scholars about the exact process used to build the pyramids.
One theory, produced by Dr. Donald Redford, says the quarrying methods used were likely chisels or large hammer-like devices to cut the rock. Redford estimates that it would have taken 60 to 70 men at a time during the day to mine enough rock to create the pyramids. Of course the pyramids were constructed by slave labor, with estimates of around 20,000 to 30,000 slaves. The hardest issue to solve regarding the pyramids, and the one with the most scholarly debate, is how the Egyptians transported the rock from the quarries to the pyramids, and then upwards as the pyramids grew larger. According to Dr. Redford, teams of oxen and manpower were used to drag the stones on sled like devices. This would usually require hundreds of people to move the stone. Once the stone had reached the pyramids, they likely used ramps in front of the pyramid to go up to level they were constructing. Redford notes that they would have to continually build the ramps higher (McCauley 2014).
Another theory, presented by physicist Joseph West, has a differing opinion on the transportation of the stones from the quarry to the actual pyramids. West suggests that the builders strapped three wooden round beams to every side of the stone block and then proceeded to roll them all the way to the pyramid and up the ramps. This strategy would be more efficient and thus require fewer people to operate (Luntz, 2014).
The most convincing theory, currently, is the one suggested by Dr. Redford. The reason for this is the archeological evidence supporting the sleds, as this technology would have been discovered by then. Furthermore, slave use was extremely prevalent during this time, and given all the slaves in ancient Egypt, it is plausible that a force of 30,000 people could have constructed the pyramids over the course of around 20 years. While West’s theory is also plausible, there is not much archeological evidence supporting his hypothesis, unlike Dr. Redford. Therefore, it is most likely that the pyramids were constructed with thousands of slaves, hauling stone on sleds over the course of 20 years.
Egyptian Pyramids. (2009, January 1). Retrieved January 7, 2015, from http://www.history.com/topics/ancient-history/the-egyptian-pyramids.
Luntz, S. (2014, August 28). Physicists Have A New Theory On How The Egyptians Built The Pyramids. Retrieved January 7, 2015, from http://www.iflscience.com/technology/physicists-have-new-theory-how-egyptians-built-pyramids.
McCauley, M. (2014, April 15). Probing Question: How were the Egyptian pyramids built? Retrieved January 8, 2015, from http://news.psu.edu/story/141300/2008/03/24/research/probing-question-how-were-egyptian-pyramids-built.