How Were The Ancient Egyptian Pyramids Built
The immense structural presence of the ancient Egyptian pyramids makes people wonder how they were constructed. These pyramids were constructed thousands of years ago without the use of any machinery or advanced technology. It was constructed through human ingenuity and a massive workforce all brought together to work under a common objective of blessing their pharaoh with his future burial tomb.
Most of the primary workforce for the pyramids came from employees of the pharaoh and conscripted villagers from outer lying rural areas. The village men were essentially drafted when they became a young adult to be able to serve their pharaoh for a few months and sometimes years to work on the pyramid. Most people are taught early on in school that the pyramids were constructed using forced labor and that was a myth. The Great Pyramid in Giza required about 20,000 to 30,000 people to build and it took about 20 years to to conclude.
Most of the labor involved chiseling the limestone out of the rock quarry and transporting the 2.5 ton stone blocks from the quarry to the construction site. Most of this work was done during the Nile flooding season where the farms were flooded and were able to seek work for the pyramid construction and be compensated. The flooding also assisted in the transportation of the stone blocks as they could be floated from one point to the next. When the blocks were brought to the construction site they were still only rough cuts of final stone that would be hauled up to the pyramid layer and get positioned into place. Additional workers were in charge of smoothing out the stone rock and reshaping the rock so they were all going to be the same size.
In addition to the large workforce the pharaoh also employed architected, mathematicians, and astronomers. The astronomers understood the constellation maps during those periods and wanted the pyramids to be aligned with the major constellations. The Egyptians were also very good with angles and were able align the pyramids on all four points of a compass. The northern face would be aligned with the northern star and the east and west pyramid faces would be aligned to the rising and setting of the sun respectively.
Finally you could not maintain a 20,000 person workforce healthy enough to complete construction of a pyramid, even if you continuously rotated a new workforce in. The workers had to be kept healthy, well fed, and motivated to work. The pharaoh would construct a temporary village nearby the construction that would provide shelter and an eating commons for the workforce. In the village there were hired food caterers, bakers, and even entertainment for the workers. The bakeries often boasted they could make thousands of pounds of bread in a day; more than enough to feed the entire workforce during the construction period. The villages were found during the excavation efforts. It requires an organized team of people to build these immense pyramids and we can see it could not have been accomplished with only a workforce, but we see the foundational villages that were constructed to keep the workforce going. You can see it all needs this well balanced system to maximize the efficiency of a time period that was void of advanced machinery. Everything required a lot of time and because the Egyptians were so efficient they were able to build over 100 pyramids during the Dynasties of the Old Kingdom and leave our modern lives with something to be more blessed about.
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