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WHAT IS? ARCHITECTURAL

What is Cheops Pyramid?

What is Cheops Pyramid?

Cheops (Egyptian Chufu) followed around 2551 BC. His father Snofru.

The Pyramid

The new pharaoh (2551-2528 BC) chose the plateau of Gise for his pyramid, 40 km north of Dahshur. The pyramid he called "Achet Chufu" = horizon of Cheops. How long his reign lasted is not certain. They are estimated at 30 - 32 years. He wanted to outdo his father Snofru with this pyramid. The Pyramid of Cheops became the largest man-made structure.

The construction work on this building was gigantic. All in all, 2.7 million cubic meters of material were used, corresponding to an estimated daily output of 230 cubic meters. Nearly 2.3 million stone blocks were piled up. Their weight fluctuated between 2.5 to 80 tons. The master builders of this epoch had learned from the buildings of the Snofru period. The Cheops pyramid was built much more carefully. The floor was a flat surface. The building was aligned in a northerly direction. At the end, the height was 146 m, the side length 230 m and the pitch angle 51 degrees. Why the pyramid was aligned north is not known.

The disguise of the pyramid was demolished in the 14th and 15th centuries by the Arabs and served for their house construction in Cairo. The top of the structure was dismantled over time. The height was therefore reduced to 137 m. A no longer preserved, 8 m high wall enclosed the complex. The mortuary temple adjacent to the pyramid is also no longer preserved. An almost 740 m Aufweg led from here to the valley temple. He too is not preserved. The complex also includes three queen pyramids, two Mastaba cemeteries for officers (east) and relatives (west), a small side pyramid and ship pits.

In the Pyramid

Inside the pyramid are three chambers. A corridor led from the entrance to the north steeply into the Underground Chamber (30 m below the rock level), which was built into the rock. The meaning of the chamber is unclear. If she had been planned as a burial chamber, there should be no further walk out. It leads a passage in a southerly direction, but ends in the rock.

The so-called Queen's Chamber is above it and is reached by ascending and even walking. The ascending passage (1.05 m wide and high) leads to the large gallery, followed by the Great Staircase, the antechamber and then the royal chamber. Rose Quartz is the building material of the room. Five so-called relief chambers are located above the royal chamber. They served to distribute the weight of the structure to the chamber.

The sarcophagus is also made of rose granite and aligned with the central axis of the pyramid. It is wider than the door to the burial chamber, so it must have been transported here before the completion of the pyramid. Several so-called air ducts lead into the chambers of the king and queen. The shafts to the Queen's chamber but do not break the walls to their chamber. They did not serve air circulation, but probably had religious reasons. After the funeral, the ascending passage to Cheops' chamber was blocked by boulders. The original entrance was closed with a limestone block. He was adapted to the outer wall. It was hoped to deceive grave robbers.

The Queens Pyramids

The meaning of these pyramids on the eastern side is also unknown. They were a fifth of the size of the Great Pyramid of Cheops. Here, too, a sloping corridor led to a chamber and from there to the burial chambers. These buildings also had small funeral chapels, but they have disappeared to the last.

The Ships

There are seven ship pits on the pyramid terrain. On the way and next to the mortuary temple are three pits. In addition to a queen pyramid and the side pyramid are two more. Two more were found in the south of the pyramid of Cheops. Here, when a pit was opened in 1954, the remains of a ship were found. The boat, 43 m long, has been reconstructed and stands in a museum near the pyramid. It imitates a papyrus ship. A cabin and a shrine are on the boat. The pits in the south contain disassembled boats. It is believed that these disassembled boats served as means of transport at Cheops funeral.