Whilst there are a number of ancient structures located around the world, the most iconic and intriguing one has to be the Great Pyramid of Giza.
I will dedicate many posts to the Giza plateau but my first one has to be directly related to the widely disputed function of the Great Pyramid.
Let’s look at what the common consensus says about the oldest of the 7th Wonders of the World. Based on a marking found in an inner chamber referencing the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu, Egyptologists state that the Great Pyramid was built as a tomb to Khufu around 2,600BC. Sofar, potentially logical and widely accepted but we’ll review it later in the article.
I want to now look in more details at the size of this so-called tomb. The present height of the pyramid is 138.8 meters (although it is estimated that before erosion took its course, the pyramid stood at 146.5 meters height). The mass of the pyramid is estimated at 5.9 million tonnes and the volume is roughly 2,500,000 cubic meters. Whatever its function, it must have taken huge effort to cut, transport and assemble the estimated 2.3 million blocks which it took to create this so-called mausoleum.
If you have had the chance like me to visit the Giza plateau, you will agree that the accuracy of the masonry is truly mind blowing. Based on Cole Survey of 1925, the four sides of the base have an average error of only 58 millimetres in length, the base is horizontal and flat to within 15 mm. The precision of the assembly of the stones is so perfect that it is impossible to place a sheet of paper in between the stones. I was there and tried (that’s not my hand by the way)!
Petrie, who was one of the most important and influential figures in the history of Egyptology, has produced an enormous amount of archaeological evidence and data over his 60 years of research. Some precise mathematical equations were used to calculate every aspects of this architecture. The sides of the square base are closely aligned to the four cardinal compass points. The base of the pyramid is a square whose perimeter is equal to the circumference of a circle with a radius equal to the height of the great pyramid. If one divides the perimeter of the
Pyramid by its height, one obtains 2xpi. The notion of Pi can be seen over and over again throughout the design of the pyramid. Many therefore believe that the Pi was purposely included in the design whilst others claim that it would have been impossible for ancient Egyptians to know and understand the notion of Pi.
How could Egyptians have known in 2,600BC this mathematical irrational number when it was Williams Jones, a Swiss Born mathematician, who invented Pi in the 18th century?
How can this help us figure out potential functions of the Great Pyramid? It doesn’t directly of course, apart from the fact that it tells us that the builders of the Great Pyramid were great mathematician and architects and therefore defies the common belief of what was known and not known in ancient times. If we are wrong about the ingenuity of those designers, we might also be wrong in believing that the pyramids were built as tombs to great pharaohs. If Khufu was not the builder, then we might also be wrong in dating the Pyramid. Could it be much older than 2,600BC?
Let s therefore open our minds and explore the various theories related to this mystery.