How Was Math Used In Building The Great Pyramid

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• Published: April 3, 2004

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Abstract

The Egyptians have had many great wonders. One of these wonders are pyramids. Because this was an ancient wonder, many people believe that the Egyptians didn't use any math but only used logic and reason to build pyramids. If this is true, then how did they build the Great Pyramid? They used simple math to make such a great pyramid. They used the Pythagorean Theorem, trigonometry and simple algebra. They also measured the angle of each direction so that each side of the pyramid was facing exactly north, south, east and west.

(the essay)

"In ancient Egypt mathematics was used for measuring time, straight

lines, the level of the Nile flooding", calculating areas of land, counting

money, working out taxes and cooking. Math was also used in mythology.

The Egyptians had figured out the numbers of days in the year with their

calendar. They were one of the ancient peoples who came close to the

actual year, through their mathematical skills. Math was also used for

building tombs, pyramids and other architectural marvels. The Egyptian

built one of the seven ancient wonders which was the great pyramid. The

Great Pyramid of Khufu from the Fourth Dynasty was a mathematical

wonder. Not only did it take a long time to build but it involved a lot of

math. This essay shows how the pyramids were built using

math.(Seawright)

"The ancient Egyptians built pyramids as tombs for the pharaohs and

their queens. The pharaohs were buried in pyramids of many different

shapes and sizes from before the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the end

of the Middle Kingdom. There are about eighty pyramids known today from

ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at

Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. The most well-known of these

pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the "Great

Pyramid".(Nevin) Khufu the pharaoh began planning his own pyramid as

soon as he took the throne. The spot that was chosen for the making of his

pyramid was on the west bank of the Nile River.

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"Khufu's architects were wise and experienced men. They knew the

importance of building the pharaoh's final resting place so that its sides faced

directly north, south, east and west. The architects planned the largest

pyramid ever built in ancient Egypt. The outlines of the pyramid were

measured and marked in the desert sand. Then they started to build it. Many

large blocks of stone were cut from quarries that were nearby. They were

dragged by groups of men across the desert to the site of the pyramid and set

in place."(Morris) Most of the workers were farmers who worked on

building the pyramid during the flood season when their fields were under

water. The flood season was when the Nile River's water began to rise. This

day was calculated with math and astronomy. The Egyptians looked for a

star called Sirius just before the sunrise. They made this the first day of a

new year. This meant that it was time to work on the pyramid. Slaves also

worked on this massive pyramid. There is still controversy on how the

Egyptians got the stones on higher levels of the pyramid. Some people say

that they built ramps of mudbrick, limestone chips and clay. Others say that t

they tied trees together and used them as ramps. But the question is where

would the Egyptians get trees from? After all there weren't many trees in

and around the area that the Egyptians lived. They lived mostly in hot, sandy

deserts. After the first levels of blocks were in place, the workers built more

ramps on top of the first layer of stones. This helped make carrying tons of

stones faster. For about 20 years, hundreds of men worked on building the

pyramid. As they built each level, they also built up the ramps around the

pyramid. "When the pyramid was almost finished, a special block

covered in shining metal was placed on the...