On the rocky plateau of Giza, rise three great pyramids, each built during the lifetime of a pharaoh. Together, these pyramids constitute the most celebrated group of monuments in the world. While the pyramids at Giza were built in the Fourth Dynasty (2615-2500 BC), the first pyramid was actually built in Saqqara during the reign of King Zoser of the Third Dynasty. This first pyramid was a step pyramid meaning that the sides were not filled to make an even surface.
Egypt, like no other land, has drawn historians, theologists and scientists to study the pyramids. The historians are still coming up with new theories about why they were built and who built them. There are many mysteries about the pyramids that are waiting to be unlocked.
The pyramids were not built in isolation but as part of a larger complex dedicated to the dead. The Egyptians believed that the physical body has a vital spiritual force, which they called ka. If the physical body was properly preserved and the tomb furnished with all the various objects of regular life, the ka could return and continue its life despite the death of the physical body.
The Egyptians also had other means of burial practices. Many of the pharaohs were buried in hidden temples. A famous discovery is the one of King Tutankhamen.
King Cheops of the Fourth Dynasty chose a plateau in Giza for his pyramid. He followed his father's constructions which was the first real pyramid.
The pyramid of Cheops was also known as the Great Pyramid. One hundred thousand Egyptians worked on it for twenty years before it was completed. It was the largest tomb-pyramid ever built. It was said that if the pyramid was taken apart, the stones could build a wall ten feet tall and one foot wide all around the entire county of France. The Great Pyramid was made of granite and limestone. Two late kings of the Fourth Dynasty, Cephren and Mycerinus, followed Cheops's example by building...