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500 Years of Glory: The Great Pyramids: UNESCO Culture Sector

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Subido el 1 de junio de 2007 por Educamadrid P.

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The longest river on earth, the Nile, runs through the African continent. Ancient Egypt’s civilization first developed along its banks about 5000 years ago.

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NHK World Heritage 100 Series - UNESCO
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Educamadrid P.
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1 de junio de 2007 - 10:51
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Sixty or so pyramids have been discovered to date, half of them concentrated in the suburbs of Cairo. The largest is the Great Pyramid of Khufu, said to have been built around 4500 years ago. Its 3 million stone blocks weigh 2.5 tons each. It is 147 meters high, equivalent to a 40-storey building. The stones are laid so precisely that not even a razor can be slipped between the joints. Inside the pyramid, the Great Gallery leads to the King’s Chamber. A stone coffin without a lid was discovered here but not the mummy of the King. The five horizontal layers of space above the King’s Chamber are said to disperse the stones’ enormous weight. Amazing engineering skill was used to join two large slabs of rocks together. The sand would eventually be drained out so the two pieces would seal together.

Who built the monument? In the past, the work was thought to have been carried out by slaves, but evidence discovered in 1990 indicates that this was not the case. Burial grounds of laborers have been discovered. An attendance book was found which provided hints to the lives of ancient Egyptian workers. This person was absent due to a hangover. The workers were free to take leave, an indication they were not forced labour. The construction of these gigantic monuments gradually declined 500 years after the first pyramid was built. The decline has been linked to various factors: change in environment, lack of materials and political instability. But, it still remains a mystery.

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