The Gaza Pyramids
It seems that if the Giza Pyramids were designed to last forever that there’s a very good chance of that objective being met. The signs are pointing in that direction, a least. The tombs, which are from the Old Kingdom era of Egypt, are 4,500 years old.
Egyptian pharaohs will become gods in the afterlife, at least that’s the belief. They built pyramid tombs and temples in order to prepare themselves for the next life. They contain what the ruler will need to survive in that life.
The first Giza pyramid was started by Pharaoh Khufu circa 2550 B.C. That pyramid, the Great Pyramid, is Giza’s largest, stretching some 147m above the plateau. The estimated 2.3mn stone blocks weigh between 2.5 and 15 tons each, on average,
The second pyramid was constructed by Pharaoh Khafre, the son of Khufu, circa 2520 B.C. Khafre’s necropolis included a limestone monument called the Sphinx with the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion.
The third pyramid is far smaller by comparison. Pharaoh Menkaure constructed this pyramid circa 2490 B.C. This particular pyramid features a far more complicated mortuary temple. Each of the pyramids is just one of a whole, including features such as solar boat pits, temples, and a palace.
A building miracle
Giza’s achievements in engineering have impressed to the extent that they continue to confound scientists with regards to how they were constructed. While there is much to be learned, however, these scientists have uncovered a great deal about those who constructed them, as well as the political power that must have been required to make them happen.
The builders were well-fed and skilled labourers who resided in a city close to the pyramids. Archaeological work on the site has helped researchers to discover that there was once a community that was highly organised and contained numerous resources that must have been governed by a central authority.
Workers also likely came from other Egyptian communities, which may have provided essentials such as food. The project, after all, became something of a national one to demonstrate the ancient pharaohs’ control and wealth. Discoveries such as these led to the theory that Egypt was built by the Pyramids, as opposed to vice versa.
Preserving the Pyramids
If the pyramids contributed to the building of ancient Egypt, they also preserved it. Giza enables us to discover a world long gone. Tomb art depicts ancient farmers tending livestock and working their fields, as well as engaging in burial practices, religious rituals, carpentry, and fishing and fowling.
Text and inscriptions also enable research into English language and grammar. While education reveals a great deal of the Pyramids, nothing could ever replicate the experience of visiting the Gaza first-hand.
The pyramids and the future
There has been a rapid decline in the number of visitors to the pyramids since the 2011 Arab Spring that began a period of political upheaval. There have been numerous administration changes since then and that instability has led to uncertainty over the future of tourism in the area.