The Number of Pyramids in Egypt: A Mystery or a Fact?

Egypt is known for its majestic pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid of Giza, which is the only remaining wonder of the ancient world. But how many pyramids are there in Egypt, and how were they built? These questions have puzzled researchers and enthusiasts for centuries, and the answers are not as simple as they seem.

According to Wikipedia, there are at least 118 Egyptian pyramids that have been identified, but some scholars disagree on this number. The reason is that not all pyramids are the same, and some of them are not even completed or well-preserved.

For instance, some pyramids are built by the Nubian rulers who controlled Egypt during the 25th dynasty (around 712 to 664 BC). These pyramids are located in Sudan, and some experts argue whether they should be counted as Egyptian pyramids or not.

Another example is the so-called “Queen’s pyramids”, which are smaller structures that are often built next to larger pyramids. These pyramids are sometimes considered as “secondary pyramids”, and their number and status are also disputed.

Moreover, some pyramids were never finished or barely started, and their remains are hard to identify or excavate. For example, the “Headless Pyramid” was lost for a second time after it was buried by desert sands, and it was only rediscovered in 2008.

Additionally, some private individuals built their own pyramids on their tombs during the New Kingdom (circa 1550 to 1070 BC). These pyramids are usually small and ruined, and many of them are probably lost or unexcavated.

Therefore, the exact number of pyramids in Egypt depends on how one defines a pyramid, and what criteria one uses to count them. One expert, David Lightbody, an Egyptologist and adjunct professor at the University of Vermont, told Live Science that he believes 118 is a reasonable estimate, but he has not personally counted them all.

The Mystery of the Construction of Pyramids

Another question that fascinates many people is how the pyramids were built, especially the Great Pyramid of Giza, which stands 146 meters tall, weighs six million tons, and is composed of nearly 2.3 million granite and limestone blocks. The pyramid is almost perfectly aligned and the blocks are so tightly fitted that not even a hair can fit between them. The most astonishing thing is that the pyramid was built in less than 20 years.

Many theories have been proposed to explain the construction methods of the pyramids, ranging from the use of ramps, pulleys, levers, and rollers, to the involvement of aliens, magic, or advanced technology. However, none of these theories have been conclusively proven or widely accepted.

One of the most controversial theories was suggested by Professor Joseph Davidovits in 1988. He claimed that the pyramids were not made of natural stone, but of reconstituted geopolymer, a type of ancient concrete. He argued that the Egyptians mixed limestone, clay, and water to create a cement-like substance that they molded into blocks. He even demonstrated his theory by producing a cement block in 10 days.

However, many Egyptologists and geologists rejected his theory, and tried to prove that the pyramids were made of natural stone. They pointed out the flaws and inconsistencies in his experiments and arguments, and showed evidence of quarrying, chiseling, and transporting of stone blocks.

Recently, a new study by Michael Barsoum, a professor of engineering at Drexel University, has revived the debate. He used advanced techniques, such as X-rays, plasma torches, and electron microscopes, to analyze the microstructures of pyramid stones and compare them with natural stone from nearby quarries. He found that some of the stones, especially the outer casing, were indeed reconstituted limestone, while others were natural. He suggested that the Egyptians used both methods to build the pyramids, depending on the availability and quality of the stone.

The Significance of the Pyramids in Egypt

Regardless of the number and the construction of the pyramids, there is no doubt that they are among the most remarkable and impressive monuments of human civilization. The pyramids reflect the power and glory of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs, who ruled over a prosperous and advanced society for thousands of years. The pyramids also demonstrate the ingenuity and creativity of the ancient Egyptian engineers, architects, and workers, who achieved feats that still challenge and inspire us today.

The pyramids are not only monuments, but also tombs and temples. They were designed to protect and honor the pharaohs in their afterlife, and to connect them with the gods and the cosmos. The pyramids are full of symbolism and secrets, and they contain many chambers, passages, and artifacts that reveal the beliefs and practices of the ancient Egyptians. The pyramids are also part of a larger complex that includes other structures, such as the Sphinx, the Valley Temple, and the Solar Boat.

The pyramids are not only important for Egypt, but also for the world. They are a source of wonder and curiosity for millions of people, who visit them, study them, or admire them from afar. They are also a symbol of human achievement and potential, and a reminder of our shared history and heritage. The pyramids are a legacy that we should cherish and preserve for future generations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *