Rachel Neumeier

Fantasy and Young Adult Fantasy Author

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How were the Pyramids constructed?

I recently stumbled across this article: Archaeologists solve the mystery of the Great Pyramid

What mystery? I asked myself.

It turns out they mean archaeologists have found evidence about the construction materials and methods used:

New evidence proves that the ancient Egyptians constructed the Great Pyramid at Giza by transporting 170,000 tons of limestone in boats.

It has long been known that the rock was extracted eight miles away in Tura and that granite used in the monumental structure was quarried 533 miles away in Aswan.

However, archaeologists have disagreed over how the material was transported to Giza, now part of modern-day Cairo, for construction of Pharaoh Khufu’s tomb in 2600 BC.

So not really a mystery, far less THE mystery. Just a question about methods, no doubt the subject of various academic squabbles over the last little while.

Who was it who was talking about Egyptologist envy and said something like, “No matter what you’re studying, you can’t help but realize that the Egyptians did it ten times longer ago at ten times the size.”

Martha Wells is always dropping giant ruins of long-vanished civilizations into her worlds. If you’d like to do the same in your worldbuilding — or for that matter show living civilizations that build on a grand scale — this might be the kind of construction detail that you’d enjoy working into your worldbuilding.

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