My Eight Wonders of the World
This is the first of my eight wonders. They will not be posted in order of importance as I find it difficult to rank them in their order of amazing. I intend to post the each of the next seven eventually. I have been fortunate enough to actually visit a few of these and the rest are on my “bucket list”:
The Pyramids at Giza, especially the Great Pyramid and the so-called Pyramid of Khafre (which is only slightly smaller). These pyramids display the best quality and are far superior to any that were constructed later. While Egyptologists generally agree that they were intended to house the tombs of the pharaohs that built them, the fact is there is no evidence that any of the three ever contained any mummies. The accepted dates of construction are circa 2580 to 2550 BC or about 4,600 years ago. However, an increasing few professionals are convinced that they were constructed much earlier for a different purpose and that the named pharaohs merely adopted the existing structures.
Initially standing at 146.5 meters (481 feet), the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years until Lincoln Cathedral was finished in 1311 AD. It is estimated that the pyramid weighs approximately 6 million tons, and consists of 2.3 million blocks of limestone and granite, some weighing as much as 80 tons. I have visited the great pyramid and been inside.
The most amazing feature, to me. is the Grand Gallery leading to the “kings chamber”. The Grand Gallery continues the slope of the Ascending Passage, but is 8.6 meters (28 ft) high and 46.68 meters (153.1 ft) long. At the base it is 2.06 meters (6.8 ft) wide, but after 2.29 meters (7.5 ft) the blocks of stone in the walls are corbelled inwards by 7.6 centimeters (3.0 in) on each side. There are seven of these steps, so, at the top, the Grand Gallery is only 1.04 meters (3.4 ft) wide. It is roofed by slabs of granite stone laid at a slightly steeper angle than the floor of the gallery, so that each stone fits into a slot cut in the top of the gallery like the teeth of a ratchet. The purpose was to have each block supported by the wall of the Gallery, rather than resting on the block beneath it, in order to prevent cumulative pressure.
The granite slabs they used to construct the corbelled vault in the passage and beams in the so called “kings burial chamber” weigh up to 50 tons each. Keep in mind that these were transported to near the very center of the interior of the pyramid.