The Pyramids

by Brendan W.

Step 1: Cutting Stones

Skilled workers had to cut the stones to the correct size. The stones came from limestone quarries. Some stones could way 3 tons!

Step 2: Shipping Stones

Then the workers had to ship the stones up the Nile River by boats called dhows.

There were two boats on either side of the stone to support it. Each boat had at least ten people rowing on either side.

Step 3: Placing Stones

The workers built ramps to place the stones on the pyramid. They used wooden sleds to haul the massive stones up the ramps. Sometimes it took ten people to move one block.

Step 4: Filling the pyramid

After the pyramids were built, then they had to fill it with precious items of the deceased pharaoh. Many items included were: jewels, crowns, their mummified pets, and amulets for protection. Their organs were stored in ceramic containers called canopic jars.

Step 5: The Funeral

After the valuables were placed in the pyramid, then the pharaohs body was delivered to the pyramid by boat down the Nile River. There would be a funeral leading from the river to the pyramids.

Step 6 Placing the body

After the procession then they would go through a series of tunnels to get to the center of the pyramid. The winding pathways were meant to try and trick grave robbers trying to steal the mummy or jewels. Many of the wrong ways had booby traps to trap grave robbers.

Step 7 Sealing the pyramid

After leaving the tomb, large, heavy doors would be moved into position and locked. This was another way to try and deter robbers from entering. They also set traps behind them so no one can enter again. The pyramid was then sealed and the original entrance was hidden and covered with smooth limestone.

Step 8 Rediscovery

Travelers and explores began uncovering the monuments of ancient Egypt in the 1800's. Giovanni Belzoni discovered the tomb of the pharaoh Seti I in 1816. Gean Champollion deciphered hieroglyphics in 1822. Formal excavations began during the building of the Suez Canal from 1859-69


I like how the Ancient Egyptians were so protective of their king's body. I wonder how they knew their way around the pyramids tunnels as they were building it. I learned when the pyramids were first excavated and that they were originally coated with shiny white limestone. During the months when the Nile River flooded and the land could not be farmed, over 20,000 laborers worked on the the Great Pyramid at Giza. I learned how they moved the stones to the pyramids. It took stone cutters, carpenters and other workers. I wonder how it only took them 20 years to do that.