How Were Pyramids Built? Ancient Secrets Revealed!

How Were Pyramids Built? Ancient Secrets Revealed!

How Were Pyramids Built? The Egyptians built pyramids for many reasons. They believed that after death, they would enter a different world, where they would have a new life, and they wanted to preserve their bodies for that purpose. Therefore, they would place many things that were meaningful to them in their graves. They would also pay large sums of money to have their remains preserved. The poor would be buried in the sand, while the wealthy would be buried in a tomb.

How Were Pyramids Built?
Photo by Murat Şahin on

How Were Pyramids Built?

Science Behind Pyramids

The construction of the Pyramids, especially the Great Pyramid of Giza, is a marvel of human engineering that continues to perplex scientists even today. Several theories have been proposed over the centuries, but recent scientific research has provided some intriguing insights into this ancient mystery.

One prevailing theory posits that the ancient Egyptians built these massive structures from the inside out using a method called internal ramp theory. As per this theory, Egyptians used a spiraling, internal ramp to hoist the limestone blocks to the necessary heights. This internal ramp, along with an external ramp, would have allowed the builders to work on multiple sections of the pyramid simultaneously.

Additionally, scientists have discovered that the pyramids’ building blocks, weighing up to several tons, were transported from quarries located several miles away, using a system of sledges and canals. Recent archaeological evidence suggests that the ancient builders may have dampened the sand, reducing friction, making it easier to drag heavy blocks across the desert.

In combination with a workforce estimated to be in the tens of thousands, they leveraged their deep understanding of the physical world to achieve these remarkable feats of engineering. While these theories provide a plausible explanation of the construction techniques, the pyramids continue to guard their secrets, offering a testament to the resourcefulness and ingenuity of our ancestors


Steep Slopes

The blocks that make up the Giza pyramid were not carved stone; they were most likely made of limestone concrete, or limestone concrete-like material. These blocks were then “cast” into place, just like modern concrete. They were made from soft limestone with a high kaolinite content that was quarried from a wadi south of the Giza Plateau. Then lime and natron were added, and the slurry was allowed to evaporate.

In the Giza Plateau, there are several theories about how the pyramids were built. One theory suggests that the ancients built pyramids using steep slopes. In addition, ancient Egyptians used large sleds or ropes to pull the stones up the steep sand. The ancients probably also used water to reduce friction, which would have reduced the number of workers required.

Diagonal lines

In order to determine the slope of each face of the pyramid, the diagonal lines are determined. Once these are determined, the remaining blocks of each course can be filled in. Next, the outer surface of the pyramid is smoothed by using the inverse-slope of the faces. The final step involves cutting the casing blocks with precision.


The construction of the pyramids is an impressive feat. Scientists have long puzzled over how the ancient Egyptians built such massive structures. Then, recently, Egyptologists unearthed a ramp at an ancient quarry that could have made the process easier and more efficient. The ancient Egyptians must have had enormous difficulty transporting these huge blocks across the desert, and the ramp could have made the task easier.


Slave labor

There is much debate about whether the Pyramids were built by slave labor or not. Some ancient sources, such as Herodotus, claim that tens of thousands of Egyptian slaves built the great pyramid in Giza. Other sources, such as Josephus, suggest that Hebrew slaves worked as pyramid builders. In the 1990s, archeologists began excavating cemeteries around the great pyramid and found that slaves were involved in the construction process.


The Ancient Egyptian government used a system of labor conscription known as Corvee, in which out-of-season farmers were drafted to work on large construction projects. The Egyptian government needed people to work in the summer months, when their fields were under water. The workers paid their taxes by performing physical labor. They were paid in goods such as beer and grain, since dedicated currency hadn’t yet developed.

Educated Slaves

Egyptian slaves were not inhumanely treated. They were held in high regard and many were highly educated. Some of them were even used to help with accounting. Others worked as servants caring for royal children. In fact, they were considered almost as valuable as the higher-status Egyptians.

The tombs of these workers have been found in Sudan, including tombs of men who worked for the Pharaohs. The tombs were constructed around 2150 BC and date back to the fourth or sixth dynasty. Egyptologist Zahi Hawass has spent years discovering clues left by these workers. These clues have revealed many details about their daily lives.


Mud bricks

Throughout history, people have been building with soil and mud bricks for construction. This technique dates back to the Predynastic period, which is equivalent to the Neolithic period of the Stone Age. Mud bricks are made from a mixture of clay, silt, and sand.

They were used in the construction of houses and palace complexes. The modern word “adobe” comes from this same term, which is derived from the ancient Egyptian word “dbe”, which was later shortened to “al” and translated into English. The ancient Egyptians used mud brick architecture for both poor people’s homes and palaces for kings.

Although many archaeologists dispute this theory, one theory is that mud bricks were used to build the pyramids. Some Egyptian temples required large storage capacity for various items, including food and royal mummies. The use of mud bricks would have been a good way to build these buildings.

Limestone casings

The pyramids of the Middle Kingdom were built using mud bricks and limestone casings, but they do not look like pyramids today. In fact, they look more like rubble heaps. Unlike their modern counterparts, the Middle Kingdom pyramids were built in big pyramid shapes to ensure that they would stand upright. This is one of the most ambitious building projects of all time, and one of history’s biggest mistakes.

The pyramids were built in layers, with the base being finished last. The upper part of the pyramid was finished first. The next level below that was finished off last, and finally the base.

Limestone quarries

The stones that made up the Giza pyramids were carved out of limestone quarries near Cairo. They were then heaved up huge ramps and set in place by armies of workers. Archaeologists and historians are unsure how they did this, but some think they used pulleys and levers. At the time, the wheel had not been invented, so it’s unclear how the stones were moved from one place to another.


While we do not know how the pharaohs built the great Pyramids, we do know that they used a mixture of limestone and concrete to build them. The Egyptians quarried limestone, a type of soft rock, and filled it with a lime-based slurry. The Egyptians also mixed it with natron, which was used in mummification.

Colorful limestone

The limestone used in the pyramids was mainly off-white, but some kinds are yellow and orange. The stone is an excellent conductor of heat, which means it helps buildings remain cool. Furthermore, it is relatively inexpensive. This makes it a popular building material. However, it is important to understand that limestone is not just a building material. It can be used in many different construction projects.

The Egyptians believed in an afterlife. They wanted their departed souls to return to their bodies. Because of this belief, they used mummification. The Pharaohs were buried with many other artifacts along with their bodies. The Ancient Egyptians also used magic spells, funerary texts, and protective amulets to protect the dead. The mummified bodies also wore special masks that were meant to give them strength.


The floor of the Pyramids was often covered with basalt, also known as alabaster. This rock was mined from underground deposits or open pits. It was then transported on a lake to the construction site. Previously, the building material of choice in Egypt was mud bricks. These bricks were then cured by burning in an oven, which helped make them more durable.

Varieties of Stones

The ancient Egyptians categorized stones by their appearance, strength and location. They differentiated limestone, sandstone, granite, alabaster, and basalt. The latter was the most commonly used stone in the pyramids. Besides basalt, the other rocks were also used. However, basalt was grouped with granite because it is the hardest of all stone.

The construction process of a new pyramid began with meticulous planning. It was overseen by a “royal master builder” or vizier. This person was in charge of all royal works. A specialist was hired to draw up plans, which were later drawn on papyri and flat limestone slabs. Afterward, the planners made models of their pyramid. One example of such a model can be found in the Pyramid of Amenemhet III at Dahshur. The construction process also involved various rituals and initiations.


The construction process took several centuries to complete. The outer casing stones were removed after a massive earthquake in the 14th century. Archaeologists believe that thousands of craftsmen and workers worked on the pyramids. There have been workers’ cemeteries discovered in the early 1990s.

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