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The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt were built as tombs for the ruling Pharaohs and their families. They were, well, they were pyramid shaped buildings built of stone that were intended to last for all eternity. They are doing well so far!
The oldest known pyramid was built for the Pharaoh Djoser which was built during the 3rd dynasty (between 2630 BC and 2611 BC).
This pyramid, and the whole complex in which it is found, was designed by the great architect of the time, Imhotep.
It is a step pyramid with 6 tiers.
There are 138 known pyramids in Egypt, most of which were built during the Old and Middle Kingdoms.
The largest of the pyramids is the Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. This is the only one remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
It has been estimated that the number of people required to build a pyramid was anywhere between two and one hundred thousand!
One school of thought that has changed over time was who built the pyramids. It was originally believed (first by the Ancient Greeks) that it was slave labour that made the pyramids possible. This has since been revised as evidence points to many thousands of skilled craftsmen and workers being responsible.
The Sphinx at Giza is another unexplained construction. Nobody knows why, when or how it was built! All we know for certain is that it is a sphinx (a mythical creature with the body of a lion but the head of a man).
All of the Egyptian pyramids are located on the West bank of the River Nile as this is where the sun sets and is so associated with the realm of the dead.
Exactly why the pyramids were built, and why they are shaped as they are, is still not known but many people believe that they are built as passageways to the heavens.
There is a central shaft in the Great Pyramid at Giza that extends from the main burial chamber all the way through to the point and some Egyptologists believe that this was for the soul to exit directly to heaven.
Will any modern buildings still be standing in 4000 years' time?