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  • You probably remember learning about the Egyptian pyramids at some point in elementary school.

  • And even if you weren't part of the public school system, you were bound to encounter

  • some information about them at a museum or in a book.

  • These mammoths of structures are hard to escape as they're famous for being grandiose in

  • nature -- to put it lightly.

  • The tallest pyramid in Egypt, the Great Pyramid of Giza, once stood at 481 feet tall, but

  • has since eroded down to 451 feet because of vandalism.

  • For you to better imagine this, the average three-story building stands at just 45 feet

  • tall.

  • So, if we're doing the math correctly on this one -- and we know we are -- this pyramid

  • would've stood at the height of a 32-story building.

  • So, who's responsible for the creation of these ridiculously tall and ever-elusive,

  • mysterious pyramids?

  • We'll get to the bottom of it today on this episode of The Infographics Show -- Who Built

  • the Pyramids?

  • Before we get into the nitty gritty of who built them, let's start with some Pyramid

  • 101, shall we?

  • There are about 80 pyramids currently standing in Egypt.

  • The oldest is the Pyramid of Djoser, and it's located in Saqqara, north of the city Memphis.

  • The pyramid was built in 2630 B.C. for King Djoser.

  • Many of the more popularized and notable pyramids are in Giza, a city on the outskirts of Cairo,

  • some of which include the Giza Necropolis, Pyramid of Khufu -- one of the Seven Wonders

  • of the World -- and the Khafre Pyramid.

  • Ancient Egyptians were one of the first civilizations of people who believed in an afterlife.

  • They didn't see death as the cessation of life, but rather an interruption.

  • They believed that when a king died, a part of his spirit, or his ka, remained intact

  • with his physical body.

  • The mummification we've all come to know about that has also been popularized in media

  • served the purpose of preserving a king's spirit that they believed lived on.

  • They basically hoped the king's soul would return to his body and give it life again.

  • So the king's ka was never left wanting, they'd also bury riches like gold vessels,

  • food and furniture along with the dead king.

  • Egyptians really weren't messing around with this belief.

  • When the pharaoh was still alive, they revered him as an incarnate of Horus, God of the Sky,

  • and when he died, he took on the form of Osiris, the God of fertility and the underworld.

  • His responsibility as Osiris was to set the sun, while the new pharaoh, his son, would

  • raise it.

  • They believed this symbiotic relationship was important in maintaining cosmic balance.

  • Back to pyramids, though.

  • They were built to last -- made mostly of stone, like limestone, which was used to build

  • the core of the pyramid, while white limestone was used for its outer casing and for the

  • interior walls.

  • Pink granite was used on the walls inside, and basalt and alabaster were sometimes used

  • for the floors.

  • Egypt has sometimes been referred to as thestate of stone,” so there was never a

  • shortage of it.

  • The basalt they used sometimes came from the Fayum depression, one of the major oases of

  • the Western desert, while alabaster was from Luxor, a city on the eastern bank of the Nile.

  • Denys Stocks, an ancient technology consultant, believed that 45 workers were needed to move

  • a 35,900-lb -- that's 16.3 tons, by the way -- block, and eight people to move a 6,060

  • block, as he noted in his 2003 book Experiments in Egyptian Archaeology: Stoneworking Technology

  • in Ancient Egypt.

  • One single pyramid project could have taken between 20 to 30 years to finish building.

  • For the longest time, it was thought that slaves who were at the behest of an evil pharaoh

  • built the pyramids, and we can blame this fake news first and foremost on Herodotus,

  • the Greek historian who wrote that the Great Pyramid was constructed by 100,000 slaves

  • who 'laboured constantly and were relieved every three months by a fresh gang'.

  • The BBC further argues that there's no way King Khufu - 4th Dynasty ruler of Egypt responsible

  • for the commissioning of the Great Pyramid, had a body of slaves this large to work for

  • him, and there's no way that all of them could work at the same time.

  • We can also thank western Hollywood movies in part for perpetuating the myth.

  • Movies like The Ten Commandments, that epic from 1956 -- and we're not just saying that,

  • it's literally an epic saga that ran for 220 minutes -- portrayed slaves as the builders.

  • Another misconception that's circulated is that Jews built the pyramids.

  • This lie started when former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin made the claim when

  • he visited the National Museum of Cairo in 1977.

  • Amihai Mazar, a professor at the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of

  • Jerusalem and Israeli archaeologist, refutes Begin's claim because it simply doesn't

  • make any sense.

  • No Jews built the pyramids because Jews didn't exist at the period when the pyramids

  • were built," Mazar was quoted saying.

  • Dorothy Resig, an editor of Biblical Archaeology Review in Washington D.C., said this falsehood

  • could've also stemmed from a verse in Exodus which says something to the effect of: "So

  • the Egyptians enslaved the children of Israel with backbreaking labor" and the Pharaoh put

  • them to work to build buildings.”

  • That's not exactly the way the verse reads, but you get the picture.

  • Then there are those people out there who believe aliens are the ones who built them.

  • Let's all let out one huge exhaustive sigh.

  • This far-reaching theory looks a little bit like this:

  • If light moves 299,792,458 metres per second and the geographic coordinates for the Great

  • Pyramid are 29.9792458°N, and humans weren't capable of measuring the speed of light with

  • this type of accuracy until 1950, then "advanced aliens" must have time traveled back to Earth

  • from the future to build the pyramids.

  • People who believe in the Ancient Aliens theory also think aliens built Stonehenge in the

  • UK, and other ancient monuments.

  • Look, we're not responsible for what you guys believe and don't believe, but we are

  • saying that graffiti inside the pyramids, along with other evidence, tell a much different

  • story and have gotten archaeologists -- and now us -- closer to having a better idea of

  • who built the pyramids, how they would have lived and how they did it.

  • The BBC notes that archeologists have agreed that the workforce behind the Great Pyramid

  • was made up of two teams -- the primary workers and the temporary workers.

  • There were about 4,000 primary workers who worked on the quarries and were hauliers and

  • masons.

  • They lived with their families in a pyramid village.

  • The temporary team was made up of 16,000 to 20,000 workers who built ramps, shaped tools,

  • made mortar and were in charge of miscellaneous activities like supplying food, clothing and

  • fuel.

  • They lived in a separate camp near the pyramid village.

  • The state of the Nile was also important for pyramid builders to take into account.

  • For the building of the pyramid at Giza, Mark Lehner -- more on him later -- and archaeologist

  • Zahi Hawass believed that a skeleton crew would work on the pyramids throughout the

  • year, but a larger force would labor in late summer and early autumn, when the Nile flooded

  • surrounding fields.

  • Archaeologists haven't discovered all there is to know about the villages and camps where

  • pyramid builders dwelled, but excavations done between 1999 and 2002 by archaeologist

  • Lehner shed more light.

  • We know they slept on mud ramps, which served as barracks-style beds.

  • These barracks were in galleries, which can be thought of as like huge dorms in which

  • up to 2,000 temporary workers would stay.

  • These sleeping galleries also had spaces in the back for cooking and copper-working.

  • In 2016, archaeologist and Egyptologist Yukinori Kawae spoke out to an audience at a taping

  • for Nat Geo Live.

  • In that discussion, he said there was a vast amount of data on the outside of the pyramid,

  • but not enough on the inside -- or core -- of the structures themselves, which would shed

  • even more light on the construction techniques.

  • Before going into his discoveries, he laid out three hypotheses for how the core of a

  • pyramid would shed light on construction techniques.

  • For example, if the inside of the pyramid was made of horizontally arranged blocks,

  • this would've been amenable to using a straight ramp.

  • What he found was unlike any of these, though: He and other members of his team -- some of

  • which were computer scientists -- climbed the Great Pyramid for two and a half hours

  • and found a notch with a crevice and then a cave that was further in.

  • The team didn't have a laser scanner that would've been too heavy and clunky to carry

  • while climbing up, but they did manage to capture 20 minutes worth of video footage,

  • which they then broke down further into 300,000 3-D images.

  • Through these 3-D image renderings, they found that the cave was used for the packing of

  • sand and debris -- something called the chamber method.

  • He noted that it was also used for the construction of Egyptian temples and cities.

  • What did pyramid builders eat?

  • Turns out they had no beef with beef.

  • As much as 21 cattle and 23 sheep were sent to them daily from farms to get their meat

  • fix in.

  • They also ate fish and liked to kick it back with some beers.

  • And while we noted before that these people weren't slaves, pyramid building came at

  • a cost: Discoveries of their bodies show they suffered from arthritis, and their lower vertebrae

  • were impacted by the wear and tear.

  • Ouch.

  • As we mentioned before, an enormous amount of stone was needed to build these pyramids,

  • so the Egyptians had to figure out an efficient way of moving the blocks they eventually stacked

  • up.

  • An illustration in Twelfth Dynasty tomb of Djehutihotep of 172 men pulling a 60-ton alabaster

  • on a sledge has given experts a better sense of how they went about it.

  • These sledges they'd drag across the hot desert sand were simply wooden planks with

  • upturned edges.

  • So, not the most sophisticated, but still clever.

  • To make their lives easier, they'd wet the sand to make it easier to drag the sledge

  • across.

  • And they were old-school when it came to measuring.

  • They didn't use rulers, but a "cubit" was equal to the length from the tip of your middle

  • finger to your elbow, and a “handwas a unit that served as the guide -- the width

  • of your hand with the thumb on the side.

  • Cubits served them when they dug post holes at ten cubits along the base outline and laid

  • out the site in a grid.

  • Pyramid builders were precise in that they wanted to make sure the sides of the structures

  • ran parallel to the north-south and east-west axes, according to How Stuff Works.

  • To achieve this, they had to rely on nature instead of using compasses, which weren't

  • at their disposal.

  • The movements of the stars helped them identify which way was North and they used sighting

  • rods and circles to identify the rising and setting stars or the sun's shadow.

  • Finding out the other cardinal directions using lines and right angles then became a

  • piece of cake.

  • They were certainly a resourceful bunch.

  • In his book Engineering the Pyramids, Dr. Richard Parry hypothesizes that they might

  • have also used a cradle-like machine that suspended the rocks and allowed them to be

  • rolled by a few people.

  • The Obayashi Corporation, a Japanese construction company, went so far as to conduct a test

  • in 1996 to see if a two-and a half-ton block could be dragged by 18 men over 18 metres

  • per minute and the study proved it could be done.

  • In 2013, French archaeologist Pierre Tallet and his team discovered the papyrus writings

  • of a pyramid-building official simply named Merer in a cave in Wadi-al Jarf -- an area

  • on the Red Sea Coast -- and these gave an unprecedented look at how sophisticated the

  • teams worked, specifically when it came to obtaining copper.

  • And their method involved an L-shaped jetty that was 200 meters long.

  • According to Merer's writings, they'd use this harbour to protect a fleet of cargo

  • boats that would sail to the Sinai Peninsula, where copper would be mined, before returning

  • to Wadi al-Jarf, then using those materials for the construction of the Great Pyramid.

  • After all this, now you can whip out your impressive pyramid-building knowledge at the

  • next cocktail party when the topic comes up, or simply slap your silly friend who thinks

  • aliens built them.

  • You make the choice.

  • The pyramid-building, brain-eating aliens that secretly run our show and pay us to convince

  • you they didn't build the pyramids tell us that you would enjoy learning more about

  • ancient egypt, so check out our video Unbelievable stuff they didn't teach you about ancient

  • egypt.

You probably remember learning about the Egyptian pyramids at some point in elementary school.

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ピラミッドが実際にどのように建設されたかを明らかにする証拠 (Evidence Reveals How the Pyramids Were Actually Built)

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    Summer に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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