According to orthodox Egyptology the three main pyramids on the Giza plateau are the funerary structures of Pharaohs from the fourth dynasty of The Old Kingdom (2575 to 2465 B.C.). The Great Pyramid is believed to have been built by Khufu (Cheops). The Second Pyramid is attributed to Khafre (Chephren), and the smallest of the three pyramids to Menkaure (Mycerinus). The Great Pyramid originally towered to a height of 481 feet (146.7 meters). Covering an area of 13 acres, or 53,000 square meters, it is constructed from approximately 2.5 million limestone blocks weighing on average 2.6 tons each. Its total mass is more than 6.3 million tons (representing more stone than has been used to build all of the churches and cathedrals in England since the time of Jesus). The Great Pyramid was originally encased in highly polished white limestone and capped, according to legend, by a perfect pyramid (pyramidion) of solid gold. The white limestone casing blocks were slowly pilfered over the millennia and those that remained were taken away by an Arab sultan in AD 1356, in order to rebuild mosques and fortresses in nearby Cairo after a devastating earthquake.

The Great Pyramid consists mainly of solid stone; it's only known interior spaces being the Descending Passage (the original entrance), the Ascending Passage, the Grand Gallery, a grotto and subterranean chamber, and the two main chambers. These two chambers were named the King's Chamber and the Queen's Chamber by early Arab explorers. The King's Chamber is built of enormous blocks of solid red granite weighing as much as 50 tons. These were transported by still-unknown means from the quarries of Aswan 600 miles to the south. Within the chamber, at the western end, sits a large lidless coffer of dark black granite estimated to weigh more than three tons. When the Arab Abdullah Al Mamoun broke into the chamber in AD 820, the first entry since the chamber was originally sealed; he found the coffer entirely empty. Orthodox Egyptologists assume that this was the final resting place of Khufu, yet there is no evidence to suggest that a corpse was ever entombed in the chamber.

The enormous size of the Giza plateau pyramids, their mathematical complexity, and the stupendous construction expertise required to build them, represent a quantum leap in architectural development relative to the preceding third dynasty. Mainstream Egyptology cannot account for this huge advance in architectural achievement, nor can they convincingly explain its rapid decline in the 5th and later dynasties.


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