structure whose shape is roughly that of a pyramid in the geometric sense

A pyramid is a structure, usually made of stone, built in the shape of a pyramid. From ancient to modern times people in many different parts of the world have built such structures.

Pyramids of Giza

The word "pyramid" comes from the Greek word pyramis which meant "wheat cake." The ancient Egyptian word for them was something like "Mer".[1] The Great Pyramid of Giza was one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world.

The first pyramids were built in 2630 B.C. The oldest known pyramid was made for king Djoser of the third Dynasty.

Egyptian pyramids


In Egypt, kings and queens, called Pharaohs, were buried in the tombs of huge square-bottomed pyramids built of stone. They were usually built to be used as tombs for Pharaohs. The ancient Egyptian pyramids are very well built. Some of the pyramids still stand today.[2]

The oldest man-made pyramid found is called the Step pyramid. It is in the Giza Necropolis in Saqqara, near Cairo, Egypt. It was built for King Djoser thousands of years ago. Later pyramids were built much larger. The largest one was the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is near Cairo. It was the tallest building in the world until the Eiffel Tower was built in Paris, in 1889. The Great Pyramid was built by the pharaoh Khufu (= Cheops) from the Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom. Herodotus was told by his Egyptian guides that it took twenty years for a force of 100,000 slaves to build the pyramid (with another ten years to build a stone causeway that connected to a temple in the valley below).

People once thought pyramids were built by slaves. More recent evidence suggests that the workers who built the pyramids were paid and well-cared for. They were loyal to the Pharaoh. Inside the Great Pyramid, famous man-made objects have been found from ancient times. Many valuable items were buried with the dead Pharaohs, in the hope that they would take them to the afterlife. Pyramids usually had traps to stop thieves from escaping easily. Tomb thieves were punished by death if they were caught. However, by 1000 BC, many of the pyramids had been robbed of their precious treasures.

A large statue of a Sphinx stands near the pyramids at Giza. It has the body of a Lion and the head of a Pharaoh.

The ancient Greeks called the Great Pyramid one of the seven wonders of the world. There are over 100 pyramids in Egypt. Most of them are on the western side of the River Nile. Some Egyptologists have different opinions on why the ancient Egyptian Kings built pyramids as their tombs. Pyramids have been excavated for about the last 200 years.

The ancient Egyptians believed that the Egyptian pharaohs went to the stars to join their gods in the afterlife.

Pyramids in the Americas


The Aztecs and Mayans also built many massive pyramids. None are as old or big as the oldest or biggest Egyptian pyramids. Most of them are step pyramids.

Unlike Egyptian pyramids, which were used as tombs for rulers and wealthy people, Aztec and Mayan pyramids are believed to have been used for public displays of human sacrifice.

Modern pyramids

Luxor Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada
Pyramid Arena in Memphis, Tennessee
Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, California
Oscar Niemeyer's design for a museum in Caracas
Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco, California

Other pyramids


There are also ancient pyramids in other parts of Africa, Central America, Europe, North America, and Asia. There is a famous modern glass pyramid in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Luxor Hotel, in Las Vegas, Nevada is also a glass pyramid.



  1. Janet, Wood. "ANCIENT NILE'S ANCIENT EGYPT: PYRAMIDS History of the Egyptian Pyramids". 1995. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  2. "Ancient Egyptian History for Kids: Pyramids".
  3. "Information Technology Services, Solutions | IT Consulting & IT Managed Services - The Digital Group".
  4. "La pyramide de la baies des HaHa".
  5. В Витебске открыли пирамиду «Марко-сити» Archived 2014-05-17 at the Wayback Machine accessed: 13 November 2014
    В Витебске прошло открытие торгово-развлекательного комплекса «Марко-сити»
  6. Conception Official Zeitpyramide website, accessed: 13 November 2014
  7. Luisa Bocchietto, Mario Coda and Carlo Gavazzi. "THE OTHER OROPA: A Guide to the Monumental Cemetery of the Sanctuary" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-05-17. Retrieved 2014-11-12.
  8. |accessed: 13 November 2014

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