Grand Designs – The Ancient Pyramids

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In a previous post as part of our grand designs series, we looked at the Eiffel Tower. Today, let’s take a look at the pyramids of Egypt. These magnificent structures are thousands of years old, with over 130 discovered to date across Egypt and who knows, there may even be more! Here’s a list with some cool facts about these ancient wonders:


  1. Most Ancient Egyptian pyramids were built as tombs for Pharaohs and their families.
  2. The first Egyptian pyramid is believed to be the Pyramid of Djoser, it was built in Saqqara around 4650 years ago (2640 BC).
  3. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and largest of three pyramids in the Giza Necropolis.
  4. Also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, it is the oldest of the Ancient Wonders of the World and the last one still largely intact.
  5. For over 3800 years, the Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest man made structure in the world.
  6. Although it has lost around 10 metres (33 feet) in height, it still stands around 146 metres (480 feet) above the ground.
  7. Nearly all Egyptian Pyramids are located on the west bank of the Nile.
  8. Egyptian Pyramids often contain multiple chambers and passages.
  9. Bodies placed in the tombs were preserved by mummification.
  10. Egyptians buried their dead with burial goods that ranged from everyday items they believed would useful in the afterlife to more expensive items such as jewelry.
  11. Tomb robbers targeted many of the royal tombs and most were eventually robbed.
  12. One tomb that was left largely intact was that of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings. Rediscovered in 1922 by Howard Carter, this famous tomb is best known for the solid gold funerary mask of Tutankhamun.


Watch the video – you will have to read quickly to take in some amazing facts!


Inquiry – Digging Deeper

In class you can easily build your own pyramid with just a few items:


  • 8 barbecue sticks (per pyramid)
  • Glue (a glue gun would be even better)
  • blue tack to hold sticks in place
  • Cutters
  • Measuring tape or a ruler


Once you’ve got all of your items, check out the below video for a step-by-step guide on how to build your own pyramid: