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Ancient_01. The Great Pyramid of Khufu


1. Introduction of the Great Pyramid of Khufu

Full package (A textbook with learning videos and a 3D puzzle)

The Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza, Egypt

[Youtube] The construction building site of the Great Pyramid of Khufu (by Jean-Pierre Houdin)

2. Background Knowledge of the Great Pyramid of Khufu

The Pyramid of Khufu is the only surviving structure of the Seven Wonders of the World, built in Giza, Egypt. It is believed that the tomb of King Khufu was built around 2560 BC over a period of 20 years.

 ● Location: A desert plateau of the Egyptian city of Giza

 ● When constructed: It was completed when King Khufu (2589 BC-2566 BC) ruled ancient Egypt.

 ● Size: Each side of the pyramid’s square base is 233 m long. The base spans 53,000 m2 and the pyramid’s volume is 2.5 million cubic meters. The height of the pyramid was shortened to 137 m from the original height of 147 m after the top 10 m part broke off.

 ● Materials: About 2.3 million stone blocks cut from the stones near Giza and limestone from the Nile River. Each stone weighs about 2.5 tons. The whole pyramid weighs almost 6 million tons.

 ● Features:

  - One of the seven Wonders of the World.

  - One of the three pyramids of Giza together with Khafre’s Pyramid and Menkaure’s Pyramid. As the biggest pyramid in Egypt, it is also called the Great Pyramid.

3. Passages of the Great Pyramid of Khufu

1. Interesting Story about Artifacts and Historic Sites

Pyramid of Khufu and Sphinx

In Egypt, there is a gigantic pyramid near a city called Giza. It was built a long, long time ago by a king named Khufu. This pyramid is so big that it can fit ten soccer fields at its base, and it's as tall as a building with 45 floors! Can you imagine that? It took about 20 years to build this huge pyramid, and guess what? Over 100,000 workers helped to build it!

Before Khufu, another king named Djoser wanted a special tomb, so he told his servants to build a step pyramid. They stacked rectangular structures called mastabas on top of each other to make it. After Djoser, many kings, called pharaohs, built pyramids with flat steps for hundreds of years. Today, only 80 pyramids are left standing.

Why did the Egyptians build such big tombs? Well, they believed in something called the afterlife, which means they thought there was life after death. They wanted to keep their bodies safe, so they mummified dead people and built tombs to protect them. Isn't that interesting?

Next to Khufu's pyramid, there are two more pyramids. One holds the king's son, and the other holds his grandson. And guess what else? There is a famous statue called the Great Sphinx nearby! It was built for another king named Khafre, and it has the body of a lion and the face of a human. How cool is that?

2. World History at a Glance

Egyptian Civilization, the Gift of the Nile

Egypt has a lot of hot desert, but the land near the Nile River is different. The Nile floods every year because of heavy rain, and this makes the soil very fertile. The Egyptians called this soil the 'Black Land' because it helped plants grow well. They grew lots of delicious food because of the floods.

Around 5,000 years ago, many people moved to live near the Nile River. It became like a busy highway with ships carrying goods up and down the river. People traded and new towns were built along the riverbanks.

Egypt was divided into upper and lower parts. A long time ago, a king named Menes from Upper Egypt went to war against Lower Egypt because he wanted the good land near the Nile River. He won, and Egypt became one united kingdom. After that, many kings ruled Egypt for about 3,000 years. That's a really long time! The Egyptians were smart and knew a lot about stars and math. They used math to count days and years and even built giant pyramids using math.

3. Interesting Story about a Historic Figure

Ramses II, the Face of Egypt

Do you know who the most famous pharaoh of Egypt is? Some people say it's Tutankhamun because he had a golden mask. Others say it's Khufu because he built a great pyramid. But there's one king who left statues of his face all over Egypt, and his name is Ramses II.

Ramses II was the third pharaoh of the 19th dynasty of Egypt, and he ruled for a very long time, over 60 years! He became pharaoh when he was just a young boy because his grandfather and father passed away. When he became king, there were some problems with religion in Egypt, but Ramses II solved them with his strong power.

But guess what? Ramses II faced an even bigger problem when the Hittites from Asia attacked Egypt. He fought with his army, but the Hittites were really strong. Eventually, both sides decided to make peace. Ramses II agreed to marry a princess from the Hittites, and the war ended. After that, Ramses II sent his armies to other places and made Egypt a bigger country.

Ramses II lived for a very long time, until he was 90 years old. When he died, he was buried in a special place called the Valley of the Kings. Many years later, people found his mummy and discovered that he had white skin and reddish-blond hair. How interesting!

4. Integrating World History and Mathematics

Thales and the Height of a Pyramid

There was a smart philosopher from Greece named Thales. He lived a long time ago in the 6th century BC, in a place that is now called Türkiye. Thales visited Egypt and was amazed by the huge size of the pyramid built by Khufu.

Thales wanted to find out how tall the pyramid was. One sunny day, he put a stick in the ground near the pyramid. He watched as the shadows of the pyramid and the stick got longer throughout the day. He patiently waited until the shadow of the pyramid was the same length as the stick. Then he said, "The length of the pyramid's shadow right now is equal to the height of the pyramid!"

Thales realized that the shapes formed by the stick and its shadow, and the pyramid and its shadow, were similar. This means that they had the same shape, just different sizes. By using this idea, Thales was able to calculate the height of the pyramid.

4. Quizess of the Great Pyramid of Khufu

1. What is another name for the Pyramid of Khufu?

2. What are pyramids built for?

3. What makes the land next to the Nile River good for growing crops?

4. What is the name of the statue near Khufu's pyramid?

5. What did Thales use to figure out the height of the pyramid?

6. Which animal does the body of the sphinx look like?