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Telegraph News. Visitors can now descend down a metre tunnel to reach two vaults deep inside the structure. We've noticed you're adblocking. On the walls of Fifth and Sixth Dynasty pyramids are inscriptions known as the Pyramid Texts, an important source of information about Egyptian religion. The scarcity of ancient records, however, makes it difficult to be sure of the uses of all the buildings in the pyramid complex or the exact burial procedures. It is thought that the king's body was brought by boat up the Nile to the pyramid site and probably mummified in the Valley Temple before being placed in the pyramid for burial.
There has been speculation about pyramid construction. Egyptians had copper tools such as chisels, drills, and saws that may have been used to cut the relatively soft stone. The hard granite, used for burial chamber walls and some of the exterior casing, would have posed a more difficult problem. Workmen may have used an abrasive powder, such as sand, with the drills and saws.
Knowledge of astronomy was necessary to orient the pyramids to the cardinal points, and water-filled trenches probably were used to level the perimeter. A tomb painting of a colossal statue being moved shows how huge stone blocks were moved on sledges over ground first made slippery by liquid.
The blocks were then brought up ramps to their positions in the pyramid. Finally, the outer layer of casing stones was finished from the top down and the ramps dismantled as the work was completed. Most of the stone for the Giza pyramids was quarried on the Giza plateau itself.
Egypt opens ancient pyramids for first time since s
Some of the limestone casing was brought from Tura, across the Nile, and a few of the rooms were cased with granite from Aswan. Marks of the quarry workers are found on several of the stone blocks giving names of the work gangs such as "craftman-gang". Part-time crews of laborers probably supplemented the year-round masons and other skilled workers. The Greek historian Heroditus reported in the fifth century B.
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Pyramid building was at its height from the Fourth through the Sixth Dynasties. Smaller pyramids continued to be built for more than one thousand years.
How the Pyramids at Giza were built is one of Egypt's biggest mysteries.
Scores of them have been discovered, but the remains of others are probably still buried under the sand. As it became clear that the pyramids did not provide protection for the mummified bodies of the kings but were obvious targets for grave robbers, later kings were buried in hidden tombs cut into rock cliffs. Although the magnificent pyramids did not protect the bodies of the Egyptian kings who built them, the pyramids have served to keep the names and stories of those kings alive to this day.