Huge blocks of rock were cut from places many miles away and taken by boat to Giza and other places where pyramids were being built. The slaves used a series of logs rolling on the ground to move the giant stones. Then, they put them in place as parts of a pyramid.
The first pyramids were called "Step Pyramids" because they looked like giant steps. The pyramids we most recognize today, the smooth ones, were built later.
The Pyramids were built over a period of many years. The first great pyramid was ordered built by King Khufu (or Cheops), about 2600 B.C. This is the Great Pyramid, near Giza. It is 481 feet tall and 755 feet wide at each base. Historians believe that about 100,000 workers slaved away for more than 20 years to build this one pyramid.
Other pyramids followed, ordered built by other pharaohs. Historians still don't know how many pyramids were built in all because they are always finding remains of others beneath the constantly blowing sands of the Sahara Desert.
See pyramids-1for lots more useful information.
All of Egypt's pyramids are sited on the west bank of the Nile and most are grouped together in a number of pyramid fields.
The German Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius (1810-84) produced the first modern list of pyramids in 1842. He identified 67. A great many more have since been discovered, in November 2008 118 pyramids had been identified. The location of Pyramid 29 for example, the so-called "Headless Pyramid", was lost for a second time when the structure was buried by desert sands subsequent to Lepsius' survey. It was only rediscovered again during an archaeological dig conducted in 2008.
Many pyramids are in a poor state of preservation or buried by desert sands. If visible at all they may appear as little more than mounds of rubble. As archaeological techniques improve Egyptologists are continuing to identify and study previously unknown pyramid structures.
The most recent pyramid to be discovered is that of Queen Sesheshet, mother of 6th Dynasty Pharaoh Teti, located at Saqqara. The discovery was announced by the Egyptian Council of Antiquities, on 11 November 2008.
There are of course hundreds of other pyramids around the world, outside of Egypt. Sudan alone has 220 existing pyramids, and there are hundreds more in the Middle East and Central and South America. In fact, the world's largest pyramid is actually in Mexico. Then of course, there is no time limit so it is not limited to Ancient times.
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