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10 Intriguing Facts about Pyramids

Last Reviewed and Updated on June 6, 2022

Pyramids have been built all around the world throughout history, and there are many different facts about pyramids that you might not know! Did you know that the word “pyramid” comes from the Latin word “pyramis”, which possibly originated from the Ancient Greek word meaning something along the lines of “wheat, reap – piles of wheat”? Ready to learn more? Read on!

1. A pyramid is a structure that is roughly shaped like a pyramid (object)

When someone mentions a pyramid the first thing people think about is usually ancient Egyptian pyramids. And while that is correct, pyramids themselves aren’t just limited to the ancient Egyptian civilization.

A pyramid is any monumental structure that has a square or triangular base and sloping sides that meet at a point at the top of the structure. Many civilizations throughout history have been building pyramidal structures.

2. Many civilizations built pyramids

We are sure you are familiar with the ancient Egyptian pyramids, however, pyramids have been built all across the globe.

Besides Egyptians, some of the other civilizations that built the pyramids include Ancient China, Aztec, Maya, Pre-Inca, and quite a few more. They come in different sizes across the globe.

3. Largest known pyramid by volume is the Great Pyramid of Cholula

Can you guess where the largest pyramid (by volume) is located? If you guessed Egypt, you are wrong.

The Great Pyramid of Cholula, Is located in Cholula, Puebla in Mexico. It is the largest pyramid by volume known to date.

The tallest pyramid, known to date, in the world is The Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt.

4. Most famous pyramids are the Egyptian pyramids

Out of all pyramids they attract the most tourists. This grants them the “most famous” title.

5. Many Egyptian pyramids had a polished limestone surface, giving them a shining appearance

One of the shiniest facts about pyramids. Once they were built, they were covered by blocks of white polished limestone. The stone reflected light which gave the pyramids an even more impressive look.

Over time, these stones got worn down, fell off, or got removed and used for other building work. The top of the Pyramid of Khafre, next to the Great Pyramid of Giza still has some of the limestone remaining. This can give you a small glimpse of how they could look.

6. Ancient Egyptians built pyramids from 2700BC to about 1700BC

And in this time they have built at least 118 pyramids. How they built them remains a mystery. Archeologists and historians have some theories. But for now, they don’t have a firm answer on the techniques used.

7. Ancient Egyptians built most pyramids west of the Nile

Ancient Egyptians believed that the dead were entering the underworld in the west, where the sun sets. This is why they chose these locations to build the pyramids on.

8. The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest in Egypt

It is the largest pyramid in Egypt and also the tallest in the world. Fact!

9. Sudan has the most extant pyramids

If someone asked you which is the country with the most pyramids, you would probably answer “Egypt”. Surprisingly for most, this isn’t the case.

Egypt isn’t the country where there are the most pyramids. Sudan has twice the number of pyramids Egypt has – there are over 200 pyramids there. A clear winner.

10. A Pyramid of Cestius in Europe is still preserved today

Europe isn’t commonly on one’s mind when you talk about pyramids. However, there were pyramids in Europe as well, and the Pyramid of Cestius, a Roman Era pyramid is well preserved even today. Not as impressive as some other pyramids around the globe, but still a proper pyramid.

And this concludes our list of facts about pyramids.

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