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Mysteries of the Past. The Great Pyramid of Giza. Location of Giza Plateau. Pyramid Complex in Giza. The Great Pyramid (Khufu), 3 pyramids for wives Pyramid of Khafre , builder of the Sphinx Pyramid of Menkaure. The Great Sphinx. Mystery of the location.
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Pyramid Complex in Giza • The Great Pyramid (Khufu), 3 pyramids for wives • Pyramid of Khafre, builder of the Sphinx • Pyramid of Menkaure
Mystery of the location • the center of gravity of the continents • the exact center of all the land area of the world, dividing the earth's land mass into approximately equal quarters.
The Great Pyramid • The only remaining seven wonders of the world • Visible from the moon • Built during the reign of Khufu, 2,720-2,560 BC • Estimated work force: 100,000 workers • Construction time: 20 years
Great Pyramid: Work of Art • The Construction of the Pyramid: • Core stone : 2,300,000 blocks, 2~4 tons each • Casing stones: 144,000 mantle slabs, 15 tons each, transported from 14km away on the other side of the Nile • Stones in King’s Chamber: 60~80 tons, transported from 800 km away in Aswan • Total weight: 6.5 million tons.
Interior Plan of the Pyramid • King’s Chamber: two airshafts pointing to the star Thuban, and Alnitak, in the Orion constellation • Queen’s chamber: two airshafts points to stars as well • Underground Chamber: 90 ft below ground level
Great Pyramid: Amazing Accuracy • 4 sides (230.4 m) of the base with a mean error of only 58mm in length • 1 minute in angle from a perfect square • A horizontal base (53,000 m2) within 15mm discripency • 4 sides aligned to the four cardinal compass points, based on true north (rather than magnetic north) • Height : Base= 1: 2 x Pi
Great Pyramid: Amazing Accuracy • Casing stones were cut to true plane with only 0.5mm error. • Casing stones were fitted together so perfectly that the tip of a knife cannot be inserted between the joints.
The original entrance( higher one) vs the intrusive entrance (lower one, 820 AD)
Extremely straight passage The longest descending passage (107 m long, 6mm in deviation) The shortest (15m, 0.5mm in deviation)
Location • the English country of Wiltshire, in the Salisbury Plain
Construction Phases • 3100BC: Circular ditch and bank, 56 Aubrey holes • 2600BC: 43 bluestones (4 tons, from the Preselli Range 250km away), the Heelstone, the Slaughter Stone, 4 Station Stones
2450-2100BC: • 30 upright sarsen stones (26tons, over 10 feet tall), 30 lintels on top(6tons) • 5 trilithons (50 tons) in a horseshoe shape
The Heelstone • “Friar’s Heel” or the “Sunday Stone” • According to a folk tale in the 17 century: The Devil bought the stones from a woman in Ireland, wrapped them up, and brought them to Salisbury Plain. One of the stones fell into the Avon, the rest were carried to the plain. The Devil then cried out, “No-one will ever find out how these stones came here!” A friar replied, “That’s what you think!,”whereupon the Devil threw one of the stones at him and struck him on the heel. The stone stuck in the ground and is still there
Arthurian Legend • Merlin the wizard directed its removal from Ireland, where it had been constructed on Mount Killaraus by Giants, who brought the blue stones from Africa for their healing properties.
Speculated Purposes • A monument for 3000 nobles dying in battle with the Saxons, the burial site of Aurelius Ambrosias and Uther Pendragon(Aurthur’s father) • Astronomical calendar • A religious site = an ancient church for pagan belief
The Truth • Who built Stonehenge? • Ancient Englishmen during the late Stone Age to the Bronze Age (rather than the common-believed Celtic Priest, the Druids) • How to transport the stones? • On land: using wooden sledge, grease • On sea: log boats • How to erect the stones? • The ramp and leverage
Location • Found by the Dutch explorer Jacob Reggeveen, on Easter Sunday, 1772 • 3,600 km west of Chile and 2,075 km east of Pitcairn -- a completely islolated island
Moai • Carved out of the volcanic crater Rano Raraku, using stone hand tools • mostly identical, some with hats • 887 stone statues • a quarter installed on ahu platforms • half remaining in Rano Raraku • the rest lie elsewhere on the island • Currently standing statues: 50 in total
Easter Island in the Past • Once a lush island with giant palm trees, rich soil, and a good climate. • Original settlers arrived in canoes, 300-400AD • Polynesians first settled the island, around 1200AD, • a complex civilization flourished, producing bananas, potatoes, and sugar cane • Legend has it that • long-eared men introduced the stone carving technology and enslaved the local Polynesians
Decline of An Ancient Civilization(17~18 century) • Overpopulation • Construction of Moais for ancestral worship • Deforestation • The extinction of large palms • Soil erosion • Drop in the quantities of fish and seabird • famine • Cannibalism Slavery in the 19 century A series of epidemics wiped out the remaing population
Easter Island in the Present • A barren land which barely supports sheep farming
Location • The Nazca Desert, a high arid plateau that stretches 53 miles
The Nazca Lines • Created 200BC and 700AD • recognizable only from the air • Hundreds of figures, from simple lines to creatures