“Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand.” - Neil Armstrong
One of the highlights of my travels around the world is my visits to Egypt
, both times travelling down the length of that majestic river, the Nile, and visiting many of the important ancient sites: Alexandria, Cairo, Giza, Saqqara, Dendera, Deir el Bahari, Luxor, Karnak, Valley of the Kings, Edfu, Kom Ombo, Philae, Abu Simbel… One of the most magnificent and unforgettable sights by anyone’s reckoning is the great plain of Giza and the pyramids there. One of the ancient Seven Great Wonders of the World, as reported by the ancient Greeks, the Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza
is the only ancient wonder still standing.
The sheer size of this “artificial hill” is astounding and the amount of stone used to build quite mind-boggling. It was originally just over 146 metres tall (480 feet) but over the 43 or so centuries it has stood, it lost about 10 metres of that height, through removal of blocks from the top. It is calculated that about two million stone blocks, each weighing about 1.5 tons, were used in its construction, at about 2560 BC.
Many people have been drawn to the Great Pyramid of Giza, What are they looking for? Some considered the Great Pyramid from purely an academic curiosity. They may be archaeologists, historians, scientists, mathematicians and their work involves the Great Pyramid in one way or another. It is certainly worthy of academic study.
Throughout history, many well-known individuals and great leaders were fascinated by the Great Pyramid. Herodotus visited it and described it in his “Histories”, Alexander the Great was drawn to the Great Pyramid and visited it. Napoleon also visited the Great Pyramid and even spent time alone in the King's Chamber. Sir Isaac Newton was extremely interested in the Great Pyramid and even wrote a dissertation on it. Many well-known explorers made it a point to visit the Great Pyramid of Giza. Its status as a wonder, as a tomb of a great king, as a magnificent man-made structure may have attracted the interest of these people.
However, even the ordinary person is attracted to Giza and the pyramids. Since the Great Pyramid has always been enshrouded in mystery, many people think it may contain the answers to some fundamental questions about life and death. People wonder why was the pyramid built, for what purpose, who built it and when? Does it have any significance or purpose for us today? Does it contain any hidden or lost information? As you may know, archaeologists have been searching for hidden chambers and passages for some time. Some are searching for lost treasures and others for lost secrets from an ancient civilization. Just the mystery of it is enough to attract people to explore and study it.
Also many common everyday people have gone out of their way to visit and explore the Great Pyramid. Many who have not had the opportunity to go to Egypt have undertaken an intensive and life long study of the Great Pyramid. There is no common denominator. People from different cultures, walks of life, diverse time periods, rich or poor, great or small, have been drawn to the Great Pyramid. Contemplating it is awe-inspiring. Clambering into it is an experience not to be missed and as one becomes encased in tons upon tons of rock, the weight of the centuries becomes a palpable reality. When one finally reaches the heart of the pyramid and stands in the King’s Chamber, one feels a sense of timeless wonder and a communion with the history of centuries of human existence in this spot of the earth.
Perhaps it is easy to understand why people have tried to attach a supernatural significance to the pyramid and why the parascientific discipline of “pyramidology”
has sprung up. People have managed to construe all sorts of significance into the dimensions, the orientation, the height, the width, the placement of the pyramid. Each pyramidologist can provide evidence for his or her views, usually from a new-age or supernatural perspective. Pseudoscientific “validation” of these points usually gives the claims a superficial respectability and ease of digestion, that convinces many that their claims are indisputably true.
Apropos, the word for Thursday is:pyramid
1 a monumental structure with a square or triangular base and sloping sides that meet in a point at the top, esp. one built of stone as a royal tomb in ancient Egypt.
Pyramids were built as tombs for Egyptian pharaohs from the 3rd dynasty ( c. 2649 bc) until c. 1640 bc. Monuments of similar shape are associated with the Aztec and Maya civilizations of c. 1200 bc – ad 750, and, like those in Egypt, were part of large ritual complexes.
2 a thing, shape, or graph with such a form : the pyramid of the Matterhorn.
a polyhedron of which one face is a polygon of any number of sides, and the other faces are triangles with a common vertex : a three-sided pyramid.
• a pile of things with such a form : a pyramid of logs.
a structure of more or less pyramidal form, esp. in the brain or the renal medulla.
• an organization or system that is structured with fewer people or things at each level as one approaches the top : the lowest strata of the social pyramid.
• a system of financial growth achieved by a small initial investment, with subsequent investments being funded by using unrealized profits as collateral.
verb [ trans. ]
heap or stack in the shape of a pyramid : debt was pyramided on top of unrealistic debt in an orgy of speculation.
• achieve a substantial return on (money or property) after making a small initial investment.DERIVATIVESpyramidal
|piˈramidl| |pəˈrømədl| |ˈpɪrəˈmɪdl| |-ˈramɪd(ə)l| adjectivepyramidally
|ˈpɪrəˈmɪdli| |pəˈrømədli| |-ˈramɪd(ə)li| adverbpyramidical
|ˌpirəˈmidikəl| |-ˈmɪdɪk(ə)l| adjectivepyramidically
|ˈpɪrəˈmɪd1k(ə)li| |-ˈmɪdɪk(ə)li| adverbORIGIN
late Middle English (in the geometric sense): via Latin from Greek puramis
-, of unknown ultimate origin.