We've all seen that the pyramids where built by slaves according to movies. These movies were Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Landscapes_g114-Pyramids_p130082.htmlprobably based on the description made by Herodotus, a Greek historian, that builders of the pyramid were slaves. Recent discovery suggests that the builders were not actually slaves but paid workers.
These pyramids were built to serve as tombs for their pharaohs and their queens. Pyramid came from 'pyramis’, a Greek word, which means “wheat cake”. The word was used because pyramids actually resemble Greek’s pointy- topped wheat cake called pyramis. These pyramids are believed to contain over 2 million blocks of limestone which were believed to have been collected and transported from nearby sources.
The earliest known pyramid is located northwest of Memphis, in Saqqara. The oldest pyramid dates back from 2630 BCE–2611 BCE. These pyramids were shaped as they were to be a representative of the descending rays of sun, which the Egyptians believed to be the Sun god, Ra, who created earth.
A 4,000 year old tomb, which was believed to be of the people who worked on the pyramid, Credit: http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/images/Halloween_g164-Skulls_And_Bones_p27115.htmlwas discovered recently. The tombs were found in the back of the Giza pyramids and dating to the 4th Dynasty, when the great pyramids were built in Cairo. It contains evidences that these workers were actually paid rather than slaves that Hollywood usually depicts.
These nine-foot-deep tombs contain a dozen skeletons of pyramid builders, with jars that were once filled beer and bread for the afterlife of these workers. The tombs did not contain gold or valuables and the skeletons were found buried in a fetal position. These graves were first discovered in 1990 when a tourist on horseback fell upon a wall that was later on found to be tombs.
These tombs actually give us a peek on the life and origins of the pyramid builders. Such workers were not recruited from slaves whom are common to find across Egypt during their time.
According to Zahi Hawass, Egypt's archaeology chief, these workers came from poor Egyptian families from all over Egypt, but were respected for their work that they were given the privilege to be buried near what was considered to be the sacred pyramids of their Pharaohs, while slaves in their time were never given this honor. With the amount of preparation given to these workers for afterlife, it is concluded that these builders were not slaves, contrary to what Herodotus described in his works. It took 10,000 men to build a pyramid for a span of 30 years. These men ate regularly and would usually consume over 40 cattle and sheep on a daily basis.
Although it is true that these builders were not slaves, it doesn’t mean that they have lived a comfortable life. The skeleton of these men showed signs of arthritis and their lower vertebrae would tell us that they worked really hard for these pyramids.
These findings would change how we view history and the facts presented to us. These workers should be celebrated for the beauty they had worked hard for that we can now appreciate freely.