The Great Pyramid of Giza is a marvel of engineering. The precision of craftsmanship that went into mounting this colossal monument continues to amaze and mystify archeologists around the world. How did the ancient Egyptians manage to haul six million tons of stone without the benefit of modern technology? Produced by the award-winning documentary series NOVA, Decoding the Great Pyramid calls upon recently unearthed documents and other research materials to outline the monumental efforts behind the construction of this wondrous structure.
Constructed 4,500 years ago, the pyramid was constructed to serve as a sacred tomb to a fallen pharaoh. Massively scaled and perfectly proportioned, the structure is the oldest of the existing Seven Wonders of the World. Remarkably, the pyramid remains largely intact after all those thousands of years.
Much folklore has grown over the existence of the pyramid. The challenge to modern archeologists is to decipher fact from fiction. Recent discoveries have led them closer to the truth than ever before.
For example, contrary to long-held opinion, the laborers were not slaves. Researchers now believe most of the labor force consisted of farmers, and they all shared a sense of national pride in their efforts. The existence of thousands of bread molds indicates that this team was well nourished during their decades of hard labor.
The film features insights from several highly skilled archeologists and Egyptologists. Collectively, they summarize various aspects of the pyramid's scarily accurate construction.
Ordered and organized by the pharaoh Khufu, the structure might have appeared typical from the outside, but its audacious design was anything but. We hear how the pyramid's flawless design begins with its perfectly leveled foundation. We learn how the space designed to house the tomb was shielded from potential disrepair, and which tools were likely employed to shape and move each hefty limestone. The uncovering of the world's oldest papyrus texts further illustrates the inner workings of this complex undertaking.
Featuring enlightening narration and stunningly realized reenactments, Decoding the Great Pyramid provides logical and well-informed answers to many of the most puzzling questions surrounding the construction and purpose of the pyramid.