Who Built Egypt’s Pyramids?

Egyptologists estimate that it would have taken 10,000 workers more than 30 years to build just one of the large pyramids in the Giza complex, which includes the Great Pyramid. But who were the people who built those pyramids? The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that the pyramid builders were slaves, and many stories and films have erroneously depicted the Israelites from the Book of Exodus toiling in slavery to build the pyramids. However, the 2010 discovery of 4,000-year-old tombs at Giza paints a very different picture. Archaeologists found well-preserved skeletons of pyramid builders, alongside containers of beer and bread for the afterlife. Slaves would not have been buried so honorably, nor so close to the pyramids -- which were, after all, tombs for the god-like pharaohs.

A tough way to make a living:

  • According to Egypt's chief archaeologist, Zahi Hawass, the paid laborers were respected for their work. Their burial site near the Great Pyramid of Giza supports this theory, he says.
  • The skeletons were found buried in a fetal position, with their heads pointing to the west and their feet to the east, in accordance with ancient Egyptian burial practices.
  • Building pyramids was hard work, and laborers are thought to have worked in three-month shifts. The workers' unearthed skeletons showed signs of arthritis, compromised lower vertebrae, and overall poor health.
More Info: The Guardian

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