How Were the Pyramids Built?
100 Comments


Ok, so we are going for a ride around the pyramids. The great pyramid was the tallest man made structure for nearly 4000 years. Only surpassed by a large margin by the Eiffel Tower in 1889. 147 metres high You are interested by climbing? Yeah! Let’s climb it! But is not free. How much? What makes the pyramids even more impressive, is that these structures were built over 4500 years ago, when Egyptians didn’t have wheels or steel. The only metal available was copper and copper alloys. It took about 2 million stones to build that pyramid. Well, I call them stones—giant rocks. Somewhere between 1.5 – 3 tons each Pyramids took about 20 – 30 years to make. That’s a long time, but if you think about the number of stones, a couple million stones in every pyramid, you’d have to be laying a stone roughly once every… 3 minutes. If you consider a regular work day, like a 10 hour, 12 hour work day. Nobody knows how they built it. Still secret. But a lot of people just try to do the best to give you some information about how they did it. But we must say it’s secret. The dead and the thing that sealed them.
Nobody knows. No plans survived to show us how the pyramids were built, so perhaps it’s not surprising that this is the subject of countless conspiracy theories involving aliens, time travel, or lost technologies. But there is a less far-fetched myth which has become widely accepted, that the pyramids were built by slaves. But recent discoveries suggest that the pyramid builders were not slaves at all. They were skilled workers. Well-preserved tombs near the pyramids suggest that their hard labour and sacrifice were rewarded. If these workers had been slaves, they would not have received such honourable burials. But how did they actually manage to build the pyramids? One of the things I find really interesting is that the Egyptians didn’t know about wheels, so they didn’t really even use rollers, as far as we can tell. I mean, these rocks would have been carted across the desert on sleds. There’s a famous diagram of this giant statue being pulled by 172 men, and that, that statue would have weighed somewhere on the order of 68 tons, or something. This would normally create a lot of friction, but the sand was wetted in front of the sled. Experiments show this would reduce the pulling force required by half. The internal stones of this pyramid are all limestone, which is a bit softer and easier to work. You can imagine them working it with those copper chisels that they had. Some of these blocks may have been actually sawed through using copper saws. Now you wouldn’t think that copper could really cut the rock, but if you put an abrasive in there, like a sand, you could actually wear away the stone. It would probably be a very difficult and labour-intensive job. Something that you don’t really think about is that when you build a pyramid you need to build it on level ground. You can actually see there how they had to level out that ground. Well it’s speculated that when the Nile flooded, they put the flood water into a channel and see where the high parts were. So the inside was made of this limestone. The outside of this pyramid was actually made of granite. Much harder stone. I’m at the granite quarry in Aswan where they would have quarried the stones that were used in the pyramids at Giza. Now that is an incredible feat because this is nearly 1000 km away from Giza, and when the Nile flooded, water would come right through here so that they could move all the stones quarried here, this granite, they could move this back up to Giza and use it on the pyramids. These would of had to have been floated down on rafts. Now quarrying this would have been really hard. Granite is one of the hardest rocks because it contains quartz, and quartz on the hardness scale is about a 7, where diamond is a 10. So how would you dig a massive trench like that? Basically the technique was just to smash the dolerite rock into the granite over, and over, and over, again. They would make about 5 mm progress per hour. So there is no clear account of how the pyramids were actually built, but the best guess is that ramps were used. And in fact some ramps have been found on incomplete pyramids. But you can’t build just a straight ramp, a long straight ramp, and keep putting the rocks up. I mean the problem with that is the ramp actually ends up taking up more material than the pyramid itself. I think a ramp which sort of wraps around the pyramids is probably the most likely thing. The top third of the height of the pyramid actually only accounts for about 4% of all the material in the pyramid. That’s why it’s suspected that levers were actually used to finish off the pyramid, to do the top levels. Now the pyramids have clearly weathered, but in the past they would have been a brighter white because they would have used a white limestone to cover the whole face of that pyramid. And then the very top may have been covered with electrum, which is a mixture of gold and silver, so you can imagine, that would be a pretty spectacular sight. The reason these pyramids are shaped this way is so they represent sun rays. Imagine what that would have looked like when it was first built: With a shiny metallic top, and smooth white finish on all of the sides. I think that would have been a sight to behold. Hey! I hope you enjoyed that video, I filmed it earlier this year when I was in Egypt. Now I’m currently in Melbourne, Australia and tomorrow I am flying to the US. In fact next week I’m actually doing a live show in Alabama with Henry from Minute Physics, Dustin from Smarter Every Day, Brady Haran from Numberphile, Periodic Videos, and Sixty Symbols, and CGP Grey from CGP Grey. Yes, he will actually be there in person, so if you want to come and join us, then checkout the link in the doobly doo. You know on all of these long flights I always need something to help me pass the time, and I know what I’m going to be doing tomorrow, I’ll be listening to the brand new audio book from Bill Nye. The book is called Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation, and he actually narrates this book himself, so I can’t wait to listen to it. And if you want, you can download this book for free by going to audible.com/Veritasium or you can pick any other book of your choosing for a 1 month free trial. So I really want to thank Audible for their support, they’ve helped me go to all of these amazing places, and they have hundreds of thousands of audio books, so if you love audio books you should definitely try them out. So thank you for watching and hopefully I will see you next week.

100 thoughts on “How Were the Pyramids Built?

  1. Am i the only one who thought they used a child labour in this video both riding on a horse and the kid leading them

  2. So the tallest structure on earth for 4.000 years was built by people who hadnt even invented the wheel, with copper tools, in 20 years.

    Yeah, ok, sure.

  3. Just imagine what a modern bearing, teleported in the midst of them while they were building, would've caused among them. They would've cheered and thanked the gods and slaughtered 200 virgins to get mercy on their side.

  4. I think the past Egyptians would laugh incredibly hard and then stop suddenly and just be sad if they knew how dumb people in the future would be. I believe those people had assistance with this task and were using a special piece of electrical equipment to produce anti-gravity around those stones. A civilization touched by the Gods of old or as we like to call them now.. “Aliens”

  5. Pyramids still i inclined towards unknown technology… look how the granite stones are smooth… if you are a chemistry guy, do you think there was an involvement of solvent material or substance to smoothen the surface?

  6. What if it was built by a time travelling crack head who did it for the biggest stockpile of crack that Space Aliens would then summon for him, straight out of the Aether?

  7. His use of the word "secret" is misuse, he means "unknown" at 1:06 and 1:12, this is at least what the opening noise he made at 1:04 onward denotes to be his "meaning." Low I.Q stooge from shithole nation = can not speak English properly.

  8. Fascinating video and all true what he said about how the pyramids were built.✔️

    Any other suggestions would indicate the commenters are only parrot quoting dodgy websites. And yes we can build pyramids with todays technology. Using barcoding to place the sandstone in the exact spot and use circular cutters and cranes and tracks to transport them there.

  9. its hard for me to believe they didn't know about wheels. How could they not know about wheels!? How hard could it be to come up with a wheel, especially for the job they're doing! They can come up with all these other construction techniques to build this gigantic pyramid and they couldn't even think up a simple wheel? Doesn't make sense!

  10. I think you're dead wrong mate that is all speculation if you investigate further the giant granite boxes have internal 90 degree perfect angles and highly polished you can't do that with a rock or copper. Also from Aswan there were blocks moved weighing over 1000 tonnes you can't pull that. The man egyptologist claim who built the Great pyramid is khufu but it doesn't say anywhere he did in fact it only says he made repairs (a matter of interpretation) which is strange because it should be brand new.

  11. 1:10 Perfect visual of why there is controversy over when these were initially started. Look at the difference in craftsmanship and size of the bottom rows of megaliths and the rows above… Why would the skill get worse over time?? … Knowing now that humans definitely had culture at least as far back as the Younger Dryas period… It is entirely plausible that a far more ancient structure existing here that was then added onto by younger civilizations… aka the Egyptians..

    We see this at Machu Pichu, Baalbek, Puma Punku … even Easter island…

  12. There is now a theory that they are not stones but more like concrete that was poured/cast in place. I’m not sure how true this is. I just heard the theory and thought I’d share it with you guys.

  13. I wonder if the “plans” for the pyramids are entombed underneath the Sphinx. It’s just the crook Zahi Hawass (head Egyptologist/archeologist) would never let people search and claimed nothing is there. In all honesty though, if he was selling genuine 4500 year old Egyptian artifacts, he has probably been down there and destroyed the info on how they might have been built. He literally gave a statement one time stating that we now know all there is to know about ancient Egypt as if that statement holds any kind of merit.

  14. In terms of leveling ground, I read probably 20 years ago that they would flood an area and then drive equal length stakes down until they were all flush with the water’s surface. Then they would drain the water, dig around the stakes to find the bottom, and finally even out the ground. Very simple yet effective if true.

  15. I think they were used for holographic images. I can suggest that Jesus Christ after leaving went into Egypt and studied at the great library in Alexandria. I can't prove it but suspect it. don't hate me for it…

  16. I have the utmost appreciation of learning media. But please. https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/detail-egiptyan-money-picture-ramses-ii-561193651 is an example of Egyptian chariots. At 1:58, not Michael here says the thing that impresses him the most. I felt like Michael actually might have known. Maybe I am expecting too much. Given the 3ish minutes it took me to find and example of Egyptian chariots on the interwebs. It behooves Not Michael to at lease fact check his producers so he doesn't seem uneducated.

  17. Dinosaurs helped out in making the pyramids. Mr Slate was in charge of the construction. Fred Flintstones was the most skillful operator of the trained dinosaurs until he messed up the lion's head of the sphinx then tried to make int into a small headed man lion. He tried to pull it off buy telling his boss Mr. Slate that he was sculpting an image of him (Mr. slate). Mr. Slate was not impressed because it looked like a peanut head on a lions body so Mr. Slate did a roundhouse kick to the nose making Wilma cry. Afterwards Mr. Slate said to Fred "YOUR FIRED!"

  18. The pyramid you're pointing ALL the time is NOT the Great Pyramid of Khufu, but Khaefra Pyramid.

    From there to the end of the video, including the climbing (which is FORBIDDEN not because of law itself but because you're damaging the building), this is completely garbage.

    Guide that goes with you also apparently knows absolutely nothing and have no respect for the culture he's living of. But this doen't destroy anything but people's ideas, so anyway.

  19. Just gonna point this out, the great pryamid of giza's location (latitude) is the literal speed of light. Just saying

  20. Also the pyramids were power generators . This is why the inside is granite and outside limestone 1 being a insulator and the other a conductor .

  21. They made by old Sri Lankans,there is a same situation an same place in sri lanka,that equal to these 3 positions.There are 3 stars in the sky that equal to these 3 situations.These pyramids can collect energy from those stars,In sri lanka there are same dagobs situated according to that 3 stars positions.

  22. As a black person whoever some says they were built by aliens are right. Black people are the aliens, we are different

  23. We are a species crashed down on a strange planet , which some escaped , while leaving us behind to guess what happened ….

  24. Everybody knows that the pyramids are more than 30,000 years old, they were built by extraterrestrials that had mastered levitation !!!!!

  25. Have you seen this Nat Geo documentary about a french architect that suggests internal ramps?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ws4O5LOCI68

  26. This is such a good video. Thank you for sharing your experience and knowledge. It was great to see how you came in on a camel and had to negotiate a little with the tour guide. I liked how you showed us close climbing around the pyramid and the quarry. It was fun being a tourist through your eyes.

  27. Be a believer and live as the bible requires and you'll be able to ask the creator how the pyramids were built…

  28. I think that really the most likely explanation is that the pyramids are much older than we are told, I mean think about it, there is evidence to suggest about 10,000 years ago, there was a cataclysmic event that made the global ocean level rise by 40 feet quite literally overnight, I mean think about it, for that kind of quick rise you would likely need a large scale meteor impact, on the same scale as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, think about it, if that happened today it would quite literally send us back to the stone age. Bronze tools could not have cut that stone and certainly not with that accuracy, there have been experiments with many different methods, yes you could cut them with an abrasive like sand, but at the rate tha it cuts, is so slow it would have taken way longer than we are told and still not with nearly the same amount of accuracy, right now the most likely theory is that ancient humans were far more advanced than we think

  29. is it bad that while watching this I started wondering if they had wrappers in ancient egypt

    "I got stones"
    "I got gold"
    "Better hope Anubis will be there when you get old"

  30. They DIDN'T know about the wheel??….God they must be super advanced 😲👽👾….. we can't build anything close, even with knowledge of said wheel…

  31. You claim they did NOT have wheels???
    YES the Egyptians DID have wheels… How about the Chariots?? How about Tutankhamun's chariot?? Duh.

  32. You're not allowing yourself to see what is in front of you. The crude techniques you demonstrate clearly don't begin to explain how the pyramids were made.
    How is "slaves did it" (ie., brute force) less far-fetched than lost high technology? There is a 70 tonne, precisely cut piece of granite in the ceiling of what's referred to as the King's Chamber of the Great Pyramid. Did labourers cut it with copper chisels and push it up a ramp and then drop it exactly in place? Is that realistic?
    Have a look at the serapeum and see if any of your techniques explain the extraordinary stone work and stone-moving of the giant boxes there.

  33. if they were not slaves then they would have to be well paid to tempt them away from their normal jobs . okay , now think about the cost to the pharaoh … BILLIONS in todays money , so that's BILLIONS spent on something that gives zero financial return !
    how could they afford to keep spending all that money on vanity projects ?
    in short it makes no financial sense , conclusion , THEY WERE BUILT BY SLAVES .

  34. According quran blocks were made from ceramic mud that is not available in modern era. Which is turned into solid stone by burning the blocks. Researchers examined the stones and found that pyramids stones are not normal that is found in the nature.

  35. Someone at my school actually believed that aliens built them and got heated when I disagreed.
    But like.. why would aliens just come down, do nothing to our planet other than make little triangular structures and then bounce?
    I was just laughing my ass off when thinking about that and even the guys friend sitting next to him was laughing lmao

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *