The Great Pyramid of Giza
Building an ancient treasure in your own backyard!
  Project Description
       The Great Pyramid of Giza is a defining symbol of Egypt and the last of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.  It is located on the Giza plateau near the modern city of Cairo and was built over a twenty-year period during the reign of King Khufu (2580-2566 BCE) of the 4th dynasty.  Until the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris in 1889, the Great Pyramid was the tallest strufture made by human hands in the world; a record it held for over 3000 years and one unlikely to be broken. 

     One of the many intriguing mysteries surrounding the Great Pyramid is how the ancient Egyptians were able to construct such a large stone monument with unparelleled precision using only simple hand tools and human labor.  In addition, the pyramid is constructed from over a million limestone blocks weighing several tons each and yet there are chambers, galleries and passageways throughout its interior that could not be duplicated today using modern, sophisticated measuring and stone cutting techniques.  Finally, although the Pharoah and the Queen's burial chamber were discovered intact, there was no treasure or rooms filled with priceless artifacts which begs the question whether or not there exists a secret burial chamber that has yet to be discovered. Hmmmm.

     Our project will be constructed from plywood and foam and will be semi scale in appearance.  We are going to leave one of the four sides open to reveal additional interior detail.  The base will measure 18 inches across, ten inches high with sides measuring 13.5 inches long.  Here goes...

Materials Used                     Tools Needed
                                                                                3/4 inch sanded plywood                       Scroll saw           
                                                                         1/4 inch plywood veneer                        Router  
                                                                         24" by 24' pink foam                                Belt sander
                                                                         Carpenter's glue                                        Medium grit sanding blocks
                                                                         drywall spackling

  The Base
      We selected a piece of 3/4 inch plywood and cut each side to measure 21 inches in length.  We rounded the edges of the base using a handheld router and followed with a medium grit sanding block to smooth out any of the rough spots.  The actual base of our pyramid will be 18 inches wide and should fit comfortably on the 3/4 inch ply base. 

     Once we have sanded the base smooth, we will apply a stain to darken color of the wood.  We will add a light layer of whte glue and sprinkle sand to the surface in order to create a realistic texture simulating sand.

  The Side Templates
      We went online to look for measurements for our pyramid that would provide us with a scale appearance.  We knew that the four sides of the Great Pyramid were of equal dimension but were not equilateral triangles.  Our first attempt at making a scale template did not take into consideration the length of the triangle from the midpoint of the base to the top.  We checked our measurements, crunched some numbers and came up with a new template that looks much better.

     Pictured to the right are the templates that we traced onto thin cardboard and then made four copies.  We then used masking tape to temporaily secure the sides together in order to check our measurements for accuracy.  Sure enough, after placing the cardboard template on the base we are beginning to see what our pyramid is going to look like.

     The next step will be to cut each side out of the 1/4 inch plywood veneer.  We used a band saw to cut four sides from plywood using our updated measurements.

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