According to a recent research, conducted by a team led by engineer Glen Dash and Egyptologist Mark Lehner, the western side of the Great Pyramid is slightly longer than its eastern side. In other words, the base of this ancient structure is not an exact square – as long suspected by many an archaeologist and historian. Now the figure we are talking about equates to a 5.5-inches (or 14.1 cm) of error. So when compared to the entire measured dimension of the western side, which is somewhere between 755.833 and 756.024 ft, this slight overlook by the ancient Egyptian architects rather exemplifies the scope of accuracy presented by the Great Pyramid. Simply put, the margin of error is only about 0.07 percent, which (just about) prevents the base of this monument from being a ‘perfect’ square.
As for the actual measuring ambit, the researchers also took into account the extant casing stones that are still connected to the huge platform atop which the Great Pyramid is built. The consequent points along the edge were then identified and marked via a virtual grid system. Finally the experts made use of a statistical process known as linear regression analysis to gauge the probable lengths of both the eastern and western sides. To that end, while the western side measures somewhere between 755.833 and 756.024 ft, the eastern side measures between 755.561 and 755.817 feet. Thus the difference between them is around 5.5-inches, as we mentioned before.
Similarly, the four sides of the pyramid are almost immaculately oriented with the four cardinal directions of North, South, East and West. As is the ‘imperfect’ trend, the North-side alignment misses the magnitude of exact preciseness by just some fractions of a degree. As a matter of fact, the degree of error from north-south and east-west is almost same, thus alluding to how the ancient Egyptians had a penchant for preciseness, in spite of lacking advanced equipment. As Dash mentioned –
The data show that the Egyptians possessed quite remarkable skills for their time. We can only speculate as to how the Egyptians could have laid out these lines with such precision using only the tools they had.
Now to put things into perspective, beyond the ambit of accuracy, there was also the scope of a massive construction project when it came to the Great Pyramid. In that regard, as for the mind-boggling figures of the monument, the structure goes to a height of around 455 ft – the tad reduced scale being due to soil erosion and the loss of the pyramidion, which was the uppermost capstone of the structure. In spite of the slight reduction in dimensions, the pyramid boasts a base area of around 570,000 sq ft (or more than 10 American football fields), and a gargantuan volume of 88 million cubic ft (or 2.5 million cubic m) that accounts for an extraordinary 5.9 million tons of mass.
This massive scope was achieved by the use of a whopping 2.3 million stone blocks (ranging from 2 to 30 tons) – that comes to an average of 800 tons of stones being installed each day, with 12 stones being precisely placed every hour! Few of these stones (especially, the ones used in the inner chambers) weigh more than 50 tons, and yet they were transported to the site from Aswan, which is 800 km away.
The study was originally published in the recent issue of the newsletter Aeragram.