Dating the pyramids

According to historical analysis the ancient Egyptians built the Giza Pyramids; Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure in a span of 85 years somewhere between 25 BC.The radiocarbon dates for the Great Pyramid that were performed in studies in the 1980’s ranged from 2853 to 3809 BC.Imhotep is credited with being the first to conceive the notion of stacking mastabas on top of each other, creating an edifice composed of a number of "steps" that decreased in size towards its apex.The result was the Pyramid of Djoser, which was designed to serve as a gigantic stairway by which the soul of the deceased pharaoh could ascend to the heavens.During the Old Kingdom, Ancient Egypt enjoyed major advances in architecture, art, and technology due to the increased agricultural productivity and resulting population.Khufu’s Pyramid was the tallest building in the world until the 14th century, when the Lincoln Cathedral was constructed in England.Researchers have had a difficult time dating the Pyramids of Giza since radiocarbon dating cannot be applied to stone, but can date fragments of organic material found in the vicinity of these ancient constructions.

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Over time, as authority became less centralized, the ability and willingness to harness the resources required for construction on a massive scale decreased, and later pyramids were smaller, less well-built and often hastily constructed.

From left to right, the three largest are: the Pyramid of Menkaure, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

The three smaller pyramids in the foreground are subsidiary structures associated with Menkaure's pyramid.

Modern theories disagree completely with this proposed method.

A view of the pyramids at Giza from the plateau to the south of the complex.

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