By Dr Joyce Tyldesley
Last updated 2011-02-17
Khufu, or Cheops, built his pyramid on the Giza plateau, where he found firm bedrock and a convenient limestone quarry. His pyramid is a work of astonishing size and precision, standing 481ft (146.6m) high, with a slope of 51 degrees 50'. Its sides vary by less than 1.9ft (58cm) and are orientated almost exactly true north. Its base is almost completely level. It has been calculated that the base of the Great Pyramid could accommodate both the UK Houses of Parliament and St Paul's Cathedral with room to spare.
The pyramid holds three chambers linked by a system of passageways: the unfinished 'Subterranean Chamber'; the ill-named 'Queen's Chamber'; and the 'King's Chamber', where Khufu was buried in an enormous, plain, red granite sarcophagus.
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