Friday, March 7, 2008

Pyramid design result of budget shortfall

GIZA - The only remaining structure of the ancient "Seven Wonders of the World" incorporated budgetary compromises into its design, according to researchers.

Believed to have been built as a tomb for Pharaoh Khufu of the fourth Egyptian dynasty, the Great Pyramid of Giza was originally supposed to be a cube. Blueprints uncovered by a team of archaeologists reveal that cuts in construction costs dictated the trimmed-back shape we see today.

"This thing was built over the course of twenty years," said lead researcher Ed Casey. "You got a workforce easily topping 100,000 and who knows how many foremen. Coordinating work quarters, quarries, transportation... it had to be a nightmare."

Casey points to some hieroglyphs scrawled on an early draft of the pyramid's plans as evidence that the money, labor and materials were not in enough supply to realize the original vision.

"Early in Khufu's reign, maybe 2580 B.C. or so, this was the plan," said Casey. An unnamed architect scribbled some rough estimates on the cost of stone and timelines, along with this telling note: "We can save two-thirds on materials by reducing each of the four sides to triangles."

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