How many slaves did it take to build the pyramids?
Indeed, the ancient Greek historian, Herodotus (also writing in the 5th Century BCE) specifies that the pyramids were built with slave labor – 100,000 slaves, to be exact – though he does not mention Israelites at all.
Writing by the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, misinterpretations of the biblical book of Exodus, and Hollywood films have all contributed to the idea. But in reality, most archaeologists and historians today think that paid laborers, not enslaved people, built the Pyramids of Giza.
Modern Egyptologists believe the real number is closer to 20,000. Mark Lehner and Zahi Hawass have been trying to solve the puzzle of where the 20,000 - 30,000 laborers who built the pyramids lived.
The Greek historian Herodotus was told that it took 100,000 men 20 years to build the Great Pyramid at Giza. Scholars today, however, think it may have been built by only 20,000 men over 20 years. A pyramid's large square base creates a very stable structure.
The largest and most famous of all the pyramids, the Great Pyramid at Giza, was built by Snefru's son, Khufu, known also as Cheops, the later Greek form of his name. The pyramid's base covered over 13 acres and its sides rose at an angle of 51 degrees 52 minutes and were over 755 feet long.
CAIRO (Reuters) - New tombs found in Giza support the view that the Great Pyramids were built by free workers and not slaves, as widely believed, Egypt's chief archaeologist said on Sunday.
Apparently there were at least 30,000 slaves in Egypt at different times of the nineteenth century, and probably many more.
Ortiz De Montellano wrote in 1993: "The claim that all Egyptians, or even all the pharaohs, were black, is not valid. Most scholars believe that Egyptians in antiquity looked pretty much as they look today, with a gradation of darker shades toward the Sudan".
Apparently there were at least 30,000 slaves in Egypt at different times of the nineteenth century, and probably many more. White slaves were brought to Egypt from the eastern coast of the Black Sea and from the Circassian settlements of Anatolia via Istanbul.
The three primary pyramids on the Giza plateau were built over the span of three generations by the rulers Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure.
How much of ancient Egypt were slaves?
John Madden of the University College of Galway thinks that in Roman times perhaps 10% of the Egyptian population was enslaved, with their density varying greatly throughout the country , as opposed to the Roman heartland where about every third inhabitant was a slave.