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The largest and most well-known pyramids in Egypt are the Pyramids at Giza, including the Great Pyramid of Giza designed for Pharaoh Khufu.

For centuries, people have theorized how the great pyramids were built.

Scholars have found evidence that copper chisels were using for quarrying sandstone and limestone, for example, but harder stones such as granite and diorite would have required stronger materials, said Redford.

Dolerite, a hard, black igneous rock, was used in the quarries of Aswan to remove granite.

According to Redford, "The Egyptians began using the pyramid form shortly after 2700 B.

C., and the great heyday of constructing them for royalty extended for about a thousand years, until about 1700 B.

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The capstone was usually made of granite, basalt, or another very hard stone and could be plated with gold, silver or electrum, an alloy of gold and silver, and would also be highly reflective in the bright sun.

Said Redford, the image most people have of slaves being forced to build the pyramids against their will is incorrect.

The Aztecs and Mayans built their pyramids with tiered steps and a flat top.

The ancient Egyptians probably chose that distinctive form for their pharaohs' tombs because of their solar religion, explained Donald Redford, professor of Classics and ancient Mediterranean studies at Penn State.

At the bottom, they rammed wooden pegs into slots they had cut, and filled the slots with water.

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