Though I’ve never had the pleasure to visit Egypt and contemplate the massive splendor of the Great Pyramid (yet), modern tourists will never truly grasp why sheer size and geometric perfection weren’t the only things that made this monument the biggest wonder of the Ancient World.
That’s because what remains of the pyramid attributed to the pharaoh Khufu is now almost completely devoid of its outer layer of highly polished limestone blocks, which would have made it look shiny white to the naked eye, and easy to spot for many miles around – a vision Egyptologist Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson has tried to recreate using the magic of CGI for a documentary produced by the Smithsonian channel.
I hope the documentary remembers to mention an oft-forgotten aspect in the mystery of the Great Pyramid: that of the missing capstone, which some believed was made of pure gold — and which was supposedly going to be replaced as part of a grandiose ceremony at the start of the current millennium.
Seeing how the structure was covered in a bright material such as limestone, it makes sense the top portion of the pyramid, which would have been hit first by the ray of the rising sun, should have been made of an equally-reflective or more reflective substance, in order to turn it into a beacon presiding over the land of the pharaohs, bringing forth illumination from the realm of the gods.
[H/T Fast Company Design]