By: McKenzie Beehler
Pyramids are one of the great wonders of the world. Their intricate architecture and grand scale makes them a symbol of Egypt. So, how much would a modern-day pyramid cost to be built today?
Of course, blueprints are the foundation for any building project. Pyramids were traditionally believed to be constructed from the outside in. The previous notion was that a ramp was built on the exterior of the pyramid to pull up the limestone blocks. But that process of work is of “equal volume to building a pyramid” and there were “no ramps” in sight, said Pat Remler-Brier, an author on Egypt Mythology.
But, the new theory is this ramp was installed on the interior. Construction started there first. Egyptians then built a “tunnel on the inside,” much like the spiraling “entrance and exit of a parking garage,”said Remler-Brier.
Remler-Brier stated this new pyramid theory was created by her husband, Egyptologist Bob Brier and architect Jean-Pierre Houdin.
But blueprints are only part of the pyramid equation. Construction is another piece of building this historic puzzle. The modern day equivalent of pyramid construction is hard to put a price tag on. Gomstroi Construction, in Brooklyn, said “it depends on what neighborhood it [the pyramid] is in” and “how much you would need for an excavation.” But could “be around $450 per square foot.”
Manpower would be another issue to work around as well. Stuart Wier, a mathematician, published a computation for the manual output of constructing a pyramid today. “For example, let us pay each worker a wage of $6 per hour, with associated overhead (a modern concept) of $6 per hour. Then the manpower cost is 52 million times 12 dollars times 8 hours per day, about 5.0 billion dollars. The mass of the pyramid is 7 billion kilograms; we assume one has one’s own quarry to avoid buying the material on the retail market. A bid on 7 billion kilograms of limestone would get into real money. You would have to be a Pharaoh to afford it.”
Marshall Brain, creator of HowStuffWorks.com, suggested a different method of re-building the pyramids. “Find yourself a granite quarry…call them up and ask for 7 million, 5 ton granite blocks.”
Clearly, ‘building a pyramid like an Egyptian’ is nothing to scoff at.