One Expensive Tomb

By Laura Ramirez

The great pyramid of Khufu (aka Cheops) is one of the 7 wonders of the world. The ancient tomb, built for the powerful king stands 481 feet tall in the desert west of Giza, Egypt. Many theories of the construction techniques used by the Egyptians exist today, but no one really knows which method was employed to build the massive polyhedron. Its construction continues to be an engineering enigma.

But what if we wanted to build the Great Pyramid with the resources we have today? Would it take almost 20 years to build like the Egyptian monument did? Alfredo Pong, an architect in Miami, Fl says that that is unlikely. “Today the building process is different,” he says.“ When the Egyptians built the Great Pyramid 4500 years ago time was not a priority” but in construction projects today “time is money” he explains.
Nowadays before any construction begins a schedule is created in order to organize the project in terms of time. This is called a “construction timeline”. Pong explains that the purpose of the timeline is “to balance the cost and time of construction”. He says that a project is usually given a date of completion and in many cases if the deadline is not met, contractors have to paid expensive penalties for construction delays. It seems then, that a period of 20 years would cost them a fortune.

What about the cost of a project of this magnitude today? Pong says, “it is difficult to give an exact cost of construction” but “the price tag would be very high”. He ventures to say that the pyramid could possibly cost and take about the same time to build than the Burj Khalifa in Dubai, which is the tallest building in the world. “The cost of the building was 2 billion dollars and it took 5 years to build”.

Interestingly, Pong’s hypothesis that the pyramid could cost and take approximately about the same time to build that the Burj Dubai is in line with a study found online at the Lambert Dolphin’s Library. In the study, Gordon H. Ball, Inc., a Dillingham Corporation company estimated that a pyramid like Giza’s today would cost 1,130,390,000 billion dollars and take about 6 years to build.

Perhaps we will never have exact answers for these questions, but there’s no doubt that this would be a very expensive tomb to build, even with the modern technology of today.

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