World’s First Escape Room: Egyptian Pyramids
The vast wealth buried with Egyptian Kings, Queens, and high-ranking officials proved to be too much temptation for ancient looters. The challenge, however, was to get to the gold, jewels, and other valuable artifacts hidden in pyramids and escape safely. Escaping with the treasure remains extremely difficult.
Builders of the Pyramids were aware that the treasures hidden in the tombs could become a beacon calling out to grave robbers. For the protection of the dead, builders created elaborate mazes, false passageways, sliding doors, hidden exits, secret chambers, and trapdoors. Some pyramids have bridges and ramps that go nowhere you’d want to be. These theft-prevention techniques were designed to cause confusion, panic, and even death to the thieves who dared to enter.
Scary, But So Worth It
We’re not quite sure who stole from the ancient pyramids, but it is likely that some of those who helped to build them were often the culprits. On a good day, an ordinary laborer could walk away with enough gold and amulets embedded with precious stones like malachite, garnets, turquoise, emeralds, lapis lazuli, and carnelian, to sustain him and his family for years. The wrath of the gods did not deter grave robbers. Looters were around in ancient times just as they are today.
Grave Robbery in the News
A 4,000-year-old stone tablet found in the Cairo Museum tells the story of a revolt against King Mentuhotep. The poor rose against the rulers and invaded the royal tombs plundering all the wealth they found. The secrets of the tombs were not as hidden back then. There were people alive who could reveal how to get to the hidden treasures.
The Great Pyramid of Giza
The Great Pyramid of Giza is the tallest and the oldest of the pyramids. We could not reproduce this pyramid even with today’s advanced technologies. For example, the mortar used to build the great pyramids still boggles the minds of scientists. They can identify the chemical compounds, but they can’t reproduce it. The mortar is stronger than stone and has withstood the test of time—all 4500 years and counting..
If you walked among the pharaohs back in the day, the Great Pyramid of Giza would be an amazing sight to behold. A highly-polished limestone layer covered the over 2-million stone blocks of the pyramid, making it shine like an enormous mirror in the desert. Experts believe that it shined so brightly, that if there were spacewalkers on the moon back then, they could see it. The people named this great pyramid, “Glorious Light.”
Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid of Giza still holds many secrets. Rather than risk their lives, and to prevent damage to the pyramid, researchers send robots to do the work of exploration. These robots can peek around corners and enter chambers deep inside the pyramid where treasures may still hide.
How Brave are You?
The deep, dark insides of the pyramids haven’t stopped grave robbers or Egyptologists from exploring them. Do you have what it takes? If you’re a claustrophobe, the answer is most likely, “No.” If you are among the brave, you may be quite able to crawl on hands and knees through shadowy narrow passages and tunnels, climb steep stairways, and enter burial chambers filled with stale, 4,000-year-old air, But, beware of Tutankhamun’s curse. Explorers opened King Tut’s tomb in 1922 despite the curse and stories of unexplained deaths still haunt us today.