TIL: Cleopatra lived closer to the moon landing than to the Great Pyramid of Giza

pyramids cleopatra moon

The Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed about 2580–2560 BC.

2500 years have passed.

Cleopatra lived 69-30 BC.

2000 more years have passed.

The first man landed on the Moon.


The practice of constructing pyramids was discontinued long before Cleopatra—about 2000-1600 BC. So why do we think that Cleopatra lived in the pyramid-building times?

The most common and superficially satisfying answer is that it served as a huge "Loot here" sign for robbers. Grave robberies were a huge concern throughout human history. This answer is not very plausible though. Pyramids had been in use for a thousand years and it's hard to imagine that for a thousand years wise pharaohs, priests and builders didn't realize that all the pyramids were usually robbed within a century from being built.

The more likely reason is that a sense of power shifted in religion. Pyramids were the largest expressions of a single person's power in human history. When the perception of god got stronger, there was a shift in monumental buildings too: more huge temples for gods at the expense of pyramids for pharaohs.

More good stuff