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Lesson 14 – Pyramids of Ancient Egypt

Read About Pyramids of Ancient Egypt


Read the vocabulary terms to understand the reading better.


An earthquake is the shaking of the Earth’s surface, caused by sudden movement in the Earth’s crust.


A force is the push or pull on an object that makes it move.


A pyramid is a large structure with four triangle sides built especially in ancient Egypt that contains tombs.


Stability is when an object can keep its balance and stay in place.

Pyramids of Ancient Egypt

The pyramids of ancient Egypt are so old that nobody knows exactly when they were built. We do know that the pyramids are thousands of years old. Why have the pyramids lasted so long?


A pyramid is a very strong shape. It is large at the bottom and small at the top. This makes the pyramid very stable, so it can stand up to forces that act on it such as wind or an earthquake.

Building Material

To make a structure last a long time, it is important to use strong building materials. The pyramids were built with huge blocks of stone. Stone is a strong building material, and it lasts for a very long time. The blocks at the bottom of a pyramid are strong enough to support the weight of all the blocks higher up.


Pyramid builders shaped the blocks on the outside of a pyramid very carefully. They knew that if the blocks fit together perfectly, with no space in between, the pyramid would be stronger and more stable. Some pyramid blocks fit together so perfectly that you cannot slip a piece of paper between them!

Some Pyramids Were Stronger Than Others

Not all pyramids were built to be as strong and stable as the ones that are still standing today. Some pyramids have started to fall apart over time. These pyramids were also built of stone, but they were not built as carefully as the pyramids that have lasted for thousands of years.

To learn more about pyramids, watch the video by National Geographic on Youtube.

Now Show What You Know!

Complete some questions about the reading selection by clicking “Begin Questions” below.