American Society of Civil Engineers

Building the Great Pyramid in about 385 Days: A Case Study in Energy Management

by Gerard C. A. Fonte, (Principal Engineer, The PAK Engineers, 3985 Tonawanda Creek Rd, East Amherst, NY 14051)
Section: Productivity and Methods II, pp. 1-10, (doi:

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Construction Research Congress 2005: Broadening Perspectives
Abstract: The mystery of building the pyramids can be addressed by examining the individual problems from an energy management approach. A typical estimate for building the great pyramid is 20 years with 25,000 men. The energy management approach indicates that 10,000 workers could, in theory, have completed the great pyramid in about 385 days. However, more reasonable evidence suggests that there were about 4,000 workers who took about four to six calendar years to build the great pyramid.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Case studies
Construction methods
Historic sites