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NOVA Online: Pyramids—The Inside Story (see bottom of page for navigation)
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How Steep?

diagram of 51-degree angleEach side of the Great Pyramid rises at an angle of 51.5 degrees to the top. Not only that, each of the sides are aligned almost exactly with true north, south, east, and west.

For a pyramid to look like a pyramid, each of the four triangular-shaped sides must slope up and towards each other at the same angle so that they meet at a point at the top. The builders constructed the pyramid layer by layer, starting at the bottom. They had to check their work often, for even a tiny error at the bottom could grow into a very large error by the time the workers reached the top!

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