What the Great Pyramid of Giza Would’ve Looked Like When First Built: It Was Gleaming, Reflective White

The Great Pyramid at Giza—the oldest and most intact of the seven ancient wonders of the ancient world—became a potent symbol of the sublime in the 19th century, a symbol of power so absolute as to eclipse human understanding. After Napoleon’s first expedition to Giza, “Egytomania… swept through European culture and influenced the plastic arts, fashion, and design,” writes Miroslav Verner in The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt’s Great Monuments.

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