Were the pyramids built by slaves?

No. They were built by Egyptian farmers drafted into a national labor force called the corvee, which handled the heavy lifting on pyramid construction sites. They were fed, clothed, and housed, and received medical care when they got hurt on the job. Ancient graffiti hints that these men and women took pride in building a “house of eternal life” for their god-king. And unlike slaves, corvee workers could go home when the work season ended. Still, pyramid building was hardly an easy gig. Archaeologists digging up a worker cemetery found bodies with busted bones and diseases related to a lifetime of heavy lifting.


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