We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Pyramid?

Mary Elizabeth
Updated May 21, 2024
Our promise to you
All The Science is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All The Science, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Mathematics. Pyramids are one of the fundamental solids used in Euclidean geometry. There are three elements required to make a pyramid. It is a

  • 3-dimensional figure with
  • triangular side faces that meet at a common vertex, with
  • a polygon base.

Pyramids are classified by the shape of their base. A triangular pyramid has a triangular base and three triangular side faces. A square pyramid has a square base and four triangular sides. A pentagonal pyramid has a pentagonal base and five triangular sides. A hexagonal pyramid has a hexagonal base and six triangular sides, and so on.

Pyramids are referred to as n-sided, where n is the number of sides of the polygon that forms the base. An n-sided pyramid has n triangular faces.

Architecture. Pyramids are also a shape favored for architectural construction, both ancient and modern. The ancient cultures that built pyramids include Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, several Mesoamerican cultures, China, and Rome. In Egypt, where pyramids were used in funeral complexes, two types – step pyramids and “true" pyramids - were both built. In Mesopotamia, the type of pyramid built was the ziggurat, a temple with terraced stories. Many Chinese pyramids, used as burial monuments, have flat tops.

Cheerleading. The pyramid is also one of the fundamental cheerleading structures, and allows for endless variations. The World Cheerleading Association (WCA), which includes pyramids/basket tosses as one of the six technical skills scoring categories, issues General Safety Guidelines with rules for the use of pyramids in competition. There are six competition levels, and special rules for what kinds of pyramids are allowed at each level. Pyramids may be 2, 2½, or 3 persons high, but for WCA competition, the limit is 2½ persons high at Level Six.

There are three types of roles in cheerleading pyramids: bases, spotters, and flyers. Bases form the foundation for the flyers to mount on. Spotters may be simply standing by to assist, support, or catch someone in case of need, or may also brace the stunt.

All The Science is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary Elizabeth
By Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the Internet. In addition to writing articles on art, literature, and music for All The Science, Mary works as a teacher, composer, and author who has written books, study guides, and teaching materials. Mary has also created music composition content for Sibelius Software. She earned her B.A. from University of Chicago's writing program and an M.A. from the University of Vermont.
Discussion Comments
By MrMoody — On Jun 02, 2011

@Charred - I think the answer to your question is religious in nature. If the ancient Egyptian pyramids were, as we are told, tombs for the Pharoahs to assist them in the afterlife, then there is something about a structure which rises towards the heavens to a single point that seems to make sense.

I don’t know-maybe there’s an official explanation that Egyptologists can give that makes more sense.

But that’s my gut feeling, from what I’ve read. And I think that it’s fairly logical, unless you want to entertain the more bizarre notions that the pyramids were actually ancient spacecrafts…

By Charred — On May 30, 2011

@Mammmood - That’s an amazing story. One thing that I’ve always wondered about the Egyptian pyramids, and others like them found in cultures throughout the world, is why did these cultures feel the need to build pyramids?

After all, in our modern culture, when people want to design big buildings, they design skyscrapers, which are tall rectangles. It seems to make more sense at least. What was it about the pyramid structure that seemed to hit a nerve with ancient man, in every culture of the globe?

By Mammmood — On May 29, 2011

@afterall - When I was a teenager my family went on a vacation to Egypt. I distinctly remember spending a night in the desert, where the Great Pyramids were. We didn’t stay overnight, but stayed at this house with some local people who showed us some hospitality.

While there I got very close to the Great Pyramid of Giza. I asked my dad for an opportunity to climb it, since other people were doing that. My dad said no, of course. However, it’s amazing when you get up close to see for yourself the immense size of those blocks. It baffles the imagination how the Egyptians accomplished that feat, a marvel even by today’s standards.

I think the person in charge of Egyptian Antiquities has since placed a ban on any further tourist exploration of the Pyramids. I wouldn’t mind going again someday, though, even to view it from a distance.

By afterall — On Mar 21, 2011

It's really interesting that so many different cultures developed pyramids separately. I know people who study history, anthropology, and even religion who find it really valuable for looking at how different cultures evolved, and what they have in common.

By sapphire12 — On Mar 20, 2011

When we think of pyramids, the thought that often comes to mind is the "true" pyramids like the Great Pyramids in Egypt. Like this article says, though, there are several other kinds that are really beautiful.

Mary Elizabeth
Mary Elizabeth
Passionate about reading, writing, and research, Mary Elizabeth is dedicated to correcting misinformation on the...
Learn more
All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All The Science, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.