The people of Egypt willingly labored to build these monuments for their rulers, believing that, as gods, the pharaohs had to be properly provided for in their afterlife. The Step Pyramid was built around 2630 B.C. It exhibited a radical new shape never before used, and it was so new the Egyptians used its silhouettes as the hieroglyphic for “primeval mound”, the first piece of earth to emerge from the soup of creation (Malek 90). King Djoser's chief architect for his pyramid was Imhotep. It is thought that King Djoser's stone tomb started out having the standard shape of a mastaba.
CONTENTS: - INTRODUCTION - BACKGROUND OF ANCIENT EGYPT & PYRAMIDS - THE STEP PYRAMID of Pharaoh Djoser - THE GREAT PYRAMID of Pharaoh Khufu - CONCLUSION - BIBLIOGRAPHY & FOOTNOTES This essay focuses on two different types of pyramids; the Step pyramid which was the first pyramid and the Great pyramid, which was the largest pyramid built in Egypt. The essay investigates the meaning of the selected forms for the Egyptian culture and explains their dialog with the cosmos. The architecture of ancient Egypt is one of the most important civilizations in history, which developed of different structures and great architectural monuments along the River Nile. The Egypt pyramids were constructed for the pharaoh, as a tomb. Their belief was that the top point of the pyramid was the gate for the soul to travel to the afterlife and return to earth if chosen.
There was usually a descending passage from the North Burial Chamber and underground galleries surrounded all sides but the south side.True pyramids were a natural development to step pyramids, but the structure and construction were very similar. Packing blocks were stacked until the dimension was correct, and then limestone blocks were the finishing touch. The first true pyramid was built after the beginning of the fourth dynasty. One of the first ones was King Sereferu's. His was also the first one to reach great height in True Pyramid form.King Zoser's pyramid was the first pyramid ever built.
Thus, the art and architecture of Ancient Egypt stemmed directly from their religion. Egyptian theology, with its deified pharaohs and strange animal-headed gods, was complicated, but the most important belief was that survival after death depended upon the preservation of the body. This belief would influence the architectural design of the tomb, where the corpse was ultimately sealed (Silverman:142, 1997). Immortality was only for privileged royal and priestly beings (Stierlin:54, 1983).This implies that their tombs would be somewhat prestigious and not just and ordinary burial site. At the day of resurrection the Ka or soul would re-enter the dead body; this meant that it must be there, intact, ready for that moment.
The Egyptian Pyramids When most people think of Ancient Egypt they think of Pyramids. To construct such great monuments required a mastery of architecture, social organization, and art that few cultures of that period could achieve. The oldest pyramid, the Step-Pyramids, grow out of the abilities of two men, King Djoser and Imhotep. Djoser, the second king of 3rd dynasty, was the first king to have hired an architect, Imhotep, to design a tomb (Time-Life Books, 74). Imhotep was known as the father of mathematics, medicine, architecture, and as the inventor of the calendar (White, 40).
The first Egyptian Pyramid shape was first used in ancient Mesopotamia with mud and brick structures which they were called the Ziggurats. Later it was continued to used by the Greeks and Romans. The pyramids were built as a tomb for the pharaoh. It was believed that the pyramid was a place for the spirit of pharaoh to ascent. Also it was believed that the top point of the pyramid was the gate for the soul to travel to after life and also if was chosen to return back to earth.
The first kingdom is known as the Old Kingdom which ranged from 2650-2150 B.C. The architecture in the old kingdom was mainly influence by the king’s first minister Imhotep. He was very good at his craft and was a skilled architect. The famous Step Pyramid in Saqqara was said to be designed by Imhotep himself; one of the first ministers of King Zoser. The most famous pyramids of the old kingdom are the three great pyramids in Giza.
Literature Review Today, the Great Pyramids of Giza are dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of the World. These monumental giants were built around 2670 BC by the ancient Egyptians and served as tombs for the Pharaohs Khufhu, Hemiunu and Imhotep. The largest Pyramid built by Pharaoh Khufhu is often referred to as “Cheops”. Building a pyramid and positioning it was heavily influenced by astronomy, mathematics and religion at the time, which were all closely interlinked with each other. The ancient Egyptians had an extremely complex system of rituals, beliefs and gods.
Pyramids are one of the Ancient Architectural structures known to man. They were built as tombs for pharaohs and queens. To a layman, when a pyramid is being made mention of, one automatically assume the Egyptians. Although one of the trademarks of the Egyptians was the pyramid, the Mesopotamians were the first to construct a step-like pyramid structure. These platform-raised buildings were known as Ziggurats.
The ancient period had been of a great interest to today’s scientists, mathematicians, and even archaeologists. What we use or see now: the formulas in sciences and mathematics, some structures such as the pyramids, and even the calendar may be the products of the olden time. To find the birth of these, let us trace back time starting from 3000 BC: First dynasty of Egypt -The first mortal ruler of Egypt was its unifier Menes because Menes had unified the divided Egypt. He, Menes, had made Memphis the capital of Egypt according to the Greek historian Herodotus and Menes made it possible by blocking the Nile River so that they could regain land for the city. Having the first mortal, the Egyptians had started their first dynasty.