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.
These beliefs were a strong force that led to the piling up of stones to such a monumental scale. The Step Pyramid rose to a height of 204 feet; later pyramids increased in height as their designs changed. It was not sufficient that a pyramid be immense, but it had to be built so solidly that it would stand forever. Although the Step Pyramid was the first pyramid, the Great Pyramid is the best known. The Great Pyramid was built for King Cheop.
His coffin was found in 1923 in Thebes, Egypt. Inside the tomb laid many statues, weapons and jewelry. At first people had this belief that only Pharaohs could attain immortality, but later on, anyone was able to. Egyptians saw Pharaohs as gods, so when they passed away, they assumed the Pharaoh would become a God in his or her afterlife. Eventually, during the period of the New Kingdom (2628-1638 BC), Pharaohs were buried in tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Thebes, Egypt.
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.
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).
There is one other thing that stirs the imagination, the building bares the name of the famous Cleopatra and her son, whose father was Julius Caesar. It is possible that these celebrate personalities climbed the same stairs and contemplated, on high, the same landscape which stretches for miles below. In Summation, some of the most precious examples of architecture from the ancient world are of the ancient Egyptians. Although the ancient Egyptians lived in a primitive world, they proved to have great knowledge for building lasting structures that would forever have a unique and majestic influence on the world.
They were the first monumental stone structure ever built. They got their name from the stepped sides which were created by building one mastaba (layer of pyramid) on top of another. Step pyramids were not as pleasing to the eye as True Pyramids. Sometimes they had different chambers than True Pyramids. 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.
Pharaonic burial complexes were also centers of worship for the god-king interred there and were designed to exalt his memory and deeds. Egyptian burial complexes evolved from the simple rectangular mastaba to the great pyramids of the Fourth Dynasty. The true pyramid evolved from the mastaba through an intermediary form, the step pyramid, the earliest example of which is Zoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara, which dates to the Third Dynasty (c. 2680 BC). The Step Pyramid was revolutionary for several reasons. It is the earliest known free-standing monument built entirely of stone in Egypt (Fakhry 20); it is also the earliest example of evolutionary architectural development beyond the mastaba.
We gain a glimpse into what was believed to be the after life through inscriptions such as the Book of the Dead. Although terrifying tales, it contained information that the deceased could use to protect themselves. Stelas were first employed just to perpetuate the name of the deceased but through time became more and more decorated. The first royal stelas simply inscribed the kings name in the serekh and was placed inside of niches within their tombs. The first stelas were erected in the Upper Egyptian funerary complexes at Abydos and were large slabs of rectangular stone,... ... middle of paper ... ...ed accomplishments, probably to aid in the Weighing of the Heart Ceremony.
Pyramid building techniques were developed over centuries, according to the article, “How Were the Egyptian Pyramids Built?” by LiveScience. They claim that “[pyramid techniques over centuries] with all of the problems and setbacks that any modern-day scientist or engineer would face.” This sentence in the article claims that Egyptians at that time had the thinking of a “modern-day scientist or engineer”, which shows how high their engineering skills are. Pyramids first started with mastaba tombs during the reign of the pharaoh Djoser. His rectangular tomb started before “being developed into a six-layered step pyramid with underground tunnels and chambers.” (“How Were Egyptian Pyramids Built” by LiveScience) Then another skill developed during Snefru’s reign. His architects discovered ways to make