Egypt pyrmids research papers


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Essay/Term paper: Pyramids

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The most prolific pyramid-building phase coincided with the greatest degree of absolutist rule. It was during this time of the Old Kingdom of Egypt that the most famous pyramids, the Giza pyramid complex , were built.

Over time, as authority became less centralized, the ability and willingness to harness the resources required for construction on this massive scale decreased, and later pyramids were smaller, less well-built and often hastily constructed. Long after the end of Egypt's own pyramid-building period, a burst of pyramid building occurred in what is present-day Sudan , after much of Egypt came under the rule of the Kingdom of Kush , which was then based at Napata. He gave up after only damaging the Pyramid of Menkaure because the task proved too large.

The shape of Egyptian pyramids is thought to represent the primordial mound from which the Egyptians believed the earth was created. The shape of a pyramid is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun, and most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone, in order to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance.

Pyramids were often also named in ways that referred to solar luminescence. While it is generally agreed that pyramids were burial monuments, there is continued disagreement on the particular theological principles that might have given rise to them. One suggestion is that they were designed as a type of "resurrection machine.

The Egyptians believed the dark area of the night sky around which the stars appear to revolve was the physical gateway into the heavens. One of the narrow shafts that extend from the main burial chamber through the entire body of the Great Pyramid points directly towards the center of this part of the sky.

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This suggests the pyramid may have been designed to serve as a means to magically launch the deceased pharaoh's soul directly into the abode of the gods. All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, which, as the site of the setting sun , was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology. In , Karl Richard Lepsius produced the first modern list of pyramids — now known as the Lepsius list of pyramids — in which he counted A great many more have since been discovered. As of November , Egyptian pyramids have been identified.

The location of Pyramid 29, which Lepsius called the "Headless Pyramid", was lost for a second time when the structure was buried by desert sands after Lepsius's survey. It was found again only during an archaeological dig conducted in Many pyramids are in a poor state of preservation or buried by desert sands.

If visible at all, they may appear as little more than mounds of rubble. As a consequence, archaeologists are continuing to identify and study previously unknown pyramid structures. The most recent pyramid to be discovered was that of Sesheshet at Saqqara , mother of the Sixth Dynasty pharaoh Teti , announced on 11 November All of Egypt's pyramids, except the small Third Dynasty pyramid of Zawyet el-Amwat or Zawyet el-Mayitin , are sited on the west bank of the Nile , and most are grouped together in a number of pyramid fields.

Who Built the Pyramids?

The most important of these are listed geographically, from north to south, below. Abu Rawash is the site of Egypt's most northerly pyramid other than the ruins of Lepsius pyramid number one [5] — the mostly ruined Pyramid of Djedefre , son and successor of Khufu. Originally it was thought that this pyramid had never been completed, but the current archaeological consensus is that not only was it completed, but that it was originally about the same size as the Pyramid of Menkaure , which would have placed it among the half-dozen or so largest pyramids in Egypt.

Its location adjacent to a major crossroads made it an easy source of stone. Quarrying, which began in Roman times, has left little apart from about 15 courses of stone superimposed upon the natural hillock that formed part of the pyramid's core. A small adjacent satellite pyramid is in a better state of preservation. Giza is the location of the Pyramid of Khufu also known as the "Great Pyramid" and the "Pyramid of Cheops" ; the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre or Chephren ; the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure or Mykerinus , along with a number of smaller satellite edifices known as "Queen's pyramids"; and the Great Sphinx of Giza.

Of the three, only Khafre's pyramid retains part of its original polished limestone casing, near its apex. This pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu pyramid by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction — it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume. The Giza pyramid complex has been a popular tourist destination since antiquity and was popularized in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

How the Ancient Egyptian economy laid the groundwork for building the pyramids

Today it is the only one of those wonders still in existence. This site, halfway between Giza and Abusir, is the location for two unfinished Old Kingdom pyramids. The northern structure's owner is believed to be pharaoh Nebka , while the southern structure, known as the Layer Pyramid , may be attributable to the Third Dynasty pharaoh Khaba , a close successor of Sekhemkhet. If this attribution is correct, Khaba's short reign could explain the seemingly unfinished state of this step pyramid. There are a total of fourteen pyramids at this site, which served as the main royal necropolis during the Fifth Dynasty.

The quality of construction of the Abusir pyramids is inferior to those of the Fourth Dynasty — perhaps signaling a decrease in royal power or a less vibrant economy. They are smaller than their predecessors, and are built of low-quality local limestone.

How the Pyramids Were Built (Pyramid Science Part 2!)

The three major pyramids are those of Niuserre , which is also the best preserved, Neferirkare Kakai and Sahure. The site is also home to the incomplete Pyramid of Neferefre. Most of the major pyramids at Abusir were built using similar construction techniques, comprising a rubble core surrounded by steps of mud bricks with a limestone outer casing. Major pyramids located here include the Pyramid of Djoser — generally identified as the world's oldest substantial monumental structure to be built of dressed stone — the Pyramid of Userkaf , the Pyramid of Teti and the Pyramid of Merikare , dating to the First Intermediate Period of Egypt.

Also at Saqqara is the Pyramid of Unas , which retains a pyramid causeway that is one of the best-preserved in Egypt. Together with the pyramid of Userkaf, this pyramid was the subject of one of the earliest known restoration attempts, conducted by Khaemweset , a son of Ramesses II. Archaeologists believe that had this pyramid been completed, it would have been larger than Djoser's. Most of these are in a poor state of preservation. The Fourth Dynasty pharaoh Shepseskaf either did not share an interest in, or have the capacity to undertake pyramid construction like his predecessors.

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