Palaces and Pyramids: A Deeper Look
Pyramids have long been an image of ancient Egyptian lands and culture, being one of the most recognizable aspects of their life and culture. Huge man made buildings give tourists and many alike a view into the past the dedication these ancient people put-forth to their craft and cause. Not long before these great pyramids were raised, another people like the ancient Egyptians built huge complexes themselves. Great palace structures like that of Sargon II, discovered in Dur Sharrukin where present-day Khorsabad, Iraq is located, allow us to understand how these people of the Ancient Near East were vastly similar and respectfully different from the people of Ancient Egypt.
The pyramids of Ancient Egypt help us journey into the past and help us gain an idea of what these huge structures meant to the people constructing them, and those who they were constructed for. These structures were built for the burial of kings, rulers, and people of the like. They were raised high to the sky, thought to help these fallen leaders become closer to the gods and to allow an easy transition into the afterlife. They had slanted triangular walls which are thought to represent the slanting rays of the sun. The first of these burial chambers was a mastaba, which was low, solid, and rectangular in shape. These mastabas consisted of a chapel where the deceased person’s family and friends could pay tribute through the offering of gifts. A serdab was also inside the mastabas where the statue of ka (believed to be the soul of a person) was placed. An underground burial chamber completed the construction of the mastaba. These mastabas were originally built with mud brick, but as the culture progressed they were built with limestone. Eventually, the mastaba evolved into a much larger structure. This structure was a stacking of mastaba forms with a large mastaba at the base and decreasing in size as it extended vertically, like steps. The stepped...
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