Egyptian Pyramids

Topics: Ancient Egypt, Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt Pages: 5 (1742 words) Published: March 11, 2013
The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. They are known to be one of the seven wonders of the modern world. There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found at Saqqara, northwest of Memphis. The earliest among these is the Pyramid of Djoser which was built during the third dynasty. The estimate of the number of workers it took to build the pyramids have a wide range from a few thousand, twenty thousand, and up to 100,000.The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built. The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest Egyptian pyramid. REASON BEHIND BUILDING PYRAMIDS

The pyramids were built to protect the body of the deceased pharaoh. These massive tombs were constructed to withstand the elements of time and were intended to last forever. Most Ancient Egyptians planned for their death and the pharaoh was no exception. His death was much more elaborate than the typical Ancient Egyptian and considered an important event; this process was tied to the rising and setting of the sun. It was believed that while alive, the pharaoh represented Horus and upon his death he represented Osiris. During his state as Osiris, he would set the sun, while the new pharaoh, his son, in the image of Horus, would raise the sun. This process continued for hundreds of years and this is why it was important the pharaoh be protected eternally to avoid a cosmic disturbance. The pharaoh also believed that his death was an extension to a journey towards eternal life. In order to become a “being” of the afterworld, it was important the pharaoh’s physical body be safeguarded and recognizable by his spirit, this in turn, lead to the process of mummification. The process itself consisted of being embalmed then wrapped in fine linen. Once the process of mummification was complete, the pharaoh was buried with his most prized possessions such as jewelry, funerary statues, and items that would aid him in his afterlife. CONSTRUCTION OF PYRAMIDS

The pyramids were built of huge blocks of limestone and granite, each block weighing over two tons, which were quarried in the desert nearby. The stones were then carried on boats down the Nile and hauled on a granite causeway from the river to the leveled site, using ropes and sledges and muscle. It is still a mystery as to exactly how these heavy stones were lifted into place as the pyramids took shape. Most people believed they were pulled up a huge earth ramp and laid in place, layer by layer. We realize in viewing the pyramids today that the ancient Egyptians, who lived nearly 5,000 years ago, were some of the best engineers the world has ever known. They displayed a remarkable mastery of technical, while working with the hardest of stones and without metal tools. But, of course, these massive stone structures could not have been built without the labour of tens of thousands of workers. There were craftsmen who worked permanently on the site and a much larger work force of peasant farmers, who were summoned to work on royal projects during the months when their fields were flooded and their time free. ROBBERY IN PYRAMIDS

In building the pyramids, the workers had one special incentive. Since they believed that the pharaoh would care for them in the next world, it was in their best interests to ensure that he got there safely. Although the pyramids were constructed in such a way that made robbery difficult, over the centuries thieves did manage to break in, destroying the bodies of the pharaohs and stealing their treasures. Eventually, because of such destruction, the pharaohs stopped building pyramids and instead had secret tombs made in a remote and desolate place called...
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