Probably the most famous structure in all of Egypt, the Pyramids are still on of the worlds best architectural achievement, even though they were built many centuries ago. These structures can be as tall as 482 feet (147 m) high. The Pyramid towers over many other famous landmarks, including the Statue of Liberty.
The first true pyramid was build at saqqara for the king Zoser. It wascalled a step pyramid because of its step shape. The later pyramids were smooth sided, like the Great Pyramid at Giza, built for the king Khufu about 4,500 years ago.
The smooth sided pyramid was built from the Dynasty IV and on. They were built by first having men chisel the block of granite the way that they wanted it. The stonemasons used special rods to check that a stone block was cutaccurately. Next, the blocks stayed in the quarry until the flood season. They did this so they could use barges to haul over the heavy granite blocks. Once the boast had arrived near the pyramid and unloaded the blocks, they were hauled up a ramp. Then, ropes and levers were used to maneuver the huge blocks into position. The overseer checked that every block was laid correctly. Once all of the graniteblocks were placed in place, laborers rubbed the casing blocks with polishing stones until they would shine in the sun. The overseers used plump lines to check that the angle of the slope was correct.
As for the finishing touches, workers placed hieroglyphics around the pyramid as well as many statues. There were also a lot of bright and vibrant colored columns. There were also one or two largeboats buried near the tomb so the king to have a peaceful sail over to the Next World.
As for the path that leads up to the pyramid, there was first the Valley Temple. When the king died, his body was first rowed across the Nile to the Valley Temple to be mummified. Next, there was the causeway. This was a covered processional way which came from the Valley Temple. The walls on the inside weredecorated many times, and there were holes in the roof to provide light. At the end of the Causeway, there was the Mortuary Temple. This was built against the side of the pyramid. The Mortuary Temple was the place where priests made offerings to the king's spirit every day for eternity. To the left of the Mortuary Temple, can be found the queen's pyramid. Much smaller than the kings pyramid, this waswhere the king would bury his wife.
The number of granite blocks were enormous. There had to be a huge quarry to supply the huge demand. And of course, there were many accidents at the construction site. There were doctors on the site, but little helped for sprained or broken body parts. Eventually, the whole pyramid was built, and all of the sweat and toil payed off. To learn more about theAncient Egyptian pyramids, seeThe Evolution of the Pyramid
Before the pyramid, the kings used to be buried inside of tombs. The tomb itself was usually composed of two distinct parts: the chapel and crypt. The highly decorated walls of the funerary chapel accommodated a false door. This was the symbol linking the living with the dead, and there was a carved image of the tomb owner. The hallswere flanked by several smaller rooms housing the deceased's provisions such as furniture, offerings, sacred text, victuals, etc.
In the rear , there was a burial shaft below ground which led to the actual crypt. Although it was walled in or dissimulated by all sorts of subterfuges-fits, snares, booby traps, and false galleries- the storerooms and chapel were devoted to the cult which remainedaccessible to the deceased's family and friends and to the priests who continued rituals. The crypt was highly decorated with carved reliefs and wall paintings which described the truths expected to exist for eternity and depicting the figures of priests and servants. They would accompany the deceased and his retinue to his afterlife.
Scattered throughout Egypt, you may see some large brown...
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