Ancient pyramids of Egypt: history, description and secrets

The magic of mysterious countries still exists. Palm trees sway in the warm wind, the Nile floats through the desert, surrounded by a green valley, the sun illuminates the Karnak temple and the mysterious pyramids of Egypt, and bright shoals of fish flash in the Red Sea.

the pyramids of egypt

Funerary culture of ancient Egypt

The pyramids are called grand buildings in the form of a regular geometric polyhedron. In the construction of funerary buildings or mastabs, this form, according to Egyptologists, began to be used because of the similarity with the commemorative cake. If you ask about how many pyramids in Egypt, then you can hear the answer that about 120 buildings have been found and described, which are located in different areas along the banks of the Nile.

The first mastabas can be seen in Saqqara, Upper Egypt, Memphis, Abusir, Al-Lahun, Giza, Havar, Abu Rawashe, Meidum. They were built from clay bricks with river sludge - adobe, in a traditional architectural form.In the pyramid a prayer room and a funeral “dowry” were placed to travel to the afterlife. The underground part stored the remains. The pyramids had a different appearance. They evolved from a stepped to a true, geometrically regular, form.

Pyramid shape evolution

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Tourists are often interested in how to see all the pyramids of Egypt, in which city they are located. There are many such places. For example, Maydum is the most mysterious point where the oldest of all the great funerary structures are located. When Snofru came to the throne (about 2575 BC), in Saqqara there was the only large completely completed royal pyramid of Djoser.

The ancient locals called it "el-haram-el-kaddab", which means "false pyramid". Because of the form, it attracted the attention of travelers in the Middle Ages.

The step pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara is known as the earliest form of burial egypt in Egypt. Her appearance refers to the period of the third dynasty. Narrowing aisles from the north lead to the burial chamber. Underground galleries surround the pyramid from all sides except the south.This is the only completed building with huge steps, which were lined with stone. But her form was different from the ideal. The first regular pyramids appeared at the beginning of the reign of the 4th dynasty of the pharaohs. The true form arose as a result of the natural development and improvement of the architectural construction of a stepped structure. The structure of this pyramid is almost the same. The building blocks were laid to the required shapes and sizes of the object, and then they were finished with limestone or stone.

Pyramids of Dahshur

Dakhshur forms the southern region of the necropolis in Memphis and contains a number of pyramidal complexes and monuments. Dahshur has only recently been open to the public. In the Nile Valley, south of Cairo, alone, on the edge of the Western Desert, above the lush green fields in Meidum, there is a remarkable area where you can see the transition from the stepped to the correct form of the pyramid. The transformation took place during the change of the third dynasty of the Pharaohs to the fourth. During the rule of the 3rd dynasty, Pharaoh Huni organized the construction of the first pyramid of regular shape in Egypt, where stepped constructions from Meidum are located as a base for building.The funeral structure was intended for the son of Huni, the first pharaoh of the fourth dynasty, Snofru (2613-2589 BC). The heir completed work on the pyramids of his father, then built his own - stepped. But the pharaoh’s construction plans were curtailed, because the construction did not go according to plan. The decrease in the angle of inclination of the lateral plane resulted in a rhomboid curved silhouette. This structure is called the broken pyramid, but it still has intact outer shells.

Egypt's history of the pyramids

The oldest pyramids in Saqqara

Saqqara is one of the huge necropolises of the ancient city, which is known today as Memphis. The ancient Egyptians called this place "White Walls". The pyramids of Egypt at Saqqara are represented by the first oldest step pyramid of Djoser. It was here that the history of the construction of these funerary structures began. In Saqqara they found the first entry on the walls, known as “Pyramid Texts”. The architect of these projects is called Imhotep, who invented the masonry of hewn stone. Thanks to construction, the ancient architect was ranked as a god. Imhotepa considered the son of the patron of crafts Ptah.In Saqqara there are many tombs belonging to important ancient Egyptian officials.

A true gem represents the great pyramids of Egypt in the complex Snofra. Experiencing discontent with the broken pyramid, which did not allow him to go to heaven with dignity, he began construction about two kilometers to the north. It was the famous Pink Pyramid, so named because of the red limestone used in construction. This is one of the oldest buildings in Egypt, which was created in the correct form. It has a tilt angle of 43 degrees and is the second largest, second only to the Great Pyramid of Giza. It was built by the son Snofru in Khufu. In fact, the Great Pyramid is only 10 meters from Pink. Other major monuments in Dahshur belong to the 12th and 13th dynasties and are incomparable in scale with the works of Huni and Snofra.

Late pyramids in the complex Snofru

In Maydum there are later pyramids. In Egypt, where the White Pyramid of Amenemhet II, Black Amenemhet III and the building of Senusret III are located, smaller monuments of funerary appointments for minor rulers, nobles and officials dominate.

They talk about a fairly stable and peaceful period in the history of Egypt. Interestingly, the Black Pyramid and the construction of Senusert III are not built of stone, but of brick. Why this material was used is unknown, but in those days new ways of building entered Egypt from other countries, thanks to trade and international relations. Unfortunately, although it was much easier to work with bricks, compared to granite blocks that had multi-ton weight, this material did not stand the test of time. Although the Black Pyramid was fairly well preserved, the White was damaged very badly. For tourists, little aware of the huge number of pyramidal burials, there is a misunderstanding. They ask: "Where in Egypt are the pyramids?" While everyone knows about the great burial structures of Egypt, there are many less significant examples of such buildings. Scattered along the Nile from Celia at the edge of the oasis to Elephantine Island in Aswan, in the village of Naga al-Khalifa, about five miles south of Abydos, in the town of Minya and many other unexplored sites.

the great pyramids of Egypt

Pyramids of Giza and Necropolis

For all tourists who come to Egypt, an excursion to the pyramids becomes almost a ritual.The buildings of Giza are the only surviving of the seven wonders of the Ancient World and the most famous sights. This sacred place is impressive in antiquity, the scope of the necropolis, the unreality of the buildings and the Great Sphinx. The secrets of the construction and supposed symbolism of the pyramids of Giza only add to the appeal of these ancient wonders. Many modern people still consider Guise a spiritual place. A number of fascinating theories have been proposed to explain the "mystery of the pyramids." The author of the Great Pyramid project in Egypt is the adviser to Cheops and his relative, Chemiun. Giza is the most important place on earth for many researchers who are trying to unravel the geometric perfection of the funerary structures in ancient sources. But even great skeptics are in awe of the deep antiquity, scope and absolute harmony of the pyramids of Giza.

The history of the pyramids of Giza

Located on the west bank of the Nile River, about 12 miles southwest of the center of Cairo, Giza (El Gizah in Arabic) is the third largest city in Egypt with a population of almost 3 million. This is the famous necropolis on the plateau of Giza,which houses the most popular monuments in Egypt. The great pyramids of Giza were built in 2500 BC for the burials of the pharaohs. Together they constitute the only ancient wonder of the world still existing today. Egypt attracts many tourists (Hurghada). The pyramids of Giza, they can see in half an hour, which will be required on the road. One can admire this wonderful ancient sacred place.

The Great Pyramid of Khufu, or Cheops, as the Greeks called it (the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in Giza), and the necropolis bordering Cairo, remained virtually untouched by time. It is believed that the pyramid was built as a tomb for the fourth dynasty of the Egyptian pharaohs Khufu. The Great Pyramid has been the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years. It was originally covered with facing stones that created a smooth exterior surface. Some of them can be seen around the base and at the very top. There are various scientific and alternative theories about how the pyramids of ancient Egypt were built, and about the methods of building the Great one directly.Most of the accepted theories of construction are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from the quarry and lifting them into place. It covers an area of ​​just over 5 hectares. The initial height was 146 m in height, but the pyramid is still impressive at a height of 137 m. The main losses are associated with the destruction of a smooth limestone surface.

how many pyramids in Egypt

Herodotus about Egypt

When the Greek historian Herodotus visited Giza, around 450 BC, he described which pyramids were in Egypt. He learned from the Egyptian priests that the Great Pyramid was built for Pharaoh Khufu, who was the second king of the fourth dynasty (c. 2575-2465 BC). The priests told Herodotus that she had been built by 400,000 people over the course of 20 years. The construction was occupied for the movement of blocks of 100,000 people at a time. But archaeologists consider this implausible and tend to think that labor was more limited. Perhaps 20,000 workers with accompanying support staff from bakers, doctors, priests and others would be enough to complete this task.

ancient pyramids of egypt

The most famous pyramid was neatly laid out with the help of 2.3 million processed stone blocks. These blocks had an impressive weight of from two to fifteen tons.After the construction was completed, the burial structure struck with a weight of approximately 6 million tons. All known cathedrals in Europe have this weight combined! For thousands of years, the pyramid of Cheops was registered as the tallest structure in the world.

Only the graceful spiers of the extraordinarily majestic cathedral in Lincoln, built in England, with a height of 160 m, were able to break the record, but they fell in 1549.

Pyramid of Khafre

Among the pyramids of Giza, the second in size is a structure built for the afterlife journey of Khafre (Khafre), the son of Pharaoh Khufu. He inherited power after the death of his elder brother and was the fourth ruler in the fourth dynasty. Of his well-born relatives and predecessors on the throne, many were buried in penny-tombs. But the grandeur of the pyramid of Khafre strikes almost the same as the "last house" of his father.

The pyramid of Khafre visually stretches to the sky and seems higher than the first pyramid of Giza - the burial structure of Cheops, because it stands on a higher part of the plateau. It is characterized by a steeper angle with a preserved smooth limestone coating.At the second pyramid, each side was 216 m and was originally 143 m high. Its limestone and granite blocks weigh about 2.5 tons each.

The ancient pyramids of Egypt, such as Cheops, as well as the construction of Khafre, include five burial pits each connected by transitions. Together with the morgue, the Valley of the temples and the connecting dam, it is 430 meters long, carved into the rock. The burial chamber, which is underground, retained a red granite sarcophagus with a lid. Nearby is a square cavity where the chest with the insides of the pharaoh was located. The Great Sphinx near the pyramid of Khafre is considered its royal portrait.

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Pyramid of Mikerina

The last of the pyramids of Giza is the pyramid of Mikerina, located to the south. It was intended for the son of Khafre, the fifth king of the fourth dynasty. Either side is 109 m, and the height of the building is 66 m. In addition to these three monuments, small pyramids were built for the three wives of Khufu and a series of flat-topped pyramids for the remains of his favorite children. At the end of a long dam, small tombs of courtiers lined up, the temple and the morgue were built only for the mummification of the body of Pharaoh.

Like all the pyramids of Egypt created for the pharaohs, the burial chambers of these buildings were filled with everything necessary for the next life: furniture, statues of slaves, niches for canopies.

how to build the pyramids of ancient Egypt

Theories about the construction of the Egyptian giants

Many mysteries conceals the centuries-old history of Egypt. Pyramids built without modern devices only increase the curiosity of these places. Herodotus assumed that the foundation was made of huge blocks weighing about seven tons. And then, like from children's cubes, step by step, all 203 layers were raised up. But this cannot be done, as evidenced by the Japanese attempt in the 1980s to duplicate the actions of the Egyptian builders. The most plausible explanation is that the Egyptians used inclined, along which stone blocks were towed along the ladder with the help of sleds, rollers and levers. And the foundation was a natural plateau. The magnificent buildings not only withstood the crushing work of time, but also the numerous attacks of grave robbers. They robbed the pyramids in ancient times. The burial chamber of Khafre, opened by the Italians in 1818, was empty, there was no longer any gold and other treasures.

There is a possibility that there are still undiscovered pyramids of Egypt or are now completely destroyed.Many express fantastic theories about the extraterrestrial intervention of another civilization, for which such construction is child's play. The Egyptians are only proud of the perfect knowledge of their ancestors in the field of mechanics, dynamics, thanks to which the construction business developed.

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