The Pryamids Essay Research Paper The Great — страница 2

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chaos; just to name a few. All the gods were related: brothers, sisters, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, etc. The gods of Egypt were like a higher level of humans, with the same type of family life, however they were in charge of what went on in the basic everyday lives of humans. The Gods could also kill and be killed by other gods. Since the Egyptians associated the west with death and afterlife, and the east with life and rebirth, the pyramids were built on the west side of the Nile in the deserts of Egypt. This belief comes from the fact that the sun rises in the east, therefore it is born daily; consequently the sun sets in the west, therefore it dies every night. The pyramids reflect the belief of the king and the Egyptians in a kind of immortality by becoming integrated

in the circle of death and rebirth. The functions of the pyramids were first as tombs for the deceased kings, where they could prepare to have every valuable, earthly possession necessary for their afterlife, as well as preserving the physical body for the spirit to be able to recognize it. Secondly, as a temple for the king to worship the gods, which are found throughout the complex on reliefs all over the walls. Last, as palaces for the royal family to celebrate kingship as well as being used as living quarters during the construction of the pyramids. According to wall reliefs which appear throughout the pyramid complex, the focus is on the king and his responsibility to the gods and in return the gods presenting offerings to the king. Several scenes were often repeated several

times throughout the complex leading to the belief that these particular reliefs were of significant importance. From the Fourth Dynasty to the end of the Old Kingdom every pyramid ever built consisted of an enclosure wall, surrounding courtyard, temple at the eastern base, causeway to the valley floor and a valley temple. Inscriptions appear on the walls of the chambers in the pyramids as well as the causeway and temples. The pyramid complex was considered to be the portal to the afterlife. The pyramids were built to house the dead king and his valuables for the afterlife. The spirit was able to freely move into and out of the pyramid through vent holes in the tomb. The enclosure wall was then erected to protect the complex by having only one or two entrances, therefore leading

to more security within the complex itself. The funerary temple was located at the eastern base of the pyramid and was built for the divine king and the priests to have ritual ceremonies and for the king to speak to the gods. The causeway was just like a hallway to another room, it lead to the valley floor and the valley temple. The valley temple was believed to be used for the mummification of the king, evidence of a purification tent that has been excavated from there is what the theory is based on. The Pyramids To fully understand how the true pyramids came into existence, one must take a look at the history of the Egyptian tombs. The oldest known tomb, or superstructure, to be created was during the early Dynastic times (3100-2700 BC). The first were simple superstructures

consisted of a flat roof and mud brick walls. Below ground lye a wooden coffin, as well as a separate structure for grave goods. A simple emplacement or small chapel was attached to the exterior. These structures are formally known as Mastaba. During the Old Kingdom these structures started to change and get more sophisticated and elaborate. Preservation of the body along with more exquisite grave goods began to come into existence. The founder of the 3rd Dynasty, king Djoser, built the first step pyramid, which began as a Mastaba, but continued to become the superstructure now known as the step pyramid. The Step Pyramid was the central and largest complex of buildings and courtyards. The step pyramid evolved into what we know now as a true pyramid. The Great Pyramids at Giza

Khufu s Pyramid The most known pyramid is the Great Pyramid at Giza that belonged to the king Khufu. His pyramid is considered to be the greatest monument ever built. The pyramid itself stands an amazing 479 ft high and is 756 ft at its base. The pyramid, believed to have been built during the kings twenty-six year reign. During this time approximately 2.5 million limestone blocks, weighting anywhere from two to seventy tons apiece, were incorporated into his sacred monument (Davidovits, 10). The great pyramid originally possessed about 115,000 casting blocks, some weighing about 10 tons apiece and covering a surface area of about twenty-two acres (11). The casting blocks fit so closely together (about 0.002 inch) that a razor blade cannot even be inserted between any two that