The Pryamids Essay Research Paper The Great — страница 3

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are still remaining. Khufu s pyramid is the first, largest, and most dominating in the valley of Giza. The burial chamber consisted of red granite and at the western end of the chamber rests the granite sarcophocas of Khufu. Within the chamber are two air vents that are believed to be for the king s spirit to leave for his daily journeys across the heavens with the sun god, Re. Khufu s burial chamber resides high within the heart of the pyramid rather than beneath it. This is believed to be due to the kings identification with Re. The pyramid itself is named Akhet-Khufu, which translates to Horizon of Khufu (Hawass, 19). An enclosure wall surrounds the pyramid and the funerary temple is located to the east of the pyramid (20). There have been five boat pits found surrounding the

Great Pyramid. The two to the south are believed to be funerary boats, which transferred the king up the Nile River and back again. The two to the east are believed to be solar boats that the king will need in his afterlife for his daily trips across the sky as Re, the sun god. The fifth boat is believed to be connected to the god, Hathor, although there is no exact theory about it. Khufu s pyramid is amazing in the sense that it was built to near perfection using such unsophisticated tools. The base of the pyramid is a near perfect square with the north side of it being off ever so slightly with the true north . An astonishing accomplishment for even someone of today with all the technology at ones disposal. In the 1950 s, archeologists recovered a funerary boat belonging to

king Khufu, after excavation it was placed in a special museum where the climate and atmosphere could be controlled. The boat was preserved in perfect condition when it was excavated. The boat measuring more than 120 ft had a capacity of more than forty tons. The hull was composed of hundreds of pieces of wood shaped to fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. It was to be sewn together with a single piece of rope. The boat require no extra additives to make it sea worthy, instead when the boat got wet the wood would swell and the rope would tighten, this procedure made the boat totally watertight. This system created an automatic seal (16). The boat, which was named The Boat of A Million Years , started to rapidly deteriorate in the uniquely built museum, soon after the doors opened

to the public. The deterioration of the boat had been caused by the climate and atmospheric conditions. The museum was unable to keep a constant climate with all of the tourists coming in and out. This caused the closure of the museum shortly after the opening until they were able to rectify the situation. Once the environment was stabilized surrounding the boat, the museum was able to reopen. Hard to believe that something that had been preserved for over 4000 years could suddenly start to deteriorate so quickly. Khafre s Pyramid The second Great Pyramid at Giza belonged to Khafre, Khufu s son. The Pyramid complex was built to the south-west of Khufu s Pyramid, and was built on higher ground for the appearance of a larger pyramid, however the pyramid itself is in fact smaller,

standing 447.5 ft high and 707.75 wide at the base. Khafre, as well, had five boat pits, however no boats have been found in them. It is believed that the pyramid had been partly destroyed during the first intermittent period. This is the only pyramid, for the most part, that is complete of the Old Kingdom complexes. It has two burial chambers, one of which still contains a sarcophagas. A 10-foot high enclosure wall surrounds the pyramid complex. The funerary temple, which is the best-preserved example from the Old Kingdom, was completely excavated in 1909-10. Khafre s temple was larger then that of his fathers with more rooms and a paved stairway to the roof, possibly for the priests to observe the heavens (Hawass 28). The funerary temple, which was at the base of the eastern

side of the pyramid, is connected to the valley temple by a 500m long causeway. The Great Sphinx lies along the causeway about half way between the funerary temple and the valley temple. Ruins still remain of a small sanctuary, outhouses, a courtyard and a large hall with 24 pillars. It is believed that Khafre s pyramid complex was constructed during his 20-year reign. A: Pyramid of Khafre B: Secondary pyramid C: Funerary temple D: Causeway (approx. 500 m) E: Sphinx F: Valley temple G: Sphinx temple H: Mastabas (Diagrams borrowed from Crystal Links at Menkaure s Pyramid The pyramid complex of Menkaure is known as the third pyramid of Giza. It is much smaller in comparison to that of his father and grandfather s pyramids. Menkaure s pyramid is called Menkaure