Pyramids

Pyramids are Egyptian tombs contructed with 5 sided polyhedrons with a retangular base and triangles for sides. They were built as safeguards for Pharaohs, so when a Pharaoh died, they could enter the Field Of Reeds. The Field of Reeds in the Egyptian religion, is the afterlife and paradise. Within these tombs are earthly goods that they can take into the afterlife. In the tombs are various magical tools, precious metals, and other possessions of a Pharaoh. Unfortunately, tomb radiers and theives have stolen many of these precious items from these tombs.
The Giza Plateau
The Giza Plateau

Labor and Construction

"On the pyramid it is declared in Egyptian writing how much was spent on radishes and onions and leeks for the workmen, and if I rightly remember that which the interpreter said in reading to me this description, a sum of 1,600 talents of silver was spent"
-Herodotus
(1,600 talents of silver is equal to 662,400 US dollars.)

Contrary to popular belief, Pyramids were built not only by slaves, but laborers as well. These laborers were hired and cared for while working at the pyramids. The Pyramids are made of limestone, with a layer of polished limestone, which was found in quarries in the proximity the area of building. However, the outside casing is thought to have been stripped, or taken, by other countries, the Arabs for example, to make some buildings and places, such as middle age Cairo's mosques.

Religious Function

Pyramids were built on the west side of the Nile, and are aligned to the true north, to a astounding accuracy, aligned within three-sixtieths of a degree. The Egyptians believed that the Pyramids needed to be built on the west side of the nile so that the sprit of the Pharaoh could depart with the setting sun. The tombs also hold Shabiti, which is a clay human figure, who help the Pharaoh with his needs in the afterlife, and the Book of The Dead, which guided them through the obstacles they faced, like demons and gatekeepers, on their way to the Field Of Reeds. Surrounding the pyramids was a complex that had sprit "boats" to guide the sprit through the underworld, temples, and statues. Some smaller pyramids were built for queens, too They were made the same, but are smaller.

Step Pyramid of Djoser


The Step Pyramid of Djoser was built by the Pharaoh Djoser and his architect, Imhotep, to be a tomb. The step pyramid was built by building Mastabas, rectangular tombs, stacked on top of one another, each smaller than the one below it. The step pyramid was built with stone, instead of limestone in later periods, and it had no outer covering of shiny limestone. At the least, though, it was stronger than the mud-brick Mastabas. It's burial chamber was built underneath the ground, also unlike the future pyramids. After building the pyramid, Imhotep was granted god status for his work.
Stats Of Step Pyramid of Djoser
Height: 204 feet
Made by: Pharaoh Djoser and the architect Imhotep
Time made: 2630 bce
The Step pyramid of Djoser
The Step pyramid of Djoser

Maidum Pyramid

The Maidum Pyramid was built by Pharaoh Snefru, in 2600 bce, as a tomb. Snefru might have planned it at the beginning to have seven steps, but while it was being built, he raised it to eight steps. Snefru was the first Pharaoh to build his burial chamber above ground, presumably to make his resting place higher to his sun god, Ra. He does not reside in it however, and abandoned it 15 years into his reign, due to the fact that he shifted his court north. Before his death, the three steps closest to the ground were filled in. Now today, only three steps are visible.
Stats of Maidum Pyramid
Height: 306 feet
Made by: Snefru
Time made: 2600 bce
Madium Pyramid
Madium Pyramid


Bent Pyramid

Built in 2600 bce, this was the first attempt at a true pyramid. The bottom half was built at 55°, then, supposedly due to the possible instability of the pyramid, and the possibility of it collapsing, the angle of the top was built at 54°. Thus, this gives this the modern name of the Bent Pyramid. Also, this pyramid had a unprecedented two burial chambers, but Snefru, nor any other Pharaoh, was not entombed here, possibly due to the flawed design. Instead, he built and was entombed in the Red Pyramid. Also, Snefru's cult was centered here, but he is not buried here.

Stats of Bent Pyramid
Height: 344 feet
Made by: Snefru
Time made:2600 bce
Bent Pyramid. Note the bend that gave this its name
Bent Pyramid. Note the bend that gave this its name



Red Pyramid

The Red Pyramid was Snefru's second and successful try at making a true pyramid, a starting point for pyramids then on. It was perfectly built, with no defects in appearance like the irregular Bent Pyramid. Also unlike the Bent Pyramid, it has only one burial chamber, similar to most other pyramids perviously built. However, Snefru died sometime during the construction of the pyramid, and his son hurriedly finished it. The pyramid was built with a pinkish and reddish limestone, thus giving it the name the Red Pyramid when it shined in the sun.

Stats of Red Pyramid
Height: 341 feet
Made by: Snefru
Time made: 2600 bce
Red Pyramid. Note the red tint
Red Pyramid. Note the red tint




The Great Pyramid

The largest pyramid on the Earth, truly this deserves its name. The Great Pyramid is built on the Giza Plateau, with two other pyramids, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, and the Sphinx. It also has three burial chambers, which housed the Pharaoh Khufu . The Great Pyramid is the largest, standing at 481 feet, and considered a wonder of the world. It also has a complex, called the Giza Complex. There are also three smaller satellite queen's pyramids.

Stats of Great Pyramid
Height: 481 feet
Made by: Khufu
Time made: 2550 bce
external image great-pyramid-zoom.jpg


Pyramid Of Khafre

The Pyramid is the second largest pyramid on the Giza Plateau. This Pyramid was made by the believed to be son of Khufu, Khafre. Even though this pyramid is smaller than its predecessor, it has a more elaborate complex surrounding it. Also, in the burial chamber, archeologists found a small pit in the floor, supposedly made to hold Canopic Jars, which hold the Pharaoh's Lungs, Stomach, Liver, and Intestines. The Pharaoh Khafre built the Sphinx near the pyramid.
Stats of Pyramid of Khafre
Height: 471 feet
Made by: Khafre
Time made: 2520 bce

external image khafre%20pyramid2_640.jpg

Great Sphinx

The Sphinx is a large statue built at Giza. It has a lion's body and paws, but it has a human head wearing the Pharaoh's crown, and some scholars believe that the face resembles Khafre. It is carved out of the bedrock, and limestone was added to make it larger. It was made to symbolically protect the pyramids. There are also many theories as to why the Sphinx's nose is missing, from Napoleons army using it for target practice, to angry worshippers of other religions, but nothing has been proven as of yet.
The Great Sphinx. Note the missing nose
The Great Sphinx. Note the missing nose

Pyramid of Menkaure

The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest pyramid on the Giza Plateau, one tenth the size of Khafre's Pyramid. Also, unlike any other pyramid, Menkaure's Pyramid was sheathed with granite, a costlier building material, and harder to work with. Like Khafre's pyramid, it has a elaborate complex.

Stats of Pyramid of Menkaure
Height: 213 feet
Made By: Menkaure
Time made: 2490 bce
external image 01_menkaure_pyramid.jpg

Pyramid of Pepi II

The Pyramid of Pepi II is the smallest, and marked the end of the Pyramids. Even though his reign was long, from 94 to 64 years, this pyramid was the smallest, standing at 172 feet. During this time, the power of the Pharaohs and the Old Kingdom were on the wane. Like the last two pyramids, it has a large complex.

Stats of Pyramid of Pepi II
Height: 172 feet
Made by: Pepi II
Time made: 2250 bce
external image pepi%20II%20pyramid%20temple2_640.jpg

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