Pyramids Book Report

This essay has a total of 1269 words and 5 pages.

Pyramids

Pyramids


The pyramids of Egypt are the last remaining Wonder of the World. Even in the days of
Ancient Egypt when powerful pharaohs ruled over Egypt the pyramids were considered a
wonder. Today, the ruins of 35 pyramids still stand near the Nile River in Egypt. These
pyramids were built to protect the bodies of Egyptian kings and other royalty but before
the pyramids became the standard for burials, tombs were used for Egypt's early rulers,
nobles, and other high ranking officials. This group of hierarchy were laid to rest in
rectangular, flat-topped mastabas of mud and brick. These mastabas were about 12 feet high
and were easy targets for tomb robbers.


The first pyramid built was the Step Pyramid of Saqqara; it stands in the open desert
south of Cairo. The Step Pyramid was built for King Djoser. The people of Egypt willingly
labored to build these monuments for their rulers, believing that, as gods, the pharaohs
had to be properly provided for in their afterlife. The Step Pyramid was built around 2630
B.C. It exhibited a radical new shape never before used, and it was so new the Egyptians
used its silhouettes as the hieroglyphic for "primeval mound", the first piece of earth to
emerge from the soup of creation (Malek 90).


King Djoser's chief architect for his pyramid was Imhotep. It is thought that King
Djoser's stone tomb started out having the standard shape of a mastaba. Then, as
construction progressed, a concept evolved. Imhotep began to place one flat-topped stone
structure atop another until he had created six steps by which the king could ascent to
the heavens after death. The Egyptians had a firm belief in an afterlife and viewed their
pharaohs as gods. These beliefs were a strong force that led to the piling up of stones to
such a monumental scale. The Step Pyramid rose to a height of 204 feet; later pyramids
increased in height as their designs changed. It was not sufficient that a pyramid be
immense, but it had to be built so solidly that it would stand forever.


Although the Step Pyramid was the first pyramid, the Great Pyramid is the best known. The
Great Pyramid was built for King Cheop. It is the largest pyramid of the three at Giza.
The three pyramids built for King Cheops, King Chephrun, and King Mycerinos stand on the
west bank of the Nile outside Cairo. They are the largest and best preserved of all
Egyptian pyramids. They were built between 2600 B.C. and 2500 B.C. However, it is hard
today to imagine the manpower involved in building the Great Pyramid (especially in our
world of computers, machinery, and advanced technology. The ancient Egyptians had no
machinery or iron tools to help in the building of the pyramids. The large limestone
blocks used to build the pyramids were cut with copper chisels and saws. Most of these
stones came from nearby quarries. An interesting fact to note is that camels were not
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