Pyramids from ancient Egyptian times were massive monuments made for kinds to be buried in and remembered by. The king would usually start construction of their pyramid as soon as they took the throne. The king would first create a committee with an architect, chief engineer as well as an overseer of construction. Paid laborers would work on the pyramids for about 4 months out of the year at a time because that was the time when the Nile River flooded and was impossible to farm the land.
The plan for these pyramids was to lay the deceased king to rest for his ascension to the afterlife and take his place with the Gods. An estimated 35 pyramids still currently stand near the Nile River. Also it is estimated to have 40 smaller pyramids where queens would be buried in. The pyramids shape is religious to the Egyptians. The slopes on the side of the pyramids reminded Egyptians of the rays of the sun which corresponded with the sun god Ra. It is believed that the soul of the king could climb the rays into the sky and join the Gods.
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The oldest, therefore the first, pyramid was contrasted for king Djoser who died in 2649 BCE. The pyramid that was constructed for him is a step pyramid. A step pyramid is not what someone would typically think a pyramid would look like. The step pyramid was made by stacking mastabas on top of each other while the mastabas would decrease in size as you went up. This created the world’s oldest stone structure. Mastabas are rectangular tombs with sides that sloped and had a flat top. The royal family of the king and his higher officials were usually buried in these mastabas.
The best known pyramids are the pyramids of Giza. These pyramids are well known for their size and for being the best preserved. There are 10 total pyramids at Giza. The three largest pyramids were made for kings between 2600 and 2500 BCE. The largest was made for King Khufu, second for king Khafre, and third was for king Menkaure. Near king Khafre’s pyramids is a statue of a sphinx, call The Great Sphinx. The sphinx is believed to be connected to king Khafre’s pyramid complex. Khufu’s pyramid, the Great pyramid, along with many other pyramids has many false passages and chamber.
False passages and chambers were made to try and prevent tomb robbers from taking treasures the king was buried with and also from taking the body of the king. Some chambers would contain a solid stone sarcophagus. Taking the bod of the king and anything buried with him, would prevent him ascending to the afterlife. Egyptians thought that a person’s body while preserved and protected, their soul would live forever. Removing of the mummified bodies while resting in the tomb, tomb robbers would cancel the trip to the afterlife.
Egyptians tried many different ways to protect the bodies of their kings but despite all their efforts, the robbers would continue stealing the bodies and treasures. Towards the end of the Old Kingdom, Egyptian kings stopped building pyramids and constructed secret tombs in cliffs. These were made to prevent the tomb robbers from stealing their treasures and to let the kings ascend to the afterlife with the Gods. The Egyptian pyramids are magnificent structures that still remain from ancient times.