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The Egyptian Pyramids


The Egyptian Pyramids



A pyramid is a structure or monument, usually with a quadrilateral base, which rises to triangular point. in the popular imagination, pyramids are only the three structure in the Giza plateau "The Great Pyramids of Giza". In fact, currently over 130 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.


The Egyptian Pyramids are one of the most beautiful and complex mysteries of the modern world. The Egyptian civilization is one of the most powerful and the richest civilization in the world. The Egyptian pyramids are one of the most magnificent man-made structure in the history. The Egyptian pyramids are an incredible feat of engineering, Egyptologists are still discovering more about them each year.


The pyramids were built as tombs for pharaohs or kings. The ancient Egyptians were thought in the second life after death for that the pyramids held several items in preparation for the afterlife.


Most of the pyramids were built during the Old and the Middle Kingdom. The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found at Saqqara, northwest of Memphis. The earliest pyramid among all the Pyramids is Djoser Pyramid which was built 2630-2610- BC during the Third Dynasty. it is considered the oldest structure in the world constructed of dressed masonry. The most famous Egyptian pyramids are the Pyramids of Giza the only wonder of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence.





 -Historical Development


The Egyptian Kings tombs in the early period were bench-shaped called mastabas.


In the second historical period the architect Imhotep was built the first pyramid around 2780 B.C. during the third dynasty by placing six mastabas, each smaller than the one beneath. The result was the Step Pyramid of Djoser. the Step Pyramid was the first monumental stone building constructed in Egypt. the other remaining kings of the Third Dynasty started step pyramids, but their reigns were short and they didn't complete their projects.


The third period was during the region of the King Snefru, founder of the Fourth Dynasty. In this period was the transition from the Step Pyramid to a true smooth-sided pyramid took placed. At Medium, they were built a step pyramid and filled it with stone, and covered with a limestone casing. And there are other pyramids were built for his as the Red Pyramid and Bent Pyramid at Dahshur.


The most famous and the largest pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom, the Great Pyramids of Giza. Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom also built pyramids.  They were built these pyramids from mud brick around a rubble core. Although few of these structures remains. Now, all the remains are mounds and sand has covered some of them. Egyptologists are still finding some of these pyramids.



-Egyptian Pyramid Symbolism


The Egyptian pyramids shape represent the primordial mound from which the Egyptians believed that the earth was created. the three sides of the equilateral triangle refer to the tri-natured aspect of God: God the creator, God the preserver and God the transformer.


 The shape of a pyramid is thought to be representative of the descending rays of the sun. most pyramids were faced with polished, highly reflective white limestone to give them a brilliant appearance when viewed from a distance.


The pyramids were burial monuments. And the primary purpose of the pyramids was a place for spiritual initiation. They considered as a symbol for the integration of self- and soul. Symbol of death and rebirth. The pyramids also are symbol of strength and energy.


The Egyptians believed that the dark area of the night sky around which the stars appear to revolve was the physical gateway into the heavens.


All the Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, as the of the setting sun, which was associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.



-Location of the Pyramids


All the Egyptian Pyramids are located on the west bank of the Nile, except the small pyramid of Zawayet el-Amwat. Most of the pyramids are grouped together in a number of pyramids fields.



-Number of the Egyptian Pyramids


There are several pyramids in Egypt. currently they discovered over 130 pyramids in Egypt. there is a list for the most important pyramids are listed geographically from the north to the south


 1-Abu Rawash


Abu Rawash is the site of the most northly pyramid, the largely destroyed Pyramid of Djedefre, son and successor of Khufu.




Giza is the location of the three Great Pyramids of Khufu, Kafre and Menkaure. There are a number of smaller satellite edifices known as "Queen's pyramids", and the great Sphinx of Giza.



3-zawyet-el Aryan


Zawayet-el Aryan is the site of two unfinished pyramids from the Old Kingdom. Zawayet el-Aryan is halfway between Giza and Abusir. The two pyramids are the northern one is believed to be for the pharaoh Nebka, while the southern one known as the Layer Pyramid, is believed to be for the pharaoh Khaba, a close successor of Sekhemkhet.





Abusir was served as the main royal necropolis during the Fifth Dynasty. Abusir has about fourteen pyramids. There are three major pyramids at Abusir site. The Pyramid of Niuserre, which is best preserved, the Pyramid of Neferirkare and the Pyramid of Sahure. The site is also home to the incomplete Pyramid of Neferefre.


Most of the major pyramids at Abusir were built using similar construction techniques, comprising a rubble core surrounded by steps of mud bricks with a limestone outer casing. The Pyramid of Neferirkare Kakai, is the largest pyramid of the Fifth Dynasty pyramids. It is believed to have been built originally as a step pyramid some 70 m (230 ft) high and then later transformed into a "true" pyramid by filled its steps with loose masonry.





Saqqara site is considered a great necropolis that contain major pyramids such as the oldest substantial monumental structure built of dressed stone the" Pyramid of Djoser". In addition to the Pyramid of Userkaf, the Pyramid of Teti and the Pyramid of Merikare, which back to the first intermediate period of Egypt.


Saqqara has also the Pyramid of Unas, which considered as one of the best-preserved in Egypt. the Buried Pyramid is uncompleted step pyramid of Djoser's successor Sekhemkhet. There is a collection  of smaller pyramids in the south of the main pyramid, including those of Pepi I, Djedkare Isesi, Merenre, Pepi II and Ibi. Most of them are in poor state of preservation.




Dahshur area is considered the most important pyramid site in Egypt outside Giza and Saqqara. It has the Bent Pyramid, the first true smooth-sided structure. It serves as the best contemporary example of how the ancient Egyptians intended their pyramids to look.


 At the north of the Bent Pyramid is the last and the most successful of the three pyramids constructed during the reign of Sneferu; The Red Pyramid is the successful completed smooth-sided pyramid in the world and the third largest pyramid in Egypt-after the pyramid sof Khufu and Khafra at Giza. Also, At Dahshur the Black Pyramid that built by Amenemhat III. As well as a number of small ruined pyramids.





Mazghuna area at the south of Dahshur. A lot of mudbrick pyramids were built in this area in the late Middle Kingdom which may be for Amenemhat IV and Sobekneferu.




Lisht area is midway between Dahshur and Meidum and about 100 kilometres south of Cairo. there are two major pyramids the pyramid of Amenemhat I and his son, Snusret I.





Medium site has one of the three constructed pyramids during Sneferu rule. The pyramid was constructed as a step pyramid and then later converted into the first "true" smooth-sided pyramid.




Hawara area has the Pyramid of Amenemhet III. Amenemhat III was the last powerful ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty. it is believed that post-date the "Black Pyramid" built by Amenemhet III at Dahshur. Hawara Pyramid is the final resting place for Amenemhet III.




El-Lahuna is the site of the Senusret II Pyramid. It is the southernmost royal-tomb pyramid in Egypt. the pyramid's natural limestone core is clearly visible as the yellow stratum at its base.


12- El-Kurru


El-Kurru is the site of Piye's Pyramid. Piye is the king of Kush who was the first ruler of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt built a pyramid at El-Kurru. Also, he was the first Egyptian pharaoh to be buried in a pyramid in centuries.




Nuri is the site of Taharqa's pyramid. It was the largest pyramid in the area. Taharqa was a Kushite ruler of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty.