Egyptian Pyramaids Essay

1650 words - 7 pages

Every ancient civilization developed their own inimitable methods of producing art- some artworks were based on religious aspects and some for the impulse of creating it. One such civilization that produced the world's most impressive art form, which exists even till today, are the Egyptians. They were the ones who gifted our world with the most impressive monuments, belonging to the ancient world, Pyramids. The Egyptian pyramids, "one of the most beautiful and complex mysteries of the modern world", are set "against the exotic backdrop of the Egyptian desert" (1). The root cause of creating such massive and impressive monuments lies in the cultural believes or religion of the Egyptians.In ...view middle of the document...

From here on, the birth of building pyramids began, although with a juvenile appearance. It was over the years the pyramids came to be in its true form as we witness it today.At first, in order to safeguard and shelter the pharaoh's soul, the Egyptians began to build tombs that "were carved into bedrock and topped by flat-roofed structures" (3). These structures, called mastaba, were one of the first examples of a pyramid, although they technically preceded the actual pyramids. Sometimes, the structures were topped with mounds of dirt, and it's believed that the pyramid's shape for the later tombs were inspired from these mounds. Moving on, the progression on the size and shape of building pyramid began- mastabas eventually evolved to be step pyramids. It all began when a tomb intended to mummify the Pharaoh Djoser had to be built. The Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Djoser "at Saqqara began as a traditional, flat-roofed mastaba" (4). By 2611 B.C., at the end of his nineteen-year reign, this step pyramid "had risen to six stepped layers and stood 204 feet (62 meters) high" (4). At that time, it was one of the largest man-made structures ever built. This massive building made extensive use of stones, and they were carved and placed everywhere to resemble reeds, wood, and/or other softer materials. This "made the tomb more durable than its mud-brick forebears. Such pioneering techniques led many ancient historians to credit the chief architect, Imhotep, with inventing stone architecture" (4). Like earlier mastaba tombs, these step pyramids contained burial chambers that were underground, "hidden in a maze of tunnels, probably to discourage grave robbers" (4).After the era of building step pyramids came the next evolution of building bent pyramids followed by the creation of the true classical pyramid form. For example, during Snefru's reign, the founder of the Fourth Dynasty lasting from 2680-2560 B.C., the pyramids sides were being filled up with stones and they were covered with limestone. "This was a necessary step in the evolution of the straight-sided pyramid, but there was an intermediary step -- the bent pyramid. Halfway up the pyramid, the angle was a steep, but then for the top half, the incline was more gradual." (2) This was one of the first Egyptian pyramids to withhold an aboveground burial chamber, which was just above the first step level, along with the innovation of having arch-like designs of the burial chamber's walls. "Before Snefru's death the three lowest steps were filled in to form the smooth edges of a classic pyramid. Today only the three highest steps are visible above the shifting sands, fallen debris, and sloping base." (5) Speaking more about the evolution of creating the classical pyramid form, with the command given by Snefru, one another pyramid was built- known as the Red, or North Pyramid. This was the third attempt by him of creating "a classic, smooth-sided pyramid, and it was a charm-an elegant precursor to the Great...

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