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2013

The Pyramids of Ancient Egypt By Isabel Roseth

Isabel Roseth Catherine Cook School 4/24/2013


Table of Contents Introduction…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………2 Pyramid History……………………………………………………………………………………………………………2 Building the Pyramids………………………………………………………………………………………………….3 Inside the Pyramids…………………………………………………………………………………………………….4 Kinds of Pyramids……………………………………………………………………………………………………….5 Conclusion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….5 Glossary………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………6 Bibliography………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..7

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The ancient Egyptians built about one hundred pyramids and there were three kinds. The True pyramid, the Bent pyramid, and the Step pyramid. Read this paper to learn more about them. There are so many different and interesting facts about the history of pyramids in ancient Egypt. About the pyramid shape: according to ancient Egyptian belief, in the beginning the whole world was water. Then, a single mound rose up out of the water. The pyramid shape may be based on that mound. At first, the early ancient Egyptians built without blocks but with a kind of mud. They tried to slant the top, which was too steep, but then it turned out lopsided. Before pyramids, the Egyptians buried people in holes in the dessert. An architect named Imhotep came up with the Step pyramid. The Step pyramid was for King Djoser. The Step pyramid was built over 4,700 years ago. The tomb was built eighty feet underground. The pyramid was surrounded by a wall a mile long. But then, it was robbed. Only the foot of the mummy was found inside. The pyramid had fourteen doors, yet only one led to the tomb. The Eiffel Tower is bigger than the Great Pyramid, but the Stature of Liberty is smaller. Pharaoh Khufu planned out his pyramid, which is now known as the Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu was the tallest building in the world before the Eiffel Tower. It is 480 feet in the air. That is as tall as a forty floor skyscraper! The square base is 756 feet on every side. There are over 2,000,000 stones in it. The casing on the Great Pyramid is no longer there. It was stripped off for building material for Cairo. There used to be temples outside, where priests offered. There were ninety pyramids built. Most are still standing. There is a lot of history behind the pyramids. The Great Pyramid

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No one really knows for sure how the pyramids were built, but they have some ideas. The pyramids were built in the Northern desert. They removed all the sand from the building site. An architect would build models for the Pharaoh to look at. Pyramids were very carefully planned. To make sides flat, the builders dug ditches on the sides. They were filled with water. They got the blocks from quarries, an excellent place to get “building blocks”. They built the blocks so close together you couldn’t even slip a knife between. The process: Workmen dragged the blocks onto boats. They took the boats to the site. All sand was removed from the site. The rock was flattened. They hauled the blocks up ramps. Then the ramps were removed. Then the pyramid was polished. They needed the limestone for the casing. It is believed that the workers pulled the stones up ramps over logs. The ramps “grew” until the pyramid being built was done. Then they took the ramps apart. There were four kinds of ramps: straight, zigzag, straight zigzag, and spiral. The ramp to build the pyramid was either inside or outside. Officials had to make sure there was a constant flow of blocks to build the pyramid. For the biggest pyramids, it could take over twenty years to build. The ancient Egyptians used blocks for the casing. Then, they also had to build the tombs! It took a long time. That’s about all we know about how they built the pyramids.

Many people believed that the slaves were forced to build them. But actually, builders were honored and paid. They were not slaves.

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There are so many things hidden inside those pyramids. There were mummies, tombs, and treasure inside. Pyramids were built just for one tomb! The burial would be near the pyramid. In the tombs, the pharaoh had what he needed for the next life. So if he needed slaves, architects, and workers there, in they went. They got buried alive! Other things in the tombs for pharaoh would be things like boats, jewelry, treasures, and the cartouche with his name on it. In the tombs, there were lots of drawings and hieroglyphics. Temples and chambers were built on the eastern side of the pyramids. That was the direction of the rising sun and rebirth. Many pyramids had the chambers below the pyramid. Many passages led from room to room. Some rooms were empty, just to fool robbers. The passage to the tomb was blocked with rubble. Sometimes the burial chamber, also called the tomb, would be built inside the pyramid, sometimes below. Whether or not, the pyramids were always hollow. A few tombs are said to curse people who come inside. The plans for Khufu’s Great Pyramid were to have two upper chambers high inside. It was also supposed to have internal passages and rooms, but it wasn’t finished. It seems like Khufu changed his mind. In all of them, there were passages to fool robbers. Those are the things inside those huge structures.

The Great Pyramid has the highest burial chamber. Others were below the pyramid.

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There were-and still are- many different kinds of pyramids built in ancient Egypt. They were one of the largest buildings made of stone. The shape may be based on the rays of the sun or the primeval mound, the first bit of land. The mound is called a ben-ben. There is a Step Pyramid, a True or Red Pyramid, and the Bent Pyramid. The true pyramids are the most common kind. The Step Pyramid was built at the ‘’dawn of the old kingdom.” It is in Saqqara and was built for king Djoser. The step design was supposed to be like steps to the afterlife. The Bent Pyramid, at first, was too steep at the top. The ancient Egyptians tried to make it more slanting. It looked bent in the end. The smallest pyramid is 217 feet tall. It was built for Pharaoh Menkaure. Pyramids were very important to all the ancient Egyptians.

The Bent Pyramid

In this paper I hope you have learned about the pyramids of ancient Egypt. I have learned a lot about it, too. These pyramids have changed a lot over the years. That is all about the pyramids of ancient Egypt.

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Glossary Burial- The act or process of burying . Burial chamber- A chamber that is used as a grave. Cartouche-An oval with the Pharaoh’s name in hieroglyphics on it. Hieroglyphics-Writing the ancient Egyptians used. Limestone: A hard sedimentary rock, composed mainly of calcium carbonate or dolomite, used as building material and in the making of cement. Mummy- A body embalmed for burial in the matter of ancient Egyptians. Pharaoh- Ruler of ancient Egypt. Primeval- Of or resembling the earliest stages of the world. Pyramid-3-D triangular shaped buildings built by the ancient Egyptians. Tomb- A sanctuary where they bury the king and his relatives.

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Bibliography Boyer, Crispin. Everything Ancient Egypt. New York: Scholastic, 2012. Chrisp, Peter. Pyramid. New York: DK experiance, 2006. Gardner, Brian. Egyptism. 2007. 26th March 2013. Hyman, Teresa. Pyramids. Farmington Hills: Kidhaven Press, 2005. Simion, Seymour. Pyramids and Mummies. New York: Scholastic, 2003. —. Pyramids and Mummies. New York: Scholastic, 2003. Taplin, Sam. Mummies and Pyramids. New York: Scholastic, 2002. Tyldesley, Joyce. Egypt. New York: Siomon and Schuster, 2007.

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Isabel  

Ancient Egypt Paper

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