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"According to Redford, pharaohs traditionally began building their pyramids as soon as they took the throne. The pharaoh would first establish a committee composed of an overseer of construction, a chief engineer and an architect. The pyramids were usually placed on the western side of the Nile because the pharaoh's soul was meant to join with the sun disc during its descent before continuing with the sun in its eternal round. Added Redford, the two deciding factors when choosing a building site were its orientation to the western horizon where the sun set and the proximity to Memphis, the central city of ancient Egypt" (Science Daily). The entire process was thought out to complete a journey that would extend beyond life.
Most historical experts believe ramps were the mode of building the pyramids up. Donald Redford agrees with the prevailing thought that ramps were used to build pyramids. These ramps were made of mud brick and coated with chips of plaster to harden the surface. Redford says, "If they consistently raised the ramp course by course as the teams dragged their blocks up, they could have gotten them into place fairly easily," he noted. At least one such ramp still exists" (Science Daily). Bob Brier, a U.S. Egyptologist, also supports the notion of ramps for the construction the pyramids but with a little twist. Brier writes about a new and radical idea presented by Jean-Pierre Houdin, a French architect completely devoted to reconstructing the creation of the Great Pyramid. Along with computer simulation, Houdin surmises that an internal ramp was used to build the pyramid and is still inside the pyramid to this day. Houdin believes that an external ramp was used to build the bottom third of the pyramid but the ramp was too short to be the same ramp used at the top of the pyramid. While workers used an external ramp to build the bottom of the pyramid, an internal one was being built to build the top two-thirds of the pyramid. The internal ramp was put in place after the bottom portion of the pyramid was constructed and much of its shape was determined by the shape of the pyramid itself. "A bit of evidence appears to be one of the ramp's corner notches used for turning blocks. It is two-thirds of the way up the northeast corner -- precisely at a point where Houdin predicted there would be one" (Brier). Ian Shaw writes, that the "terraced nature of the pyramid core would often have made it more convenient to use a series of much smaller ramps built along the sides of the pyramid from step to step" (Shaw). Interestingly, Shaw suggests that pieces of the interior ramps have "survived inside the remains of the pyramids of Sahura, Nyuserra and Neferirkara, at Abusir, and of Pepi II, at Saqqara" (Shaw). With simulated experiements, the ramp theory seems to be the most logical way the huge blocks of stone were moved.
The pyramids in Egypt stand as proof of the incredible animal known as man. Society has evolved in many ways since thee monuments were constructed but they still baffle us. This evidence is a constant reminder that while we may want to think of ourselves as more advanced as those who lived thousands of years ago, were actually are not that much. We may have cell phones, GPS technology, HD televisions and the ease of living with many conveniences but we should not discount what the Egyptians did. We may not completely understand why they built such elaborate tombs, but they are still some of the most amazing structures ever created. Believing that the pyramid was their portal to another life was perhaps the most compelling reason to create such a wonderful building.
Brier, Bob. "How to Build a Pyramid." Archaeology. 2007. 60.3. March 03-2011. Web.
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Shaw, Ian. "Great Pyramids: How the Were Built." BBC Online. Web. March 03-2011.
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Great Monuments. Grove Press; New York. 1997.…[continue]
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Staircase ramps which are comprised of steep and narrow steps that lead up one face of the pyramid were more in use at that time with evidence found at the Sinki, Meidum, Giza, Abu Ghurob, and Lisht pyramids respectively (Heizer). A third ramp variation was the spiral ramp, found in use during the nineteenth dynasty and was, as its name suggests, comprised of a ramp covering all faces of the
It consists a series of successively smaller platforms which lifted to a height of about 64 feet, and was constructed with a solid core of mud-brick covered by a thick skin of burnt-brick to guard it from the forces of nature (Burney). The Ziggurat's corners are oriented to the compass points, with walls sloping slightly inwards (Molleson and Hodgson) . The Ziggurat of Ur was a component of a temple
One exception to this is Pausanias, a Greek writer. He recorded the quarrying done in Greece but he lived in the second century a.D. For other details, the information related to their architecture is limited to the writings of Vitruvius, an architect in Rome, also a military engineer and a writer who lived during the rule of Augustus (Masrgary, 1957; Derry and Williams, 1961). The Greek construction inherits its glory
The earliest divisions of the temple still standing are the barque chapels, just in the rear the first pylon. They were constructed by Hatshepsut, and appropriated by Tuthmosis III. The central division of the temple, the colonnade and the sun court were constructed by Amenhotep III, and a later on addition by Rameses II, who constructed the entry pylon, and the two obelisks connected the Hatshepsut structures with the core
In other words, at every seven courses of stone, a layer of reed matting was laid and weep-holes and drainage shafts were placed, thus preserving the ziggurat from water damage. Eventually the building fell into disrepair. Later, King Nabonidus restored the Ur ziggurat, along with other temples. Stiebing believes this was because he revered his mother's gods (285). Nabonidus claims in the clay cuneiform tablets found in the tower to
The people believed firmly that after death the soul of a man would only live happy if the body received a very special treatment to preserve it from corruption. For this reason they perfectioned the process of embalming, that transformed the corpses into mummies that were placed in sarcophagus, protected from the exterior elements, such as heat, air and humidity, that might decompose the body. The sarcophagus was decorated according
Egyptian Pyramid The pyramids in Egypt may be one of the most recognizable historical architectural structures on Earth. One of the locations in which these pyramids are located is Giza. In Giza, one can find the Great Sphinx and the Great Pyramid. The Great Pyramid is considered to be one of the best-preserved Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Despite its is grandeur and its location, the Great Pyramid is unlike