Old Kingdom Egypt
Egypt is known for its cultural and intellectual developments, because the Egyptians were focused on the afterlife. This paper will discuss the religious and cultural role of the pyramids. Funerals were very important to old kingdom Egypt and its conception of immortality. Immortality was the most important goal in the life of an Egyptian, whether they were rich or poor. Old kingdom Egypt began around 2686 BC, when King Menes united lower and upper Egypt and ran unbroken for nearly 3000 years (Koeller, 1999). It was generally run by approximately 30 family dynasties (Underwood, 2004). During this time, many pyramids were built for the rulers when they died. Although the pyramids were spectacular feats of architecture, they were also built for cultural and religious reasons. It was believed that the rulers of old kingdom Egypt were god-kings, and they would ascend from the pyramid after death and take their places among the gods themselves (Underwood,...
When they died, their bodies were preserved and placed in the pyramids that had been built for them. These pyramids were more than just structures built from stone. Inside, paintings decorated the walls and the pyramids were often filled with many things such as food, clothing, jewelry, tools, statues, and weapons (Lamb & Johnson, 2003). Part of the reason for this is that the Egyptians of that time believed that the ruler, or pharaoh, must make a journey when he died. Therefore, he had to have things that he could take with him on that journey, and things to honor his life and his death. The Egyptians also believed that the other self, the ka, needed ways to be reminded of identity, and the sculptures and paintings that were placed in pyramids were also used for that purpose (Tangen, 1996).
The old kingdom Egyptians were very religious, and the Egyptian word for pyramid actually means "a place of ascension" (Tangen, 1996). The pyramid was a place where the pharaoh's body would dwell on its…
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