History of Egyptian Step Pyramids
Egyptian Pyramids are pyramid-shaped structures located in Egypt. There are more than 100 pyramids in Egypt. Most of the pyramids were built as tombs of the pharaohs who ruled from the Old Kingdom Period to the Middle Kingdom Period. The oldest known pyramid is the Zoser Pyramid built during the 3rd Dynasty. This pyramid and surrounding blocks; designed by architect Imhotep. Egyptian Pyramids are the oldest stone structures in the world. Since the workers working in the construction knew the secret of the pyramids, they were killed after the construction was finished. The Giza pyramids are among the largest structures built throughout history. Of the 7 Wonders of the World, only the Pyramid of Cheops, which is located in Giza and is the largest pyramid, has survived.
Step pyramid is the name given to architectural structures that resemble a normal pyramid but rise in steps. Although it is seen that the step pyramids, which have different examples in different cultures, were generally built as a temple or a tomb, there are also examples where these two features exist at the same time.
The first step pyramid in Egypt is the Zoser Pyramid, which was completed in Sakkara around 2650 BC. The Zoser Pyramid is thought to be the first known pyramid in the world. It is known that the building that sets an example for the step pyramid is the mastaba, which is also a kind of tomb architecture. The Zoser Pyramid, which was originally planned to be a mastaba, gained the form of a pyramid thanks to the construction of different mastass by shrinking them.
The construction of the step pyramids built in Egypt was limited only to the 3rd Dynasty period of the Old Kingdom. Although Djoserteti (Sechemchet) had another pyramid built in Sakkara following Pharaoh Zoser, the construction of this pyramid could not be completed. The Chaba Pyramid at Saujet el-Arjan is likewise one of the unfinished stepped pyramids built.
Towards the end of the 3rd Dynasty, numerous small step pyramids emerged and these pyramids were spread throughout Ancient Egypt. It is unknown how many step pyramids there are in Egypt. These step pyramids, 7 of which have reached today, are located in Elephantine, South Edfu, el-Kula, Ombos, Sinki (Abydos), Saujet el-Meitin and Seila. The pyramid at Elephantine was probably built for Funnel, the last Pharaoh of the 3rd Dynasty. The pyramid of steps in Seila was built for the founder of the 4th Dynasty, Snofru. It is not known by whom the remaining pyramids were built for which Pharaoh. The purpose for which the step pyramids were built is one of the important issues discussed in the scientific world. Because there is no grave in any of these small pyramids. With Snofru, the founder of the 4th Dynasty, the construction of the step pyramid in Egypt came to an end. The outer surface of the pyramids built since Snofru was started to be arranged to be flat, not stepped. Among the most recently built pyramids, one can see the Pyramid of Neferirkare, which was organized as a step pyramid in the first phase of its construction but was later re-arranged.
The general belief is that all three of the Pyramids of Giza are included in the 7 Wonders, but the pyramid mentioned is the Great Pyramid, built by the Egyptian Pharaoh Khufu of the 4th Dynasty in 2560 BC as a monument-tomb according to scientific findings. Traditionally, pyramid construction is the product of a “platform-mastaba” culture in Ancient Egypt and is made for royalty. Later, countless mastaba were made. The best example of the first pyramids is the Zoser Pyramid built by the famous architect Imhotep.
According to scientific data, the Great Pyramid was built in 20 years; First, a city was built, stone blocks were moved and piled up. It is believed that for a long time tried to straighten the surface. But how the stone blocks were placed is not yet understood, various theories are being produced; According to a theory, stone blocks were placed on top of each other, leading to a spiral ramp. The ramp was covered with mud, watered, and stone blocks could be pushed and shifted. According to another theory, stone blocks were lifted with giant levers. When Napoleon entered Egypt in 1798, he gave his soldiers in front of the pyramids; He said, “The soldiers are looking at us for 40 centuries from the top of the pyramids.”
The Great Pyramid was 145.75 meters but is now considered to have lost 10 meters. It was the tallest structure in the world for 43 centuries, but was surpassed in the 19th century. Its surface was covered with soft and smoothed stones, its remains are still visible. Its slope is 54 degrees 54 minutes. The quadrilateral of the base is perfect when measured and its directions are determined. Joining the base corners together produces a full square, 229 meters per side, and the maximum error rate between side lengths is surprisingly not even 0.1%. The pyramid is thought to be made of two million stone blocks, each weighing several tons. If the stones of the three pyramids are lined up side by side, a 3 meter high and 30.48 centimeter thick wall can be built to encircle the whole of France. If you put all the cathedrals of the Great Pyramid, St. Peter in Rome, Florence Milanove, Westminster in London and St. Paul, side by side, they will completely fill the space they occupy. According to the past, new theories are being developed for pyramids; An astronomical observatory, a temple for a special faith, a geometric structure made by an unknown ancient civilization, a special purpose place made by extraterrestrials … Whatever it may be, today the giant pyramid and its two similar ones will be built towards the afterlife at first sight. They stand amid clouds of mystery on the west bank of the Nile as a symbol and memory of the mystical journey.
The Belgian engineer and pyramid researcher Robert Bauval made a really important discovery regarding the arrangement of the pyramids of Cheops (aka Khufu), Khafren (Khafra) and Mikerinos (Menkaura). He found that the subject is the projection of the arrangement of the pyramids. These three pyramids mark the constellation Orion, and were built by Khufu, Khafra, and Menkaura, who were consecutively kings in three pyramids. In addition, the main differences that distinguish the Pyramids of Giza from the others are that there are no inscriptions and how they are made are still not resolved. Pyramids are not only unique to Egypt. The Maya and Aztecs of South America origin also made pyramids. It is believed that the pyramids were built to study the sky.
Khufu Pyramid or Great Pyramid; It is the oldest and largest of the three monumental pyramids located in the ancient “Giza tomb city” surrounding Giza, which is now part of Egypt’s capital, Cairo. This monumental complex, thought to have been built around 2551-2560 BC, is one of the seven wonders of the world, and is the only work of these seven wonders that has survived until today. It is believed that this pyramid was built as a monumental tomb in the name of the Egyptian pharaoh Khufu, and it is thought that it took about twenty years to build. Until the early 20th century, 3800 years, it was considered the largest artificial (man-made) building on Earth in terms of volume and mass , and the height record could not be broken for 4000 years. [Note 1] it was covered with plates. This coating layer does not exist today. There are many assumptions about the construction technique of the Great Pyramid today. Stone blocks unearthed from a spiral ramp made according to one of the assumptions about the construction technique were stacked on top of each other. The ramp was covered in mud, watered, and stone blocks could be pushed to slide. According to another assumption, stone blocks were lifted with giant levers.
Three rooms were found inside the Great Pyramid. Of these, the room at the bottom of the building is probably the unfinished room created by carving the foundation rock on which the pyramid was built. The rooms, which were later named “king room” and “queen room” , are located on the upper part of the pyramidal building. The Great Pyramid is actually part of a complex of structures consisting of two temples, a road connecting these two temples, various small tombs around the pyramid called mastaba, and pyramids. This stone work, which is thought to have remained from the Ancient Imperial period of Egypt, has been able to withstand the corrosive effects of natural conditions for thousands of years, and although its mysteries have been revealed one by one, it continues to exist as a giant artifact that has not yet been fully understood.
The Mikerinos Pyramid is the smallest of the Giza Pyramids. The Pyramid was finished by his son Shepseskaf after Mikerinos died. The pyramid is 65.5 m high. Another difference of Mikerinos from Kefren Pyramid and Cheops Pyramid is that the burial chamber is the lower room.
American Step Pyramids History
The step pyramids found in pre-discovery America are different from the step pyramids in Egypt. At the top of these step pyramids was a temple usually built of wood or stone. Because of the necessity to reach this temple, there was always a staircase leading from the floor towards the top of the pyramid. It is known that most of the time these step pyramids were rebuilt and enlarged without demolishing. Built in the 14th century, the great pyramid of Tenochtitlán was rebuilt on top of it at least 7 times, without damaging the old pyramid, until the collapse of the Aztec Empire in 1521, as far as scientists can determine. The pyramids in ancient America were monuments erected to honor the gods, just like the Ziggurats in Mesopotamia. The temple at the top of the pyramid was reserved exclusively for clergy and their sacrifice ceremonies. It is known that ancient cultures of Mesoamerica sacrificed people in order to please the gods.
It has also been seen that some pyramids in America were built for burial purposes. For example, such a pyramid is found in the old Mayan city of Palenque. Apart from all these purposes, the astronomical and calendar features of the 365 niched pyramids built in El Tajín suggest that it may have been built for this purpose.