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Tombs And Temples

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Tombs And Temples

What are some major architectural structures

of Ancient Egypt? There are many amazing sites of architecture in Egypt from

ancient times. Many have been discovered, but there are still ones being discovered

and excavated today. Pyramids, tombs, and temples are the main structures

still standing that can be seen today.

The first tombs of the pharaohs were

large, unimpressive, bunker affairs called mastabas. A mastaba (Arabic for

"bench") is a low rectangular structure which was built over a shaft which

descended to the burial location. They were made from sun dried mud bricks

and most have long since crumbled to dust. This all changed around 2630 BC

with the creation of the step pyramid.

The Step Pyramid was designed for King

Djoser ,of the 3rd dynasty, by his vizier, Imhotep. The pyramid is located

in Saqqara, the main necropolis of Memphis. The Saqqara pyramid has a series

of six levels of stone decreasing in size as they ascend to about 200 feet/60

meters in height. The Step Pyramid originally began as a mastaba, and it has

been visualized as a series of mastaba shapes, decreasing in size, stacked

one on top of another. The surface was originally encased in smooth white limestone

which must have caught the sun light and reflected its rays. It has the distinction

of being the site of the first large stone structure built in the world. The

place where humans began to strive for the impossible, where the imagination

gained the power to transform reality.

Some of the loveliest works of art

ever seen can be found at Saqqara, in the tombs of the nobles. The limestone

walls are delicately incised with myriads of animals, fish, birds, insects,

vegetation and people - hunting, herding and farming. Some of the forms still

retain their original paint, after 4,500 years! The quality of these compositions

demonstrates that the Egyptians had attained, at an early stage, an artistic

culture of a very high order. Cattle Crossing is an etching made from sketches

done at Saqqara. The medium of etching, itself a process of erosion, seems

well suited to capturing the time worn quality of the relief carving.


person responsible for the step pyramid, Imhotep, is credited as being the

inventor of building in stone and was a man of many talents - Architect, physician,

master sculpture, scribe, and astronomer. He must be the first true genius

in recorded history and the impression he had on the Egyptians was profound

because later generations revered him as a god of wisdom.

The age of the

first ancient wonders of the world began with the pyramids of Northern Sneferu.

This Pharaoh built three pyramids and may have had a hand in others. His pyramid

at Medium began as a step pyramid and was then modified to form the first true

pyramid. It standardized the shape of all pyramids to come. Its four sides

are equilateral triangles which meet at a point. He built another pyramids

at Dahshur. It was called the Bent Pyramid because its upper part has a shallower

angle of inclination than the lower part. The slope of its sides probably

was adjusted due to the development of cracks in the base during the construction.

When Khufu, also known as Cheops, became pharaoh one of his first acts

was to curtail the growing power of the priesthood. He shut up all the temples

and forbade sacrifices. As a priest's living came from performing these ...

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