have been constructed throughout the world, at various periods in history.
They were constructed in Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Western Asia, Greece,
Cyprus, Italy, India, Thailand, Mexico, South America and some islands of
the Pacific Ocean. From among them, the pyramids of Egypt and Central and
South America are the most well-known and considered architectural marvels.
pyramid is a monumental structure constructed with stone or brick. It has a
square base and four sloping triangular or trapezoidal sides that meet
at an apex.
pyramids of Egypt have never stopped fascinating mankind, several centuries
old though they are. Over the years, the debris of about eighty royal
pyramids have been found in Egypt. The pyramids were built to preserve the
dead bodies of their kings and queens and were built over a period of 2,700
years. However, it was during the period twenty seventh century to twenty
fourth century BC that pyramid building reached its zenith in Egypt. During
this time, the pyramid was built as part of an
architectural complex. Prior
to this, the essential components were the pyramids themselves and they
contained the grave that was housed in an enclosure.
original pattern of the pyramid was the mastaba, a form of tomb
characterized by a flat-topped rectangular superstructure of mud brick or
stone. It had a shaft descending to the burial chamber far below it. It was
the second king of the third dynasty of Egypt who first undertook the
construction of a mastaba entirely of stone. The structure that he had built
was eight meters high. It had a square ground plan with sides about 63
The Pyramids of Egypt
completion, the pyramid was improvised upon. It was extended on the ground
on all four sides and its height was increased by building rectangular
additions of diminishing size, superimposed upon its top. This pyramid then
became a terraced structure rising in six unequal stages to a height of 60
meters. It came to be known as the Step Pyramid and was probably the
earliest example of a stone building of importance in Egypt. The Step
Pyramid consisted of a central shaft, at the bottom of which lay a granite
chamber. The Step Pyramid also included an intricate system of corridors and
step in advancement was the Blunted or Rhomboidal Pyramid. This was built by
Snefru, a king of the 4th dynasty. The Rhomboidal Pyramid has a double slope
– it changes inclination about halfway up, the lower portion being steeper
than the upper. This pyramid is considered closer to being a true
built another structure that is said to have been closest to a true pyramid,
although it was originally not planned so. The initial structure was
gradually enlarged until it became a huge eight-terraced building. The steps
were filled with a packing of stone to form a continuous slope. The entire
structure was covered with a smooth facing of limestone. At the end of all
the efforts, there resulted a geometrically true pyramid.
North Stone Pyramid at Dahshur, thought to have been erected by Snefru is
said to be the earliest known tomb designed and executed as a true pyramid.
It measures two hundred and twenty meters at the base and rises to a height
of about one hundred and four meters. Other famous Egyptian pyramids include
those of the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkure at Giza.