A step pyramid, also known as a stepped pyramid, is an architectural project that employs flat platforms, or steps, that recede from the ground up to generate a finished shape that resembles a geometric pyramid. These pyramids are often massive and constructed of many layers of stone. The Egyptians were among the first people to build step pyramids, but they were also built elsewhere in the world.
The original purpose of building step pyramids was as tombs for pharaohs. After a king died, his body would be placed on top of the pyramid along with various treasures and jewelry. As the pyramid grew over time, more bodies could be added. But even after the ancient Egyptians stopped building their own food, they still needed to eat so they turned to hunting and farming which led to many discoveries such as the Nile River, but they didn't stop building step pyramids until around 730 AD when King Tutenkhamun removed the last of the stones from the Great Pyramid of Giza.
Today, step pyramids are used for public art, markers, and even buildings like the Church of Our Lady of Sorrows in Istanbul, Turkey.
There are two types of step pyramids: dry-built and wet-built. A dry-built pyramid uses lots of wood and scaffolding to support its construction. When it's complete, the wood is taken away and the pyramid remains standing alone.
A pyramid (from Greek: puramis pyramis) is a structure with triangular outside surfaces that converge to a single step at the summit, giving the shape the shape of a pyramid in the geometric sense. A pyramid's base can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon form. The three main types of pyramids are the plain, the stepped, and the terraced.
Pyramids were used as tombs by many ancient civilizations, including those of Egypt, Mexico, Peru, Syria, and Turkey. They were also used as religious monuments and as masts for viewing large images or sculptures. The Pharaohs of Egypt were sometimes buried under the structures they built themselves or else had slave laborers build pyramids over their bodies. The pharaohs wanted these structures to serve as symbols for eternity; therefore, they were made out of hard stone rather than wood or clay so that they would not decay after death.
In modern times, the pyramid is most commonly used as a tomb. There are several different styles of pyramid used as graves, including the traditional smooth-sided pyramid, the modified smooth-sided pyramid with straight sides, the double-stepped pyramid, and the cuboid grave. In addition, there are several other types of burial containers used in funerary practices today that resemble pyramids in some way, such as the cairn, shell mound, and obelisk.
On top of the steps, one or more real stairs are often erected, leading to a temple or sanctuary at the summit. The Mayan pyramids are generally smaller than the Egyptian pyramids at Giza, but they are steeper and more decorative. They were made of stone blocks that were bonded together with lime mortar. The walls usually have sculptured surfaces carved by hand with tools such as obsidian blades and chisels. At the top, the pyramid would be surrounded by a limestone platform upon which a temple was built.
The Mayans constructed many different types of structures including palaces, temples, and tombs. Although most archaeologists believe the Mayan cities were largely abandoned around A.D. 900, some recent discoveries suggest they may have been even older than previously thought. Experts think there may be more Mayan ruins out there that haven't been discovered yet.
People often wonder about the purpose of the pyramids. They were probably used for ceremonial purposes: for example, to celebrate important events in the life of the city or state. The pyramids also might have been used for religious rituals; for example, priests could have cut stones from existing buildings and use them as an offering to their gods.
In addition to the pyramids, the Mayans created many other impressive structures including roads, bridges, and dams. They also cultivated maize, cotton, chocolate, peaches, pine trees, and avocados.
North America is home to a variety of earthwork step pyramids. Step pyramids were built as ceremonial centers by Mississippian civilizations (900–1500 CE) and were often connected with mounds and other funerary complexes across the Eastern Woodlands (concentrated in the North American Southeast)... The largest known step pyramid in North America is at Cahokia, near Kincaid, Illinois... It is approximately 140 feet high, with multiple levels including a central burial mound over 70 feet tall.
There are also step pyramids in Central America. For example, one such structure is San José Mogote in Honduras. This pyramid has six levels, each about 20 feet high. It is estimated to be 700 years old.
In South America, there are several step pyramids. The most important one is believed to be El Pirámide in Chile. This pyramid has seven tiers, with each tier being about 18 feet high. It was built around 1250 CE by the Chonchez people who inhabited northern Chile and Argentina.
El Pirámide is only one of many similar structures found in southern Peru and north-central Chile. There are also five tiers at Kotoshiroku in Japan. This pyramid was built around 350 CE by the Sakamuri culture as their main shrine. It is estimated to be 80 feet high.