Pyramids and temples were the two most prominent kinds of Egyptian architecture. Pyramids were used as tombs for pharaohs and included a wide variety of shapes and sizes. While some pyramids were only meant to be looked at from a distance, others contained chambers inside them where the bodies of the pharaoh and his or her servants were buried.
Egyptian temples were built mainly to house the many statues that decorated their rooms. The Egyptians believed that people's souls lived inside their bodies and needed houses to go after death. Therefore, they made many statues in order to fill these houses with life-like occupants.
There are several different types of pyramids found in Egypt. The first type is called a "stepped" pyramid because its base grows larger at each level. These are the oldest pyramids and can be seen at Giza. The second type is called a "true" pyramid because it has a single smooth surface for its ceiling. These are more modern-looking and can be found at Dahshur. The third type is called a "mastaba" after the shape of its floor plan. Mastabas were used by wealthy people as a place to store treasures and documents.
The Egyptian pyramids are the most well-known examples of ancient Egyptian architecture, although excavated temples, palaces, tombs, and castles have also been researched. The oldest surviving pyramid is that of Khufu (also known as Cheops), who ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.C. It is based on the design of a palace built for him by his son Khafre. Although neither architect's name has been found, modern historians have made conjectures about their roles.
The Egyptians invented accurate measurement techniques that were used to build very large structures without using metal tools. The Pyramids at Giza were built using this method and according to some scholars they could not have been constructed any other way. The Egyptians were able to calculate exactly how much material was needed for their projects and they always chose suitable-sized rocks instead of using stone that would need time and effort to cut or carve.
The choice of materials used in construction was also important. The Egyptians liked to use local products when possible, because they thought this made the building more authentic. For example, the stones used for the Pyramids at Giza were taken from nearby sites and there are many drawings showing which rocks were used in what position.
Finally, the Egyptians knew how to take advantage of natural conditions to save on labor.
Levied laborers constructed the majority of the structures out of locally available mud brick and limestone. The Egyptians used wooden scaffolding to build their structures, which allowed many parts of the buildings to be completed under the direction of only one or two architects.
The Chinese built the Great Wall to protect themselves from invasion by enemies such as the Mongols. The wall was built in several stages over a period of hundreds of years. Its construction involved removing boulders from hillsides and using them as scaffolding to build roads over which stone blocks were hauled to construct defensive towers and walls. The last stage of the wall's construction was between 1644 and 1646. It was then that King Charles I of England granted funds to complete the project.
Men cause death through war, violence, crime, starvation, illness, and accidents. Men also die due to natural causes such as old age. However, women usually die during childbirth or shortly after giving birth. Some men cause death by consuming other animals' bodies for food, using weapons, or participating in activities that lead to injury or death. Others may commit suicide.
During the ancient Egyptian period, there were two types of temples created. The first was a cult temple dedicated to a certain deity or goddess. The Temple of Horus at Edfu and the Temple of Isis in Aswan are two examples. The second type of temple was the royal temple. These were larger structures used by Egypt's pharaohs to pray to their god Amun after they had conquered far-away countries.
The Ancient Egyptians built among the most beautiful and extensive collections of monolithic stone sculptures in the world. In addition to religious statues, many statues depicting kings, queens, soldiers, and animals were carved from single blocks of stone and set up in various parts of the country.
Some of these statues are more than 8 feet high! Inside the temples, huge rooms called hypostases were carved out of the walls near the ceiling. These would have been covered with paintings but now only remain as empty spaces within the rock. Across Egypt, you can see large blocks of stone that were once part of important buildings. They tell us about great wars and victories, about gods and kings. All that power and beauty embodied in one perfect piece of stone.
In fact, all over Egypt you can see large blocks of stone that were once part of important buildings.
The Pyramids of Giza The colossal pyramids of Ancient Egypt are among the world's most renowned tombs. The pyramids evolved from mastabas, Arabic for "benches," which were rectangular mud or brick constructions constructed over tombs during Ancient Egypt's First Dynasty (c. 2925–2775 B.C.). Although the Egyptians made many improvements on the mastaba, they did not build their great pyramids until about 500 years later.
Why do Europeans call them pyramids? European explorers first described the Egyptian pyramids as such because they thought they were built of stone. In fact, both the Egyptians and ancient Greeks used wood for their buildings, so these foreigners' assumptions based on materiality alone is why they named them pyramids.
Actually, the word pyramid comes from the Greek words pyr ginos meaning "firewood" and this is how the ancients referred to these structures. Before the discovery of timber in Egypt, the Egyptians probably didn't give it a second thought since wood was used for everything else at that time.
In modern language, a pyramid usually refers to a structure with three levels including the ground floor, but only two of the Egyptian pyramids meet this definition: the Great Pyramid at Giza and its smaller counterpart, the Pyramid of Khafre. The third pyramid, that of Menkaura, has four floors instead of three.
The Egyptians, however, established the pattern for what most people remember as traditional pyramid design: huge constructions with a square base and four smooth-sided triangle sides rising to a point. The pyramid's form is said to represent the sun's beams. Actually, it's more like a shaded area of land.
The first true pyramid was built by King Chephren of Egypt around 2450 B.C. It was made of limestone and had a height of about 30 feet (9.5 meters). Later kings added their names and variations of this design theme. By the time of Queen Hatshepsut in 1480 B.C., the design process had evolved into something very different from its original form. Now the king or queen would have a structure with several stories and rooms inside. They were used for storage and/or accommodation of officials and servants.
In 1920, an American archaeologist named Howard Carter discovered a secret passage and an ancient coffin in the burial chamber of King Tutankhamen's tomb. The interior of the tomb was beautifully decorated with furniture, clothing, and other items associated with life in the court of King Tut. In addition, there were several jars of food and supplies that had been left for him in case he didn't get the chance to eat or drink anything during his lifetime.