OLD KINGDOM EGYPT

We are reading World Architecture- A Cross Cultural History by Richard Ingersoll and Spiro Kostof and personally I am very curious about pyramids so I chose this part of book.

Firstly, we should have some informations about Egyptian culture, their hierarchical order and their religion. The period of Old Kingdom Egypt is between 2700-2100 BCE. Also before unification of Egypt, there was two Egyptian kingdom which were Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Upper Egypt was stronger in political and economical manners and also both ancient kingdom had specific properties own their symbols such as Lower Egypt used to red crown for their king, Upper Egypt used to white crown. Narmer was the king, united the two kingdom. crowns-for-united

After unification of two kingdom, there was a single crown which was combination of red and white crowns.

Egypt kings were considering a son of god and they belived would live in eternal afterlife. That’s why Pharaohs used their power to create their Mastaba(royal temb) for afterlife. For them death was considered ”the passage to another region”. Their economical power comes from Nile river actually Nile River efformed their lifes and religion. Unlike the pyramids, houses of old kingdom were made with perishable materials and they designed planar surfaces because climate favored tent structures. As a evidence of dwelling manner, there are many reliefs on tomb decorations about form of houses. Also Egypt had a heavily populated urban centers. In architectural manner, pictographic system of wiriting helped to develope orthogonal planing. Additionaly, the form of pyramids comes from Nile River and of course this is a hypothetical argument.

typical-mastaba

Pharaoh Djoser lived in 2691-2625 BCE and he was the first king to built a pyramid which Saqqara Pyramid. Also the first known architect designed the pyramid who was Imhotep. Architect Imhotep, created six levels of a stepped tower from transformation of typical Mastaba. Imhotep served as the king’s advisor and came from nonroyal blood but he had place for royal court. Saqqara Pyramid has perceft rectangle 500*300 metres and has 15 gate towers but only one of them could be entered which is in south corner. Also surronding spaces of the pyramid served the HebSEd festival location. This festival was generational event which has some rituals like symbolic sacrifice. Also celebrated every thirty year of ruler and they belived it was kind of rebirth of the pharaoh also afterlife pharaohs would repeat the festival regularly. Pyramid purpose was a palace for pharaoh’s in an eternal life with god Ra. ” The stepped pyramid dominated Djoser’s funreal complex, rising above the flat desert landscape like a vision of another world.” That’s why they belived death king would live with Ra and asisting Ra on his daily journey and procuring good fortune for Egypt.

saqqara-pyramid                                                                  Saqqara Pyramid

Pharaoh Sneferu reign from around 2613-2598 BCE. Sneferu came from a nonroyal background so political purposes he married his half sister and also maintain the royal bloodline. Sneferu gain political favor with the military campaign so he had power which used to built his afterlife palace. Pharaoh Sneferu had three or four tries of pyramids. The second was Bent Pyramid at Dashur. Bent Pyramid is taller than first one and have greater slope also. However they started with slope 51 degree but some of reasons they changed 43 degree. Third or fourth one is Red Pyramid. Also Sneferu created the first example of valley temple.

bent-pyramid                                                            The Bent Pyramid

Pharaoh Khufu reign approximately 63 or 73 years and end in 2566 BCE. Khufu known as a Cheops Pyramid owner. Cheops Pyramid still prevails as the largest building in terms of mass in the world. 2 million stone blocks were used in it and give it total load of more than 6 million tons. In this pyramid has own qualities of course such as mastaba for his mother (accompanied by three/four small pyramids for the pharaoh family). The Great Pyramid of Khufu designed by his nephew Hem Iwno. The slope is exactly 51,5 degree and it is like perceft narrowhead.

khufu                                                                The Great Pyramid of Khufu

How were the pyramids constructed?

There is no documentation about the constructions methods of Giza Pyramid(The Great Pyramid of Khufu). So it is still controversial topic. Also there are many possible theories related with using ramps of sand such as long wide ramp, long splayed ramp etc.

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