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Pyramids of Egypt: history, anecdotes and secrets

We can define the pyramids of egypt like the wonders of human genius. They form a historically and geographically coherent whole. They were built by a very ancient civilization, which had a way of life, a religion and a vision of the future different from what we have today. If we refer to these different pyramidswe can understand that this civilization experienced some improvements in construction techniques: which explains the different shapes.

The historical context

It was during the old empire between the 3rd and 6th dynasties that we had the projects ” pyramid construction “. This ancient era spanned from 3150 to -2181. The Egyptians thought of “new” royal tombs when building them. Indeed, before, we had mastabas which were buried or semi-buried rectangular complexes. Pharaoh Djoser then receives the new “mastaba” which is a stepped pyramid.

The Egyptians subsequently improved their construction techniques. They wanted to move from the step pyramid to a pyramid with smooth faces, but it took several attempts and several centuries to get there. It was at the beginning of the 4th Dynasty that we had the first pyramid and very shortly after, the giant pyramids. Towards the end of the old empire, the construction of these large buildings ended before resuming between the 12th and 13th dynasties and between the 17th and 18th dynasties.

The different types of pyramids

THE step pyramids are the first in this collection and it is that of Pharaoh Djoser which is the very first. There pyramid of Djoser is not so impressive, because it is a superposition of two mastabas followed by a stacking in the form of a successive mound. Among the step pyramids, we can also cite that of Sekhmekhet in Saqqara and that of Khaba in Zaouiet el-Aryan.

Medium-sized pyramids, that is, those between 12 and 20 meters high, are classified as provincial pyramids. What characterizes them above all is their geographical location: they are all outside the capital. This is the case of the pyramid of Athribis in Athribis, the pyramid of Edfu in Edfu and Al-Koula pyramid in Hierakonpolis. We also have attempts to smooth-sided pyramids which appear to be unfinished like the step pyramid of Snefrou at Meidoum and the rhomboid pyramid from Snefrou to Dahshur.

different pyramid

There was a period when the pharaohs wanted giant pyramids at all costs, but there were very few of them. Those that are still in good condition are those of Cheops and Khafre. We subsequently had the golden age of the pyramids, periods during which the construction of these buildings followed a standard. This is where the pyramid of Mykerinos at Giza and pyramid of Neferirkare in Abusir.

Discover the pyramids in Egypt

For your vacation in Egypt, it would be regrettable to miss these pyramids. It would still not be possible to visit all the pyramids of Egypt during your stay.

Go exploring

For this discovery of pyramids of Egypt, you can pass by the Saqqara necropolis which is the oldest of all. Its surface area is so large that we cannot consider visiting the entire site on foot. To get around, you can opt for a taxi. Don’t miss the famous pyramid of Djoser, it is the first pyramid of ancient Egypt and also the first of all humanity. The Pyramid of Djoser is a step pyramid and it was built by Imhotep. At the Saqqara necropolis, there are also other pyramids, some of which have been destroyed, temples, the Serapeum and a small museum.

Globetrotters who pass through Egypt do not miss the pyramids of Giza, quite simply because they are the best known. This is where you will find the Sphinx of Giza and the 3 most famous pyramids of Egypt: that of Cheops, Khafre and Mykerinos. Unlike the Saqqara necropolis, the Giza necropolis is not so huge and you can explore it very well on foot. Bring good walking shoes. As there are pyramids from the 4th Dynasty here, you should not expect extravagant decorations. It is their size that distinguishes these pyramids. If you have time to visit the Giza necropolis, enter the pyramids, tour the Sphinx, go to the temples, notably that of Khafre.

discover the great pyramid of khufu

Also consider making a Dahshur necropolis. Certainly, it is not the most visited, but if you pass there, you will better understand the evolution of the pyramids of Egypt. Here, we have five pyramids, but there are two which are very particular: the red pyramid and the rhomboid pyramid. They result from a failed attempt to create a smooth-sided pyramid by the pharaoh Snefrou. Of these two pyramids, only the red pyramid can be visited. Here, we have a long corridor which leads to the three buried burial chambers.

What you need to know about the Great Pyramid of Cheops

There is a reason why the Cheops Pyramid receives a large number of visitors each year. In any case, with what is inside this great building, it could still attract more visitors for years to come. Two years ago, the Franco-Egyptian ScanPyramid mission spoke of a cavity in the heart of the pyramid which is 40 meters long. It’s confirmed: it’s not a succession of small rooms stacked on top of each other, but a corridor.

We can also ask questions about its length, because it is indeed 40 m long, which is approximately the same length as the Grande Galerie. Until now, these researchers have not succeeded in providing an explanation for its role. It is assumed that it leads to where Khufu’s body is located.

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