You can define the pyramids of egypt like the marvels 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 has known some improvements in construction techniques: which explains the different forms.
The historical context
It was during the old empire between the IIIrd to the VIth dynasty that we had the projects ” pyramid building “. This ancient era stretched 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 step pyramid.
The Egyptians subsequently improved their construction techniques. They wanted to go 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 Fourth 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 great buildings ended before resuming between the XIIth and XIIIth dynasties and between the XVIIth and XVIIIth dynasties.
The different types of pyramids
THE step pyramids are the first of this collection and it is that of the pharaoh Djoser which is the very first. There Djoser’s pyramid is not so impressive, because it is a superposition of two mastabas followed by a stack in the form of a successive mound. Among the step pyramids, we can also mention that of Sekhmekhet at Saqqara and that of Khaba at Zaouiet el-Aryan.
Medium-sized pyramids, i.e. 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 edfu pyramid in Edfu and the Pyramid of Al-Koula in Hierakonpolis. We also have attempts to smooth-faced pyramids which seem to be unfinished like the step pyramid of Snefrou at Meidum and the rhomboidal pyramid from Snefru to Dahshur.
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 Chephren. We then had the golden age of the pyramids, periods during which the construction of these buildings which followed a standard. This is where the Pyramid of Mykerinos in Giza and the Pyramid of Neferirkare in Abusir.
Explore the pyramids in Egypt
For your holiday in egypt, it would be unfortunate to miss these pyramids. All the same, it would not be possible to visit all the pyramids of egypt during your stay.
For this discovery of pyramids of egypt, you can go through the necropolis of Saqqara which is the oldest of all. Its area is so large that it is impossible to visit the entire site on foot. To get around, you can opt for a taxi. Don’t miss the famous Djoser’s pyramid, 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 passing through Egypt do not miss the Giza pyramids, 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, Chephren and Mykerinos. Unlike the Saqqara necropolis, the Giza necropolis is not that huge and you can do the exploring on foot very well. Bring good walking shoes. As there are Fourth Dynasty pyramids here, do not expect extravagant decorations. It is their size that distinguishes these pyramids. If you have time to visit the necropolis of Giza, enter the pyramids, go around the Sphinx, go to the temples, especially that of Chephren.
Also consider making a Dahshur necropolis. Admittedly, it is not the most visited, but if you go there, you will better understand the evolution of the Egyptian pyramids. Here, we have five pyramids, but there are two that are very special: the red pyramid and the rhomboidal pyramid. They result from a failed attempt to create a smooth-faced pyramid by Pharaoh Snefru. Of these two pyramids, only the red pyramid can be visited. Here, we have a long corridor which leads to the three buried funerary chambers.
What you need to know about the great pyramid of Cheops
If the pyramid of Cheops receives a large number of visitors each year, there is a reason. In any case, with what is within 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 attached to each other, but a corridor.
One can also wonder about its length, because it is a good 40m long, which is about the same length as the Grand Hall. So far, these researchers have failed to provide an explanation for its role. It is assumed to lead to the location of Cheops’ body.