Art and Civilization. The building and meaning of the Great Pyramids

Essay by Ryan McKnightCollege, UndergraduateA, December 1996

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ART AND THE RISE OF CIVILIZATION

The Building And Meaning To The Great Giza Pyramids

Many hundreds of years ago the construction began on one of the

seven wonders of the world. Today they are looked upon as not only a tomb

for the dead, but also an artistic masterpiece inside and out.

The three great pyramids of Giza stand on the west bank of the Nile

river (outside Cairo). These pyramids were build around 2600-2500 B.C. The

largest one was built for King Khufu (better known as Cheops by Grecians).

The second largest was built for King Chephren, and the third was built for

King Mycerinus.

King Cheops' pyramid contains more that 2 million stone blocks that

average 2.5 tons a piece. It originally stood 481 feet tall, but considering

some of the top stones has fallen off, it now stands only 450 feet tall. Its base

covers 13 acres.

The quote "It is estimated that it took 400,000 workers working

everyday for 20 years to build the Great Pyramid" was said by the ancient

Greek historian Herodotus, however archaeologists now doubt these figures,

but the true figures can't be specified. All archaeologists have discovered to

the best of their knowledge is that they believe that peasants worked on the

pyramids during the flood season (when the Nile flooded the crops).

These magnificent structures were built to bury the dead body of the

pharoh, however as large as they were, they were often broken into and

looted for all of the jewels and gold that was entombed for the pharo's

passage out of this world. Therefore after the great pyramids in Giza were

completed, there were no more built (at least in Egypt). Instead, the bodies of

the pharo's were buried in secret tombs in cliffs or in valley's...