Egyptian Monuments

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorHigh School, 11th grade February 2008

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The almighty pyramids of Egypt have fascinated the world for centuries. The question that still remains uncertain is how they built these immense monuments and why? It is said that each one is a tomb, built by a pharaoh as their final resting place for their body. The pyramids were a supposed way to help a deceased pharaoh attain eternal life. It may always remain a mystery why the Egyptians chose to build the pyramids in the shape they did. There are theories such as it was a symbol of the suns rays or that it resembled a stairway to heaven, but none have been assured.

The Great Step Pyramid is considered to be one of the first large stone structures built in human history. It was built for the pharaoh Djoser at Saqqara around 2680 B.C. It was designed by an architect by the name of Imhotep, who became more famous than the pharaoh he worked for.

The step pyramid in fact is actually a series of six rectangular structures, one set on top of another. In the building process Imhotep changed his mind at least five times about the structure. When finally completed it was faced with polished limestone to give it a smooth finish.

In realism the Great Step Pyramid was just one large building in a large complex. Between the pyramid and its massive enclosure wall there is a series of courtyards and ceremonial buildings. Along with the pyramid these are most likely the first large stone buildings ever made. Many are shaped and decorated like earlier structures made from mud bricks, rushes, reeds or wood. Although they are carved to look like real buildings, most of them are dummies, complete with fake doors.

One of the courtyards was used for the special Sed festival, held...