The Amazing Pyramids in Egypt

Essay by R.RobertsHigh School, 12th gradeA+, February 1997

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Eleven years ago my family and I went on vacation to Egypt. The Sphinx, the three Pyramids of Giza, and the Step Pyramid of Pharaoh Zoser towered more than two hundred feet above the golden Egyptian sands like mountains. The sight took my breath away, and that of course was one of their purposes. To a three foot tall, six year old the buildings seemed to be as big as the world. I nearly broke my neck when I tried to glance at the top. When the people of Egypt first looked upon these colossal monuments, they probably trembled just as I did. Now that I am older the sight not only amazes, but the craftsmanship that was used to build these wonderful gravestones, fills my mind with sheer perplexity. The pyramids were designed to impress Egyptians with their ruler's godlike strength and to give the ruler eternal life.

The Sphinx is a figure having the body of a lion and the head of a man. The three pyramids of Giza are the work of 4,000 stonemasons and as many as 100,000 laborers working under conditions of forced servitude and given rations consisting in large part of onions and garlic. The pyramid of Pharaoh Zoser that Imhotep erected at Sakkara was the world's first large stone structure, a tomb copied in stonework from earlier brickwork piles (Peck). In its most common form, a pyramid is a massive stone or brick structure with a square base and four sloping triangular sides that meet in a point at the top (Pyramids 810). However, the pyramids are anything but simple. Pyramids have been built by different people at various times in history. Hundreds of thousands of men were used to construct these massive monuments and they took many years. The pyramids were...