Pyramids in a Nutshell

Essay by Drica_chanA+, August 2006

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Someone once said that the pyramids were built by aliens; then again, someone also said that communism was a good idea. The pyramids were really constructed from stone by the Egyptian natives. The Old Kingdom, which lasted from 2575 to 2040 BC, was the time period in which the pyramids of Egypt were constructed. Pyramids were made to serve as monuments and final resting places of the pharaohs who had them built.

The four corners of the pyramids align almost perfectly with the four corners of the compass. It has been said that this was done to honor the Egyptian god of the sun, Amon-Re. The thought pattern of the Egyptian culture was this: once the Pharaoh died, he would enter the afterlife and continue to live in paradise. Unless, of course, the deceased was judged sinful by Osiris, is which case his ka- his spirit- was eaten by a monster.

The Egyptians believed that if the body of a dead person was destroyed, his ka could not continue to exist. Therefore, measures were taken to preserve the dead body through a seventy day process called mummification, in which the body was dried and wrapped in linen and the organs removed and placed in canopic jars.

The pyramids were filled with everything a pharaoh would need in the next life. Gold, food, wine, games, mummified pets, chariots and weapons- these were all stored in special sealed chambers of the tomb for use by the pharaoh's ka. The ka was thought to be an exact replica of the physical body, the ba, so the Egyptians also made statues that resembled the dead in the event that the mummy was destroyed. These statues would be able to serve as the body in such a case, since the pharaoh would not inhabit...