The Egyptian pyramid was built as a monumental tomb structure, the place of eternal rest of the deceased pharaoh. Come to Egypt and see the Egypt pyramids with your own eyes! Book Your Egypt Vacations!
A mortuary temple adjoined the tomb, connected by a ramp with the lower temple above the Nile ridge, known as the temple in the valley. The king's body was transported on a ship through a specially dug canal from the Niles bank to the temple in the valley.The funeral ritual began in the courtyard of this temple. Passing the chapels of royal statues, participants in the funeral ritual came to a narrow roofed ramp leading up the slope towards the pyramid. After traveling 200-500 meters, the procession reached the mortuary temple, which consisted of an open courtyard with numerous chapels and statues. Here, the mummy was symbolically brought to life through the riual of opening the mouth. During the ceremony, the priest touched the mouth of the deceased with a specially shaped wooden cane.
As a result, according to ancient beliefs, the deceased was then able to breathe again, which helped restore all vital functions. In the "alive" state, the deceased could finally move into his eternal dwelling.The sarcophagus chamber was most often located hidden deep under the pyramid.
The prototype of the pyramid is the multi-level tomb structure of King Djoser (III Dynasty, around 2650 BC) erected by the architect Imhotep. It is a stepped mastaba rather than a pyramid and it consists of six levels, each erected one on top of the other. Each level tapers towards the top of the pyramid, and every layer is about 10 meters high. It never had a stone mantle, so the monumental steps of this building were always clearly visible. Adjacent to its northern wall was a small mortuary temple and a building imitating the royal palace. Here, king Djoser was to have his seat for eternity.
The first ever pyramid was built by Pharaoh Huni at the beginning of the 4th Dynasty. It was originally intended to be a structure consisting of eight steps, but by adding an additional layer of stone blocks, it obtained the pyramid shape. Pyramids built following this were all erected according to a previously prepared plan. The pyramids orientation on the east-west axis was in line with the movement of the sun, which for the Egyptians was the most important celestial body.
The kings of the 4th dynasty created the finest examples of monumental tomb architecture and among these, the most impressive are the pyramids of Cheops and his two sons Khafre and Mykerinos in the Necropolis of Giza. The mastery of the ancient architecture was, above all, the precise calculation of the size of the individual stone blocks and their centimeter-sized fit in the structure of the pyramid. It's thanks to this that its four sides meet exactly at the top. The pyramid builders already had considerable knowledge of mathematics and astronomy. On the order of Cheops, six million tons of stone building material were moved to erect a tomb on an area the size of eight football fields, the original height of which was 146 meters (now 137 meters).
During the troubled transitional periods in Egyptian history, the massive structure and enormity of the pyramid did not deter the tomb robbers. Therefore, the kings of the New Kingdom period decided to locate their tombs in what they thought was a safe place called the Valley of the Kings, hidden in the mountain massif in Western Thebes. Both kings and high officials were buried in rock tombs. Only the tomb temples necessary for the provision and worship of deceased rulers were built in clearly visible places on the edge of the mountain massif. The form of the pyramid has survived in the superstructure of the tombs of that period, as evidenced by the paintings on the walls of the tombs.