Building Egyptian Pyramids

Want to learn more about building Egyptian pyramids? Read on for facts and info on the construction techniques employed in building an Egyptian pyramid…

Egyptian Pyramids are counted amongst the wonders of the world. The architecture and construction of ancient Egyptian Pyramids went through an evolutionary process to reach the status of a true pyramid. The building of pyramids started in the third Dynasty and continued for many centuries evolving with the passage of time.

The Stepped Pyramid

The first of the pyramids were constructed in the step style consisting of a number of different steps back in the third Dynasty. The northern end had a descending passage that would lead towards a dedicated space for the burial chamber. Except for the southern side of the pyramid underground galleries would run all around the structure. The only completed example of a genuine step pyramid belongs to King Netjerkhyet Djoser and is situated at Saqqara. The stepped pyramid is distinctively different from the true pyramid and is not considered to be one of the seven wonders of the world.

The True Pyramid

The true pyramid was a development that was achieved through centuries of trial and error based on the step pyramid. Archaeologists have been able to find remnants of true pyramids from the fourth Dynasty. In terms of its structure the true pyramid is exactly the same as the step pyramid. It consists of packing blocks that are stacked one on top of the other until the right dimensions are achieved. These are then finished off by limestone blocks which have been termed as finishing blocks. Although they are not all that different in terms of construction the final structure of the true pyramid was far more appealing than its predecessor.

Construction Techniques Used in Building Egyptian Pyramids

The biggest challenge faced by the Egyptians when it came to the construction of the pyramids was getting the huge stone blocks to the height where they required them. Historians have made many assumptions as to how this was made possible. They suggest that the Egyptians built special ramps that were placed on inclined planes made of rubble and bricks. The blocks were then dragged up on sledges to take them to the height at which they were required. The length of the ramp had to be extended as the height of the pyramid grew taller. This method suggests that a number of different ramps were used in the construction of one pyramid.

Although it is quite likely that this was the construction technique employed by the Egyptians historians are again at dispute regarding the way in which the ramps were arranged. If it is assumed that every pyramid had a base of a step pyramid then this naturally employs that the packing blocks had to be laid on the top. In order to achieve this the ramps would have to be placed from one step to another.

On the inside pyramids were surrounded by buttress walls around the central core. When extending from the center outwards the walls would continue to rise in height. In its essence the true pyramid was a step pyramid on the inside with the only difference coming in the way their exterior was laid out and this is what made a profound difference in the way that they looked.

 

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