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The First Pyramids Built

 
 

    The First Pyramids Built  new window
The first pyramid was the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, built for King Zoser in 2750 BC. This first application of large scale technology, however, is often attributed to Imhotep, the architect of the Step Pyramid. He was not a pharaoh, but was the Director of Works of Upper and Lower Egypt. The superstructure of the pyramid was made of small limestone blocks and desert clay. Inside, the burial chamber and storage spaces for Zoser's grave goods were carved out of the earth and rock beneath the structure. Imhotep's intent was to mimic the basic structure of King Zoser's palatial home in the burial chamber. The tomb, like those that followed, was meant to be a replica of the royal palace. In early tombs, the central area was always the burial place. The other surrounding rooms contained burial artifacts such as furniture and jewelry and other provisions owned by the king. False doors of heavy stone, inscribed with heiroglyphs, represented passageways between rooms. There were no real doors between the rooms, because it was believed the king would be able to move about his rooms, in the afterlife, without the help of structural passageways.

It was only 150 years later, in the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, that King Khufu commissioned the building of the largest pyramid of all, the Great Pyramid, which is the last remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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Step Pyramid of DjoserEdit

 
 
The first pyramid was the Step Pyramid at Saqqara, built for King Zoser in 2750 BC. This first application of large scale technology, however, is often attributed to Imhotep, the architect of the Step Pyramid. He was not a pharaoh, but was the Director of Works of Upper and Lower Egypt. The superstructure of the pyramid was made of small limestone blocks and desert clay. Inside, the burial chamber and storage spaces for Zoser's grave goods were carved out of the earth and rock beneath the structure. Imhotep's intent was to mimic the basic structure of King Zoser's palatial home in the burial chamber. The tomb, like those that followed, was meant to be a replica of the royal palace. In early tombs, the central area was always the burial place. The other surrounding rooms contained burial artifacts such as furniture and jewelry and other provisions owned by the king. False doors of heavy stone, inscribed with heiroglyphs, represented passageways between rooms. There were no real doors between the rooms, because it was believed the king would be able to move about his rooms, in the afterlife, without the help of structural passageways.

It was only 150 years later, in the fourth dynasty of Egypt's Old Kingdom, that King Khufu commissioned the building of the largest pyramid of all, the Great Pyramid, which is the last remaining wonder of the Seven Wonders of the World. More new window

 
    Egyptian Hieroglyphs
  Egyptian Hieroglyphs
Egyptian hieroglyphs was a formal writing system used by the ancient Egyptians that contained a combination of logographic and alphabetic elements. Egyptians used cursive hieroglyphs for religious literature on papyrus and wood. Less formal variatio...
 
    Narmer, 1st King of all Egypt
  Narmer, 1st King of all Egypt
Narmer was an Egyptian Pharaoh who ruled in the 31st century BC. Thought to be the successor to the predynastic Scorpion and/or Ka, he is considered by some to be the founder of the First dynasty, and therefore the first king of all Egypt. There is a...
 
    Pharaoh Djoser, Build 1st pyramid
  Pharaoh Djoser, Build 1st pyramid
Netjerikhet or Djoser is the best-known pharaoh of the Third dynasty of Egypt. He commissioned his official, Imhotep (ca. 2650-2600 BC), to build the first of the pyramids, a step pyramid for him at Saqqara. Though there is significant controversy ab...
 
    Imhotep, Architect Pyramid of Djoser
  Imhotep, Architect Pyramid of Djoser
Imhotep (meaning "the one who comes in, with peace") was an Egyptian polymath, who served under the Third Dynasty king, Djoser, as chancellor to the pharaoh and high priest of the sun god Ra at Heliopolis. He is considered to be the first engineer, a...
 
    Pharaoh Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops, Giza
  Pharaoh Khufu, Pyramid of Cheops, Giza
Khufu (in Greek known as Cheops) was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's Old Kingdom. He reigned from around 2589 to 2566 B.C. Khufu was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty. He is generally accepted as being the builder of the Great Pyramid of Giza, on...
 
    Mentuhotep II, 1st Ruler Middle Kingdom
  Mentuhotep II, 1st Ruler Middle Kingdom
Mentuhotep II, First Ruler of the Middle Kingdom. His throne name was most certainly Neb-hetep-re, meaning "Pleased is the Lord Re", though we also find it spelled Nebhepetra. But this is not his common, or birth name, and here we run into problems....
 
    Hatshepsut, Foremost of Noble Ladies
  Hatshepsut, Foremost of Noble Ladies
Hatshepsut, meaning Foremost of Noble Ladies, was the fifth pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, reigning longer than any other woman of an indigenous E...
 
    Thutmose III, Napoleon of Egypt
  Thutmose III, Napoleon of Egypt
Thutmose III was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While she is shown first on surviving monuments, both were assi...
 
    Akhenaten, Pharaoh 18th Dynasty
  Akhenaten, Pharaoh 18th Dynasty
Akhenaten, meaning "living spirit of Aten", was known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV (sometimes given its Greek form, Amenophis IV, and meaning Amun is Satisfied), a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt, ruled for 17 years a...
 
    Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt
  Nefertiti, Queen of Egypt
Queen Nefertiti is perhaps better known than her husband, the heretic king Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV). It is said that even in the ancient world, her beauty was famous, and her famous statue, found in a sculptor's workshop, is not only one of the most...
 
    Tutankhamun, Pharaoh
  Tutankhamun, Pharaoh
Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty (ruled 1333 BC 1324 BC in the conventional chronology), during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom. His original name, Tutankhaten, means "Living Image of Aten", while Tuta...
 
    Horemheb, Last Pharaoh 18th Dynasty
  Horemheb, Last Pharaoh 18th Dynasty
Horemheb (sometimes spelled Horemhab or Haremhab and meaning Horus is in Jubilation) was the last Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty from 1319 BC to late 1292 BC, although he was not related to the preceding royal family and is believed to have been of comm...
 
    Ramses II, Ramesses The Great
  Ramses II, Ramesses The Great
Ramesses II was an Egyptian pharaoh of the nineteenth dynasty. At age fourteen, Ramses II was appointed Prince Regent by his father. He is believed to have taken the throne in his early 20s and to have ruled Egypt from 1279 BC to 1213 BC for a total...
 
    Psusennes I, Pharao
  Psusennes I, Pharao
Psusennes I, or Psibkhanno or Hor-Pasebakhaenniut I was the third king of the Twenty-first dynasty of Egypt who ruled between 1047 1001 BC. Psusennes is the Greek version of his original name Pasebakhaemniut, which means "The Star Appearing in the...
 
    Necho II, Pharaoh 26th Dynasty
  Necho II, Pharaoh 26th Dynasty
Necho II was a king of the Twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt (610 BCE 595 BCE). Necho II is most likely the pharaoh mentioned in several books of the Bible (see Hebrew Bible / Old Testament). The Book of Kings states that Necho met King Josiah of the K...
 
    Darius The Great, King of Persia
  Darius The Great, King of Persia
Darius I: king of ancient Persia, whose reign lasted from 522 to 486. He seized power after killing king Gaumâta, fought a civil war (described in the Behistun inscription), and was finally able to refound the Achaemenid empire, which had been very l...
 
    Xerxes I, Persian King
  Xerxes I, Persian King
Persian king (486 465 BC) of the Achaemenian dynasty. The son of Darius I, he had been governor of Babylon before his succession. He ferociously suppressed rebellions in Egypt (484) and Babylonia (482). To avenge Darius's defeat by the Greeks at th...
 
    Herodotus, Father of History
  Herodotus, Father of History
Herodotus of Halicarnassus was a Greek historian who lived in the 5th century BC in Halicarnassus, Caria; Bodrum in modern Turkey. He is regarded as the "Father of History" in Western culture. He was the first historian known to collect his materials...
 
    Ptolemy I, Founder Ptolemaic Dynasty
  Ptolemy I, Founder Ptolemaic Dynasty
Ptolemy I Soter: friend and biographer of the Macedonian conqueror Alexander the Great, after his death king of Egypt, founder of the the Ptolemaic dynasty, one of the Diadochi. Ptolemy probably took part in Alexander's Persian campaign from the v...
 
    Alexander the Great
  Alexander the Great
Alexander III of Macedon, commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king of Macedon, a state in the north eastern region of Greece, and by the age of thirty was the creator of one of the largest empires in ancient history, stretching from the Ioni...
 
    The Rosetta Stone, Found in 1799
  The Rosetta Stone, Found in 1799
The Rosetta Stone, a black basalt slab bearing an inscription that was the key to the deciphering of Egyptian hieroglyphics and thus to the foundation of modern Egyptology. It was unearthed in July 1799 by Napoleon's army in Rosetta (Rashid), Egypt....
 
    Julius Caesar
  Julius Caesar
Gaius Julius Caesar is remembered as one of history's greatest generals and a key ruler of the Roman empire. As a young man he rose through the administrative ranks of the Roman republic, accumulating power until he was elected consul in 59 B.C. Over...
 
    Marc Antony
  Marc Antony
Marcus Antonius was a Roman politician and general. He was an important supporter of Julius Caesar as a military commander and administrator. After Caesar's assassination, Antony allied with Octavian and Marcus Aemilius Lepidus to form the second tri...
 
    Cleopatra VII, the Last Pharaoh
  Cleopatra VII, the Last Pharaoh
In the springtime of 51 BC, Ptolemy Auletes died and left his kingdom in his will to his eighteen year old daughter, Cleopatra, and her younger brother Ptolemy XIII who was twelve at the time. According to Egyptian law, Cleopatra was forced to have...
 
    Saladin, Opponent of Crusaders
  Saladin, Opponent of Crusaders
Saladin is a hero of Islam, he united Arab forces and recaptured the holy city of Jerusalem from Christian Crusaders in the 12th century A.D. Of Kurdish origin, Saladin became the vizier of Egypt in 1169 and then took full control of the country in 1...
 
    Selim I, Sultan Ottoman Empire
  Selim I, Sultan Ottoman Empire
Selim I, also known as "the Excellent," "the Brave" or the best translation "the Stern", Yavuz in Turkish, the long name is Yavuz Sultan Selim; was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to 1520. He was also the first Ottoman Sultan to assume the...
 
    Napoleon Bonaparte
  Napoleon Bonaparte
Napoléon Bonaparte was general during the French Revolution, the ruler of France as First Consul of the French Republic from 11 November 1799 to 18 May 1804, Emperor of the French under the name Napoléon I from 18 May 1804 to 6 April 1814, and was b...
 
    Muhammad Ali, Founder Modern Egypt
  Muhammad Ali, Founder Modern Egypt
Muhammad Ali Pasha is regarded as the "founder of modern Egypt". The dynasty he established would rule Egypt and Sudan until the mid-20th Century. He was Viceroy of Egypt (1805 48) for the Ottoman Empire and founder of the dynasty that ruled Egypt...
 
    Bernardino Drovetti
  Bernardino Drovetti
Bernardino Drovetti was an Italian diplomat, lawyer, explorer and antiquarian, appointed by Napoleon as French consul to Egypt at a time when the country and its antiquities were being opened rapidly to European knowledge and acquisition. His methods...
 
    Belzoni, Valley of the Kings - 1817
  Belzoni, Valley of the Kings - 1817
Giovanni Battista Belzoni Italian showman, engineer and explorer of Egyptian antiquities. His quest for adventure brought him to England in 1803 and by means of his gigantic physique, earned a living in circuses in England, Spain and Portugal and w...
 
    Ludwig Borchardt, Found Nefertiti - 1912
  Ludwig Borchardt, Found Nefertiti - 1912
Ludwig Borchardt was a German Egyptologist who was born in Berlin. His main focus was Ancient Egyptian architecture. He began excavations in Amarna, where he discovered the workshop of the sculptor Djhutmose, amongst its contents was the bust of Nefe...
 
    Lord Carnarvon, Excavation Tutankhamun
  Lord Carnarvon, Excavation Tutankhamun
George Edward Stanhope Molyneux Herbert, 5th Earl of Carnarvon was an English aristocrat best known as the financier of the excavation of the Egyptian New Kingdom Pharaoh Tutankhamun's tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. The 5th Earl was an enthusia...
 
    Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist
  Zahi Hawass, Egyptologist
Zahi Hawass is an Egyptian archaeologist, an Egyptologist and the current Secretary General of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquities. He has also worked at archaeological sites in the Nile Delta, the Western Desert, and the Upper Nile Valley. H...
 
    Unesco World Heritage Site
  Unesco World Heritage Site
A Unesco World Heritage Site is a place (such as a forest, mountain, lake, desert, monument, building, complex, or city) that is listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or physical significance. The list is maintained by the international World Herit...
 
 

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