The Pyramids of Egypt
The ancient Egyptians built the historical pyramids as a way of preparation to the next life after death, this was done by the wealthy and pharaohs. The pyramid are square in shape, with triangular sides which perpendicularly points the compass and slopes vertically at about 50 degrees setting both vertically to the apex and horizontally to the ground angle. Among the first type of pyramids which resembled the later designs are the two slopes sided with rectangular base pyramid known as Mastabas (Edwards 32), built between 2680 to 2565 B.C sequentially, there was development of equilateral type of pyramid known as Sakkara, built in 2620 B.C. This development of the later design n occurred in the IV dynasty till the VI dynasty.
Since the first design of pyramid was constructed and its evolutionary redesign, the pharaohs and the rich fraternity used them for preservation of their bodies after mummification during death hence deluding human disturbance to the dead. It took the effort of thousands of slaves and rudimentary machine such as rollers to move heavy tones of loads from one distance to another. The entrance was situated in the northern wall with light brick blocks laid at the entrance horizontally as the culture dictates and forming various chambers within the pyramid to create room for the rulers’ wealth and other materials which he might require in the next world.
The rough big stones were elevated using cranes and moved using big rollers extracted from hardwoods exported from other friendly rulers.
One of the Seven Wonders of the World is the largest pyramid of Khufu also known as Cheops built in the 2680 B.C and is amongst the pyramids of the IV dynasty at Giza situated in Cairo. Khufu’s pyramid entails 5.3 hectares coverage by big limestone blocks with 756 ft on its breath and width, and two large extra chambers excluding the upper chamber. There are some avenues to various chambers which have opening and ventilation into the chambers. The construction was made easy by the presence of crossroad hence making it easy to do quarry activity within the region.
According to the scholars from the ancient system of education, it is claimed that the pyramids were built for twenty years by a team of 100,000 workmen. Moreover, they also claim that the machineries of the Egyptians were more advanced than the other machines that were being used in the other part of the world. The machines included the ones that were built to move the large stones that were laid on top of each other. They also used the rollers that were made from the trunks from the trees to move the large stones. It is believed that there was a team that was responsible for the moving of the stones and this team always replenished the rollers that were in front by adding the ones that were in the rear (Mendelssohn 44).
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The evidences and the explanation on how the building and constructing of the pyramids took place are evidently seen on the paintings that are found on the walls of the pyramids. These paintings implicate a lot, and one of the things that are shown by the paintings is the stages and the methods on how the pyramids were built. The first scenario that is depicted is quarrying. It is believed that wedges were used in quarrying the decent limestone that was extracted from the river beds. First the wedges were made to be wet and this made them to be swollen and in tern they made the stones to be fractured. In quarrying there are other minerals such as granites and copper that was used in removal of the rocks that were required by the workers.
The second scenario was the transportations that were very essential for the movement of the materials. The workers used materials such as rollers and wheels but the most the most important means that they used was the sledge. The sledges were mostly used in construction of the pyramids more than in any other place that required transportation and this movement was facilitated by the lubricating the sledges using liquid. The wheels were used in transportation of water from Mesopotamia which was between river Tigris and Euphrates (Mendelssohn 54).
In relation to the third scenario was leveling process which was achieved through the use of shallow ponds which made it easy to achieve their goal through use of bricks or mud to improve the texture. Brick or alternatively mud was used to enclose the walls and the filling of the well with water, hence drilling wide openings under the surface helped level the surface. This was achieved through removing of the water filling the surface to mark the drilled surface. This is reflected through the way pharaoh Memos and his adviser Taita were buried under river Nile as they escaped invasion in Egypt and died in Ethiopia ranges where river Nile passes. This type of burial for a respected family happened due to their situation in seeking refuge away from their attackers (Lehner 55).
Consequently the third scenario was orienting which proved to be more difficult than the rest of the scenario which was to make sure that the base is in consisted both the north and south sides. This was also made more challenging by the fact that there pole star was absent to offer direction to the constructors as the earth rotates in its axis after 26000 years by 5000 years ago. The Egyptians would have used the star if they could have identified north or south as it is experienced in the rising and falling of stars in the seas or oceans hence creating circular bisector angle. This would have resulted in the development of semicircular walls with broad base and ground hence use the top as the joining axis horizon. Mathematical knowledge was therefore important in the development of orientation qualities in a certain qualified architect.
In relation to the rest of developmental factors, squaring was viewed great importance as it created the bases for the development of the pyramid as it surpasses the knowledge of the north and south axis. This is proved by the exactness of the squire edge which is reflected in Egyptians’ building designs thus prompting the view that they used some tools which were more accurate than the tool called squire. As portrayed in their architect they had the knowledge that that any triangles drawn in the circle forms right angles hence the projection of the exactness of the building edges to 90 degree, with terrible exactness (Slackman 54).
As we focus on the squaring factor in the Egyptians strengths, there is correlating factor such as the slanting of the edges as portrayed in their building prowess brings out the quality of exactness with the squire they developed as a base for the pyramid. These slants lines were used to locate the axis for the convergence of the slants hence enabling the mason to identify the center for erection of center pole in the pyramid (Lehner 25). The sharp slope of about 54 degrees to 43 degrees in the Bent Senefere Pyramid of Dajshur in 2650 B.C reflects lack of enough finance and workers within his territory.
Most effective and equally hard task is the lifting of the materials to the right destinations with the use of constructed long ramps to facilitate the upward rolling of large rocks via the sledge. The loads were farther elevated using levers in combination with the wedges to elevate the load to the required destination. Although this process is viewed as the easier part, it required more work forces to enhance its efficiency in the required area hence enabling even the heaviest load to be elevated within any heights identified by masons. Much care was taken on developing the elevators so as not to lead to numerous lose of workers through accidents which leads to time wastage and unnecessary delays of the stipulated target.
The final important phase was the lowering of the required well shaped outer blocks into the base of the floor through wooden stairs to avoid face damaging. The capability of shaping the stone and cutting the edges into smooth and even texture displayed their prowess in the field of masonry and architecture. Smooth and texture with the best design helped the pyramids to live longer as denudation process through wind erosion would not have great effect on the site (Lehner 75).
The transformation of the great pyramids of ancient Egypt from 2620 B.C which lead to development of pyramids such as mastabas which reflected the rectangular and two side type of design which later was transformed into a Sakkara which had equilateral type o slanting sides. The pyramids were developed by different dynasties to enable the pharaohs or the well off families receives a decent burial through mummification at the time of death so as to prevent disturbance of the dead and other encroachment by unclean activities. Building of the pyramids gave the Egyptians a chance to exercise their prowess in masonry and architecture hence leading to development of instrument which made work easier such as sledge, wooden stairs and wedges. All this reveals the Egyptians prowess in constructing the ancient pyramids which reflect the seventh wonder of the modern world.