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Transcript
Egyptian notes set 5
Amazing monuments
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Lying at the crossroads of Africa and Asia, Egypt’s location has been an important geographical
and political power since the beginning of civilization
This civilization was one of the greatest in the world
Massive monuments were tributes to great rulers as well as final resting places that were meant
to help the soul reach the afterlife
The pyramids have a rectangular base and four triangular sides, meeting in a single point at the
top
By using astronomy and watching the sun, the Egyptians were able to determine precise
directions
A pyramid faces either due north, south, east, or west
Over 80 pyramids have been found in Egypt along the Nile, all on the west bank where the sun
sets to pay tribute to Ra
Royal tombs
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According to the Egyptians, life after death was more important than their present lives
The Egyptians believe that burial sites especially royal tombs were very important
The most “spectacular” was the pyramids-huge stone tombs with four triangle shaped sides that
met in a point on top
Built the first pyramids in the old kingdom-largest ones built at this time
Largest pyramid is the great pyramid of Khufu near town of Giza-covers more than 13 acres at its
base and stands 481 feet high, took thousands of workers and more than 2 million limestone
blocks to build
Great pyramid of Khufu was a great example of Egyptian engineering--- the application of
scientific knowledge for practical purposes
Earliest pyramids did not have smooth sides
Egyptians began building the smooth sided pyramids in 2700 BC
The steps of these pyramids were filled and covered with limestone
The burial chambers were located deep inside the pyramid
After the pharaoh’s burial, workers sealed the passages to this room with large blocks
Massive projects required a huge labor force
The government paid the people working on the pyramids
Wages for working on construction projects were paid in goods such as grain instead of money
Historians believe that workers used brick ramps and strong wooden sleds to drag he stones up
the pyramid once at the building site
Significance of the pyramids
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Burial in a pyramid showed a pharaohs importance
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Both the size and shape of the pyramid were symbolic
Pointing to the sky above, the pyramid symbolized the pharaoh’s journey to the afterlife
The Egyptians believed the pharaoh, as their link to the gods, controlled everyone’s afterlife
To ensure that the pharaoh remains safe after death, the Egyptians sometimes wrote magical
spells and hymns are called pyramid texts
The first such text, addressed to Re(Ra) the sun god was carved into the pyramid of king Unashe was a pharaoh of the old kingdom
“RE, this Unas comes to you
A spirit indestructible…
Your son comes to you, this Unas
May you cross the sky united in the dark.
May you rise in light land [where] you shine?”
-from Pyramid text, utterance 217
The builders of Unas’s pyramid wanted the god Re to look after their leader’s spirit
Even after death, the Egyptian’s pharaoh was important to tem
The sphinx
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The sphinx has the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh
It is believed to be the pharaoh Khafre and his guardian spirit
Khafre was the son and successor of Khufu
Carved from the soft natural limestone nearby, it had disintegrated over the years
Not sure if sphinx tunnels or not
Some even claim that the sphinx was built by an advanced civilization that has since disappeared