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The mastaba was the standard type of tomb in pre-dynastic and early dynastic Egypt for both the pharaoh and the social elite. The ancient Egyptian city of Abydos was the location chosen for many of the cenotaphs. The royal cemetery was at Saqqara, overlooking the capital of early times, Memphis.
Mastabas evolved over early dynastic period. During the 1st Dynasty, a mastaba was constructed simulating house plans of several rooms, a central one containing the sarcophagus and others surrounding it to receive the abundant funerary offerings. The whole was built in a shallow pit above which a brick superstructure covered a broad area. The typical of 2nd and 3rd Dynasty mastabas was the 'stairway mastaba', the tomb chamber of which sank deeper than before and was connected to the top with inclined shaft and stairs.
Even after pharaohs began to construct pyramids for their tombs in the 3rd Dynasty, members of the nobility continued to be buried in mastaba tombs. This is especially evident on the Giza Plateau, where hundreds of mastaba tombs have been constructed alongside the pyramids.
In the 4th Dynasty (ca. 2613 to 2494 BC), rock-cut tombs began to appear. These were tombs built into the rock cliffs in Upper Egypt in an attempt to further thwart grave robbers. Mastabas, then, were developed with the addition of offering chapel and vertical shaft. 5th Dynasty mastabas had elaborate chapels consisting of several rooms, columned hall and 'serdab'. The actual tomb chamber was built below the south-end of mastaba, connected with a slanting passage to a stairway emerging in the center of columned hall or court.
By the time of the New Kingdom (which began with the 18th Dynasty around 1550 BC), "the mastaba becomes rare, being largely superseded by the independent pyramid chapel above a burial chamber."
The Pyramid of Djoser (or Zoser), or step pyramid (kbhw-ntrw in Egyptian) is an archeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. It was built during the 27th century BC for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser by Imhotep, his vizier. It is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration.
This first Egyptian pyramid consisted of six mastabas (of decreasing size) built atop one another in what were clearly revisions and developments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62 metres (203 ft) tall, with a base of 109 m × 125 m (358 ft × 410 ft) and was clad in polished white limestone. The step pyramid (or proto-pyramid) is considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction, although the nearby enclosure known as Gisr el-mudir would seem to predate the complex.
The pyramid at Meidum is thought to originally have been built for Huni, the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty, and was continued by Sneferu. The architect was a successor to the famous Imhotep, the inventor of the stone built pyramid. The collapse of the pyramid is likely due to the modifications made to Imhotep's pyramid design as well as the decisions taken twice during construction to extend the pyramid. Because of its unusual appearance, the pyramid is called el-heram el-kaddaab — (Pseudo Pyramid) in Egyptian Arabic.
The second extension turned the original step pyramid design into a true pyramid by filling in the steps with limestone encasing. While this approach is consistent with the design of the other true pyramids, Meidum was affected by construction errors. Firstly, the outer layer was founded on sand and not on rock, like the inner layers. Secondly, the inner step pyramids had been designed as the final stage. Thus the outer surface was polished and the platforms of the steps were not horizontal, but fell off to the outside. This severely compromised the stability and is likely to have caused the collapse of the Meidum Pyramid in a downpour while the building was still under construction.
The Bent Pyramid is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the royal necropolis of Dahshur, approximately 40 kilometres south of Cairo, built under the Old Kingdom Pharaoh Sneferu (c. 2600 BC). A unique example of early pyramid development in Egypt, this was the second pyramid built by Sneferu.
The Bent Pyramid rises from the desert at a 54-degree inclination, but the top section is built at the shallower angle of 43 degrees, lending the pyramid its very obvious 'bent' appearance.
Archaeologists now believe that the Bent Pyramid represents a transitional form between step-sided and smooth-sided pyramids (see Step pyramid). It has been suggested that due to the steepness of the original angle of inclination the structure may have begun to show signs of instability during construction, forcing the builders to adopt a shallower angle to avert the structure's collapse. This theory appears to be borne out by the fact that the adjacent Red Pyramid, built immediately afterwards by the same Pharaoh, was constructed at an angle of 43 degrees from its base
originally posted by: Leonidas
Nope. Ben Carson *REALLY* knows what the pyramids were for...
Ben Carson Says Pyramids were built to store grain
Wow, thanks for clearing that up, Ben.
In fact, it's nearly impossible to have a grown discussion about this topic on ATS,
"Each ziggurat was part of a temple complex that included a courtyard, storage rooms, bathrooms, and living quarters, around which a city was built."
"The Mesopotamians believed that these pyramid temples connected heaven and earth. In fact, the ziggurat at Babylon was known as Etemenankia or "House of the Platform between Heaven and Earth"."
The Mesopotamian ziggurats were not places for public worship or ceremonies. They were believed to be dwelling places for the gods and each city had its own patron god. Only priests were permitted on the ziggurat or in the rooms at its base.. The priests were very powerful members of Sumerian society.
In Sumerian mythology, Eridu was the home of the Abzu temple of the god Enki
According to the Sumerian kinglist Eridu was the first city in the World. The opening line reads, "When kingship from heaven was lowered, the kingship was in Eridu."
originally posted by: Rosinitiate
It is entirely possible that the "Great" Pyramid were built in the "1st times", only to receive renovations during the time it was supposed to have been built. That of course is neither here nore there as the discussion of the OP is geared towards the "why" as evidenced in the OP, I.e. Sarcophagi.
Seeing how I'm not an Egyptologist, I'll just say from a layman perspective, I can see how the Egyptians would have marveled ad such a grand site and spent several generations learning to emulate the construction of them as a place to honor and revere their pharoahs.
originally posted by: redchad
Interesting but what about the granite coffer
The granite coffer in the “King’s Chamber” is too big to fit through the passages and so it must have been put in place during construction.
The coffer was made out of a block of solid granite. This would have required bronze saws 8-9 ft. long set with teeth of sapphires. Hollowing out of the interior would require tubular drills of the same material applied with a tremendous vertical force.