Visiting Egypt, why are the Pyramids so Special?
There are two types of pyramids; the first is called a step pyramid. This type of pyramid is built with several edges that go all around the structure until it reaches the top. The edges were put in place to help the deceased pharaohs climb to the highest ledge and meet the sun God. The second type of pyramid is the most common and simply consists of all four sides slanting completely down with no edges. When the construction of pyramids was first underway, they were designed to hold the bodies of great pharaohs, family members, and loyal servants who were buried in the pyramid with smaller rooms beside the large chamber the pharaoh rested in.
Along with the bodies, treasures were buried to help the pharaohs in the world of the dead. This brought many thieves who wanted nothing more than to get their hands on the treasures and become very wealthy. To retaliate, booby traps and mazes were added to the structure of the pyramid so that thieves would meet a painful death or get lost within the mazes and never be seen again. Curses were also used to try to keep thieves away from the tombs. Little chants were written on walls here and there and were made to scare people away.
As soon as a pharaoh became the ruler, he began ordering construction of his own personal pyramid, because as you can imagine it could take a good amount of time to build a pyramid. The pyramids were built tall so that the pharaohs could find their way to the Gods above. The pharaohs would have the people they ruled over, make it for them and in turn for the labor, goods were traded. For example, if you were a good hard worker you could earn food for your family or even housing. However, if you were considered a slave,as many were, you earned less and were considered lucky to be able to even touch the pharaohs great pyramid.
When pharaohs were buried inside the pyramids, they were not simply placed in the tombs, they were mummified first. When someone is mummified, to put things simply, their tongue is cut out along with all organs (aside from the heart) and the body is then drained of all fluids until it dries out, then it is stuffed with salt before finally it is wrapped in material and preserved in the pyramid. Depending on the pharaohs beliefs they could be mummified with their mouth open or closed.
If it was open, it was to allow easy breathing when the spirit crossed over to the world of the dead (it is also the reason myths of mummies haunting the pyramid they were buried in came to be.) The pharaohs were mummified because Egyptians believed since the human body needed a soul to live, the dead human body needed a soul to make it to the world of the dead and if the body was mummified the soul would last for eternity.
In conclusion, pyramids are structures built to house the spirits of dead pharaohs and all who were loyal to the pharaohs during their lifetime. They are believed to be portals to the world of the dead. Along with bodies, treasures and booby traps are housed within the large structures. Pyramids are one of the seven wonders of the world and are special because they draw attention from all who hear about them!
Written by : Shannon Garcia, United States
Edited by: Rajesh Bihani ( Find me on Google+ )