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Important Terms / Definitions


Important Terms:

  • Mastaba: Was a flatroofed, mudbricked, rectangular building with sloping sides that marked the burial site of many eminemt egyptians.
  • Mummification: The practice in which the Egyptians buried their dead. The focus on mummification was preserving the body for the afterlife. The Egyptians strongly believed in this and went as far as to be buried with their worldly possessions so they will have it with them in the afterlife. In short, the organs were removed (all except the heart) and placed in special jars for safeguarding (canopic jars). The brain was removed through the nose and the heart was kept inside the body as it was thought of as the soul of the person. The body was dried out for 70 days with special salts and then wrapped in oil soaked linens. The body was then placed in a sarcophagus (coffin) and was buried in a tomb. These Mummies were placed in the Pyramids until the their construction was stopped.
  • Great Pyramid: This was a massive stone monument built for King Khufu in 2600 B.C.E. This was supposed to immortalize the King in stone and have his name live on forever in history by the people. The pyramid was constructed at Giza and is 146m tall. It is comprised of 2.5 million stone blocks each weighing an approx. 2.5 t. It was constructed during King Khufu’s 23-year reign. This was the biggest pyramid of the three at Giza.
  • Golden Age: The golden age is when most pyramids were built and is when their unique structure was first invented. Perhaps the greatest manifestation of the Egyptians' beliefs in the afterlife is the Great Pyramid, built at Giza by King Khufu around 2500 BC. Just over a century before this, the first ever pyramid, King Djoser's Step Pyramid, had been built, far exceeding the previous types of royal tombs. These early tombs were essentially made up of an underground burial complex in one location - with a large rectangular enclosure half a mile or so away, where ceremonies for the dead were carried out. Most of then had lain at Abydos, in the southern part of Egypt, but a few had been built at Saqqara, just south of modern Cairo. It was at this northern site that Djoser built his Step Pyramid, which in many ways combined the old separate elements in one location - and placed a pyramid of stepped form, towering above them, to form a 'stairway to heaven'.Pyramids became straight-sided under Khufu's father, Seneferu, the new form apparently representing the rays of the sun. Seneferu's accession marked the beginning of the golden age of the pyramids. The greatest builder of them all, he erected three examples, with bases ranging from 144 to 220m (472 to 721ft) square. His multiple pyramids seem to have resulted both from a rapid evolution of religious concepts during his long reign, and a structural failure that led to the abandonment of the 'Bent' pyramid at Dahshur. The 'Red' pyramid, at the same site, became his eventual resting place. However, for sheer unique mass, Khufu trumped them all with the Great Pyramid at Giza, 230m (754ft) square and 146m (479ft) high


Sarcophagus of an egyptian Pharoah!

Mummified body. These were placed in the pyramids for prottection!

The "step pyramid" built by Imhotep was not only complex on the outside but was also very complex on the inside. It had many secret chambers, fake chambers and traps for any grave robers.

Imhotep the great builder and architect created many monumental statues, but was most famous for his "Step Pyramid". He was the only non- pharoah in Ancient Egyptian history to be recorded and to be a revered figure. Many historians say that Imhotep almost had more power than the Pharoah ( Djoser ).



(diagram of evolved Mastaba, now turned into Imhoteps "step pyramid", from bottom of the page)



# description of Mastaba on Bottom of page!



Fact: This is what the origional Mastaba looked like, but Imhotep was the first to expand the Mastaba to it's Pyramid apperence (diagram on top of page)