May 14, 2012

Ancient Egyptian Pyramids Part 1 and Archaeologists

Egyptian Pyramids
The Pyramid Age of Egypt began with the Third Dynasty and ended with die Sixth Dynasty. The dating of the thirty-one dynasties of the kings of Egypt in Manetho’s History of Egypt has been generally accepted by Egyptologists. The thirty one dynasties have been grouped into nine main periods as a convenience in describing the most important changes undergone in Egyptian history.

The nine main periods of dynasties, with approximate dates are as follows:

Ancient Egyptian Pyramids
Dynastic Periods
  • 3100-2686 B.C. Early Dynastic Period (1st and 2nd Dynasties)
  • 2686-2181 B.C. Old Kingdom (3rd to 6th Dynasties)
  • 2181-2133 B.C. First Intermediate Period (7th to 10th Dynasties)
  • 2133-1786 B.C. Middle Kingdom (11th and 12th Dynasties)
  • 1786-1567 B.C. Second Intermediate Period (13th to 17th Dynasties)
  • 1567-1080 B.C. New Kingdom (18th to 80th Dynasties)
  • 1080-664 B.C. Late New Kingdom (21th to 25th Dynasties)
  • 664-525 B.C. Saite Period 26th Dynasties
  • 525-332 B.C. Late Period  (13th to 17th Dynasties)
According to I. E. S. Edwards in The Pyramids of Egypt.
During the Pyramid Age, approximately eighty pyramids were built. Many of the presently known Pyramids have been reduced to nothing more than sand and rubble, but they are still recognizable by the archaeologist as once having been pyramids.

Almost every pyramid was built on the fringe of the desert west of the Nile in the Neighborhood of Memphis. Memphis was probably designed as the seat of government by Menes, the first dynastic ruler of Egypt. Originally, there were two kingdoms in Egypt. The Upper Kingdom covered the area from Aswan to Memphis; the Lower Kingdom extended from Memphis to the Delta area. As tribute to the unification of the kingdoms by Menes, the pharaohs included in their titles that of “King of Upper and Lower Egypt.”

The development of an official religion begins in the Pyramid Age. It is thought to derive from the cult (of unknown origin) of a temple with a powerful priesthood. The most sacred object within this temple was the benben, most probably a conically shaped stone thought to symbolize the primeval mound which emerged from primordial waters at the creation of the universe. These priests are credited with evolving nine deities known as the Great Ennead of Heliopolis.

The worship of two of these deities developed into cults, which exercised great influence on the religion of the pyramid builders: one was the sun cult and the other was the cult of Osiris. These were neither related in origin or in their main theological conception. Re was primarily a god of the living; Osiris was basically the god of the dead and of the region of the dead. Both gods shared an important feature, that of survival after death. Osiris, after being murdered, was restored to life through magic. Re, or the sun, whose daily disappearance past the horizon was considered as his death, was reborn as the sunrise each morning. In the experiences of these gods, the Egyptians found reason to hope for their own survival. However the continuation of life after physical death was not a natural consequence and was something which could only be assured by observing a proper ritual through which the dead were supplied with all the material help required by the gods for their own survival. According to Egyptologists, this is the basis for the need of providing the dead with a tomb and a burial conforming in every essential element with an accepted pattern.

Despite the exacting attention and detail given to all practical matters, the Egyptians never fully evolved a clear and exact conception of the afterlife. They believed that each individual was composed of a body and a spirit, and that the spirit remained alive if the dead body was preserved and provided with necessary sustenance. They regarded the afterlife as a kind of mirror of this world. Where the spirits dwelt after life was unknown, but they are thought to have gone to a kind of underworld, entrance to which was through the pit of the tomb, in which the dead were buried.

Egyptian Pyramids Archaeologists :

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