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Pyramids Essay Examples

The Egyptians believed that their kings were gods.  Even after they had died, the

rulers continued to affect daily life through their supernatural powers.  In his new life in

the underworld, the king would need everything he needed while alive, and he needed his

home to last for eternity.

While alive, Egyptian kings lived in palace of mud-brick, wore linen roves, and

slept in wooden beds.  In their gentle climate, more substantial comforts were not

needed.  But eternity last a whole lot longer than life.  So the tombs of the kings needed

to be durable and well-supplied.  The tombs also needed to protect the body and its

supplies and gifts from thieves.  They also were the focus of the Egyptian religion and so

needed to be extremely visible.  The massive stone pyramid met all these criteria.

However, there was still the problem of supplying the king with essentials.  Since

entombing a never-ending supply of food and servants was not very practical, the

Egyptians decided on the principal of “substitution by means of a representation.”  Since

the dead king now existed in spirit, rather than physical form, he was not bound by

physical limitations.  A picture or word could feed him as well as a real slab of meat.

Servants did not have to be killed and laid around his tomb; statues could take their


Because the king was a god to his people, they needed to be able to come and

worship him.  But if his body were accessible to the whole nation, the king and his

treasures would be too accessible to robbers.  So, instead they built a statue resembling

the king which they placed in a temple open to the public.  His ka, or spirit could leave

the tomb and come live in his statue for awhile.  This way, the people’s prayers and gifts

could still be delivered while keeping him safe.


Herodotus, a Greek who wrote about the building of the pyramids long after they

had been built, claimed that the Great Pyramid took tens of thousands of men and in just

twenty years to make.  But even if those figures are not accurate, the construction of the

pyramids was an amazing feat.  The Egyptians had not learned to use the wheel or the

pulley and so lifted all of the stones using ramps.  The cut stone was edged along the

ramps on rollers, lubricated by only milk or water.  We do not know how many people

died as laborers for the pyramids, but we do know that most Egyptians would have been

eager to participate in the building: because the king would become a god who could

bless or curse their lives; they wanted to make sure he was comfortable and cared for and

able to come back and help them.

On the rocky plateau of Giza, ten miles southwest of the center of Cairo, stands

the Great Pyramid, the most majestic and most mysterious monument ever erected by the

hand of man (Adams).  The Great Pyramid is the largest stone building on earth, and the

last surviving wonder of the ancient world.  Its base covers just over thirteen acres, and it

is composed of some 2.3 million blocks of granite and limestone, weighing from 2.5 to

seventy tons apiece, which rise in two hundred and three layers to the height of a forty-

story building.  The Pyramid was originally covered with twenty one acres of polished,

marble-like casing stones, which, shining resplendently beneath the sun’s rays, earned for

it the ancient title “The Light.”

The Pyramid is an unrivaled feat of engineering and craftsmanship.  It is aligned

with the four cardinal points more accurately than any contemporary structure, including

the Meridian Building at Greenwich Observatory in London.  The three hundred and fifty

foot  long descending passage is so straight that it deviates from a central axis by less

than a quarter of an inch from side to side and only one tenth of an inch up and down.

The casing stones, some of which weighed over sixteen tons, are so perfectly shaped and


squared that the mortar-filled joint between them is just one fiftieth of an inch.

Egyptologist Sir Flinders Petrie described such phenomenal precision as the “finest

opticians work on a scale of acres”; work of this caliber is beyond the capabilities of

modern technology.  The casing stones show no tool marks and the corners are not even

slightly chipped.  The granite coffer in the King’s Chamber is cut out of a solid block of

hard red granite.  Manufacturing engineer Christopher Dunn rejects the theory that it

could have been cut and hollowed using bronze saws set with diamond cutting points,

because when pressure was applied, the diamonds would have worked their way into the

much softer copper, leaving the granite virtually unscathed.  In his opinion, the evidence

shows that the Egyptians possessed ultra-modern tools, including an ultrasonic tubular

drill that could cut granite five hundred ties faster than modern drills (Stecchini).

In addition to the Great Pyramid, there are two other large pyramids and six small

ones on the Giza plateau.  Most Egyptologists believe that the Great Pyramid was built

about four thousand and six hundred years ago by Khufu, the second king of the fourth

dynasty.  His son and successor, Djedefre, is thought to have begun the pyramid at Abu

Roash, five miles northwest of Giza; little remains of it today.  The next king, Khafre,

another of Khufu’s sons, is believed to have built the Second Pyramid of Giza, the second

largest stone building in the world, and Menkaure, the smaller Third Pyramid.  Although

these two pyramids are very impressive, they do not match the craftsmanship of the Great

Pyramid.  Menkaure may have been preceded by Nebka, who is thought to have planned

the large, unfinished pyramid at Zawyat Al Aryan, a few miles south of Giza (Edwards).

The Great Pyramid of Giza is so enormous and yet of such immaculate

workmanship that its construction would tax the skills and resources even of today’s

technology to breaking point.  Standing on the boundary of the Sahara Desert and the

fertile Nile, this colossal monument has been called ” a masterpiece of technical skill and


engineering ability”, “the greatest single building ever erected by mankind” (West).  The

conventional belief that the Pyramid was built in just twenty years by tens of thousands of

peasants using only simple tools to serve as a grandiose tomb for a megalomaniac

pharaoh, King Khufu, who lived about four thousand and six hundred years ago.  To

complete the Pyramid in only twenty years would require laying one block of stone every

two minutes.

Closely connected with the mysteries of the Great Pyramid is the Great Sphinx,

the most spectacular sculpture on earth.  Carved out of the natural rock of the Giza

plateau, the Sphinx is two hundred and forty feet long, sixty six feet high, and thirteen

feet and eight inches at its widest.  Orthodox Egyptologists believe that it was carved

during the reign of Khafre, around 2550 BC.  It is supposedly a portrait of him, though

some people think it has more of a female appearance, or that the features resemble those

of sub-Saharan Africans.  There is now strong scientific evidence that the Sphinx

predates the reign of Khafre by many millennia (West).  Following a detailed

examination of the severe, undulating erosion on the body of the Sphinx, Dr. Robert

Schoch, together with other geologist and geophysicists, concluded that the Sphinx has

been weathered Mainly by rainfall before the Sahara became a desert, and must therefor

be at least seven to nine thousand years old.

The great pyramids of Egypt were built following a second migration to Egypt

some eighty to hundred thousand years ago (Dick).  Blavatsky quotes an ancient

Commentary which says that the great pyramids were built at the beginning of a

processional cycle, “when Dhruva was at his lowest culmination, and the Krittika looked

over his head to watch the work of the giants”, and she identifies the polestar in question

as Polaris.  Dick interpreted this obscure statement to mean that the first pyramids were

built when Polaris, the polestar at the time the Commentary was written, was furthest


from the actual pole at the time the Pyramid was built, and was on the same meridian

both with the latter and Alcyone, the latter being higher than the pole (Dick).  He

calculated that the last time such an event occurred was eighty six thousand, nine

hundred and sixty years ago, during the Age of Cancer, in which it appears a total of

three times.  This is in agreement with Blavatsky’s statement that “the Egyptians have on

their Zodiacs irrefutable proofs of records having embraced more than about eighty seven

thousand years” (Purucker).

Calculations by Stellar reveal a number of potentially significant astronomical

alignments for the great pyramids during the processional cycle that began eighty six

thousand, nine hundred and sixty years ago.  There appears to have been a master plan

from the very beginning, because in the case of pyramids that seems to have …..been built in

several stages, the features that indicate the completion dates belong to an earlier phase

of construction.

The great pyramids include the two huge pyramids at Dahshur, seventeen miles

south of Giza, which are usually attributed to Khufu’s father Sneferu.  Just as the position

of the three Giza pyramids reflects that of the three stars of Orion’s Belt, so the Bent and

Red Pyramids of Dahshur correspond to Aldebaran and Epsilon Tauri respectively, with

the Nile representing the Milky Way.  The Bent Pyramids is so called because its lower

part has a steeper slope than its upper part.  This symbolizes duality, as do the two

entrances, which lead to two separate sets of chambers (West).  Furthermore, both

entrance passages change their angle of descent part-way.  The lower part of the pyramid

may have been built eighty six thousand, five hundred years ago, when the vernal

equinox passed from Cancer into Gemini, and the lower part of the northern descending

passage was aligned with Nekkar, the then polestar, in the constellation Bootes (West).

The “Second” Pyramid of Giza is unique in having two northern entrances.


Again, this is a sign of duality, and there may be a link with Gemini.  the Bottom few

courses of this pyramid, up to a height of about thirty feet, are built of gigantic blocks,

similar to the core masonry blocks used in the megalithic Giza temples, which were

quarried from around the Sphinx.  Since the temple alongside the Second Pyramid is

linked to a temple near the Sphinx by a causeway, the lower part of the pyramid was

probably built at the same time as the Sphinx.  Several writers, including the astronomer

Sir Norman Lockyer, have suggested that the Spins is half lion, half virgin, and

symbolizes the junction of the constellations Leo and Virgo.  Significantly, at the same

time as the summer solstice passes from Virgo into Leo, the spring equinox passes from

Gemini into Taurus.  The last time this event occurred was around six thousand, five

hundred and eighty years ago, but if we go back a further three processional cycles, we

arrive at an epoch eighty four thousand, three hundred and forty years ago.  At this time

the lower descending passage of the Second Pyramid would have been aligned with

Lambda Bootes, the previous polestar of the era (Lockyer).

Alnitak, the star represented by the Great Pyramid, coincided with the vernal

equinox eighty three thousand, eight hundred and sixty year ago, and at this time the

Pyramid’s descending passage would have been aligned with the then polestar, Alkaid.

The lower part of the Pyramid may date from this time, including the subterranean

chamber and the descending passage.  The Second Pyramid may have been completed

around eighty three thousand, seven hundred and seventy years ago, when Alnilam, the

star that it represents, coincided with the vernal equinox, and its upper descending

passage was aligned with Alkaid.  Some seventy years later, Mintaka, the star represented

by the Third Pyramid, coincided with the equinox and the descending passage pointed at

Alkaid.  According to an ancient Arab inscription, when the Great Pyramid and Second


Pyramid were built, the Lyre was in Cancer.  At the dates mentioned here, the celestial

meridian of Vega, the brightest star in the Lyre, would have intersected the ecliptic in

Cancer and Capricorn.  The causeway leading to the Great Pyramid and Second Pyramid

point fourteen degrees to the north and south of due east respectively, and at this epoch,

this exactly one-third of the angle between due east and the sunrise points at the summer

and winter solstices (Lockyer).

The construction of the Red Pyramid of Dahshur may have begun around eighty

two thousand, seven hundred and ten years ago, when Aldebaran coincided with the

vernal equinox, and the descending passage was aligned with the then polestar, Mizar.

The upper part of the Bent pyramid may have been built about two hundred years later,

when Epsilon Tauri coincided with the vernal equinox and the upper part of the northern

descending passage was aligned with the polestar, Alioth.  The combined angle of the

lower and upper parts of the unique western descending passage of this pyramid equals

the number of degrees that the equinox would have moved through the zodiac during the

long period between the pyramid’s commencement and completion.

The bulk of the Great Pyramid may have been built toward the end of the

processional cycle that began eighty six thousand, nine hundred and sixty years ago.

What is commonly called the Grand Gallery was in ancient times known to some as the

Hall of the Orbit, and Dick suggested that given the extraordinary astronomical

knowledge of the Pyramid’s builders, it was probably built to lie in the exact plane of the

earth’s orbit at that time.  The ascending passage to the Hall of the Orbit is inclined at

about twenty six point seven degrees Celsius, and the Hall of the Orbit at about twenty

six point twenty two degrees Celsius, corresponding to a tilt of the earth’s axis of thirty

three point fifty four degrees Celsius and thirty three point thirty nine degrees Celsius

respectively.  The former tilt refers to a date of about sixty seven thousand, eight hundred


years ago, and the latter to a date of about sixty six thousand, one hundred and eighty

years ago.

Sixty seven thousand, eight hundred years ago the summer solstice occurred in

Capricorn, the Goat.  One of the oldest gods of Egypt is Khnum, who is depicted with a

goat’s head, and is associated with Capricorn.  A goat also appears in the hieroglyphs

reading “Khnum-Khufu”, sometimes abbreviated to “Khufu”, which appears on some of

the stone blocks used in the Great Pyramid, and are usually assumed to refer to the

fourth-dynasty pharaoh Khufu.  Capricorn is found at the head of the rectangular zodiac

in the Temple of Dendera.  The present temple dates from the first century BC, but it is

built on the site of a succession of earlier temples.  It is oriented seventy one point five

degrees north of east, and according to an ancient inscription, when the original temple

was laid out, the king directed his gaze to Ursa major (Lockyer).  the latitude of Dendera

is the same as the angle of the ascending passage of the Great Pyramid, and at the date

represented by this angle, Dubhe, the brightest star in Ursa Major, was about seventy one

point five degrees from the celestial pole.  At this time the earth’s north pole would have

pointed near to the neck of Cygnus.  Dick suggests that the Pyramid was built in space

towards which the sun appears to be moving.  Astronomers estimate that the solar apex is

currently located near the border of the Lyre and Hercules.

Far from being an “idle and silly display of royal wealth” (Wake), or “a dead end

in massive stone construction” (Blavatsky), the Great Pyramid was a majestic temple of

initiation and stands as en enduring monument to the wisdom of the initiated adepts who

designed it and supervised its construction.  The pyramid shape symbolizes the

emanation of matter from spirit; it “conveys the idea that all things had their origin in

spirit-evolution having originally begun from above and proceeded downward”

(Blavatsky).  It is interesting to note that the Great Pyramid was never entirely completed.


Pyramids were generally crowned with a granite or basalt capstone, sometimes gilded to

represent the sun.  The capstone of the Great Pyramid, however, is missing, and there is

evidence to suggest that it was never added.  Another novel feature of the Pyramid is the

existence of four corner sockets cut into the bedrock a little outside the original corners;

the Pyramid was therefore built slightly smaller than the full design.  The unfinished

Pyramid can be regarded as a symbol of our unfinished evolution (Blavatsky).

Similar symbolism can be found on the reverse side of the United States seal,

which shows a pyramid without the capstone, with a blazing eye in a triangle above it;

the inscription at the top means “he has looked with favor on the beginnings”, and the one

at the bottom means “a new order of ages”.  This design, which has appeared on the

dollar bill since nineteen thirty five, reflects the desire of the founders of the United

States to establish a new order in the west (Judge).  The four corners of each side of the

truncated pyramid can be interpreted as symbolizing the lower quaternary, the four lower

aspects of the sevenfold human constitution, which constitute the limited, personal self.

The eye in the triangle above it is the eye of Hours, standing for the upper triad, the three

aspects of our spiritual self.  The aim of human evolution is to “so purify the Lower

Quaternary that it shall vibrate in unison with the Upper Triad” (Blavatsky).  That is, to

refine our lower nature so that it can manifest the nobler qualities of our higher self, our

inner Buddha or Christ (Blavatsky).

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