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The Abusir Pyramids


            The pyramids of Egypt are amongst the seven wonders of world. Historians, archeologists, and architects are still baffled as to how such great structures were built 4000 years ago in the absence of the latest technology available.
             Although remarkable in structure, the purpose of the pyramids was not architectural but rather, religious. The Egyptians believed that all living people were given a ka. The ka was in essence a person's double, it was the life force and at death it parted from the body (Wisseman 9). It is for this reason that there was such extensive provision for the body, for the after life was to make certain that the ka had returned home.┬áThe Egyptians also believed that the ka was sustained if the flesh were preserved against hunger, violence and decay. Therefore, the Egyptians offered food and drink offerings to the dead. Moreover, the pyramids of Egypt were another way in which the Egyptians sought stability as a means to deathlessness. The stones were piled up with extreme patience as the pyramids were meant to have permanence and strength. The Egyptians reasoned that if people need the protection of buildings while alive, they also needed it after death. .
             Although the pyramids had similar function, the actual size, structure and interior design of each pyramid served as a representation of that Pharaoh and his ideology. Scholars claim that in the fourth dynasty, the massive pyramids of Giza were built through cruel and inhumane labor. Herodotus and Diodorus describe Khufu (the first Great Pyramid builder) as a Pharaoh that "compelled tens of thousands of men to work on his tomb, brought misery to the country, and shut down temples. Herodotus claimed [further] that Khufueven forced his daughter to prostitute herself to help finance the building" (Mieroop 75). Khafra, Khufu's son and builder of the second Great Pyramid, was portrayed in a similar light as his father.


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