One of the greatest pyramids was made by King Khufu. If you don't believe it, one of the pyramids from this era covers 13 acres and is about as tall as a 40 story building. Imagine building that without any tractors or cranes, just humans and camels.
The first pyramid was built in 2700 B.C. The designer, Imhoptep, did it so he could please King Joser. King Joser had wanted his body to be safe from the tomb robbers. After deep thought Imhoptep came up with the step pyramid. Once designed, the step pyramid looked like one of those haystacks farmers make around Halloween that you can go on. Imhoptep thought it would work, but after King Joser was buried the robbers still found a way into his tomb.
After that the Egyptians tried many other things like making the pyramids bigger. Then there was King Cheops when the Great Pyramid was built. It was designed around magic because Cheops believed in magic. It had secret passage ways and was called the giant house of mystery.
They say it took twenty years to make and over 100,000 men, women, and children spent some time on the pyramid. They had to cut the stone and carry the pieces to the Nile river. On the way to the Nile they had to cross a desert where thousands of workers died. Some of the stones were taller than the people carrying them. Then they were put on rafts and boats and floated down the river to the Valley of the Pyramids.
The Pyramid was basically a giant maze. There were long and short passage ways, and walks and staircases led to rooms. There were also ones that led nowhere for the grave robbers. The King's tomb was not at the bottom but towards the top with the Queen's chamber below. There were also rooms for the priests and Cheop's riches.
The pyramids that came after that were not as great and didn't last because they were made of sand and stone unlike the beautiful limestone that was used on Cheop's pyramid.
It took one of the first recorded archaeologists, Howard Carver, many years to find King Tut's tomb. When he and his team found it, it looked like someone had already been there, but they still went on to see what was beyond the door. Once in they found a golden throne, beautiful statues, and vases, and more treasures. Carter looked throughout the things, but did not find the king's tomb. After hours of searching Carter was ready to give up when one of the workers found a door. It was behind two statues. Once he saw the door he saw that someone had been there too. Then another worker shouted, "a hole!" Carter ran over. The hole had been behind a couch. Through the hole there were tools and many signs someone had been there before.
Then Carter got some bad news. The Egyptian government was calling off the search. After weeks of pleading he got the search back. Once back on track a worker discovered a chariot. They found a total of four chariots.
Carter still wasn't satisfied. They retraced their steps back to the door behind the two statues. Carter then made a hole in the door and peered through. He saw another door, this one made of gold. They broke through both doors only to find a room filled with pictures and another door. Carter slowly opened that door and he was in the burial room. He was sure no thieves had been there before. Later it was discovered that room was Tut's family burial room. Carter looked over the room and found another door after he was sure Tut was not buried there. Once in that room he found a box with gods on it.
After that the dig was stopped for a while. When Carter continued he found four coffins and began opening them. This took three months. In the fourth coffin they found a gold mask that was covering a head and shoulders. Carter thought once again he had found Tut. After removing the mask they were looking at the mummy of Tut. Another scientist at the site called Dr. Douglas Derry unwrapped the layers of cloth. Each layer was covered with gold jewelry. At last they were all looking at King Tut. Derry found out that the Egyptians used iron like the Greeks, therefore the Egyptians had modern tools.
When the tomb was to open to the public people were still scared of "the Mummy's Curse." Many people thought that for these reasons: 13 of the 20 people that worked on Tut's tomb had died, and doctors could not explain the deaths. No one ever found out why they died though.
| Daily Life, Food, Animals, Clothes | Timeline | Pyramids | Medicine |
| Activities | References | Links | Glossary |
Back To Home Page