Egyptian Architecture Research Paper

Architecture leaves monumental footprints for future generations to enjoy. Egypt is known for its massive pyramids and the enormous statues and sculptures that helped shape what the world is today. The land of Egypt is home to one of the Seven Wonders of the World, The Great Pyramid of Giza. It is also known for some of the most famous pharaohs of the time such as King Tut and Ramses the Third. Millions of people travel from across the world just to see the brilliant architecture of Egypt which includes the pyramids, religious landmarks, and the palaces and temples.

Some of the greatest pieces of architecture in Egypt can be found in the form of Pyramids. One of the most famous examples is The Pyramid of Giza. Taking nearly one whole dynasty to build, this 455 feet tall pyramid still stands strong in the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Necropolis is located in Cairo and is home to three of the most well-known pyramids: The Pyramid of Giza, Menkaure’s Pyramid, and the Complex of Khafre. All three of these pyramids are dedicated to Khufu and the memory of his rule. The Giza Pyramid was built by Cheops, also known as Khufu, the second king of the fourth dynasty of Ancient Egypt.

Egyptologists say that the Pyramid of Giza took nearly 20 years to build because of the elaborate designs. Two million and three hundred thousand blocks make up this enormous structure, and when broken up among nearly 20 years, they built nearly 10 blocks per hour. Many can get confused but the Great Pyramid, Pyramid of Khufu, and the Pyramid of Cheops are all the same pyramid just with different titles. Another famous pyramid also part of the Giza Necropolis is Menkaure’s Pyramid.

It is one of the shorter pyramids, about 200 feet tall, and unlike the others in the Giza Necropolis, the ase layer of Menkaure’s Pyramid is made of granite instead of limestone. Egyptologists predict that there was not enough money to expand the height so that is why Menkaure’s pyramid is one-tenth the size of the Great Pyramid. As a consequence of his sudden and early death, Menkaure’s Pyramid was likely finished by his successor, Shepseskaf. This is why the majority of the pyramid is made of mud bricks rather than the granite the base layer contains. In the mid 1800’s, excavators found a sarcophagus in the pyramid and sent it to England to be stud However, the ship sank taking the unknown body with it.

Khafre, the son of Khufu, had plenty of money to build his elaborate sanctuary; so elaborate that it is referred to as the Complex of Khafre because not only does it have a pyramid, but it is surrounded by an entire complex. This complex has an entryway, a courtyard, storage chambers: everything a Temple would have. In front of the Pyramid of Khafre is the Sphinx, the human-headed lion that looks like a Pharaoh. All of these Pyramids contribute to the wondrous milestones that celebrate the greatness of many pharaohs. In addition to the pyramids of Egypt, other types of architecture are the religious landmarks.

The Sphinx, Obelisks, and the Valley of the Kings are all different types of religious landmarks of Egypt. The Sphinx is a religious landmark representing the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion and is located southeast of the Pyramids. When looked at, one can tell that the Sphinx used to have a nose but somewhere along the line, it went missing. Napoleon’s troops have long been blamed with blowing off the nose of the Sphinx in the 18th century, but a 15th-century Arab historian reported that it had disappeared in his time (National Geographic).

The Sphinx is one of the two Seven Wonders of the World that are still standing today. Made of enormous blocks of limestone, The Sphinx is about as tall as The White House. The name “Sphinx” was given by the ancient Greeks. The original name for this massive structure is Hor-em-akhet which translates to “Horus in the Horizon”. The Egyptian God of the sky is named Horus (The Icon). The beard of the Sphinx eventually crumbled over time although, in the British Museum, one can visit to see a piece of it. The Obelisks were more important religious landmarks that helped shape the religion of Egypt.

These skinny, tall pillars of stone stand, usually in paris, throughout the land of Egypt and throughout the world. They are usually constructed of red marble from the quarries of Aswan. There are minor obelisks that stand in front of Temples, and more famous, major obelisks that are dedicated to famous rulers such as Hatshepsut. Her ninety-seven foot obelisk took seven months to carve and put into position. The Valley of the Kings may be one of the most famous religious landmarks known to Egypt. This valley, located west of the Nile River, was never meant to be discovered.

It was the royal burial ground for key leaders, some as famous as King Tut. These tombs were loaded with jewelry and treasures to prepare and guide them to the afterlife. Through the help of archaeologists and tomb robbers, more than 62 tombs have been discovered, and that was just before 1922 (Handwerk 1). Without the care that the ancient Egyptians took to preserve their memories and religious landmarks, the information that we have today would not be the same. Another crucial element of the architecture are the palaces and temples located throughout the vast land.

Pyramids are where the specific bodies of pharaohs are buried while the palaces and the temples are where they went to pray, reflect, and they represented all of the Gods in which they had so much faith. The Palace of Ramses III and the Temple of Karnak are just two examples of how dedicated the Egyptians were to making sure that their kings and rulers were satisfied in the afterlife. Ramses III was the second pharaoh of the 20th dynasty who ended his rule because of financial troubles. The Palace of Ramses III, located at Medinet Habu, contains the Temple of Ramses III, Chapels, Roman Courtyards, and much more.

This is classified as a palace because it contains the not only the Temple of a well-known ruler, but also because of what surrounds it. Similarly, the Temple of Karnak is located in Luxor and is the biggest religious egyptian building ever constructed. This temple is more of a complex because many pharaohs made their mark by adding an obelisk or carving their name in one of the stones. One of the most memorable pharaohs to use the Complex of Karnak was Pharaoh Amun who worshipped in the Complex daily. The Temple of Karnak and the Palace of Ramses III were both incredible forms of their devotion to their Gods.

Egyptian Architecture is a huge tourist attraction and overall succes and peaceful places for the pharaohs to lie. The pyramids, religious landmarks, and palaces and temples all contribute to a highly populated country with much history to be considered. The architecture is irreplaceable and has so much value and character within it. Egyptologists are so successful and have so much knowledge of ancient Egypt because of the safekeeping and respect that the common people had for pharoahs. Without pyramids, religious landmarks, and palaces and temples, the knowledge of Egypt from thousands of years ago would be severely different.