The Story of Building the Pyramids in Ancient Egyptian Civilization: Starting with Djoser and His Step Pyramid


The Old Kingdom spanned from the Third to the Sixth Dynasties (2686 BCE/2181 BCE). During this period, the power of the state grew significantly. King Djoser, the first king of the Third Dynasty, embarked on the construction of his Step Pyramid in Saqqara. Initially, he intended to build a mastaba-shaped tomb similar to those of his predecessors from the first and second dynasties. However, these mastabas evolved into approximately five stacked on top of each other, resulting in the first stone step pyramid in the country's history. Unfortunately, his successors were unable to complete their pyramids, likely due to the brevity of their reigns.

Little is known about King Huni, the first king of the Fourth Dynasty. However, his successor, Sneferu (2613-2589 BCE), demonstrated significant strength and progress. He single-handedly built three pyramids. The first was in the city of Medum, where he initially began with a step pyramid, later completing it as a full pyramid. The second, known as the Bent Pyramid or the Broken Pyramid, was constructed in Dahshur. It marked the first attempt to build a complete pyramid, though it did not turn out as intended. The third pyramid, known as the Red Pyramid in Dahshur, was the first complete pyramid in Egypt, paving the way for the construction of the Great Pyramids.

This achievement was realized during the reign of his successor, King Khufu (circa 2589-2566 BCE). Khufu built the largest pyramid and a complex of pyramids. The tallest building in the world for 3800 years, the original height of the Great Pyramid was 146.5 meters. However, Khufu's son and successor, Djedefre (circa 2566-2558 BCE), did not complete his pyramid in Abu Rawash. He was followed by Khafre (circa 2555-2532 BCE), who in his reign carved the colossal statue known as the Great Sphinx. Khafre also built a pyramid roughly equivalent in size to his father's. The temples associated with these pyramids were larger and more detailed than those of their predecessors.

The pyramid of Menkaure (2532-2503 BCE), the son of King Khafre, serves as an example of the beginning of the decline of royal authority.

This trend became even more apparent during the Fifth Dynasty (circa 2449-2487 BCE) and the Sixth Dynasty (circa 2345-1821 BCE). The last king of the Fifth Dynasty, Unas, ordered inscriptions inside his pyramid in Saqqara, known as the Pyramid Texts. These texts were the introduction to a famous series of texts known as the Book of the Dead. Their purpose was to assist the king in successfully transitioning to the afterlife and becoming a deity.

Starting from the Sixth Dynasty, it became evident that the authority of the king had deteriorated, among other factors. By the end of the long reign of its last king, Pepi II (circa 278-2184 BCE), Egypt was no longer under the control of a centralized government.

The Boston Celtics Achieve 30-Win Milestone this Season by Defeating the New Orleans Pelicans

Tragic Confirmation: Russian Investigative Committee Officially Confirms Death of Wagner Group Leader Yevgeny Prigozhin