Uncover the Mysteries of Ancient Egyptian Pyramids



9 Questions

What is the oldest monumental structure constructed of dressed masonry in the world?

What is the name for a pyramid in Egyptian language?

What is the largest Egyptian pyramid and the only remaining wonder of the ancient world?

What is the shape of pyramids thought to represent?

What is the southernmost royal-tomb pyramid structure in Egypt?

What is the world's first successfully completed smooth-sided pyramid and the third-largest pyramid in Egypt?

What was the predecessor of Sneferu and is believed to have started the pyramid at Meidum?

What was the purpose of the pyramids according to one suggestion?

Where were all Egyptian pyramids built?


Ancient masonry structures in Egypt:

  • At least 118 identified "Egyptian" pyramids, with approximately 80 built in the Kingdom of Kush, now located in modern Sudan.

  • The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are at Saqqara, with the Pyramid of Djoser, built c. 2630–2610 BCE, considered the world's oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry.

  • The most famous pyramids are located at Giza, including the largest Egyptian pyramid, the Pyramid of Khufu, which is the only remaining wonder of the ancient world.

  • The name for a pyramid in Egyptian is myr, with unclear meaning, and often named in ways that refer to solar luminescence.

  • Mastabas, bench-like burial structures, were present from the Early Dynastic Period, with the first documented pyramid attributed to the 3rd Dynasty pharaoh Djoser.

  • The 4th Dynasty gave rise to the great pyramids of Meidum, Dahshur, and Giza, with pyramid building largely ending by the end of the 6th Dynasty.

  • Pyramid building had a revival in present-day Sudan during the Meroitic period of Kushite history, with approximately 180 Egyptian-inspired indigenous royal pyramid-tombs constructed.

  • The shape of pyramids is thought to represent the primordial mound from which the earth was created, and the descending rays of the sun.

  • There is disagreement on the particular theological principles that might have given rise to pyramids, with one suggestion being that they were designed as a type of "resurrection machine."

  • All Egyptian pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile, associated with the realm of the dead in Egyptian mythology.

  • At least 118 pyramids have been identified, with many in a poor state of preservation or buried by desert sands, and archaeologists continue to identify and study previously unknown pyramid structures.

  • The most important pyramid fields are Abu Rawash, Giza, Zawyet el-Aryan, Abusir, Saqqara, and Dahshur.

  • The southern Pyramid of Sneferu in Dahshur is believed to be the first Egyptian pyramid intended by its builders to be a "true" smooth-sided pyramid from the outset.Pyramids of Egypt: A Comprehensive Guide

  • The Bent Pyramid at Dahshur is the only major Egyptian pyramid to retain a significant proportion of its original smooth outer limestone casing intact.

  • The Red Pyramid at Dahshur is the world's first successfully completed smooth-sided pyramid and the third-largest pyramid in Egypt.

  • The Black Pyramid at Dahshur was built by Amenemhat III, along with several small, mostly ruined subsidiary pyramids.

  • Several mudbrick pyramids were built in Mazghuna, south of Dahshur, in the late Middle Kingdom, perhaps for Amenemhat IV and Sobekneferu.

  • Two major pyramids were built at Lisht: those of Amenemhat I and his son, Senusret I, the latter surrounded by the ruins of ten smaller subsidiary pyramids.

  • The pyramid at Meidum is believed to have been started by Huni, the predecessor of Sneferu, and was later converted into the first "true" smooth-sided pyramid.

  • Amenemhat III's pyramid at Hawara, near the Faiyum, is believed to post-date the "Black Pyramid" built by the same ruler at Dahshur.

  • The Pyramid of Senusret II at El Lahun is the southernmost royal-tomb pyramid structure in Egypt.

  • Piye, the king of Kush who became the first ruler of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, built a pyramid at El-Kurru.

  • Taharqa, a Kushite ruler of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty, built his pyramid at Nuri, the largest in the area (North Sudan).

  • Constructing the pyramids involved moving huge quantities of stone, including special stones transported on great barges from distant locations.

  • It is possible that quarried blocks were transported to the construction site by wooden sleds, with sand in front of the sled wetted to reduce friction.


How much do you know about the ancient masonry structures of Egypt? Test your knowledge with this quiz! Discover fascinating facts about the different types of pyramids, their construction, and their significance in Egyptian mythology. From the oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry to the largest pyramid in the world, explore the history and mysteries surrounding these incredible feats of ancient engineering. Challenge yourself to see how many of the 118 identified pyramids you can name and learn about the different pyramid fields throughout Egypt. Don

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