Development of Egyptian Pyramids from Sumerian Ziggurats

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Development of Egyptian Pyramids from Sumerian Ziggurats

The Egyptian pyramid structures represent a great range of civilization techniques that have been used in various other parts such as in Rome and Greece. This is despite the fact that the eventual architectural construction of pyramids in Egypt took place in slow transitional steps during the 3rd transition to a unique Egyptian character and permanency in the 4th dynasty although the “idea was brought to Egypt by the Mesopotamians” (Isler 90).

The original idea came from the structures of the Ziggurats that are of various sizes and whose bases range from 20 meters on the side and 90 meters on a side. They are usually very high temples built on a platform of adobe brick with a series of platforms that create a stepped pyramid. They are therefore of major importance as they are mainly used for city planning and are dedicated to the god or goddess of the city’s patron. This is a major form of civilization which was introduced in Mesopotamia through the epic journey of Gilgamesh in 2700 B.

C who later built the city of Uruk (Hooker par. 3-6). His account which was inscribed in some of the oldest and earliest tablets existed before those provided on the pyramid texts. Since the structure of ziggurats does not have a specific definition, the staged towers which possess consciously constructed stages are generally referred to as ziggurats. They are mainly found in the area of Mesopotamia. The siak ziggurat dates back to 5500 B. C although it is not yet clear what was anciently used to classify structures as ziggurats.

Most temples on accumulated ruins were the original staged towers even though the stages which were made of accumulated ruins were not constructed for the tower. Hence the structures are only referred to as ziggurats when the stages are constructed and modeled after the piled up ruins. Some of their functions arise since they were built as a representation of mountain to offer protection for the temple against floods, and religiously they appear in the form of unity since they form a place where the gods dwell.

There are a number of evidences that the Egyptian pyramids borrowed their building techniques from the Sumerian ziggurats. For instance, the ziggurats “and typically the elamite ziggurat exhibit a striking resemblance “(Isler, 32) and are similar in shape to the early Egyptian pyramids most especially the step pyramid of Djoser at Saqqara except that they do not “possess a sanctuary at its apex and had a system of internal tunnels and chambers” (World Mysteries par. 3) .

In addition, they date some years later than the earliest ziggurats as the great pyramid dates back to around 2500 B. C. The architectural forms of the pyramid began as a simple mastaba which was built in several stages. This step pyramid is a product of the “Egyptian third dynasty which was simultaneous with the early dynastic period in Mesopotamia” (Walton par. 1-5). However, they are built by use of mud bricks, a technique developed in Palastine in the Neolithic period and not in Mesopotamia.

The civilization in Egypt which is accompanied by the technique of building pyramid tombs is a sign of concern about death and the search for immortality. This is because they were worried about the nature of death and the hope for survival after death, a factor realised by Gilgamesh when he discovers “the fateful truth that death awaits every person” (Smart 201-203). Works Cited Hooker, R. Gilgamesh. 6 June 1999. 24 August 2010 <http://www. wsu. edu/~dee/MESO/GILG. HTM>. Isler, M.

“Sticks, stones, and shadows: building the Egyptian pyramids. ” USA, Oklahoma: University of Oklahoma Press, 2001. 32-90. John H. Walton. Is there archaeological evidence of the Tower of Babel? 2001. 24 August 2010 <http://www. christiananswers. net/q-abr/abr-a021. html>. par. 1-5 Smart, N. “The World’s Religions, 2nd Ed. ” USA: Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1998. 201-203. World Mysteries. The Age of the Great Pyramid. 2009. 24 August 2010 <http://www. world mysteries. com/mpl_2_4. htm>.


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