Do you know why the Egyptians buried their kings in pyramids instead of a normal grave?
Why did the Egyptians used pyramid shapes for their tombs? What is so special about the pyramid?
Jane, Web Post
Dr. dig responds:
The Egyptians wanted their kings to have splendid tombs because they wanted the king's body to be well protected, and because they expected the spirits of their dead kings to use the tomb as a house until the end of all time. They also wanted to show that their kings were the richest and most powerful rulers in the world, and a splendid tomb certainly made this point. We are not quite sure why they chose the pyramid shape, although it may have developed from the low mound of earth found on top of some of Egypt's earliest graves. As they hoped that the dead spirit would be able to travel from the tomb into the sky, the Egyptians might have thought that a ramp or stair-like building would help with this journey. They may even have thought that the straight sides of the pyramid looked a bit like the sun's rays -- particularly when the shiny, white pyramid reflected the sunlight and sparkled. The shape might also have been connected with their myth of creation and re-birth after death. The Egyptians believed that the world was created on an island, the mound of creation, and may have thought that the pyramid rising out of the desert looked a bit like this island. Finally, given that they wanted to raise a tall monument, the pyramid, with its wide flat base and no need for deep foundations, was probably the easiest architectural shape to build.