The pyramids of Giza were some of the greatest architectural designs of the ancient Egypt. King Khufu built the pyramids of Egypt out of massive revenue the country received from the agricultural sector. The ancient Egypt was one of the most developed countries in the world. The community in the North of Africa had a well-defined religion, language, arts and many technological advances. The community had a strong central government, the people of ancient Egypt honored kings. Kings in ancient Egypt were very close to the gods, unlike the other common people in ancient Egypt. In search of the meaning of Cosmos, ancient Egypt constructed many buildings that explained their view of the universe. The architects used designs of the pyramids that depict the nature of the universe. The aim of this paper is to relate the search of the meaning of cosmos in ancient Egypt and the designs of the great pyramids of Khufu at Giza.
If one was to divide the perimeter of the great pyramids by the height of the pyramid, it is approximately equal to 2&pi. If one were to divide the circumference of the circle, one would obtain the same results, that is, 2&pi. The intention was to represent the spherical earth using the pyramids. The height of the great pyramid corresponds to the radius from the center of earth joining the North Pole. The perimeter of the great pyramid corresponds to the earth’s circumference. Each of the pyramid’s slopes is approximately equal to four divided by pi. The measurement system of the time of constructing the pyramids guided the architects to use specific slopes when designing the pyramids. The slanting angle for each face of the great pyramid is 51º50´40´´. Other supporting pyramids have 53º10´00´´ for the pyramid of Khafre, 54º27´44´´ for the Bent pyramid and 51º49´38´´ as the slanting angles of the sides of the pyramids. The architects chose a particular pattern to design the slanting angles of the pyramids. The inverse of the slant of the sides of the pyramids have a close relation with the constant pie, which represents some of the spherical earth’s constants. The exterior design of the pyramid has a relation to pi too. When one adds the lengths of the exterior, one gets a rough estimate of pi. Addition gives 3.146, a rough estimate of pi.
The stones surrounding the entrance of the building are some of the largest that the builders used. The design of the entrance, in the fact that scholars do not clearly understand the reason behind the much work that the builders involved in using very large stones for the entrance, raises some points on the purpose of the building. The architecture where there is an opening door to a burial chamber that is free from disturbance shows that the architecture of the door is symbolic. The entrance is in the design of a triangle with large blocks of stone surrounding it. The triangle at the entrance of the great pyramid symbolizes the horizon. The entrance was 24 feet east in relation to the main axis of the pyramid. The architects designed the entrance to be ten courses of stone higher than the main axis.
King Khufu moved the dynasty to Giza so that he could build the pyramids. Building the great pyramid at a plateau was one of the greatest achievements of the King. Giza was a relatively high place with a relatively flat terrain. The architects chose Giza due to the ease of building a large structure in the area. To build a structure on a flat terrain is much easier. Structures on a plateau are much stronger. Structures on a plateau have a much longer life than structures on a low sloppy area. Building the structure on a higher ground was symbolic of the supremacy of the king. Many people are able to see the structure from far due to its high location. The above diagram shows the relatively high ground that the builders built the structure on.
The great pyramid consists of chambers, three in number. The chambers were burial chambers for King Khufu. Once of the chambers is underground another one in the middle of the pyramid and the other one above the ground. The central chamber was the largest one and King Khufu was lay there after his death (Verner 1). In the architectural view, the central objects are the strongest. The architects designed the largest chamber and the most important one in the middle to give the support that the chamber required. If by any chance, the great pyramid would collapse, the central chamber would remain intact. Vertical shafts were also elevated in the most important of the chambers. The vertical shafts were unguarded unlike the entrance to the pyramids. The vertical shafts were symbolic spiritually. (Portal& Moss 97).
The pyramid has a valley temple connected with a causeway. The causeway that connected the valley temple led to Khufu’s mortuary temple. The builders connected the king’s pyramid to the mortuary temple. The connection of the king’s pyramid and the mortuary temple ensured that unclean people did not defile the king’s body after death. People close to the king would transfer the body of the king to the king’s chamber immediately after the temple ceremonies. The design portrays the common people unclean and the king as a more favorable man to the gods. If the body of the king mixed with the common people, the common people will defile the body of the king (Portal& Moss 97)
The pyramid used many blocks of stones to build. The architects designing the great pyramid needed to have a high knowledge of mathematics in the areas of geometry that associated with the great pyramid. The architects would need to know the amount of stone that would build such a structure. To know the amount of blocks of stone that the builders needed to quarry, the architects needed to calculate the volume of the pyramid. By choosing certain slanting angles and making the base of the pyramid square, it was easier for the architects to determine the volume of the great pyramid as the volume concerns the base and the height of the pyramid. Using certain slanting angles and a specific length of the slanting side eases the determination of the height of the pyramid. Making the base of the pyramid square eases the calculation of the area of the base. The design provided a high degree of accuracy in the estimation of the amount of stone that the builders would quarry.
The great pyramid stands out in design in comparison to all the other structure in the time. The architects designing the building had a lot of experience and knowledge of mathematics. The relation of aspects of the pyramid, for example, the height, circumference, the radius, and the length of the slanting sides to important measurements of the earth shows the wisdom that the architects possessed. Although King Khufu used servants to build the pyramids, the servants were very skilled all the same. The workers on the pyramid were able to implement the architectural design of the pyramid with minimal errors. The workers built tombs for themselves near the great pyramid too showing that the workers were notjust servants. Lehner 2).
Many structures that different communities were building were in search of the meaning of cosmos. The building of the great pyramids at Giza by King Khufu was to try to explain the universe. The building explains the complex nature of the universe. The design of the building explains contains important features of earth. The conclusion is that the architectural design of the great pyramids was because of the search of the meaning of cosmos.