Posts Tagged ‘Snefru’

209 - tabIn this Em Hotep Digest we study Snefru’s three large pyramids—the Meidum Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid, and the Red Pyramid.  As always we have photography from Em Hotep regular contributors Heidi Kontkanen and Richie O’Neill as well as some lovely photography from the Creative Commons.  Come with us as we examine the stage where the pattern for the large Fourth Dynasty pyramid complexes were worked out as the transition was made from step pyramids to the first true pyramid.

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The legacy Pharaoh Snefru left to his heir, Khufu, included more than the crown and wealth of the Old Kingdom.  Building on an architectural and engineering revolution that stretched at least as far back as Pharaoh Djoser’s Master Builder, Imhotep, Khufu’s own architect Hemienu was determined to build a monument that would last the ages.  To say the least, he was successful.

But erecting the final resting place of a god-king involved more than structural and aesthetic considerations.  Hemienu was creating sacred ground, and within Khufu’s holy mountain there were specific paths to be trodden and a celestial order of operations to be observed. 

Beginning with the physical evidence from the pyramid, Jean-Pierre Houdin pieces these ancient traditions together in a way that suggests where to look and what to look for in unlocking the secrets of the Great Pyramid.  This is the third in a series of articles and interviews conducted by Marc Chartier with Jean-Pierre and other key members of Team Khufu, provided in English exclusively to Em Hotep.

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This is the story of two architects, separated by 4,500 years, both trying to solve the same problem—how to build a pyramid measuring 756 feet on each side of the base, 480 feet high, and consisting of 5.5 million tons of stone.   

Our master builders have different goals, however.  The first, Hemienu, was determined to build the greatest pyramid ever, and the second, Jean-Pierre Houdin, was equally determined to figure out how he did it.

Jean-Pierre Houdin and Bob Brier wrote a book—The Secret of the Great Pyramid—about this very subject in 2008 and the paperback edition is due to hit bookstores October 6, 2009.  Ahead of the paperback, Em Hotep!  is providing you with a multi-part primer to Houdin’s work, to be followed with an interview with the man himself.

But first, who are these two architects?

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27
Aug

Fourth Dynasty

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in

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bnt-tabOk, I realize that most of my posts have been about Dr. Hawass this week, and I promise the article on the Djoser Pyramid complex is nearing completion.  But one does have to wonder why he might have a lovely new post on his blog about the Bent Pyramid at Dashur..

After all, as informative as it is, the new post doesn’t really contain anything new.  Of course, he is currently blogging about the pyramids in the vicinity of Dashur.  I think I might know why..

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9
Jul

The Pyramid of Pharaoh Khufu

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Old Kingdom, Lower Egypt, Pyramids, The Giza Plateau

khu-tabWhen Pharaoh Khufu set out to trump his father’s pyramid at Meidum he set the bar higher than would ever be achieved again.  Khufu had a reputation for being a cruel and despotic ruler, and ignoring all other speculation about how the Great Pyramid was built, the sheer logistics of completing the project within the presumed timeframe suggests in the very least a classic overachiever.  Whatever else may be true of Khufu, the man knew how to get things done.

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9
Jul

What is a Pyramid?

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Old Kingdom, Lower Egypt, Memphis, Pyramids, Saqqara, Temples, The Giza Plateau

pyr-tabFor starters, it’s a large four-sided structure made of stone, wide at the bottom and pointy at the top, making a perfect triangle. 

There are three of them, they are located in the middle of the Egyptian desert, they were built by slaves, and they have mummies in them.

Right?  Well…

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