Ancient Egypt 2675-332 B.c.e.: Architecture and Design - Research Article from Arts and Humanities Through the Eras

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Pyramid Complexes

Part of a Whole.

The pyramid is the most widely known Egyptian architectural structure. Yet the pyramid itself is only part of a much larger complex. Egyptian kings built pyramid complexes during a distinct time period. During the Old and Middle Kingdoms (2675–1630 B.C.E.) most, but not all, kings built pyramids as tombs. There are approximately 47 pyramid complexes that Egyptologists have identified from this period. This does not include the pyramids built in the Sudan by Nubian kings at a later time, because they were part of a separate tradition over 1,000 years after the Egyptians stopped building pyramids.

Pyramid Complex Types.

Egyptologists recognize two major types of pyramid complexes. In the older type, the main axis of the complex was oriented north and south. This orientation associates the complex with the Egyptian belief that the northern stars represented the gods in the next world...

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