The Real Symbolism of Ancient Egypt's Pyramidal Architecture: Debunking the Solar Pyramid Theory - Research Paper Example

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Name of Professor The Real Symbolism of Ancient Egypt’s Pyramidal Architecture: Debunking the Solar Pyramid Theory Introduction This essay tries to argue that one of ancient Egypt’s architectural marvels- the Great Pyramid—is a sacred shrine, and can only be appreciated and understood through a comprehensive analysis of ancient Egyptian architecture, and not only through an understanding of a single theory, such as the solar theory…
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The Real Symbolism of Ancient Egypts Pyramidal Architecture: Debunking the Solar Pyramid Theory
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"The Real Symbolism of Ancient Egypt's Pyramidal Architecture: Debunking the Solar Pyramid Theory"

Download file to see previous pages Debunking the Solar Pyramid Theory To explain the spiritual life of ancient Egypt is not difficult because the religion involved a mystifying variety of rituals, from the veneration of the stars, the Moon, and the Sun, to magic, animism, and praising of the Nile. However, modern Egyptologists have described the religion as fundamentally a Sun religion.3 Therefore, the question is what is the pyramid’s religious significance? In trying to answer this mystifying question, scholars have discovered a large number of evidence, and still were unable to unearth a particular writing or evidence that reveals the reason the pyramid was constructed in an obvious, ordinary, and explicit way. As a result, Egyptologists have had to analyze the clues, as sparse and patchy as it is, corresponding to its underlying notion of Egyptian religion; that is to say, within the perspective of a Sun religion.4 Therefore, two sets of evidence have been drawn upon: (1) chronological and indirect, and (2) those related to the actual pyramid’s architecture. First of all, it is true that the actual pyramid was constructed after the step pyramid alongside the rise to power of the Sun-god—Re—during the 2600-2500 B.C., the fourth dynasty of Kings. Throughout this era, the kings inserted to their titles the word ‘Sa Re’, stating under oath the belief that each king was the ‘son of Re’, whereas some took up the term ‘Re’ as an addition to their titular names, as though to suggest that they were the living forms or embodiments of that God.5 Furthermore, from Sneferu’s reign, the kings inscribed their titular names in a pictograph, which is generally considered as a solar emblem. Based on this, scholars have inferred a transition from a stellar to a solar cult during the actual pyramid; thus, the step pyramid is viewed as a stellar emblem and a medium to a spirit world in the stars, whereas the actual pyramid is viewed as a solar emblem and a medium to an eternal life with the Sun.6 The next set of evidence originates from the highest point of the actual pyramid, which was named as ‘benbenet’, as regards ‘Benben’—the holy stone—that was placed on a column in the Heliopolis’s Temple of the Benben. At present, the Benben Stone atop its column is generally considered as a solar emblem, just like its unoriginal counterpart from the obelisk. In view of that, Egyptologists have argued that the actual pyramid, as well, was Sun representation.7 A pioneer of Egyptology, J.H. Breasted, illustrates: An obelisk is simply a pyramid upon a lofty base which has indeed become the shaft… This pyramidal top is the essential part of the monument and the significant symbol which it bore. The Egyptians called it a benben (or benbenet), which we translate ‘pyramidion’… Now the long recognized fact that the obelisk is sacred to the Sun carries with it the demonstration that it is the pyramid surmounting the obelisk which is sacred to the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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