The Great Pyramid of Giza is the oldest and biggest pyramid found among the three pyramids that are located within the pyramid complex in Giza. It is also considered to be among the greatest and most impressive constructions ever built in the whole world standing at more than 480 feet high. This is in spite of the Great Pyramid of Giza having been constructed for a timespan of about 20 years. These years ranged from 2560 BC to 2540 BC. The main reasons for the construction of the pyramid were to have a tomb for the Pharaoh and for the pride and prestige of colossal and impressive constructions. Each pharaoh sought to outdo the performance of their predecessors and command even more honor from their subjects while promoting the worship of their gods. During this period, the Pharaoh was known as Khufu. He was the second Pharaoh of the fourth dynasty. The Great Pyramid of Giza is, in fact, named alternatively after Pharaoh Khufu. It may also be referred to as the Pyramid of Cheops. From the exploration of the Great Pyramid of Giza, one then gets to understand the historical dates and timeframe, culture, strict hierarchical political organization, centrality of religion, and values of respect and obedience of ancient Egypt during Pharaoh’s reign.
It was just about during this period that the Egyptians were introduced to the concept and use of hieroglyphics as a means of recording information, communicating and expressing themselves. This period also saw Egypt adopting an extensive administrative structure. The Egyptians, in spite of spending most of their time in the desert kingdom, they relied predominantly on the Nile River for their water supply. This water would then be used for a myriad of things such as drinking, sanitation, cooking and even construction. It would also be used to water livestock and for food such as fish though occasionally.
In their perception of leadership, the Egyptians during the construction of the Pyramid of Khufu held a high belief and respect in the Pharaoh as their leader. He was considered as both a religious and political leader to them. In this way, he would be perceived as acting on behalf or under the instructions of the gods. The people of Egypt, therefore, had no alternative but to honor the Pharaoh Khufu as their great leaders. Pharaohs were even thought of becoming gods themselves upon their death and travel into the afterlife.
As demonstrated by Pharaoh Khufu, it is highly likely that ancient Egypt permitted polygamy. Khufu himself had three wives even as depicted by the three smaller pyramids that are connected to the Great Pyramid. This may have been emulated by the people of Egypt. Even so, it must have been relatively rare for the people to have multiple spouses.
The Pharaohs in ancient Egypt were the political leaders of the people. They were in the highest tier of the society’s political hierarchy. As a result of this, Pharaoh Khufu was the political ruler of ancient Egypt during the period in which the Great Pyramid of Giza was constructed. It ought to be acknowledged that the society in ancient Egypt, during Pharaoh Khufu’s reign, was considerably one that was characterized by virtually complete sophistication. This is simply due to the Great Pyramid of Giza itself. The construction of such large pyramids would only be made possible through the use of a well-structured and prosperous society that was primarily hierarchical.
It would be impossible to build the pyramid without the massive inputs of hard work from tens of thousands of laborers. These workers were most likely working for years on end. This is mainly due to the colossal, careful and perfect nature of the Great Pyramid of Giza. It is also because the pyramid took just about 20 years to finish getting constructed. Additionally, the kind of labor that was used was greatly intense due to the use of massive blocks of stone over a wide base and complex, tall height. This could not have been attained with the prowess and perfection it was done without the strict oversight of the workers and the project in general. It also must have required an unbending social hierarchy.
Religion formed the basic concentrate of the Egyptian society. The Pharaohs in ancient Egypt were the topmost societal religious leaders of the people. They were also the secular leaders of the Egyptian society. In spite of the Pharaohs commissioning the construction of pyramids in ancient Egypt primarily as a means through which they could demonstrate their power, they also had a religious attachment and purpose for the pyramids. The Egyptians had a range of gods whom they worshipped and for whom they constructed monuments. Some of the most popular gods among ancient Egyptians include the Sun God, Re, for whom the most common monument constructed was the obelisk or a sun-emblem, and Horus, the God of the Sky and Kingship.
The Egyptians primarily held a strong belief in life after death. This resulted in them coming up with various practices and construction of religious structures in preparation for their lives on the other side after they died. The most common of these structures was the Funerary Complex. The main reason for the Funerary Complexes was for the preservation of the deceased person’s body and the making of preparations for the afterlife. They were also used to make certain that the bodies were safeguarded from elements. Through such things as offerings and scenes carved into or painted on the walls of the tombs to accompany the dead, they would not be disturbed. For the pyramids, they were simply big Funerary Complexes that were designed for the use of the Pharaohs and other leaders in case of their demise.
Values of the Time
Among the greatest values held by the Egyptians during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu was that of respecting and obeying the authority of their leaders. This was mainly as a result of the belief that the Pharaoh represented the gods in both the religious and secular spheres of life. They also understood that every other leader that worked under the command of Pharaoh Khufu did so as a directive from the highest order on the land.
Even so, such respect and obedience were executed in the fear by the people of any sanctions that would befall them. With such power that was wielded by the Pharaoh, and consequently, his subordinates, any opposition to authority would have been faced with harsh penalties such as flogging or even execution. They were even considered to be gods.
The examining of the Great Pyramid of Giza leads to learning more about the history, culture, politics, religion and values of ancient Egyptians during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu. The pyramid was constructed between 2560 BC and 2540 BC under Pharaoh Khufu, the second Pharaoh of the fourth dynasty. Egypt was just getting introduced to hieroglyphics then. The people depended on the Nile for water and practiced polygamy. Khufu was both the ultimate political and religious leader and commanded a lot of respect from the Egyptians. The people believed in the afterlife and made sure to prepare for it. This was done through constructing Funerary Complexes such as the Great Pyramid in which the Pharaoh’s body was disemboweled and treated for preservation. Various other techniques would be used to protect and have him travel to the afterlife undisturbed. The greatest values held by the Egyptians of the time were respect and obedience to the Pharaoh and his subordinates.