By J.Heyworth- Dunne
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Additional info for An Introduction to the History of Education in Modern Egypt
The reason is simple. If sensible inclines and side slopes had been introduced into the sketches for the particular ramp configurations proposed, the ramps would have swamped the pyramids themselves. As the methods of pyramid construction were not recorded, they must have been transmitted by word of mouth and by practical demonstration, perhaps eventually coming to be known only to the priesthood, which makes the accounts of pyramid construction by Herodotus of particular interest. The questions posed by the pyramids are endless.
The buttress wall design of the Meidum Pyramid followed closely that of its Saqqaran predecessor, its initial seven steps subsequently being increased to eight. A decision made on, or very near to, its completion to add an outer coating layer of stones to give planar sloping faces, and thus produce a true pyramid, went disastrously wrong. It led ultimately to its present-day appearance, clearly visible from the Desert Highway: a massive stepped tower of stone protruding above an apparent mound of sand and rubble, which, in fact, consists mainly of the lower intact portion of the pyramid obscured by the sand and rubble which lie against it.
With this example before them, builders of pyramids immediately succeeding this chose to adopt the same design, but the first two of these, that for Sekhemkhet close to the Step Pyramid and the Layer Pyramid about 7km to the north, were abandoned early in their construction, possibly because of the premature deaths of their intended occupants. The second pyramid to be completed, or substantially completed, poses two questions. Why was it sited at Meidum, a remote area over 50km south of the capital Memphis, and why was it one of three constructed, or at least completed, for the IV Dynasty pharaoh, Snofru?
An Introduction to the History of Education in Modern Egypt by J.Heyworth- Dunne
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