3.Immortal Legend of Great Pyramid of Cheops in Giza
Whoever saw the Great Pyramid standing in the deserts, would wonder how it was built. In the capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, on the plateau at Giza, where the art and science of the construction of the pyramids reached its apex with the Pyramid of Cheops , the third sovereign of the fourth dynasty.
Originally 146.6 meters high, the pyramid was built using just under 2.5 million blocks of limestone weighing on average 2.5 tons each, and the surface area it covers is almost 6 hectares.
It took 20 years, used 100,000 men and in recent calculations, the labor force required in this big project has ranged between 6,000 and 17,000. The workforce that built the pyramid probably consisted of professionals with various levels of specialization. From the Wall-painting in the private tombs, it suggests that the blocks of stone were dragged after being raised onto wooden sleds whose runners were lubricated with water or oil to diminish the friction. First, a pool connected to Nile was dug out to allow the boats used to transport the materials to tie up; then a sloping surface was created that would become the ramp along which the great blocks of stone for the base of the pyramid would be dragged. At the same time, teams in the quarries at the nearest possible site to Giza were preparing coarse blocks of lime stones that would form the centre of the Pyramid. Other teams were working on the opposite bank of Nile in the large quarries of Tura, where light-colored limestone cut into slabs would be used for final lining for the pyramid. However, how to positioning the corners of stones, and alight with other stones in the construction of the mortuary apartments inside Pyramid, is another challenging point. The structure of these internal chambers differs between pyramids although they share nearly the same layout of basic elements: the entrance, the descending corridor and the chamber for the sarcophagus.
When the pyramid was finished, a cusp called a Pyramidion was placed on its tip. The Presidion was coated with electron, a special alloy of gold and silver, which was designed to reflect the sun's rays into the desert and Nile valley below.
The Pyramid of Cheops was named the "horizon of Cheops" and is distinguished not just for its extraordinary size but also for the complexity of its internal structures. The original entrance to the Pyramid is located at a height of about 15 meters on north side. It opens into descending corridor that, after a passage of about 18 meters, forks on the one hand into an ascending corridor that leads into the Great Gallery and then heads towards the burial chamber, or King's Chamber and, on the other hand, into a second descending corridor that leads to an underground rock chamber in the heart of the Pyramid whose functions not yet perfectly understood but which seems to evoke the dwelling of Sokar, the god of Hereafter.
The Pyramid also contains a third burial chamber, or Queen's Chamber, positioned in alignment with the vertical axis of the pyramid and reached via horizontal corridor that begins at the entrance to the Great Gallery.
There are many compartments, their structure is a bit sophisticated and unique only found in Cheops.
With such an enormous building, nowadays, no where to find the Mummy of King Cheops, to be ironically enough, what left is only an Ivory Statuette of King Cheops in Cairo Museum, it is only 7 cm tall. In my eyes, when saw the immortal legend of the granite stone building, which only triggered more interests from tomb robbers for many generations, the king endeavored to keep his body and treasure forever , after thousand years , nothing left except the Great Artwork, makes me to wonder why a great Civilization falling down and no more sparkling. What elements in this civilization makes it's blooming shone in ancient age, but no more came back.
I dreamed standing in that desert with sandy winds full of my face to ask aloud my question: Why, Why?
4. What Horizon of Cheops tells me?
Pyramid of Cheops was built in Old Kingdom (2560-2460 BC). People achieved big success in control Nile and Agriculture had given sufficient foods to make the base of the society stable. With the overwhelming cult to the dead, King found its power within and benefits, hence, the building of more solid Pyramid not only means to make the dead alive but also a materialized reality to the belief.
In my eyes, the greatness of Cheops' Pyramid showed the ambition of the king and how much the deference from his people was. To my big confusion is that most kings will choose to hide their tomb instead of build it high and big. However, understand that Cheops believe the strength of the Stone buildings. In his ignorant eyes, nothing will be much stronger than Granite, not even mentioned of a Triangle sized Granite building which strongly suggest any wrong break-through would make a collapse, all shows his satisfaction over his current status is much stronger than his imagination. The proud is over-loaded.
From Philosophy's perspective, People in that time gave more belief on solid-material and the dead, which looked as two objects in both opposite extreme ends. They believe Dead will bring blessings from God and in reality, strong-looking materials showing more strength and giving more security throughout generations. Simplicity shows. People specialized in many areas and achieved very high level technologies, however, a belief dominated People's mind and strive them up. People specialized in more realized world, but put their belief in most unbelievable way. In the primitive world, we saw it how spirit power evolving.
However, there is one thing missing. Let us see one Ancient Greek story" A hero is a son of mother of earth. Although he is the strongest man in the world, he got one weakness. When he was born, his mother holds his ankle to bath the life water from a spring, which will give him endless strength. But, the holding patch by his mother is the fatal weakness for this hero. Later, in a fight, this hero got killed, as his weakness has been found by his enemy by holding him up far away from his earth mother and punch at his fatal weakness". It is a story I read when I was twelve years old. Trace back its meaning; we can see many intriguing points in this story, which shows one thinking: no one is unconquerable and everything has its weakness together with its strength. Although this looks simple, it has a lot of meanings.
Back to King Cheops, ambition to be stronger and show-off, only triggered the total defeat by attracting thousands robbers. In the primitive stage, people think one way off, without the contracts to the other. Ancient Egyptian was diligent, but without a grass-root philosophy came into being. They put their life on practice rather than thinking from the opposite. Or, maybe the ruling is too powerful to bury the true ingredient which will be more important to the long-living of civilization.
(to be continued...)