Sunday, October 14, 2012

Architecture of Egypt

The Pyramids of Egypt (and our house)

The pyramids of Egypt are world famous, as well they should be.  They were built about 5,000 years ago, before cranes, dump trucks, and the modern equipment of today.  Unlike many of the buildings built today, however, they were built to last!  It is estimated that some of the larger pyramids used up to 100,000 workers to build - and most of that was slave labor.  The more elaborate tombs were built for the Pharaohs.  The most famous pyramids, and the largest pyramid, the Pyramid of Khufu, are in Giza, near Cairo.  The architect Imhotep came up with the idea of the pyramid.  Before that people were buried in "mastabas", which were described as "bench-like".  Imhotep stacked the mastabas and gradually made them smaller as they rose.  This was supposed to symbolize a great staircase for the soul to get to the heavens.  The pyramids held the mummified remains of the Pharaoh, their favorite items or pets, and many other treasures, foods and items that were going to be needed in the afterlife.  Because they were so full of gold and treasure, many of these tombs have been raided and looted.  Many have been buried deep in the sands of Egypt and are still being discovered to this day.  Amazing to think of the treasures that are waiting to be discovered. 

The Great Pyramid of Evanchik

We took a cue from good old Imhotep and tried our hand at building a pyramid.......out of sugar cubes!

For the project you will need:
  • sugar cubes.  1 box.
That's it.  We made our pyramid starting with 8 cubes across on 4 sides.  We took one away with each level and we had a good time building it.  I thought this was a great math lesson, a good lesson in architecture and a great excuse to eat some sugar cubes.
Sugar cubes made a pretty good building material :)  Now I'm thinking what else we can use them for......hmmm, the Parthenon? the Great Wall?