Why Did the Ancient Egyptians Stop Building the Pyramids?

February 14, 2024

The pyramids of ancient egypt are still among the most intriguing archaeological structures in the world. They were incredibly complex, and scholars have long been curious about how they were built. They also remain a mystery as to their purpose, with some being used as tombs and others seemingly having no specific function at all. According to Live Science, one reason the Egyptian pharaohs eventually stopped building pyramids was that they were so hard to protect from plunder.

Another theory is that the construction process was getting more and more difficult as time went by, making the pharaohs less confident in their ability to build the kind of massive pyramids they had been envisioning for themselves. Plus, the political landscape of Egypt was changing, with the dilution of central authority that resulted in a period of chaos and instability (known as the First Intermediate Period). The new capital, Thebes, had much more open space and a rocky terrain that wasn't ideal for pyramids.

A third possible reason for the end of pyramid building is that religious changes around 1500 BCE began putting a greater emphasis on burial tombs hewn in bedrock beneath the surface of the earth. These tombs, which would not be as easily accessible as the pyramids, could be buried more securely and might better serve a king's concept of his night journey into the Netherworld.

It's also worth noting that the pharaohs stopped regularly maintaining the pyramids, at least once they were finished, with a view to fixing any cracks or other blemishes. This is a big part of what led to the gradual decline in quality of the pyramids, with their outer casings being stripped away over time.

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