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Pyramids, permanent structures built by the people of some ancient civilizations, found mainly in Egypt, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and Peru. The Egyptian pyramids are pyramidal in form, with four triangular sides that meet at a point at the top; the New World pyramids are four-sided, flat-topped polyhedrons. Because both the Egyptian and the American structures are called pyramids, many people have erroneously assumed that the Egyptians influenced the rise of civilization in the New World.

The Egyptian pyramids were built from about 2700 BC to about 1000 BC; in the Americas, mound construction continued from 1200 BC until the Spanish conquest in AD 1519.

The Egyptian pyramids differ from the American in their shape but have some similarity in their use. The Egyptian pyramids served as royal tombs, and recent excavations increasingly indicate that tombs in the Americas were sometimes incorporated into pyramids as well. The American pyramids were also used for military defense and served as platforms for temples and palaces; they are called temple mounds or platform mounds by archaeologists.


The outstanding group of pyramids in Egypt is at Giza, near Cairo. The largest, the Great Pyramid, was built as the tomb of the Pharaoh Khufu and is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. When built, the Great Pyramid measured 147 m (481 ft) high with a square base measuring 230 m (756 ft) on each side. The remains of about 70 pyramids may still be seen in Egypt and the Sudan. The prototype of the true pyramid in Egypt was the step pyramid, so called because its successive layers of stone suggest a series of enormous steps. The most famous and best preserved of the step pyramids is that at Šaqqarah, near Cairo, built about 2700 BC.


The New World pyramids were arranged around a ceremonial plaza. The earliest complex, built about 1200 BC, is at the Olmec site of La Venta in the state of Tabasco in southeastern Mexico. Presumably, the later ceremonial centers in central Mexico, the Mayan region of the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Honduras, and the Andean region of Peru were based on the Olmec plan. The largest mounds in the New World include the Pyramid of Quetzalcoatl at Cholula outside Puebla, Mexico; the Pyramid of the Sun in Teotihuacán, near Mexico City; and the Huaca del Sol in Moche, Peru.

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Well, thank you Microsoft for that! :) Of course, we are only interested here in the Egyptian pyramids - but it's important to know the difference, don't you think?! Phew! I think there must be more about the Pyramids on the www than anything else! I'm staggered by the amount! So, here are just a few of the "best" general links on the Pyramids which I found on my very long surfing trek!

pyrmarker.gif - 152 Bytes Guardian Giza - The Great Pyramid. All the info you need and great pics!

pyrmarker.gif - 152 Bytes The Pyramid of Khafre - as above - another Guardian Giza page.

pyrmarker.gif - 152 Bytes The Pyramid of Menkaura. Excellente! More Guardian Giza of course!

pyrmarker.gif - 152 Bytes The Upuaut Project. The official site of Rudolf Gantenbrink. A complete report on the exploration of the Great Pyramid's "air shafts" & the famous dicovery of March 1993. I don't know what it's about, but it looks fabulous!

pyrmarker.gif - 152 Bytes At the Tomb of Tutankhamen. A National Geographic site. Takes forever to load - but worth it!

More to follow am sure!

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