The Pyramids of Egypt

By I. E. S. Edwards; John Cruikshank Rose | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

ONE of the first questions which occur to the mind of anyone looking at an ancient monument is its date. In the case of Egyptian monuments it is often difficult, and sometimes impossible, to answer the question in terms of years before the beginning of the Christian era, because our knowledge of Egyptian chronology, especially in the early periods, is still very incomplete. We know the main sequence of events and frequently their relationship to one another, but, except in rare instances, an exact chronology will not be possible until the discovery of material of a different and more precisely datable character than anything found hitherto.

Partly for the sake of convenience and partly because a century of study has demonstrated that it is fundamentally sound, the method of grouping the kings of Egypt into thirty- one dynasties, which is first known to us from Manetho History of Egypt, has been universally adopted by modern historians as a substitute for closer dating. Since the end of a dynasty did not always entail any very marked political or artistic changes, it has also been found convenient to group the dynasties into periods roughly corresponding with the most important of these changes. There are nine main periods, to which the following names and approximate dates may be given:

I and II Dynasties Archaic Period, 3188-2815
    B.C.
III--VI " Old Kingdom, 2815-2294
    B.C.
VII--X " First Intermediate Period,
     2294-2132 B.C.

-15-

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The Pyramids of Egypt
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Contents 5
  • Preface 7
  • Plates 11
  • Drawings 13
  • Introduction 15
  • Chapter I - Mastabas 35
  • Chapter II - The Step Pyramid 45
  • Chapter III - The Transition to the True Pyramid 67
  • Chapter IV - The Giza Group 85
  • Chapter V - Pyramids of the Vth and Vith Dynasties 133
  • Chapter VI - Later Pyramids 170
  • Chapter VII - Construction and Purpose 206
  • Major Pyramids of the Old and Middle Kingdoms 243
  • Bibliography 245
  • Index 253
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