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7 Interesting Facts About The Pyramids at Giza

They weren’t all pointed.  
Not all pyramids are the same. As with many building types, there are different phases in building pyramids. The earliest pyramids are not the pointed structures that we think of most often.  
Many examples can be found in the huge Sakkara tomb in the ancient Egyptian capital Memphis. The pyramids here are the oldest known pyramids and include the pyramid of Djoser. This pyramid was built between 2630 BC BC and 2611 BC Built during the third dynasty and designed by the architect Imhotep. It is considered to be one of the oldest cut masonry monuments in the world and is in fact not pointed.  
Instead, it is a step pyramid, in which Imhotep had stacked mastabas (Egyptian tombs) of decreasing size. This typology can be found in many cultures, from the Borobudur temple in Indonesia to the El Castillo pyramid, which was built by the Maya in Chichen Itza. 

Most pyramids were built west of the Nile.  

Egyptian culture is full of symbols and superstitions that guided decision making. No wonder that the location of the ancient pyramids was also guided by mythology. 
Most were built on the west bank of the Nile for a reason. Since the Great Pyramids of Giza were the final resting places of the pharaohs, it made sense for them to be where their souls can begin their journey to the afterlife. For the ancient Egyptians, life after death and the sun were closely related. Osiris, an Egyptian god who is closely connected to the hereafter, the god of the underworld, represents the strength of the new life. Over time, it has also been linked to the cycle of the sun and how it brought new growth from dormant seeds. 
Thanks to this association, the setting sun symbolized death and the sun « died » every night in the west. The souls of the pharaohs should connect to the setting sun before rising again in the morning, a symbol of eternal life. By placing pyramids west of the Nile, they lived exactly in the area that metaphorically meant death. (see Thebes West in Luxor!)  



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