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Pyramid Architects & Pyramid Stones

Giza - The Places

Pyramid Architects

 

Egyptologists do not yet know who the Lead Architects for the Pyramids of Pharaoh Khafre, Pharaoh Menkaura and Queen Khentkaus I are. They can generalise that the role of Lead Architect was usually reserved for the Pharaoh’s Vizier. Whoever undertook these huge roles would have been answerable to the owner and eventual resident of the Pyramid and the Complex that went with it.

Imhotep, the World's First Known Architect

Although Imhotep did not have anything to do with the Pyramids at Giza, he designed their precursor, Pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara. The first Pyramid or even Monument to be designed out of cut stones rather than sun baked mud bricks or bedrock stones allowing higher and more durable structures. But not only did he design a new structure and concept, he also invented new tools, a new Nile water irrigation systems and new equipment. On top of this he wrote it all down allowing all following Architects to literally build on his theories and constructs. For further information about Pharaoh Djoser’s Step Pyramid, click here.  

Architect Hemiunu; Prince, Vizier and Priest of Thoth

Architect to Pharaoh Khufu, Hemiunu is believed to have been the brain behind the Great Pyramid of Giza, following on from Imhotep’s genius.

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Standard Limestone

Quarried at: On and around the Giza Necropolis

Used for: This was a fairly low-grade Limestone and was used for the Cores of the smaller Pyramids or for the next layer down in the Pyramids after the Tura White Limestone

Red and Pink Granite

Quarried at: Aswan

Used for: Door surrounds and Wall Coverings within Mortuary Temples and some Valley Temples; also for some Outer Casings of Pyramids

Basalt

Quarried at: Fayoum

Used for: Generally employed for Flooring or Paving, as in Khufu’s Mortuary Temple Floor

Fine Quality White Limestone

Quarried at: Tura, almost opposite Giza on the Eastern side of the Nile

Used for: Mainly used for the White Outer Casing of the Pyramids

Mudbricks

Quarried at: Throughout Egypt as it was a common building material which was easy for everyone to make and utilise. Higher quality Mudbricks were fired in an oven, but Mudbricks could also be unbaked and worked well

Used for: Walls, Housing, Palaces and everything in between

Granite

Quarried at: Aswan

Used for: The guards block that were used as a physical barrier against Robbers and Looters. Also in the Roofs and Walls of Pyramid Burial Chambers

Alabaster

Quarried at: Probably at Hatnub Quarry, North of Luxor

Pharaoh Khufu used Alabaster for his Canopic Jars, the Valley Temples of Queen Khentkaus I and Pharaoh Khafre, the supposed Sarcophagus in the Pyramid of Queen Khentkaus I

Photograph to Left: Nile Flooding at the Pyramids