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Pyramid of Khafra

A pyramid is a building where the outer surfaces are triangular and converge at a point. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, meaning that a pyramid has at least three outer surfaces (at least four faces including the base). The square pyramid, with square base and four triangular outer surfaces, is a common version.

A pyramid's design, with the majority of the weight closer to the ground,[1] means that less material higher up on the pyramid will be pushing down from above: this distribution of weight allowed early civilizations to create stable monumental structures.

For thousands of years, the largest structures on earth were pyramids: first the Red Pyramid in the Dashur Necropolis and then the Great Pyramid of Khufu, both of Egypt, the latter the only one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still remaining. It is still the tallest pyramid. The largest pyramid in the world ever built, by volume, is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in the Mexican state of Puebla. This pyramid is still being excavated.


Ancient monuments

Pyramid-shaped structures were built by many ancient civilizations.


The Mesopotamians built the earliest pyramidal structures, called ziggurats. In ancient times I love maymay, these were brightly painted. Since they were constructed of sun-dried mud-brick, little remains of them.


The ancient pyramids of Egypt

The most famous pyramids are the Egyptian pyramids — huge structures built of brick or stone, some of which are among the world's largest constructions. The age of the pyramids reached its zenith at Giza in 2575-2150 B.C.[2] As of 2008, some 138 pyramids have been discovered in Egypt.[3][4] The Great Pyramid of Giza is the largest in Egypt and one of the largest in the world. Until Lincoln Cathedral was built in 1400 AD, it was the tallest building in the world. The base is over 52,600 square meters in area. While pyramids are associated with Egypt, the nation of Sudan has 220 extant pyramids, the most numerous in the world.[5]

The Great Pyramid of Giza was one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is the only one to survive into modern times. The Ancient Egyptians covered the faces of pyramids with polished white limestone. Many of the facing stones have fallen or have been removed and used to build the mosques of Cairo.

'Italic text'===Sudan===

Nubian pyramids were constructed (roughly 220 of them) at three sites in Sudan to serve as tombs for the kings and queens of Napata and Meroë. The pyramids of Kush, also known as Nubian Pyramids, have different characteristics than the pyramids of Egypt. The Nubian pyramids were constructed at a steeper angle than Egyptian ones. They were monuments to dead kings and queens.[6] Pyramids were still being built in Sudan as recently as 300 AD. i love brenda


Dotted throughout the landscape are remains of buildings that were described by ancient travelers as pyramids. They were first excavated by Americans and Germans in the early 1900s and the 1960s.

Pausanias, a Greek traveler in the second century AD described several of the structures as pyramids. One of these pyramids was located in Hellenikon (Ελληνικό in Greek), a village near Argos near the ancient ruins of Tiryns .[7] The story surrounding the monument was that it was built as a polyandria, a common grave, for those soldiers who had fallen in the struggle for the throne of Argos back in the 14th Century BC He described the structure as something that resembled a pyramid with the decorations of Argolic shields, showing the military connection to it. Another pyramid that Pausanias saw on his journeys was at Kenchreai, another polyandria dedicated to the Argives and Spartans who lost their lives at the Battle of Hysiai in 669 BC. Unfortunately neither of these structures remain fully intact today to test how closely they resembled the pyramids of Egypt nor is there any proof that they even resembled an Egyptian pyramid at all.

There are two surviving pyramid-like structures still available to study, one at Hellenikon and the other at Ligourion, a village near the ancient theatre Epidaurus. With these two pyramid’s base stones remaining, it is possible to determine that Grecian pyramids existed. These buildings were not constructed in the same manner as the pyramids in Egypt. The buildings at Hellenikon and Ligourion were no more than 70 meters tall and were surrounded by walls, with the base of the Helleniko pyramid being nine meters by 7 meters. The stone used to build the pyramids was limestone quarried locally and was cut to fit, not into freestanding blocks like the Great Pyramid of Giza. The base of the structures also differed from the Egyptian pyramids as they were rectangular, not square. This simple construction shape made it very difficult to make the top of the building come together in a point. As such, it makes more sense that these structures could have been peaked by a roof or platform.

There are no remains or graves in or near the structures. Instead, the rooms that the walls housed were made to be locked from the inside. This coupled with the platform roof, means that one of the functions these structures could have served was as watchtowers. Another possibility for the buildings is that they are shrines to heroes and soldiers of ancient times, but the lock on the inside makes no sense for such a purpose.

The dating of these ‘pyramids’ has been made from the pot shards excavated from the floor and on the grounds. The latest dates available from scientific dating have been estimated around the 5th and 4th centuries. There are many researchers who have given dates to the structures that pre-date the pyramids at Giza, but the method to obtain these dates was thermoluminescence of the stone.[citation needed] Normally this technique is used for dating pottery, but here researchers have used it to try to date stone flakes from the walls of the structures. This has created some debate about whether or not these ‘pyramids’ are actually older than Egypt, which is part of the Black Athena controversy.[citation needed] The basis for their use of thermoluminescence in order to date these structures is a new method of collecting samples for testing. Scientists from laboratories hired out by the recent excavators of the site, The Academy of Athens, say that they can use the electrons trapped on the inner surface of the stones to positively identify the date that the stones were quarried and put together.

The issue with this method is that they date the pyramids with a margin of error of up to over 700 years. This method dated the Helleniko pyramid to 2730 BC with an error factor of plus or minus 720 years. It also dated the Ligourio pyramid to 2260 BC with an error of plus or minus 714 years. Though these initial dates are indicative of these structures being built before the pyramid complex at Giza, it also means that they could have been built well after Khufu’s Great Pyramid was erected. Some archaeologists, however, have indicated that these samples may have been very select in their choice of which stones to sample. Further excavations of the site at Helleniko reveal that it was constructed on a previously existing structure, giving a possibility that the new methods of dating may be a misinterpretation.

Along with these five structures there are 14 more pyramid-like buildings, or their remains, scattered throughout the rest of the country side of Greece. These sites do not get as much attention as the two at Helleniko and Ligourio as they are the only ones mentioned in surviving accounts of ancient travelers.


There are many square flat-topped mound tombs in China. The First Emperor of China (circa 221 BC, who unified the 7 pre-Imperial Kingdoms), also the First Emperor Qin, was buried under a large mound outside modern day Xi'an. In the following centuries about a dozen more Han Dynasty royals were also buried under flat-topped pyramidal earthworks.


Pyramid in the Mayan city of Chichen Itza, Mexico

A number of Mesoamerican cultures also built pyramid-shaped structures. Mesoamerican pyramids were usually stepped, with temples on top, more similar to the Mesopotamian ziggurat than the Egyptian pyramid.

The largest pyramid by volume is the Great Pyramid of Cholula, in the Mexican state of Puebla. This pyramid is considered the largest monument ever constructed anywhere in the world, and is still being excavated. The third largest pyramid in the world, the Pyramid of the Sun, at Teotihuacan is also located in Mexico. There is an unusual pyramid with a circular plan at the site of Cuicuilco, now inside Mexico City and mostly covered with lava from an eruption of the Xitle Volcano in the first century BCE. There are several circular stepped pyramids called Guachimontones in Teuchitlán, Jalisco as well. Pyramids in Mexico were often used as places of human sacrifice.

North America

Many mound-building societies of ancient North America built large pyramidal earth structures known as platform mounds. Among the largest and best-known of these structures is Monk's Mound at the site of Cahokia, which has a base larger than that of the Great Pyramid at Giza. While the North American mounds' precise function is not known, they are believed to have played a central role in the mound-building people's religious life.

Roman Empire

The 27-metre-high Pyramid of Cestius was built by the end of the first century BC and still exists today, close to the Porta San Paolo. Another one, named Meta Romuli, standing in the Ager Vaticanus (today's Borgo), was destroyed at the end of the 15th century.

There is also a Roman era pyramid built in Falicon, France.[8] There were many more pyramids built in France in this period.

Medieval Europe

Pyramids have occasionally been used in Christian architecture of the feudal era, e.g. as the tower of Oviedo's Gothic Cathedral of San Salvador. In some cases this leads to speculations on masonic or other symbolical intentions.


The main gopura of the Thanjavur Temple pyramid.

Many giant granite temple pyramids were made in South India during the Chola Empire, many of which are still in religious use today. Examples of such pyramid temples include Brihadisvara Temple at Thanjavur, the Temple of Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram. However the largest temple pyramid in the area is Sri Rangam in Srirangam, Tamil Nadu. The Brihadisvara Temple was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 1987; the Temple of Gangaikondacholapuram and the Airavatesvara Temple at Darasuram were added as extensions to the site in 2004.[9]


Sukuh temple, Central Java.

Next to menhir, stone table, and stone statue; Austronesian megalithic culture in Indonesia also featured earth and stone step pyramid structure called Punden Berundak as discovered in Pangguyangan, Cisolok and Gunung Padang, West Java. The construction of stone pyramid is based from the native beliefs that mountain and high places is the abode for the spirit of the ancestors.

The step pyramid is the basic design of 8th century Borobudur Buddhist monument in Central Java. However the later temples built in Java were influenced by Indian Hindu architecture, as displayed by the towering spires of Prambanan temple. In the 15th century Java during late Majapahit period saw the revival of Austronesian indigenous elements as displayed by Sukuh temple that somewhat resemble Mesoamerican pyramid.

Modern pyramids

Examples of modern pyramids are:


See also



  • Patricia Blackwell Gary and Richard Talcott, "Stargazing in Ancient Egypt," Astronomy, June 2006, pp. 62–67.
  • Fagan, Garrett. "Archaeological Fantasies." RoutledgeFalmer. 2006

Author Terry Pratchett
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Genre Fantasy / comedy

Discworld is a comedic fantasy book series by English[1] author Sir Terry Pratchett, set on the Discworld, a flat world balanced on the backs of four elephants which, in turn, stand on the back of a giant turtle,[2] Great A'Tuin. The books frequently parody, or at least take inspiration from, J. R. R. Tolkien, Robert E. Howard, H. P. Lovecraft and William Shakespeare, as well as mythology, folklore and fairy tales, often using them for satirical parallels with current cultural, political and scientific issues.

Since the first novel, The Colour of Magic (1983), 38 Discworld novels have been published as of September 2010, five of which are marketed as children's or "young-adult" (YA) books. The original British editions of the first 26 novels, up to Thief of Time (2001), had distinctive cover art by Josh Kirby; the American editions, published by Harper Collins, used their own cover art. Since Kirby's death in October 2001, the covers have been designed by Paul Kidby. Recent British editions of Pratchett's older novels no longer reuse Kirby's art. There have also been six short stories (some only loosely related to the Discworld), three popular science books, and a number of supplementary books and reference guides. In addition, the series has been adapted for the theatre, as computer games, and as music inspired by the series. The first live-action screen adaptation for television (Terry Pratchett's Hogfather) was broadcast over Christmas 2006 for Sky1. A second, two-part TV adaptation of The Colour of Magic was broadcast on 23 March 2008 in the UK. A third two-part TV adaptation, of Going Postal, was broadcast on 30 May and 31 May 2010.

Newly released Discworld books regularly top The Sunday Times best-sellers list, making Pratchett the UK's best-selling author in the 1990s, although he has since been overtaken by Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling. Discworld novels have also won awards such as the Prometheus Award and the Carnegie Medal. In the BBC's Big Read, five Discworld books were in the top 100, and a total of fifteen in the top 200.



Very few of the Discworld novels have chapter divisions, instead featuring interweaving story-lines. Pratchett is quoted as saying that he "just never got into the habit of chapters",[3] later adding that "I have to shove them in the putative YA books because my editor screams until I do".[4] However, the first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was divided into "books", as is Pyramids. Additionally, Going Postal and Making Money do indeed have chapters, prologue, epilogue, and brief teasers of what is to come in each chapter, in the style of A. A. Milne, Jules Verne and Jerome K. Jerome.

Themes and motifs

The Discworld novels contain common themes and motifs that run through the series. Fantasy clichés are parodied in many of the novels, as are various sub-genres of fantasy, such as fairy tales (notably Witches Abroad), witch and vampire stories (Carpe Jugulum) and so on. Analogies of real-world issues, such as religion (Small Gods), business and politics (Making Money), are recurring themes, as are music genres such as opera (Maskerade) or rock music (Soul Music). Parodies of non-Discworld fiction also occur frequently, including Shakespeare, Beatrix Potter and several movies. Major historical events, especially battles, are sometimes used as the basis for both trivial and key events in Discworld stories (Jingo, Pyramids), as are trends in science, technology, and pop culture (Moving Pictures, Men At Arms). There are also humanist themes in many of the Discworld novels, and a focus on critical thinking skills in the Witches and Tiffany Aching series. Disease is rarely mentioned, with the exception of Scrofula in The Colour of Magic and the fictional "Gnats" of Going Postal.


To a greater or lesser degree, Discworld stories stand alone as independent works set in the same fantasy universe. However, a number of novels and stories can be grouped together into grand story arcs dealing with a set number of characters and events, and some books refer to earlier (or in one case, later) events. The main threads within the Discworld series are:


Rincewind was the first protagonist of Discworld; a wizard with no skill, no wizardly qualifications and no interest in heroics. He is the archetypal coward, but is constantly thrust into extremely dangerous adventures. In The Last Hero, he flatly states that he does not wish to join an expedition to explore over the edge of the Disc—but, being fully geared for the expedition at the time, clarifies by saying that any amount of protesting on his part is futile, as something will eventually occur that will bring him into the expedition anyway. As such, he not only constantly succeeds to stay alive, but also saves Discworld on several occasions, and has an instrumental role in the emergence of life on Roundworld (Science of Discworld).

Other characters in the Rincewind story arc include: Cohen the Barbarian, an aging hero of the old fantasy tradition, out of touch with the modern world and still fighting despite his advanced age; Twoflower, a naive tourist from the Agatean Empire (inspired by cultures of the Far East, particularly Japan and China); and The Luggage, a magical, semi-sentient and exceptionally vicious multi-legged travelling accessory, made from Sapient Pearwood. Rincewind has appeared in six Discworld novels as well as the three Science of Discworld supplementary books.


Death appears in every novel except The Wee Free Men, although sometimes with only a few lines, if any. As dictated by tradition, he is a seven-foot-tall skeleton with a black robe and a scythe who sits astride a pale horse (called Binky). His dialogue is always depicted in small caps, a trait that other characters often remark upon.

As the anthropomorphic personification of death, his job is to guide souls onward from this world into the next. Over millennia in the role, Death has developed a fascination with humanity, even going so far as to create a house for himself in his personal dimension. Also, in Mort it was mentioned that he once attempted to play the banjo. Death also is noted for appreciating cats; in more than one book, there's a suggestion that cat-abusers are treated badly by him, though no details are given.

Characters that often appear with Death include his butler Albert; his "granddaughter" Susan Sto Helit; the Death of Rats, the part of Death in charge of gathering the souls of rodents; Quoth, a talking raven (a parody of Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven); and the Auditors of Reality, personifications of the orderly laws of nature. Death or Susan appear as the main characters in five Discworld novels. He also appears in the short stories Death and What Comes Next, Theatre of Cruelty and Turntables of the Night.

The Witches

Witches in Pratchett's universe are largely stripped of their modern occultist, Wiccan associations (though Pratchett does frequently use his stories to lampoon such conceptions of witchcraft), and act as herbalists, adjudicators and wise women. That is not to say that witches on the Disc cannot use magic; they simply prefer not to, finding simple but cunningly applied psychology (often referred to as "headology", or sometimes "boffo") far more effective.

The principal witch in the series is Granny Weatherwax, who at first glance seems to be a taciturn, bitter old crone, from the small mountain country of Lancre. She largely despises people but takes on the role of their healer and protector because no one else can do the job as well as she can. Her closest friend is Nanny Ogg, a jolly, personable witch with the "common touch" who enjoys a smoke and a pint of beer. The two take on apprentice witches, initially Magrat Garlick, then Agnes Nitt, and then Tiffany Aching, who in turn grow on to become accomplished witches in their own right, or, in Magrat's case, Queen of Lancre.

Other characters in the Witches series include: King Verence II of Lancre, a onetime Fool; Jason Ogg, Nanny Ogg's eldest son and local blacksmith; Shawn Ogg, Nanny's youngest son who serves as his country's entire army; and Nanny's murderous cat Greebo. The witches have appeared in numerous Discworld books, but have featured as main protagonists in seven. They have also appeared in the short story The Sea and Little Fishes. Their stories frequently draw on ancient European folklore and fairy tales, and also parody famous works of literature, particularly by Shakespeare.

The City Watch

The stories featuring the Ankh-Morpork City Watch are urban-set, and frequently show the clashes that result when a traditional, magically run fantasy world such as the Disc comes into contact with modern technology and civilization. They center around the growth of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch from a hopeless gang of three to a fully equipped and efficient police force. The stories are largely police procedurals, featuring crimes that have heavy political or societal overtones.

The main character is Watch Captain Sam Vimes, a haggard, cynical street copper who finds himself swept up in history as his inept cadre of law enforcement officials (petty thief Nobby Nobbs and perennially lazy Sergeant Colon) grows and takes on new recruits, particularly from the Disc's "minority groups", such as dwarfs, trolls, and the undead. As his influence grows, Vimes' social standing also grows from Watch Captain to Commander and eventually to Duke.

Other main characters include Carrot Ironfoundersson, (possibly) the rightful heir to the throne of Ankh-Morpork; Angua, a werewolf; Detritus, a troll; Reg Shoe, a zombie and Dead Rights campaigner; Cuddy, a Dwarf who appears in Men at Arms; Golem Constable Dorfl; Cheery Littlebottom, the Watch's forensics expert, who is one of the first dwarfs to be openly female; Sam's wife, Lady Sybil Vimes (neé Ramkin); and Havelock Vetinari, the Patrician of Ankh-Morpork. The City Watch have starred in eight Discworld stories, and have cameoed in a number of others, including the children's book, Where's My Cow? and the short story Theatre of Cruelty.

Pratchett has stated on numerous occasions that the presence of the City Watch makes Ankh-Morpork stories 'problematic', as stories set in the city that don't directly involve Vimes and the Watch often require a Watch presence to maintain the story—at which point, it becomes a Watch story by default.

The Wizards

The Wizards of the Unseen University (UU) have represented a strong thread through many of the Discworld novels, although the only books that they star in exclusively are the Science of the Discworld series and the novel Unseen Academicals. In the early books, the faculty of UU changed frequently, as rising to the top usually involved assassination. However, with the ascension of the bombastic Mustrum Ridcully to the position of Archchancellor, the hierarchy has settled and characters have been given the chance to develop. The earlier books featuring the wizards also frequently dealt with the possible invasion of the Discworld by the creatures from the Dungeon Dimensions, Lovecraftian monsters that hunger for the magic and potential of the Discworld.

The wizards of UU employ the traditional "whizz-bang" type of magic seen in Dungeons & Dragons games, but also investigate the rules and structure of magic in terms highly reminiscent of particle physics. Prominent members include Ponder Stibbons, a geeky young wizard; Hex, the Disc's first computer; the Librarian, who was turned into an orangutan by magical accident; the Dean; and the Bursar. In later novels, Rincewind also joins their group.

The Wizards have featured prominently in nine Discworld books and have also starred in the Science of Discworld series and the short story A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices.

Tiffany Aching

Tiffany Aching is a young apprentice witch and star of a series of Discworld books aimed at young adults. Her stories often parallel mythic heroes' quests, but also deal with Tiffany's difficulties as a young girl maturing into a responsible woman. She is aided in her task by the Nac Mac Feegle, a gang of blue, 6-inch tall, hard-drinking, loudmouthed pictsie creatures also called "The Wee Free Men" who serve as her guardians. Both Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg have also appeared in her stories. She has, to date, appeared in four novels (The Wee Free Men, A Hat Full of Sky, Wintersmith and I Shall Wear Midnight). Major characters in this series include Miss Tick who discovered Tiffany, Annagrama Hawkin, Petulia Gristle and Rob Anybody.

Moist von Lipwig

Moist von Lipwig is a professional criminal and con man to whom Havelock Vetinari gives a "second chance" after staging his execution, recognising the advantages his jack-of-all-trades abilities would have to the development of the city. After setting him in charge of the Ankh-Morpork Post Office in Going Postal, to good result, Vetinari ordered him to clear up the city's corrupt financial sector in Making Money. A third book, in which Lipwig is ordered to organise the city's taxation system, is planned. Other characters in this series include Adora Belle Dearheart, Lipwig's acerbic, chain-smoking fiancée; Gladys, a golem who develops a strange crush on Lipwig; and Stanley Howler, a mildly autistic young man who was raised by peas (Note not "on" peas, "by"), and becomes the Disc's first stamp collector.

The History Monks

The History Monks are a group of vaguely Buddhist-like monks who have taken on the job of ensuring that history passes smoothly. They perform their task in two ways: first, their monastery is home to the History Books; 20,000 ten-foot-long, lead-bound volumes that record every event of historical relevance as it occurs. Second, they manage and control the flow of time, pumping it from the places where it's wasted (the sea or the desert) to places like cities where there's never enough time. The principal History Monk in the novels is Lu-Tze, nominally the monastery's sweeper but in fact one of the highest ranking monks in the establishment. His name is a reference to the probably mythological founding Taoist sage Lao Tse.[original research?] The History Monks have appeared in three Discworld novels to date (Small Gods, Thief of Time, Night Watch).



Name Published Groups Notes
1 The Colour of Magic 1983 Rincewind Came 93rd in the Big Read.
2 The Light Fantastic 1986 Rincewind
3 Equal Rites 1987 The Witches, The Wizards
4 Mort 1987 Death Came 65th in the Big Read
5 Sourcery 1988 Rincewind, The Wizards
6 Wyrd Sisters 1988 The Witches Came 135th in the Big Read
7 Pyramids 1989 Miscellaneous (Djelibeybi) British Science Fiction Award winner, 1989[5]
8 Guards! Guards! 1989 The City Watch Came 69th in the Big Read
9 Faust Eric 1990 Rincewind
10 Moving Pictures 1990 Miscellaneous (Holy Wood), The Wizards
11 Reaper Man 1991 Death, The Wizards Came 126th in the Big Read
12 Witches Abroad 1991 The Witches Came 197th in the Big Read
13 Small Gods 1992 Miscellaneous (Omnia), The History Monks Came 102nd in the Big Read
14 Lords and Ladies 1992 The Witches, The Wizards
15 Men at Arms 1993 The City Watch Came 148th in the Big Read
16 Soul Music 1994 Death, Susan Sto Helit, The Wizards Came 151st in the Big Read
17 Interesting Times 1994 Rincewind, The Wizards
18 Maskerade 1995 The Witches
19 Feet of Clay 1996 The City Watch
20 Hogfather 1996 Death, Susan Sto Helit, The Wizards Came 137th in the Big Read; British Fantasy Award nominee, 1997[6]
21 Jingo 1997 The City Watch
22 The Last Continent 1998 Rincewind, The Wizards
23 Carpe Jugulum 1998 The Witches
24 The Fifth Elephant 1999 The City Watch Came 153rd in the Big Read; Locus Fantasy Award nominee, 2000[7]
25 The Truth 2000 The Ankh-Morpork Times, The City Watch Came 193rd in the Big Read
26 Thief of Time 2001 Death, Susan Sto Helit, The History Monks Came 152nd in the Big Read; Locus Award nominee, 2002[8]
27 The Last Hero 2001 Rincewind, The Wizards, The City Watch Published in a larger format and fully illustrated by Paul Kidby
28 The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents 2001 Miscellaneous (Überwald) A YA (young adult or children's) Discworld book; winner of the 2001 Carnegie Medal
29 Night Watch 2002 The City Watch, The History Monks Received the Prometheus Award in 2003; came 73rd in the Big Read; Locus Award nominee, 2003[9]
30 The Wee Free Men 2003 Tiffany Aching The second YA Discworld book
31 Monstrous Regiment 2003 Miscellaneous (Borogravia), The City Watch, The Ankh-Morpork Times The title is a reference to The First Blast of the Trumpet Against the Monstrous Regiment of Women[10]
32 A Hat Full of Sky 2004 Tiffany Aching, The Witches The third YA Discworld book
33 Going Postal 2004 Moist von Lipwig Locus and Nebula Awards nominee, 2005[11]
34 Thud! 2005 The City Watch Locus Award nominee, 2006[12]
35 Wintersmith 2006 Tiffany Aching, The Witches The fourth YA book.
36 Making Money 2007 Moist von Lipwig Locus Award winner, Nebula nominee, 2008[13]
37 Unseen Academicals 2009[14] The Wizards, Miscellaneous (Nutt) Locus Award Nominee, 2010
38 I Shall Wear Midnight[15] 2010 Tiffany Aching Fifth YA book

Pratchett has occasionally hinted at other possible future Discworld novels. These include:

  • Snuff, was announced by Pratchett on Paul Kidby's website in July 2010 as being the 'next adult Discworld book'. It features Samuel Vimes, and Pratchett emphasizes that snuff has more than one meaning.[16]
  • Raising Taxes could be the third book in the Moist von Lipwig series, announced on 21 September 2007 at the book signing in Torrance, CA.[17]
  • Scouting for Trolls[18] the title of which would parody Scouting for Boys.

Short stories

There are six short stories by Pratchett based in the Discworld, and an additional short story "Turntables of the Night", that is based in the United Kingdom and Death has a featured role:

Four of the short stories along with Discworld miscellany (e.g. the history of Thud and the Ankh-Morpork national anthem) have been collected in a compilation of the majority of Pratchett's known short work named Once More* With Footnotes.

The Mapps

Furthermore, there are four "Mapps":

The first two were drawn by Stephen Player, based on plans by Pratchett and Stephen Briggs, the third is a collaboration between Briggs and Kidby, and the last is by Paul Kidby. All also contain booklets written by Pratchett and Briggs.

Terry Pratchett also admitted: "There are no maps. You can't map a sense of humour."

Several Discworld locations have been twinned with real world towns and cities. Wincanton, in Somerset, UK, for example is twinned with Ankh-Morpork, and the town is the first to even name streets after their fictional equivalents.[23][24]

Science books

Pratchett has also collaborated with Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen on three books using the Discworld to illuminate popular science topics. Each book alternates chapters of a Discworld story and notes on real science related to it. The books are:

Quiz books

Two Discworld Quiz books have been compiled by David Langford:


Most years see the release of a Discworld Diary and Calendar, both usually following a particular theme.

The diaries feature background information about their themes. Some topics are later used in the series; the concept of female assassins and the character of Miss Alice Band were two notable ideas that first appeared in the Assassins' Guild Yearbook.

The Discworld Almanak - The Year of The Prawn has a similar format and general contents to the diaries.

Other books

Other Discworld publications include:

Reading orders

Reading order is not restricted to publication order; however, each arc may be best read chronologically.[25] Some main characters may make cameo appearances in other books where they are not the primary focus; for example, Carrot Ironfoundersson and Angua von Überwald appear briefly in Going Postal and Making Money. The books take place roughly in real-time and the characters' ages change to reflect the passing of years. No distinction will ever be clear-cut. Many stories (such as The Truth and Monstrous Regiment) nominally stand alone but, nonetheless, tie in heavily with main story-lines, and the meeting of various characters from different narrative threads (e.g. Ridcully and Granny Weatherwax in Lords and Ladies, Rincewind and Carrot in The Last Hero) indicates that all the main threads take place around the same period of time (end of the Century of the Fruitbat, beginning of the Century of the Anchovy); the only exception is Small Gods, which appears to be set several hundred years before any of the other stories. A number of characters, such as members of staff of Unseen University and Lord Vetinari, appear prominently in many different story-lines without having titles of their own. As it is, many of these "standalone" stories deal with the development of the city of Ankh-Morpork into a technologically and magically advanced metropolis that readers will find analogous to real-world cities: for example, The Truth catalogues the rise of a newspaper service for the city, the Ankh-Morpork Times; and Going Postal similarly deals with the development of a postal service and the rise of the Discworld's telecommunications system, called "the clacks". However, Going Postal has since gone to become the first part of the Moist von Lipwig storyline.



Stage adaptations of 15 Discworld novels have been published. The adaptations are by Stephen Briggs (apart from Lords and Ladies by Irana Brown), and were first produced by the Studio Theatre Club in Abingdon, Oxfordshire. They include adaptations of The Truth, Maskerade, Mort, Wyrd Sisters and Guards! Guards! Stage adaptations of Discworld novels have been performed on every continent in the world, including Antarctica.

A Stage version of "Eric" adapted for the stage by Scott Harrison and Lee Harris was produced and performed by The Dreaming Theatre Company in June/July 2003 inside Clifford's Tower, the 700 year old castle keep in York. It was revived in 2004 in a tour of England along with Robert Rankin's The Antipope.

Film and television

Due in part to the complexity of the novels, Discworld has been difficult to adapt to film – Pratchett is fond of an anecdote of a producer attempting to pitch an adaptation of Mort in early 1990s but told to "lose the Death angle" by US backers.[26]

A list of completed adaptations include:

A list of adaptations in pre-production include:


There have been several BBC radio adaptations of Discworld stories, including Wyrd Sisters, Guards! Guards! (narrated by Martin Jarvis), The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents, Mort and Small Gods. On 27 February 2008, BBC Radio 4 aired the first of a five-part, weekly adaptation of Night Watch. These were also repeated in January 2010.

Audio books

Most of Pratchett's novels have been released as audio books. For the unabridged recordings, books 1-23 in the above list, except for books 3, 6 and 9, are read by Nigel Planer. Books 3 and 6 are read by Celia Imrie. Book 9 and most of the books from 24 onward are read by Stephen Briggs. Abridged versions are read by Tony Robinson. Fantastic audio also recorded 2 Discworld novels: Thief of Time & Night Watch.

Comic books

The Colour of Magic, The Light Fantastic, Mort and Guards! Guards! have been adapted into graphic novels.


Various other types of related merchandise have been produced by cottage industries with an interest in the books, including Stephen Briggs, Bernard Pearson, Bonsai Trading, Paul Kidby and Clarecraft.

Musical releases include:

  • Dave Greenslade: Terry Pratchett's From the Discworld, 1994 (Virgin CDV 2738.7243 8 39512 2 2).[34]
  • Keith Hopwood: Soul Music — Terry Pratchett's Discworld, 1998 (Proper Music Distribution / Pluto Music TH 030746), soundtrack to the animated adaptation of Soul Music.

Pratchett co-authored with Phil Masters two role-playing game supplements for Discworld, utilising the GURPS system:

Video games:

The board game, Thud was created by puzzle compiler Trevor Truran. The card game Cripple Mr Onion is adapted from the novels.

See also

Discworld portal


  1. ^ "Terry Pratchett Interview". Retrieved 17 December 2008. 
  2. ^ Pratchett, Terry (January 18, 1985). The Colour of Magic. Corgi Adult. ISBN 0552124753. 
  3. ^ Terry Pratchett (1992-07-30). "Chapters". (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-06-09.
  4. ^ Terry Pratchett (1993-09-26). "Re: Posting to TP". (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-06-09.
  5. ^ "1989 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  6. ^ "1997 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  7. ^ "2000 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  8. ^ "2002 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  9. ^ "2003 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  10. ^ "''Monstrous Regiment'' annotations at". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  11. ^ "2005 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  12. ^ "2006 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  13. ^ "2008 Award Winners & Nominees". Worlds Without End. Retrieved 2009-06-29. 
  14. ^ "''Unseen Academicals'' at". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  15. ^ "Discworld News August 2009 © PJSM Prints". 2009-08-22. Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  16. ^ "Discworld News July 2010". 2010-07-01. Retrieved 2010-07-06. 
  17. ^ "Colour of Magic film info, another book to feature Moist?". 2008-09-26. Retrieved 2007-12-15. 
  18. ^ Alternative Nation interview
  19. ^ "Turntables of the Night". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  20. ^ "Troll Bridge". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  21. ^ a b Theatre of Cruelty and Death and What Comes Next at
  22. ^ "A Collegiate Casting-Out of Devilish Devices". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 
  23. ^ Wincanton in Somerset - streets named after Discworld locations - Into Somerset website
  24. ^ A magic idea - Sir Terry Pratchett's Discworld inspiration street names - Daily Mail 6th April 2009
  25. ^ The L-Space Web: Discworld Reading Order Guides - webpage showing the interrelationships between the books and series within Discworld, with suggested starts.
  26. ^ Terry Pratchett (1992-11-02). "DW Film... (was Re: Guards! Guards! play". (Web link). Retrieved on 2007-06-09.
  27. ^
  28. ^ "More Adaptations by Sky to follow". 
  29. ^
  30. ^ "Lords and Ladies fan movie adaptation". 
  31. ^ "Snowgum Films". 
  32. ^ "Raimi's a Free Man, Spidey helmer signs for new flick". IGN. 10 January 2006. 
  33. ^ "Sam Raimi set to direct The Wee Free Men". 10 January 2006. 
  34. ^ "page". Retrieved 2009-08-29. 

External links

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Pyramids article)

From Wikitravel

Pyramids can be found at a variety of locations around the globe, including:


The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx
The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx


  • Paris/1st arrondissement (central Paris) - the Louvre Museum is home to the most famous modern pyramid, built in glass and steel


  • Tikal - Impressive Mayan Ruins


  • Rome - the Italian capital has a famous steep-sided pyramid, built as an ancient cenotaph for a nobleman's tomb


El Castillo - Chichen Itza
El Castillo - Chichen Itza

United States of America

  • Las Vegas - a large pyramidical structure is to be found at a Las Vegas casino
  • Long Beach - the gymnasium for the baskeball and volleyball teams on the California State University, Long Beach campus is an impressive 18-story-tall blue pyramid

see also:

This article is a disambiguation page. If you arrived here by following a link from another page you can help by correcting it, so that it points to the appropriate disambiguated page.

1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From LoveToKnow 1911

PYRAMID, the name for a class of buildings, first taken from part of the structure,' and mistakenly applied to the whole of it by the Greeks, which has now so far acquired a more definite meaning in its geometrical sense that it is desirable to employ it in that sense alone. A pyramid therefore should be understood as meaning a building bounded by a polygonal base and plane triangular sides which meet in an apex. 2 Such a form of architecture is only known in Middle Egypt, and there only during the period from the IVth to the XIIth Dynasty (before 3000 B.C.) - having square bases and angles of about 50°. In other countries various modifications of the tumulus, barrow or burial-heap have arisen which have come near to this type; but these when formed of earth are usually circular, or if square have a flat top, and when built of stone are always in steps or terraces. The imitations of the true Egyptian pyramid at Thebes, Meroe and elsewhere are puny hybrids, being merely chambers with a pyramidal outside and porticos attached; and the structures found at Cenchreae, or the monument of Caius Sestius at Rome, are isolated and barren trials of a type which never could be revived: it had run its course in a country and a civilization to which alone it was suitable.

The origin of the pyramid type has been entirely explained by the discovery of the various stages of development of the tomb. In prehistoric times a square chamber was sunk in the ground, the dead placed in it, and a roof of poles and brushwood overlaid with sand covered the top. The Ist Dynasty kings developed a wooden lining to the chamber; then a wooden chamber free-standing in the pit, with a beam roof, then a stairway at the side to descend; then a pile of earth held in by a dwarf wall over it. By the IIIrd Dynasty this dwarf wall had expanded into a solid mass of brickwork, about 280 by 150 ft. and 33 ft. high. This was the mastaba type of tomb, with a long sloping passage descending to the chamber far below it. This pile of brickwork was then copied in stonework early in the IIIrd Dynasty (Saqqara). It was then enlarged by repeated heightening and successive coats of masonry. And lastly a smooth casing was put over the whole, and the first pyramid appeared (Medum).

It is certain that the pyramids were each begun with a definite design for their size and arrangement; at least this is plainly seen in the two largest, where continuous accretion (such as Lepsius and his followers propound) would be most likely to be met with. On looking at any section of these buildings it will be seen how impossible it would have been for the passages to have belonged to a smaller structure (Petrie, 165). The supposition that the designs were enlarged so long as the builder's life permitted was drawn from the compound mastabas of Saqqara and Medum; these are, however, quite distinct architecturally from true pyramids, and appear to have been enlarged at long intervals, being elaborately finished with fine casing at the close of each addition.

Around many of the pyramids peribolus walls may be seen, and it is probable that some enclosure originally existed around each of them. At the pyramids of Gizeh the temples attached to these mausolea may be still seen. As in the private tomb, the false door which represented the exit of the deceased person from this world, and towards which the offerings were made, was always on the west wall in the chamber, so the pyramid was placed on the west of the temple in which the deceased king was worshipped. The temple being entered from the east (as in the Jewish temples), the worshippers faced the west, looking towards the pyramid in which the king was buried. Priests of the various pyramids are continually mentioned during the old kingdom, and the religious endowments of many of the priesthoods of the early kings were revived under the Egyptian renaissance of the XXVIth Dynasty and continued during Ptolemaic times. A list of the hieroglyphic names of nineteen ' The vertical height was named by the Egyptians pir (see E. Revillout, Rev. Eg., 2nd year, 305-309), hence the Greek form pyramis, pl. pyramides (Herod.), used unaltered in the English of Sandys (1615), from which the singular pyramid was formed.

For figures of geometrical pyramids see Crystallography, and for their mensuration see Mensuration.

of the pyramids which have been found mentioned on monuments (mostly in tombs of the priests) is given in Lieblein's Chronology, p. 32. The pyramid was never a family monument, put belonged - like all other Egyptian tombs - to one person, members of the royal family having sometimes lesser pyramids adjoining the king's (as at Khufu's); the essential idea of the sole use of a tomb was so strong that the hill of Gizeh is riddled with deep tomb-shafts for separate burials, often running side by side 60 or 80 ft. deep, with only a thin wall of rock between; and in one place a previous shaft has been partially blocked with masonry, so that a later shaft could be cut partly into it, macled with it like a twin-crystal.

The usual construction of pyramids is a mass of masonry composed of horizontal layers of rough-hewn blocks, with a small amount of mortar; and this mass in the later forms became more and more rubbly, until in the VIth Dynasty it was merely cellular system of retaining walls of rough stones and mud, filled up with loose chips, and in the XIIth Dynasty the bulk was of mud bricks. Whatever was the hidden material, however, there was always on the outside a casing of fine stone, elaborately finished, and very well jointed; and the inner chambers were of similarly good work. Indeed the construction was in all cases so far sound that, had it not been for the spite of enemies and the greed of later builders, it is probable that every pyramid would have been standing in good order at this day. The casings were not a mere " veneer " or " film," as they have been called, but were of massive blocks, usually greater in thickness than in height, and in some cases (as at South Dahshur) reminding the observer of horizontal leaves with sloping edges.

Inside of each pyramid, always low down, and usually below the ground level, was built a sepulchral chamber; this was reached in all cases by a passage from the north, sometimes beginning in the pyramid face, sometimes descending into the rock on which the pyramid was built in front of the north side. This chamber, if not cut in the rock altogether (as in Menkaura's), or a pit in the rock roofed with stone (as in Khafra's), was built between two immense walls which served for the east and west sides, and between which the north and south sides and roofing stood merely in contact, but unbonded. The gable roofing of the chambers was formed by great sloping cantilevers of stone, projecting from the north and south walls, on which they rested without pressing on each other along the central ridge; thus there was no thrust, nor were there any forces to disturb the building; and it was only after the most brutal treatment, by which these great masses of stone were cracked asunder, that the principle of thrust came into play, though it had been provided for in the sloping form of the roof, so as to delay so long as possible the collapse of the chamber. This is best seen is the pyramid of Pepi (Petrie), opened from the top right through the roof. See also the Abusir pyramids (Howard Vyse) and the king's and queen's chambers of the great pyramid (Howard Vyse, Piazzi Smyth, Petrie). The roofing is sometimes, perhaps usually, of more than one layer; in Pepi's pyramid it is of three layers of stone beams, each deeper than their breadth, resting one on another, the thirty stones weighing more than 30 tons each. In the king's chamber (Gizeh) successive horizontal roofs were interposed between the chamber and the final gable roof, and such may have been the case at Abu Roash (Howard Vyse).

The passages which led into the central chambers have usually some lesser chamber in their course, and are blocked once or oftener with massive stone portcullises. In all cases some part, and generally the greater part, of the passages slopes downwards, usually at an angle of about 26°, or i in 2. These passages appear to have been closed externally with stone doors turning on a horizontal pivot, as may be seen at South Dahshur, and as is described by Strabo and others (Petrie). This suggests that the interiors of the pyramids were accessible to the priests, probably for making offerings; the fact of many of them having been forcibly entered otherwise does not show that no practicable entrance existed, but merely that it was unknown, as, for instance, in the pyramids of Khufu and Khafra, both of which were regularly entered in classical times, but were forced by the ignorant Arabs.

The pyramids of nearly all the kings of the IVth, Vth and VIth Dynasties are mentioned in inscriptions, and also a few of later times. The first which can be definitely attributed is that of Khufu (or Cheops), called " the glorious," the great pyramid of FIG. I. - Pyramid of Medum (Meidoun).

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Gizeh. Dad-ef-ra, who appears next to Khufu in the lists, had his pyramid at Abu Roash. Khafra rested in the pyramid now known as the second pyramid of Gizeh. Menkaura's pyramid was called Of the architectural peculiarities of some particular pyramids some notice must now be given. The pyramid of Medum (figs. 1, 2) was the first true pyramid. It was begun as a mastaba, AA, like other such tombs, such as that of King Neter-khet at Beyt Khalaf. This mastaba was then enlarged by heightening it and adding a coating, and this process, repeated seven times, resulted in a high stepped mass of masonry. Such had been made before, at the step pyramid of Saqqara; but for the first time it was now covered with one uniform slope of masonry from base to top, and a pyramid was the result. The chamber is peculiar for being entered by a vertical shaft in the floor. The great pyramid (fig. 3) of Gizeh (Khufu's) is very different in its internal arrangements from any other known. The pyramid covers upwards of 13 acres, and is about 150 ft. higher than St Paul's Cathedral. As compared with St Peter's, Rome, it covers an area which is as 29 to I I, or nearly three times as much, and it is 50 ft. higher. The greater number of passages and chambers, the high finish of parts of the work, and the accuracy of construction all distinguish it. The chamber which is most normal in its situation is the subterranean chamber; but this is quite unfinished, hardly more than begun. The upper chambers, called the " king's " and " queen's," were completely hidden, the ascending passage to them having been closed by plugging blocks, which concealed the point where it branched upwards out of the roof of the long descending passage. Another passage, which in its turn branches from the ascending passage to the queen's chamber, was also completely blocked up. The object of having two highly-finished chambers in the mass may have been to receive the king and his co-regent (of whom there is some historical evidence) and there is very credible testimony to a sarcophagus having existed in the queen's chamber, as well as in the king's chamber. On the details of construction in the great pyramid it is needless to enter here; but it may be stated that the accuracy of work is such that the four sides of the base have only a mean error of six-tenths of an inch in length and 12 seconds in angle from a perfect square.' '14/ A' ¦ z ,/ AA Mastaba. 100 -- - --_ - ? s -- ? - FIG. 2. - Pyramid of Medum.

the upper," being at the highest level on the hill of Gizeh. The The second pyramid lesser pyramids of Gizeh, near the great and third pyramids, belong entrances (one in the respectively to the families of Khufu and Khafra (Howard Vyse). The pyramid of Aseskaf, called " the cool," is unknown, so also is that of Userkaf of the Vth Dynasty, called the " holiest of buildings." Sahura's pyramid, the north one of Abusir, was named " the rising soul," much as Neferarkara's at Abusir was named " of the soul." Raenuser's pyramid, " the firmest of buildings," is the middle pyramid of Abusir. The pyramid of Menkauhor, called " the most divine building," is somewhere at Saqqara. Assa's pyramid is unidentified; it was " the beautiful." Unas not only built the mastaba Farun, long supposed to be his pyramid, but had a pyramid called " the most beautiful of buildings " at Saqqara, which was opened in 1881 (see Recueil des travaux, by M. Maspero, iii., for those opened at Saqqara). In the VIth Dynasty the " pyramid of souls," built by Ati (Rauserka), is unknown. That of Teta, " the most stable of buildings," was opened at Saqqara in 1881, as well as that of Pepi (Rameri), " the firm and beautiful." The pyramids. of Rameren, " the beautiful rising," and of Neferarkara, " the firm life, " are unknown. Haremsaf's pyramid was opened at Saqqara in 1881. Of the last two kings of the VIth Dynasty we know of no pyramids. In the VIIth or VIIIth Dynasty most probably the brick pyramids of Dahshur were erected. In the XIth Dynasty the pyramid, " the most glorious building," of Mentuhotep II. is at Deir el Bahri, and the mud pyramid of one of the Antef kings is known at Thebes. In the XIIth Dynasty the pyramids, the " lofty and beautiful " of Amenemhat I. and " the bright " of Usertesen II., are known in inscriptions, while the pyramid of Senusert I. is at Lisht, that of Senusert II. is at Illahun, that of Senusert III. at Dahshur (N. brick), and the brick pyramid at Howara is of Amenemhat III., who built the adjoining temple.

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of Gizeh, that of Khafra, has two separate side, the other in the pavement) and two From Vyse's Pyramids of Ghizeh. FIG. 3. - Section of Great Pyramid.

1 With respect to the construction of this and other pyramids, see Howard Vyse; on measurements of the inside of the great pyramid and descriptions, see Piazzi Smyth; and on measurements in general mechanical means, and theories, see Petrie.

chambers (one roofed with slabs, the other all rock-hewn), these chambers, however, do not run into the masonry, the whole bulk of which is solid so far as is known. This pyramid has a part of the original casing on the top; and it is also interesting as having the workmen's barracks still remaining at a short distance on the west side, long chambers capable of housing about 4000 men. The great bulk of the rubbish from the work is laid on the south side, forming a flat terrace level with the base, and covering a steep rock escarpment which existed there. The waste heaps from the great pyramid were similarly tipped out over the cliff on its northern side. Thus the rubbish added to the broad platform which set off the appearance of the pyramids; and it has remained undisturbed in all ages, as there was nothing to be got out of it. The third pyramid, that of Menkaura, was cased around the base with red granite for the sixteen lowest courses. The design of it has been enlarged at one bound from a small pyramid (such as those of the family of Khufu) to one eight times the size, as it is at present, the passages needed therefore to be altered. But there is no sign of gradual steps of enlargement: the change was sudden, from a comparatively small design to a large one. The basalt sarcophagus of this pyramid was ornamented with the panel decoration found on early tombs, unlike the granite sarcophagi of the two previous pyramids, which are plain. Unhappily it was lost at sea in 1838.

An additional interest belongs to the third pyramid (of Menkaura) owing to its chamber being ceiled with a pointed arch (fig. 4). But it is not a true arch, the stones being merely cantilevers opposite to each other, with the underside cut to the above form (see fig. 5).

Farther south are the pyramids of Abusir, described in the work of Colonel Howard Vyse, and since excavated by the Germans. Next come those of Saqqara. The construction of 1 t the step-pyramid or cumulat ive mastaba has been noticed above; its passages are very peculiar and intricate, winding around the principal chamber, which is in the centre, cut in the rock, very high, and with a tombchamber built in the bottom of it, which is closed with a great plug of red granite, a circular stopper fitting into a neck in the chamber roof. A doorway faced with glazed tiles bearing the name of King Neter-khet of the IIIrd Dynasty existed here; the tiles were taken to Berlin by Lepsius. The other pyramids of Saqqara are those of Unas, Pepi, Haremsaf, &c. They are distinguished by the introduction of very long religious texts, covering the whole inside of the chambers and passages; these are carefully carved in small hieroglyphics, painted bright green, in the white limestone. Beyond these come the pyramids of Dahshur, which are in a simple and massive style, much like those of Gizeh. The north pyramid of Dahshur has chambers roofed like the gallery in the great pyramid by successive overlappings of stone, the roof rising to a great height, with no less than eleven projections on each side. The south From Vyse. pyramid of Dahshur has still the greater part FIG. 5. - Section of its casing remaining, and is remarkable for of Sepulchral Chambeing built at two different angles, the lower ber, Third Pyramid. part being at the usual pyramid angle, while the upper part is but 43. This pyramid is also remarkable for having a western passage to the chambers, which was carefully closed up. Beyond the Memphitic group are the scattered pyramids of Lisht (Senusert I.), Illahun (Senusert II.), and Howara (Amenemhat III.), and the earliest pyramid of Medum (Sneferu). Illahun is built with a framework of stone filled up with mud bricks, and Howara is built entirely of mud bricks, though cased with fine stone like the other pyramids.

The dimensions of the pyramids that are accurately known are in inches: The first two closely agree to the proportion of 7 high on II base, approximately the ratio of a radius to its circle. And on dividing the base at Medum by II the modulus is 515.64, and the base of Khufu = I 1 is 824.44. These moduli are 25 cubits of 20.625 and 40 cubits of 20.611; so it appears that the form was of the same type, but with moduli of 25 and 40 cubits respectively.

Beyond these already described there are no true pyramids, but we will briefly notice those later forms derived from the pyramid. At Thebes some small pyramids belong to the kings of the XIth Dynasty; the tomb-chamber is in the rock below. The size is under 50 ft. square. These are not oriented, and have a horizontal entrance, quite unlike the narrow pipe-like passages sloping down into the regular pyramids (see Mariette, in Bib. arch. trans. iv. 193). In Ethiopia, at Gebel Barkal, are other so-called pyramids of a very late date. They nearly all have porches; their simplicity is lost amid very dubious decorations; and they are not oriented. They are all very acute, and have flat tops as if to support some ornament. The sizes are but small, varying from 23 to 88 ft. square at Gebel Barkal and 17 to 63 ft. square at Meroe. The interior is solid throughout, the windows which appear on the sides being useless architectural members (see Hoskin's Ethiopia, 148, &c.). The structures sometimes called pyramids at Biahmu in the Fayum have no possible claim to such a name; they were two great enclosed courts with sloping sides, in the centres of which were two seated statues raised on pedestals high enough to be seen over the walls of the courts. This form would appear like a pyramid with a statue on the top; and a rather similar case in early construction is shown on the sculptures of the old kingdom. Obelisks then were single monuments (not in pairs) and stood in the midst of a great courtyard with sides sloping like a mastaba; such open courtyards on a small scale are found in the mastabas at Gizeh, and are probably copied from the domestic architecture of the time.

On the vexed question of inscriptions on the pyramids it will suffice to say that not one fragment of early inscription is known on the casing of any pyramid, either in situ or broken in pieces. Large quantities of travellers' " graffiti " doubtless existed, and some have been found on the casing of the great pyramid; these probably gave rise to the accounts of inscriptions, which are expressly said to have been in many different languages.

The mechanical means employed by the pyramid-builders have been partly ascertained. The hard stones, granite, diorite and basalt were in all fine work sawn into shape by bronze saws set with jewels (either corundum or diamond), hollows were made (as in sarcophagi) by tubular drilling with tools like our modern diamond rock-drills (which are but reinvented from ancient sources, see Engineering, xxxvii. 282). The details of the questions of transport and management of the large stones remain still to be explained.

See Colonel Howard Vyse, Operations at the Pyramids (1840); Professor C. Piazzi Smyth, Life and Work at the Great Pyramid (1867); W. M. Flinders Petrie, Pyramids and Temples of Gizeh, (1883).

(W. M. F. P.)

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010
(Redirected to pyramid article)

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary



Wikipedia has an article on:


The Great Pyramids of Giza.

Alternative spellings


From French pyramideOld French piramideLatin pyramisAncient Greek πυραμίς (pyramis), from Ancient Egyptian pimar "pyramid".

The Ancient Egyptian word for pyramid is mr.





pyramid (plural pyramids)

  1. An ancient massive construction with a square or rectangular base and four triangular sides meeting in an apex, such as those built as tombs in Egypt or as bases for temples in Mesoamerica.
  2. A construction in the shape of a pyramid, usually with a square or rectangular base.
  3. (geometry) A solid with triangular lateral faces and a polygonal (often square or rectangular) base.
  4. A pyramid scheme.

Derived terms


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

See also



Inflection for pyramid Singular Plural
common Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Base form pyramid pyramiden pyramider pyramiderna
Possessive form pyramids pyramidens pyramiders pyramidernas

pyramid c.

  1. (geometry) pyramid
  2. Pyramid-shaped construction.

Related terms

  • pyramidspel

See also


Up to date as of February 01, 2010

From Wikia Gaming, your source for walkthroughs, games, guides, and more!


Developer(s) Sachen
Publisher(s) American Video Entertainment
Release date January 1992
Genre Puzzle
Mode(s) Single player
Age rating(s) N/A
Platform(s) NES
Credits | Soundtrack | Codes | Walkthrough

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This article uses material from the "Pyramid" article on the Gaming wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

Simple English

A pyramid is a shape. It has triangular sides that come together in a point at the top, call the "apex". A pyramid with a square base (bottom) and four sides is called a square pyramid. A pyramid with a triangular base and three sides is called a tetrahedron

Famous Pyramids


There are famous buildings with a pyramid shape around the world. In Egypt (a country in north Africa), kings and queens called pharaohs were buried in very large square pyramids built of stone. The largest of these huge buildings is the great pyramid at Giza near Cairo. It was built by the pharoh Khafra from the Ancient Egyptian Old Kingdom. The other pyramids were built by Menkaura and Khufu (both from the Old Kingdom). The ancient Greeks called it one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

There are also ancient pyramids in Africa, Nubia, Central America, Greece, Rome, North America, France, China and Europe.

There is a famous modern glass pyramid in front of the Louvre Museum in Paris. The Luxor Hotel, in Las Vegas, Nevada is also a glass pyramid.

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