Thursday, December 4, 2008


By: Emelia Suljic

Bendick, Jeanne. Egyptian Tombs. United states of America: Watts press, 1989. Page 10 & 31-35

Hooper, Meredith. Who Built the Pyramid? Cambridge, Massachusetts: Candlewick Press, 2001. Pages 6-37 November 28, 2008. Online. World Wide Web. November 28, 2008. Online. World Wide Web. December 2, 2008. Online. World Wide Web

Millard, Anne. Pyramids. Park Avenue, New York: Gloucester Press, 1989. Page 8-9

Millard, Anne. The World of the Pharaohs. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1998. Page 4-10

McNeill, Sarah. Ancient Egyptian People. Brookfield, Connecticut: Millbrook Press, 1997. Pages 43-45

Pemberton, Delia. Egyptian Mummies: The British Museum. Italy: Harcourt, Inc., 2001. Pages 3-9

Smith, Stuart Tyson and Bernard, Nancy Stone. Valley of the Kings. New York, New York: Oxford University Press, Inc., 2003. Page 7

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Welcome Video

By Emelia Suljic

Make Your Own Pyramid

By Emelia Suljic

Follow my simple instructions below to make your own clay pyramid or click the link below to make a more elaborate one.

Step 1. Take a chunk of clay about the size of your fist.

Step 2. Shape your piece of clay into a rough pyramid shape (3-D triangle) with four sides

Step 3. If there are any split corners or cracked sides, press your thumb to the clay and smooth out the cracks. start at the top of the crack and work your way down.

Step 4. Shape your pyramid into a more angled structure.

Step 5. Cut off 1/5 of the top of your pyramid. Use the opposite colored clay and make a miniature pyramid the same size as the part you just cut off. This will be your capstone. Stick your capstone onto the top of the pyramid.

Step 6: Use a tooth pick to make any designs or decoration on your capstone.

Step 7: Optional step – Use the toothpick to shape little rectangles on the pyramid. These are your lime-stone rocks.

Step 8: Use your toothpick once more to carve out a small rectangular hole on the “north” side of your pyramid. This is your entrance.

Step 9: Enjoy your model pyramid!

You just created a true-pyramid. The Egyptians thought it looked like a sun-ray. They believed the dead pharaohs would walk up the smooth side of the pyramid and unite with the sun god, Re. If you want to make a step pyramid, use your toothpick once again to carve out extra clay to form five steps going up to the top of the pyramid (on each side). The Egyptians believed this was a staircase to heaven.

The Burial

By Emelia Suljic


When most people think of mummies, they think of Halloween! Or at least dead Egyptian people that have been wrapped in white linen. But, by definition, mummy really means a dead body that has been somehow preserved. The first mummies were preserved by accident when buried in the desert. People saw that the bodies had not decayed and that is when they started to think they needed to keep their form for the afterlife. They thought the gods were trying to tell them this. Then they started to preserve the bodies with a special process called mummification. First, they removed the intestines through a small slit on the left side of their body. The only organ they left in is the heart because they needed it in the afterlife. They saved all organs, except the brain, in canopic jars which were buried near them. They used a long brass hook that that they inserted through nose to mash the brain and tug it out. They did not put the brain in a conopic jar because they did not know the brain’s purpose, and thought it was useless. They rubbed oils and essence on the body.

Next they put the body on a rock slab and buried it in a type of salt called natron. This dried out the body and helped preserve it. It sat like this for about 40 days. After the 40 days, they used papyrus (Egyptian paper) to stuff the body so it would keep its form and then they sewed up the incision. They also stuffed wax up the nose to keep the head’s form.

They rubbed oils and essence on the body again. They wrapped the body in many layers of fine white linen. As they wrapped the body, the priests, dressed as a jackal-headed god, sang prayers and “cast magical spells” to protect the body in the afterlife. On the linen covering the head, artists painted the face of the dead person. They put the body in a fitted rock sarcoughigus and put another fitted gold sarcoughigus over that. On the head of the gold sarcoughigus, the artists painted the face once more. This ensured the gods who came to “pick up” the dead person’s soul, would recognized who it was. They put another giant rock tomb over the gold sarcoughigus. Then the pharaoh was buried in the pyramid.

On the walls of the tomb and on the funeral equipment, the priests wrote magical spells, called the Book of the Dead. This was to protect them on their journey to the afterlife. Artists painted scenes of Egyptian life that would make the pharaoh feel at home. They also made rock sculptures of the pharaoh’s favorite servants everywhere.

The Pharaoh was buried with many items, because they believed in an afterlife. The Egyptians believed he needed those items in the afterlife to remain a pharaoh. After the family chose the items and the burial was over, no one, not even the priests, were allowed in the tomb or near the precious items again. Archeologists believe this to be true because we know every pyramid was secured by several guards. Priests delivered food to the pharaoh’s soul, but were only allowed in the mortuary temple, positioned on the outside of the pyramid.


By Emelia Suljic

The Pyramid Age

The Pyramid Age lasted from about 2630 BC to 1514 BC (about 1,100 years). This period in history is the only time the Egyptian people built pyramids. A pyramid was where they buried the pharaoh; it was his tomb. It is a gargantuan three-dimensional triangular structure. They realized at the end of this period that even though pyramids were strong and sturdy, they were easy to spot. Because of that, they were easy to rob. After they recognized this fact, they started burying the kings in hidden tombs in the cliffs, mountains, and in the desert.

During the Pyramid Age, the first thing a new pharaoh did was plan his pyramid. He started this process so quickly because it takes about 20 years to build a pyramid. The first type of Pyramid, the step pyramid, was believed to be a staircase to heaven. They built this type of pyramid in 2700 BC, about 5000 years ago. It dates back to the third dynasty. It consists of several steps, usually about five. Only one step pyramid has been completed.

They switched to the pyramid that people are familiar with today, the “true” pyramid, because they thought it looked like a sunbeam made of stone. The pharaoh would walk up the sunbeam (a side of the pyramid) to join the sun god, Re. They also thought it was more pleasing to the eye. The step and true pyramids may appear very different, but construction-wise, they are very similar.

To build these colossal structures, they needed many people (about 100,000), many materials and resources and time. Some pharaohs went bankrupt while building their pyramids. Since it took so many workers, cities were built around the pyramid so you would not have to travel back and forth. In return for their hard work, the pharaoh paid them with food, water, goods, clothing, supplies and homes in the pyramid cities. It was not necessary, but it was helpful to have farms or fields nearby to grow food for the workers. Even after the pyramids were finished, the cities would remain.

Here are some of the people who helped build the pyramids and what their responsibilities were:

The Pharaoh: commanded the pyramid to be built.

Chief Minister/architect/engineers: designed the pyramid.

Mathematicians: They used geometry to make sure all the little things like the slightest angle, area, and volume were exact.

High Priest/astronomer: chose where it would be built. He had to pick a very large, flat, open space. He needed to place the pyramid so each side faced North, South, East, and West.

Record Keepers: Kept track of expenses, like work crews, time spent, materials, and supplies.

Quarry master: leader of the group that dug up the limestone.

They needed a quarry to dig out the huge stones. Since the stones were so huge, some weighed as much as 15 tons and they needed roughly 2.5 million, they needed to be close to the quarry. They needed a nearby harbor for ships that brought in supplies from other parts of Egypt. They also had to dig out canals to connect the harbor with the Nile.

To haul up the heavy stones to their place on the pyramid, they built a ramp, one from the quarry to the pyramid and as many as four ramps from the base of the pyramid to the tip. As the workers got higher, they extended the ramp along the way. They used wooden sledges for dragging the giant stones and a very strong rope to pull the sledge and rock. Finally they needed many, many, many buckets of water to slosh under the sledges for them to slide more easily.

Foreman of the Gangs: Tunneled underground to carve out the burial chamber.

Labors: Pulled the 30,000 pound stones and put them in place.

Water Carrier: Brought water to the tired labors from the Nile River.

Stones Mason: Connected and smoothed the beautiful stone so you could not fit a hair in between.

The Sculptor/artists: Carved and decorated the cap stone with gold.

The New Pharaoh: Commanded his father’s burial.

They all contributed to the building of the pyramid. If one did not do his job, it would not ever be completed.

Now, to take a closer look at the inside of the pyramid; There were three burial chamber plans. There was a very long corridor called a causeway. The causeway lead up to the mortuary temple, which is built on the east side of the pyramid. Everyday, food and drinks were offered there to the king’s soul.

The entrance to the pyramid was always on the north side. A passage lead from there down and then up again to the burial chamber. The burial chamber was at the center of the base of the pyramid. There were three huge rooms in the whole pyramid, besides the tunnels leading to them. Sometimes one of the three rooms was the queen’s burial chamber, it was much smaller than the king’s. The rest of the pyramid was solid. They had staircases, corridors and enormous rooms that were carefully carved out and decorated with scenes showing the Egyptian’s religion. The tombs reflected the society of the Ancient Egyptians.


By Emelia Suljic

Welcome to the Pharaohs and Their Burial website! This is a chance to learn all about Egyptian pharaohs and their unique burial ceremony from thousands of years ago. We begin our journey back in time with a closer look at pharaohs.

Pharaohs were considered “gods on earth”.
Back then the Egyptians worshiped many gods and goddesses such as: Re-Harakhte (the sun god), Horus, the sky god, Hathor, the great mother, Ptah, the craftsman that created the universe, Osiris, the ruler of the underworld or god of the dead, and his wife, Isis. (Pyramids by Anne Millard).
Please click below to see all the gods and goddesses.
The Pharaoh had many servants.
They did domestic and non-domestic chores, such as: cooking, taking care of the pharaoh and his family, and cleaning. The servants were beaten regularly because of an old saying: “A servant, who does not get beaten, will have angry thoughts in his heart.” This means that beating a servant rid the servant of all mean, angry, or evil thoughts from their head, such as: “I am going to rob the Pharaoh’s treasury and become rich!” If you were a servant you would try to please the pharaoh as much as possible and would try not to be the one to bring him bad news. You wanted to please him because if you were one of the Pharaoh’s favorite servants you would be buried in a special tomb called a Mastaba. This was an honor because it was right in front of the pharaoh’s tomb (in the pyramid) and the gods were thought to visit the pharaoh’s tomb often.
What the pharaoh wore:
The pharaoh was considered a great leader and the “shepherd” of his people. As a symbol of this he carried a beautifully decorated miniature gold shepherd staff called the Sekhem Scepter. They wore a fine white linen, pleated skirt, jeweled and leather belt, jeweled leather sandals and they had many crowns and head-dresses.

The Blue Crown: the pharaoh’s helmet.
The Diadem: They wore this for special occasions.
The Nems: Also called the Sphinx headdress, worn on less special occasions.
The Atef Crown: The Crown of Osiris (the god of the underworld). This was not worn often, only on a few religious occasions.
The Uraeus: This had a snake coming out of the forehead. They thought a snake on the king’s forehead, called the great of magic, spat fire at enemys.
The Sekhem Scepter: This was the symbol of royal power and carried at any ceremony.

These items were buried with the Pharaoh in his tomb. Other important items he was buried with include; jewelry, precious stones and metals. The most important item a dead pharaoh was buried with was a boat. This was the dead pharaoh’s transportation to the afterlife. When the pharaoh’s burial ceremony was over, his first wife’s oldest son became the next pharaoh. As soon as the new pharaoh was selected, he started making plans to make his burial tomb…his pyramid.