The site that I most enjoyed learning about this semester was the Ancient Egyptian Pyramids. As the Great Pyramid of Giza is only one of the seven ancient wonders of the world still standing, the amount we have learned from them is incredible. Learning about all of the history and reasoning behind them, as well as how they have been damaged since the time they were built and all of the legends they have created was very eye-opening.
I think this was one of the most important sites were studied due to the huge implications they have had on science as well as different aspects of culture. Many movies, novels, and video games deal with themes such as “curse of the mummy” or raiding ancient, haunted burial tombs. There are theories that the tips of the three pyramids line up with the three stars in Orion’s Belt (Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka). Though this theory does not have proven credibility, since the position of the stars would have been in a different part of the sky when the pyramids were constructed than they are now, it is a fun theory. They have permanently permeated modern culture, and will most likely continue to fascinate and intrigue for decades to come.
While the modern pop culture impact the pyramids have is great, the real importance of them comes from what we have learned, and are continuing to learn, from exploring all three of the pyramids. From learning about ancient Egyptian Burial and religious rites, to figuring out how ancient people managed to stack heavy stones hundreds of feet high to learning about slave labor in ancient times, there is still much we haven’t learned. We have learned how the laborers that built the pyramids did so as a form of tax payment to the Pharaoh, and they slept in large “villages” built specifically for the purpose of building the pyramids. The inside of the pyramids was used as a final resting place for Egyptian royalty, as well as their families and loved ones. They were often buried with foods, gems and gold, and things that the Egyptians believed necessary to pass safely into the next life. The inscriptions on the insides of the pyramids also gave us large insights into the burial and afterlife beliefs of the ancient Egyptians.
Though the pyramid have been greatly explored and much has already been learned, we can only continue to explore and learn more from these amazing historical structures.