Structure of the Pyramids



The Pyramid Texts are linked to the conception of the world as solar circuit, where the Sun crosses the sky on its daytime boat and the afterlife in that night. This conception is not only reflected in their vision dell’oltremondo, but also in the structure of the rooms which show the lyrics. These rooms have a regular plan in all the pyramids. Below the apex of the pyramid is the most inaccessible room, the burial chamber, which contains the tomb, located in the West side. The burial chamber has a rectangular shape and the pointed roof; the texts are inscribed on the east and west walls, including in the eardrum. A passageway connects the burial chamber with the antechamber, located to the east. The hall has the same shape of the triangular roof, but more square and the texts are placed as the previous room. From here, another small passage leads to Serdab, a tripartite room, always placed in the east of the antechamber. On the north wall of the antechamber opens a corridor, wider than those seen so far, which leads to the exit, situated at the outer ground, on the north side of the pyramid.

The innermost part of the corridor is located at the same level of the environment where it was placed the deceased, and heading to North sees the presence of some stone slabs, to limit the entrance to the grave. This long passage leads to a room, the vestibule, from which begins the uphill corridor leading Outside. The night journey of the deceased begins inside the tomb, where the spirit of these passes through the rooms and corridors to reach the room of the sarcophagus and join their mummified body, then go to the exit. The underground structure of the pyramid is nothing more than the architectural expression of two important visions of the trip. Not only is the uterus and birth canal, but also the passage that allows you to move from dwat and get to heaven through Axt.

In reality, this reading of the internal chambers of the pyramid is the result of numerous discussions related to the order with which to read the texts, given that there is an apparent start point. Nowadays, it is not generally accepted one idea on the order of the texts, as there are different hypotheses on the use of the same texts. For example, there are those who assume that the texts were read by priests along a path from the outside entered the burial, although this theory seems to be contradicted by the text layout. In fact, the hieroglyphs are inscribed from the floor to the ceiling, almost completely inaccessible because of the height, and it is necessary to read a ladder.


It seems to be much more realistic theory postulated by Spiegel, and resumed later by Allen, that the three parties that made up the inner chambers of the pyramids represent the journey of the spirit of the ruler from heaven to earth to return to heaven. Spiegel identifies a direct relationship between the architecture of the interior rooms and the meaning expressed in the texts; notes in particular that the passage between the burial chamber and the antechamber, as well as the transition from the antechamber to Serdab, have different heights but maintain a constant proportion in all the pyramids of V and VI Dynast. He speculates that this distinction may represent, according to a key graphic reading of the texts, increasing the difficulty in gaining access to the sky.

As a result, by reading the property in this key, we see as the room of the sarcophagus corresponds to dwat, where the mummified body lies in relation to Osiris, not only as a mummy, but also as a strong revival in the womb of Nut, represented in this If the sarcophagus. In the West pediment of the burial chamber of Unis are present protective spells aimed at the mummy and the sarcophagus, while in the other pyramids, always in the West pediment, but also in the wall the west and in the west end of the North and South walls, we have many spells to ensure that the spirit of the deceased to enter all night womb of Nut. The other spells of the room are likely, however, to provide the tools for the rebirth of the deceased and to allow the ba to leave the physical body in order to be reborn at dawn. In these texts the deceased is not only indicated by its name, but also as Osiris.

The anteroom present in the structure finds its correspondence, however, with the Axt, the place in which the spirit receives its final form and becomes Ax. The texts are mostly of a personal nature, aimed at use by the spirit itself, rather than by outsiders. The arrangement and the contents of the spells we have seen that they have a specific reading order, from west to north, and according to three groups:

1. Gable West, West Wall and Wall South;
2. Wall and East pediment, including, in some pyramids, the passage leading to the Serdab;
3. North Wall;

Testi delle Piramidi

The spells inside the first and third group are very similar with regard to the content on the passage of the spirit through the Axt. The second group, however, contains spells for control over enemy forces and the Ritual of the Morning. The texts of this group are related to the function of Serdab, originally thought to contain statues or kits, but now is thought to have also a cosmic significance. This tripartite room, just for its location, is matched with the eastern limit dell’Axt, the point at which the sun, and the spirit of the deceased, they leave the womb of dwat to proceed toward the Nut birth canal. This process is irreversible, also demonstrated by the architectural element counterpart, since the passage leading to Serdab originally was blocked. What happens at the moment is nothing more than giving birth, the rebirth of the spirit, as in life is, to be the most dangerous moment of the process, or when the fetus has to become productive alone. The Hery scholar compares the underground room of the pyramid female reproductive organ, linking the rise of the sovereign with the birth, a significant element in the Egyptian conception.

The Pyramid is also similar to the image of the Western Mountains, behind which the sun disappears, connecting all of Hathor which transmit to the world the King Horus as a child. To avoid problems and dangers to the latter, the writings present report spells against enemy forces that may be detrimental. The spirit, at this point, proceed to the North wall of the antechamber, coming in contact with spells able to help him leave the Axt and only then, can go to the sky, through the hall, the stone portals and the ascending passage. The texts accompanying the deceased in this part of the structure, regarding his or her journey to heaven, accomplished in the Sun Company and other deities. Not all of the pyramids, however, have the same characteristics, in fact, we see that the whole of Unis and Thetis only the eastern section of the corridor bears inscriptions in those Merenre and Pepi II the entire corridor and the stone portals, while Pepi I presents inscriptions in the initial section of the upward corridor. When the spirit arrives in the antechamber, he undergoes a change in the direction of its movement. Instead of continuing to move towards East, like the sun when it rises, the ka of the king continues along the north-south route dictated by the solar course toward the North Star, the final destination towards which ascends the deceased pharaoh.

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