Old Kingdom (3100-2000)
In Giza, near Cairo this, on the rocky plateau of the desert, throwing sand in the shade of three distinct, there are three huge geometrical body – perfectly correct tetrahedral pyramid tombs of the pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure. They stand for more than forty centuries. They are facing not preserved, burial chambers with sarcophagi long been looted, but neither the time nor the people could not disturb the perfect stable, monolithic form these structures. The highest of them, the pyramid of Cheops, still has no equal in magnitude among the stone buildings around the world. Its height – 146 meters, and the length of the bottom of each side – 230 meters. Greek Parthenon in comparison with it would look quite tiny – like a boat over the sea by boat. In the pyramid of Cheops, if it was hollow inside, might fit into the whole ensemble of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Rome. But the pyramid is not hollow, it is almost solid mass of heavy stone slabs, but the bottom cut by narrow corridors leading to the tomb of the pharaoh. It was calculated that in order to carry these stones, which are composed of the pyramid of Cheops, today it would take 20 thousand freight trains, each with 30 wagons. And then the pyramids were built with his bare hands, even without the help of pack animals. This truly extraordinary monument of the pharaoh inflexible will and years of hard labor of hundreds of thousands of slaves.
For low sided pyramids mortuary temple, located at the foot of the rows of tombs of courtiers and relatives of the pharaoh – “Mastaba” (“stone bench”). And the temples and pyramids Mastaba near looked very small and not noticeable from a distance, and triangles of the pyramids on the background of sky could be seen everywhere as a reminder of eternity. Long straight road led them from the east, from the fertile valleys irrigated by the Nile: the road from the monastery life of the world to the silent sands and tombs. The border of the desert and is now dogging the colossal Sphinx, the lion with the face of the pharaoh Khafre, – the great-grandfather of the numerous Egyptian sphinxes. It was created not only by people but also of the desert: the people and treated hewn rock, similar in shape to the body of a reclining lion.
The writer Ivan Bunin, otherwise traveled in love with antique gray formidable East, left the travel notes, not inferior in artistic power of his stories. Here is how he described the impression of the Great Sphinx. “Around me dead sea hot sand dunes and valleys, half-buried rocks and sand burial. All shines like satin separating from the silky blue. Throughout deathly silence and the abyss of flame light … I’m going to take my eyes and not with the Sphinx.
The body of his chiseled out of granite as a whole, – the charge of only the head and shoulders. Chest lined with flat, layered. Paws disfigured. And all of it, rough, wild, skazochno- huge, bears traces of the ancient and terrible that struggle, that from time immemorial destined him as a guardian of the “Land of the Sun”, the country’s life, from Seth, the god of death. It’s all in the cracks and seems rickety from the sands, covered it obliquely. But how calm and relaxed he looks off to the east, a distant sun-hazy valley of the Nile. His feminine head, his face pyatiarshinnoe Beznosov is in my heart is almost the same awe in the hearts of the citizens of Khufu. “