The pyramid texts

The pyramid texts

The pyramid texts are the oldest known religious texts in the world. Written in Old Egyptian, the pyramid texts were carved on the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids at Saqqara during the 5th and 6th Dynasties of the Old Kingdom.  They form the basis of much of the later religious theology and literature of ancient Egypt. The oldest of the texts date to between 2400-2300BC and were a surprising discoverey since the earlier Pyramids, despite being bigger and more precise, contained no texts. There is much speculation regarding their origin because they emerge, as a fully-fledged collection of mortuary texts, without any precedent in the archaeological record.


The Old Kingdom Of Egypt reached it’s zenith under the Fourth Dynasty, in the years 2613–2589 BC with the building of the Pyramids of Giza. What is intriguing is that the pyramids which came after them in later Dynasties, despite their builders presumably having the knowledge from the previous pyramids to support them, were of significantly poorer quality. Many of the later pyramids, such as the Pyramid Complex of Unas, where the Pyramid texts were found, are today mounds of rubble whilst the Earlier and far larger pyramids despite having been around much longer, display far superior workmanship. Instead of a progression through the ages after Giza, there was decline.




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