Day 9: Pyramids: construction and logistics

Summary

We will discuss the purpose and development of pyramids and tomb complexes and the practical mathematics needed for their construction.  What was needed in terms of geometry, quantity surveying, and accounting control to support such large projects?  We will also discuss Egyptian metrology.
This Old Pyramid.

Reading

R.J. Gillings, Mathematics in the Time of the Pharaohs, pp. 124-127 on Temple Salaries and Chapter 20.
Explore the Nova pyramid site.
 

Handouts

Pyramid development.
The pyramid complex.

Links

Nova has a large site on the pyramids, including a transcript of the This Old Pyramid episode.
Zahi Hawass, who is in charge of the Giza plateau, has a page on the recent excavations of the town and tombs of the pyramid builders.
There is an excellent, large site on Djoser's pyramid complex at Saqqara.
The pyramid of Sneferu at Meidum.
The Bent Pyramid of Sneferu at Dahshur.
The Giza plateau project from the Oriental Institute at Chicago.
A recent map of workers’ settlement at Giza.
A recent article on Mark Lehner from Harvard magazine.
On to Day 10.


Up to Ancient and Classical Mathematics


Last modified: 26 September 2005
Duncan J. Melville

Comments to dmelville@stlawu.edu