Ancient History: Egypt : The Pyramids

Study concepts, example questions & explanations for Ancient History: Egypt

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Example Questions

Example Question #1 : The Pyramids

Who was the first Ancient Egyptian pharaoh to commission the construction of a pyramid?

Possible Answers:

Khufu 

Imhotep

Ramesses the Great 

Djoser 

Amenhotep IV

Correct answer:

Djoser 

Explanation:

Although today any mention of Ancient Egypt immediately conjures up visions of pyramids, in actuality the very first pyramid was not built in Egypt until the Old Kingdom, in the middle of the Third Dynasty. Known as the Saqqara Pyramid, it was commissioned by the Pharaoh Djoser, who intended the new building to serve as his tomb. According to Ancient Egyptian beliefs, a deceased individual had to first survive the long journey into the afterlife before he or she could enjoy the benefits of the underworld, and so Djoser had his master architect, Imhotep, construct the external face of the pyramid as a series of giant steps, with the intention that these steps would allow the pharaoh’s soul (once he died) to ascend into the heavenly realm.

Example Question #2 : The Pyramids

Who was the pharaoh responsible for the erection of the Great Pyramid of Giza?

Possible Answers:

Menkaure

Khafre

Djoser

Khufu

Mentuhotep II

Correct answer:

Khufu

Explanation:

Ancient Egyptian history is packed full of illustrious rulers but one of the most famous is the Pharaoh Khufu, who reigned during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Both Khufu and his son Khafre, who succeeded to the throne after him, are renowned for their monumental and impressive building projects. Khufu’s greatest achievement was the Great Pyramid of Giza, which he commissioned as his burial site and became one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For forty-five centuries, the Great Pyramid of Giza reigned supreme as the tallest man-made structure on Earth.

Example Question #3 : The Pyramids

What is the primary significance of the town of Giza?

Possible Answers:

It is where Alexander the Great died after his decade of conquest

It is where the final battle of the Roman conquest of Egypt took place

It is where Ra was thought to have ascended to heaven

It is where the great pyramids and many ancient monuments can be found

It was the site of the earliest known religious temple in Egyptian history, which provides evidence that the Egyptians practiced human sacrifice

Correct answer:

It is where the great pyramids and many ancient monuments can be found

Explanation:

Giza is located close to the modern Egyptian capital of Cairo. It is where the great pyramids and many ancient monuments (including the Sphinx) are located. The Great Pyramid of Giza, the oldest and largest of the ancient wonders of the world, was built around 2,500 BCE as a burial tomb for the Pharaoh Khufu.

Example Question #4 : The Pyramids

The Great Pyramids of Giza were built during __________.

Possible Answers:

the New Kingdom

the Old Kingdom

the First Intermediate Period

the Second Intermediate Period

the Middle Kingdom

Correct answer:

the Old Kingdom

Explanation:

The Great Pyramids of Giza were built around the year 2,500 BCE, during the Old Kingdom period of Egyptian history. The pyramids were burial tombs for powerful Pharaohs like Khufu.

Example Question #5 : The Pyramids

During what era of Ancient Egyptian history were most of the pyramids constructed?

Possible Answers:

The Old Kingdom 

The First Intermediate Period 

The New Kingdom 

The Neolithic Period 

The Predynastic Period 

Correct answer:

The Old Kingdom 

Explanation:

Contrary to popular belief, the Ancient Egyptians only constructed pyramids for a relatively brief time in their civilization’s lengthy history. In fact, the majority of the pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom, with a few other remnants being erected in the Middle Kingdom. By the time of the New Kingdom, pyramids had fallen entirely out of use; by then, most pharaohs favored rock-cut tombs instead. We cannot be entirely sure why Ancient Egypt’s preference for pyramids died out, but this was most likely due to a combination of factors (which are seen across many complex societies), including architectural innovation, technological improvements, the evolution of styles, changing religious beliefs, and a fluctuation in the availability of money and physical resources.

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