Why did the Ancient Egyptians stop building pyramids?

The Egyptians stopped building their most prominent structures with the beginning of the New Kingdom, but why? What was the cause that led to the abandonment of the most incredible ancient structures of ancient Egypt?

From the beginning of the New Kingdom around the year 1550 BC, ancient Egyptians stopped building their most prominent and detailed structures, the Pyramids. Researchers have never understood the reason in their extreme and abrupt change in architectural preferences. Their most incredible constructions were replaced by tombs that were carved into the mountainside. These new architectural preferences helped reduce the amount of looted tombs. During the New Kingdom, the pyramids that were still “built” were of much lower quality and never reached the dimensions of the past.

Researchers have long wondered why the ancient Egyptians stopped building their most famous structures, some suggest that there is a possibility that changes in materials and construction techniques caused the construction of more volatile structures that could not withstand the test of time like the constructions built before them.


We know that they stopped building the pyramids, but how and why did they start building them?

Well, the pyramid was born as the logical “evolution” of the mastabas, a monument used as a burial site by the rulers of the Early Dynastic Period of Egypt. No one know exactly why the mastabas were “displaced” by the incredible pyramids, some researchers suggest that the Pyramids were constructed de to the aspiration to attain greater heights, but both the Pyramids and the Mastabas shared a similar goal, to maintain the essence of the King for eternity.

It was during the beginning of the Third Dynasty around 2700 BC when ancient Egyptians began transforming mastabas into pyramids, initially, these structures were staggered, very similar to those found in ancient civilizations of America. These first pyramids, like Djoser’s Step Pyramid at Saqqara, was built in the form of various steps, as if it were a ladder to heaven.

Some researchers are quite skeptical about the pyramids being used as tombs since there has been no evidence found, nor inscriptions, that would link these marvelous constructions to tombs.

The 8 sides of the Great Pyramid of Giza

The other great mystery about the pyramids is, how this ancient civilization was capable of lifting structures of such dimensions formed by massive stone blocks?

There are many hypotheses developed even since the days of ancient Greek scholar, Herodotus who proposed several theories on how the ancient Egyptians managed to build these structures but never gave a definitive answer. Strangely, there have not been discovered, any ancient texts or documents reporting on the period of the construction of the pyramids.

In total, researchers have found more than one hundred pyramids in Pharaonic Egypt. Pyramids of various sizes, dedicated to both kings and nobles and great craftsmen. The most notable construction is the Great Pyramid of Giza for its huge size. The pyramid is estimated to have around 2,300,000 stone blocks that weigh from 2 to 30 tons each and there are even some blocks that weigh over 50 tons. It is a true masterpiece and has rightly earned the title of a “Wonder”. It was built with such precision that our current technology cannot replicate it. Egyptologists believe that the pyramid was built as a tomb over a 10 to 20-year period concluding around 2560 BC.

It was originally covered with casing stones (made of highly polished limestone). These casing stones reflected the sun’s light and made the pyramid shine like a jewel. They are no longer present being used by Arabs to build mosques after an earthquake in the 14th century loosened many of them. It has been calculated that the original pyramid with its casing stones would act like gigantic mirrors and reflect light so powerful that it would be visible from the moon as a shining star on earth. Appropriately, the ancient Egyptians called the Great Pyramid “Ikhet”, meaning the “Glorious Light”.

The Great Pyramid of Giza. Image Credit Wikipedia
The Great Pyramid of Giza. Image Credit Wikipedia

After the prowess of the Fourth Dynasty, future generations would show a drastically lower skill when it came to the construction of monuments and pyramids. After the fourth Dynasty, the builders were not able to obtain such perfection in the building of pyramids, the example of the little pyramid of Abusir is consistent evidence of technical setback.

In fact, in the following centuries, the design and development of these structures would get worse. And although it has been traditionally accepted that from the sixteenth century BC ancient Egyptians began abandoning the Pyramids, the fact is that there are references to these structures in future periods.

The Nubian kings from the fifteenth Dynasty were buried small and low-quality pyramids. However, and this may be the crux of the matter, from the Middle Kingdom ancient Egyptians began to build more perishable constructions with materials such as wood, brick and adobe in the inside. This is the reason why very few of these constructions have survived to this day.

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  1. I’ve noticed a slight but growing difference of opinion about who actually built that first pyramid – the big “Cheops” pyramid. Some think it’s at least as old as the new date for the sphinx; built by the same culture. When you think about it, it’s only called the Cheops pyramid because somebody essentially put a sign, or stele, in front of it which said Cheops was here, or Cheops did this. Self aggrandizement? Ass kissing by his architect? Who knows? But consider the sorry state of archaeology & Egyptology, when its experts form opinions on the sole basis of a sign in front of a structure, and the sign is clearly thousands of years younger than the structure its in front of.

    1. Sadly Egyptology is directly tied to the financial power of the West. The UK empire of the 19th century was immense in its “direction” on the story of humanity should flow and the US has taken that to another level in the 20/21st century, sadly. You want money and arms? Here’s the script for archeology you must abide by… And we’ll want to train militants and have your borders open for illegal weapons runs as well:(

      1. I’ve noticed even in America, there seems to be some official unstated policy, or list of things one must believe in order to stay in the power clique. One is that Columbus was the first European here. Or, Indians drifted down here from Siberia, crossing the Bering Strait no more than 11,500 years ago. All evidence that someone was here before that, living their normal lives, is to be hidden, and the discoverer ruined.
        The whole official narrative is like a Catholic Passion Play in which each character says one’s lines and never strays from the script.
        I used to think it was because the gov’t worried that someone besides us might lay some claim to our land, so they put the fix in academically. Now I’m thinking maybe that, but there’s something more. I read old 19th century books discussing some of the strange finds across America,when a farmer dug a root cellar and found a giant skeleton, or a tiled floor fifteen feet under the surface. Every incident like that shot down, ridiculed, or evidence taken away by people claiming to represent the Smithsonian Institute.

  2. Hi brothers, I imagine your questions about these Pyramids and its secrets, but here I’m showing you just two verses of thousands that explains the true and purpose of them for awake the humanity: “35 Under the direction of Enoch, Heru-Ur, and Tehuti, the Lords of Light built the Pyramid from the top down by vehicle control, that is, out of the magneticetheric spheres by Magnetic flux line controls. 36 The earlier pyramidal designs were built according to the previous Gravitational-Magnetic shells of the Earth which exist on the higher planes. The present Great Pyramid was built while a Merkabah vehicle of Light in the shape of a pyramid was stationed in the basin at Giza creating the surrounding energy fields which could move the magnetic lines of force and the physical materials.”- The Book of Knowledge: the Keys of Enoch © by Drs. Desiree and J.J. Hurtak

  3. so, what im guessing is that us humans arent smart enough to figure out why people built the pyramids, but we are trying to go to Mars?! I mean, find out all about the secrets of earth and then look for other things, God put us on earth for a reason and that reason is not to go exploring places that are NOT earth! Wake up and smell the roses people!

    1. “God” didn’t out us here. How is someone with such a closed mind visiting such an open minded website ?

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