Pharaohs stopped building pyramids 1700 years ago: Researchers discover why

Fareeha Arshad
Photo byPhoto by Eugene Tkachenko on Unsplash

Egyptian pharaohs are known for constructing grand pyramids to display their wealth, power, and religious beliefs. These pyramids were built between the time of King Djoser and King Ahmose I. However, shortly after the New Kingdom began, pharaohs stopped building pyramids and opted to be buried in the Valley of the Kings near Thebes, now Luxor.

There are several theories about why pharaohs stopped building pyramids, but security concerns are considered a major factor. Pyramids were often plundered, so hiding the royal burials away in a distant valley carved into the rock, with plenty of necropolis guards, played a significant role.

Religious changes that emphasized building tombs underground are another possible reason why grand pyramids were abandoned. During the New Kingdom, the concept of the night journey of the king through the Netherworld became popular, which required sophisticated plans of tombs hewn in the bedrock below ground. The underground tombs in the Valley of the Kings fit this concept well.

Another reason pharaohs may have stopped building pyramids is due to the topography of Luxor, which became the capital of Egypt during the New Kingdom. The area was too small and architecturally challenging to serve as the home for new pyramids.

Despite the pharaohs abandoning grand pyramid construction, wealthy private individuals continued the practice. During the first millennium BC, pyramid building became popular in Nubia, including parts of southern Egypt and Sudan. The Nubians built pyramids for royalty and private individuals, and the rulers of Nubia continued building pyramids until around 1,700 years ago.

In conclusion, while the reasons why pharaohs stopped building pyramids are not entirely clear, security concerns, religious changes, and the topography of Luxor are all thought to be significant factors. Nonetheless, the grand pyramids constructed by the ancient Egyptians remain iconic symbols of their power, wealth, and religious beliefs.

Comments / 519

Published by

I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I mostly write about history and science.

Texas State

More from Fareeha Arshad

Comments / 0