Mesoamerican peoples built pyramids from around 1000 B.C. up until the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century. ( Egyptian pyramids are much older than American ones; the earliest Egyptian pyramid , the Pyramid of Djoser, was built in the 27 century BC).
Pyramids were used not only as temples and focal points for Maya religious practices where offerings were made to the gods but also as gigantic tombs for deceased rulers, their partners, sacrificial victims, and precious goods.
The designations of the pyramids— Khufu , Khafre , and Menkaure —correspond to the kings for whom they were built. The northernmost and oldest pyramid of the group was built for Khufu (Greek: Cheops ), the second king of the 4th dynasty.
The Pyramid of Djoser
The pyramids between the ancient Mayan civilization and the ancient Egyptian civilization are not related . But, it’s still interesting to think about how different cultures came up with the idea of constructing pyramids as part of their cultural identity.
The Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt ) and Ancient India are believed to be the earliest , while Ancient China emerged somewhat later. The extent to which there was significant influence between the early civilizations of the Near East and those of East Asia (Far East) is disputed.
Two thousand years ago, the ancient Maya developed one of the most advanced civilizations in the Americas. They developed a written language of hieroglyphs and invented the mathematical concept of zero. With their expertise in astronomy and mathematics, the Maya developed a complex and accurate calendar system.
Scholars have suggested a number of potential reasons for the downfall of Maya civilization in the southern lowlands, including overpopulation, environmental degradation, warfare, shifting trade routes and extended drought. It’s likely that a complex combination of factors was behind the collapse.
The construction of the pyramids is not specifically mentioned in the Bible . What we believe about their purpose does not impinge on any biblical doctrine.
the Great Pyramid at Giza
Pyramid of Khufu
All that can be radiocarbon dated, for example. But primarily we date the pyramids by their position in the development of Egyptian architecture and material culture over the broad sweep of 3,000 years.
Updated 13/12/10: For many years, the Djoser Step Pyramid at Saqqara, Egypt, was considered to be the world’s earliest pyramid, constructed by Pharaoh Djoser’s royal architect, Imhotep , in approximately c. 2630 BC.