Map Of Egypt
Ancient Egypt|March / April 2021
What’s in a name? It is easy for us to forget that the names we associate with the pyramids – such as the Meidum Pyramid, the Bent Pyramid or the Black Pyramid – would have been meaningless to their builders.

With the exception of the Giza Pyramids, which were well known in the Hellenistic world and had Classical names (Cheops, Chephren and Mykerinos) that were derived from the names of their owners (Khufu, Khafra and Menkaura) the ancient names of the monuments had been forgotten until it became possible to decipher hieroglyphs. Then, as Andrew Fulton tells us in his article in this issue, not only did the pyramids’ names (Sneferu Endures, Neferirkara is a Soul and so on) tell us precisely the identities of the pharaohs who commissioned them, but also gave a brief indication of the hopes of immortality that the pharaohs cherished. Throughout the ages, men and women have devised ways of ensuring that they are remembered after their passing, but few if any have been as successful as the builders of the pyramids.

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