Religion Past and Present

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(365 words)

[German Version]

Pyramid, a term borrowed from Greek (πυραμί ς/pyramís) for monumental structures in various cultures and serving various religious functions, whose form approximates that of a geometrical pyramid (a solid on a polygonal base with edges that meet at a point above it). In Egypt pyramids served as tombs. Beginning in the early Old Kingdom they had rectangular ground plans; with King Snefru (c. 2570–2545 bce), the characteristic square ground plan became standard until the New Kingdom. A precursor of the true pyramid was the step pyramid, with si…

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Wißmann, Hans, “Pyramid”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 25 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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