Building in Ancient Egypt: foundations of stone buildings
The foundations used in the Djoser
complex are simple slabs used as foundations but also as pavements. Many
other early buildings, foremost the pyramids, rest on just one to three
courses of stones. The pyramid of Khufu
is built on a solid limestone
rock plateau and therefore needed no special foundations.
From the late Fourth Dynasty on, the foundation blocks were
placed in trenches cut into the ground and filled with clean desert sand.
Buildings placed on solid rock often did not have deep foundations.
In the early Twelfth Dynasty there is attested for the first
time the method of leveling the ground. A high number of smaller blocks
(sometimes taken from older buildings) create some kind of underground platform
on which a building was erected.
From many buildings excavated in Egypt only the foundations have survived.
See the following examples.
trenches of a mastaba
temple of Nebwenenef
mortuary temple at Thebes
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