Zakrevsky pyramid mystery

The Mystery of Zakrevsky’s Pyramid – the tomb of the Russian Chief Procurator, who was crazy about Egypt

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The mystery and hypnotic attraction of the Egyptian pyramids has always kept fans of mysticism and the history of ancient civilizations busy. The admirers of Egyptian culture in many corners of the planet tried and are trying to build something similar. In Ukraine, for example, the most famous “copy” of the Egyptian wonder of the world was the so-called Zakrevsky pyramid, built more than 120 years ago. Nowadays you can also see this family burial vault.

Ancient Egyptian admirer

Everything started with the fact that Chief Procurator Ignatius Zakrevsky, who was in the service of Alexander III, was sent to Egypt as an ambassador of Russian Empire in the end of last century. The well-known senator and wealthy landowner, a representative of an ancient and respected noble family had been to different countries before, but Egyptian culture made the strongest impression on him. He was especially impressed by the grandiose beauty of the pyramids.

Preserved photo of Ignatius Zakrevsky.

After Zakrevsky returned home, he decided to build a miniature replica of the Egyptian pyramid on his estate in the Poltava region. In 1899 the nine-meter high building was ready. It was placed over the tomb where the senator’s ancestors were buried.

Preserved original photo of the pyramid.

Zakrevsky died in 1906, while in Egypt (by this time he had already been released from service). His embalmed body of his daughter was brought to Poltava region and buried in the pyramid tomb (it was the landowner’s last will). In the same pyramid were subsequently buried and his family.

Pagan-orthodox pyramid

When building the pyramid Ignatius Zakrevsky has tried to observe all rules by which the Egyptian masterpieces were constructed, however it was not an exact mini-copy. The fact is that he introduced something unexpected into his project. For example, the landlord painted the walls of his family vault with quotations from the Bible on the outside and frescoes in the Egyptian style on the inside. At the entrance, he put a statue of the goddess Isis, brought from Egypt, which in ancient Egypt symbolized womanhood and was revered as the mother of the god Horus, whose earthly embodiment was considered the Egyptian pharaohs, and at the same time above the entrance, on the portico, there was an Orthodox cross.

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This is how the pyramid looks nowadays. /

Inside the pyramid Zakrevsky installed a pagan altar with… a Christian Crucifix, and on top – also a cross. In other words, in his tomb he managed to combine two completely different cultures and two religions, which some historians regard as a symbol of tolerant attitude to all faiths.

It should be added that Ignatius Zakrevsky, in addition to everything else, was also a member of the Masonic lodge. Such an interesting religious symbiosis in one man.

The pyramid nowadays. /

Workers poured cement over the brickwork, which greatly increased their thickness. This was the technology used by architects in Egypt. The bricks were patterned in the form of mosaic slabs. The plinth of the pyramid was made of hewn granite.

Instead of a tomb there was a pantry…

After the revolution, the unique tomb of the Zakrevskys (as well as the nearby Orthodox church) was plundered by the Bolsheviks, who arranged a warehouse in the pyramid, and it gradually fell into a very poor condition.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union the situation has not changed – at the end of the last century they simply threw garbage into the tomb, and it must be said that the pyramid has not been restored so far. The bricks from the outside are in some places decently destroyed, and almost nothing is left of the rich and exquisite interior decoration.

Fragment of the lost interior decoration. /

This is how the pyramid now looks inside. /

There is an opinion that a special recipe of mortar which was mixed up with cement with addition of egg whites did not allow the pyramid to collapse finally.

As to the remains of Zakrevskie, the Bolsheviks took them out of the tomb and desecrated during the mockery over the pyramid. Later local residents buried the remains in the nearby village cemetery.

Even now there is something mysterious and appealing about this pyramid. /

Many residents of the local village of Berezovaya Rudka still believe the pyramid has unique properties and grants wishes. They claim that if a person who suffers from any ailment goes inside, stands in the center of the pyramid and reads an Orthodox prayer, he will definitely be cured.

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Mysteries of the “wonder of the world”. Scientists have solved another mystery of the ancient pyramids

The grandiose stone structures on the outskirts of Egypt’s capital have puzzled researchers for centuries. This is a real architectural marvel, and the largest of these structures, the pyramid of Cheops, is the only one of the famous Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that has survived to this day. And the main mystery: how could people build these impressive structures 4.5 thousand years ago, when there were no such machines, mechanisms and technologies at the disposal of modern builders?

An international team of scientists has found the answer to the question of how the ancient Egyptians could bring to the place of construction huge stone blocks, the average weight of which was 2.5 tons. They were helped by a study of pollen grains found on the Giza plateau, not far from the pyramid complex.

The port complex at the foot of the pyramids

Scientists guessed earlier that in the ancient times there was an artificial reservoir near the place where the pyramids were built. Archaeologists found traces of it, there were notes about it in the papyri of times of the IV dynasty of pharaohs. So the hypothesis arose that the materials for construction were brought from the quarries by water on the Nile.

Now from the Giza plateau to the main river of Egypt is almost 8 kilometers. This is too great a distance to overcome it, bringing heavy loads. Therefore, scientists have suggested that the ancient builders may have created a system of canals and harbors, which annually filled with water during the Nile floods.

A team of researchers from Egypt, China and France studied sediment cores – samples of rock extracted from wells by special drilling methods. Two of the five cores were taken at the site of the now-defunct Arm of the Nile, which scientists call the “Arm of Khufu. They found many fossilized grains of pollen from herbaceous flowering plants, which are known for their love of moisture. So they once grew on the banks of the Nile and those reservoirs that were artificially created next to it, the scientists concluded.

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They linked the results with other historical records, which allowed them to reconstruct a picture of how the navigability of the Nile has changed in the vicinity of Giza over the past 8,000 years. At first the water level in the river was high, but after the first dynasties of pharaohs began to decline rapidly. By the middle of the 3rd millennium B.C. the Nile’s side channels had become shallow or dried up, but by the time the pyramids were built they had filled up again. “Our measurements showed that the Nile ran dry at the end of the dynastic period in the history of ancient Egypt, but during the reign of Khufu, Khafra and Menkaura this channel remained navigable, which allowed to use it to deliver building materials,” – the researchers write in their article.

Thus, favorable landscape conditions allowed to build the pyramids: every year water in the Nile rose and filled artificially created reservoir near the building site. To bring materials from the quarries, the ancient Egyptian engineers formed a port complex at the foot of the Giza plateau.

According to researchers, other pyramids, also located at a distance from the modern channel of the Nile, could have been built in a similar way on the banks of dried up channels. Subsequently, changes in the spill regime of Egypt’s main river may have led to severe famine and served as one of the reasons for the decline of the state. The water level in the “arm of Khufu” fluctuated from season to season, but could no longer reach its former value. And then the reservoir dried up for good.

Pyramids of Giza.

“The pyramids created the Egyptian state.”

“This study is extremely interesting, although many scientists have previously expressed similar views, – commented on the discovery of colleagues for leading researcher of the Center for Egyptological Research RAS Roman Orekhov . – In general, all questions related to the construction of the pyramids remain topical for scientists to this day: who built them, and how and why.

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A great number of people worked on building of pyramids. It was a highly skilled work with precise organization, practically all population of Egypt was involved in it. Everyone was responsible for a certain area of work, there was a layer of artisans, and those who worked in agriculture provided these people with food. In fact, the pyramids created the Egyptian state. As soon as they stopped building them, the era of decentralization began.

Why did they build them? There seems to have been some kind of ideology in the society on the basis of which they erected these objects. The lives of these people depended heavily on natural conditions, namely the Nile, which was constantly flooding, providing not only water, but also bread and pasture. And when the Nile suddenly stopped flowing, society was on the brink of life and death. There had to be a way out, and that was the building of a pyramid. It was a tribute to the deity to help stabilize the situation, the world order. The idea was that by building the pyramid, they would bring the world back to some state of original harmony.”

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