The Pyramids of Giza


The three pyramids of Giza near Cairo, all of the IV dynasty, are the largest and finest of their kind, The Great Pyramid of Khufu or Cheops was designated one of the Seven wonders of the world and is the largest pyramid ever built also the Great Pyramid was the tallest man-made structure in the world for over 3,800 years.

Originally the Great Pyramid was covered by casing stones that formed a smooth outer surface, but what is seen today is mainly only the underlying core structure, with a few of the original casing stones that once covered the structure simply representing the four compass points around the base. There have been varying scientific and alternative theories regarding the Great Pyramid’s construction techniques. Most accepted construction theories are based on the idea that it was built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place.

The Sphinx

Sphinx is a mythological figure which is depicted as a recumbent lion with a human head The Great Sphinx, located in Giza on the outskirts of Greater Cairo, is one of the world’s most well known and important ancient monuments. To our knowledge, it was and is the largest sculpture ever made in the round from stone. It is also probably the oldest colossal sculpture, and is certainly the oldest existing colossal sculpture. Obviously, its preservation is not only important to Egyptians, but to the world as a whole. Likewise, were it to be lost, its absence would be a devastating blow, for it is certainly not only a colossal monument, but a symbol of mankind’s earliest attempts at civilization.



Sakkara Step Pyramid


Sakkara is also the site of many tombs from the 1st and 2nd Dynasties. Most are made out of mud bricks, but some tombs are made of limestone, decorated with daily life scenes. When you are at Sakkara, you will notice that it is divided into:

Southern Sakkara, which is dominated by the step Pyramid.

Northern Sakkara, which is dominated by the Pyramid of King Titi, and Mastaba tombs of the old kingdom.

Dahshur Pyramid

bent_pyramidWhen you first get to Dahshur, you might be forgiven for not paying much attention to the strange looking hill or heap of rubble shown above. In fact, however, this is the so-called Black Pyramid of pharaoh Amenemhat III who ruled from 1855-1808 BC during the Middle Kingdom period. Although it might look like a total wreck, the Black Pyramid is one of only three of the original eleven pyramids at Dahshur which are still standing, and the interior passageways and chambers of the Black Pyramid are almost entirely intact.

The background of date palms on the flood plain of the Nile tells part of the reason why this pyramid collapsed – it’s only 10 meters above sea level. Another reason is the building materials used – primarily mud brick and, apart from its outer covering, there was far less stonework in its structure than most other pyramids. It’s thought that this was the first pyramid with burial chambers built to house both a pharaoh and his queens.

Share This