The Great Pyramids of Giza, located on a plateau on the west bank of the Nile River, on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo, capital of Egypt. The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of the city center of Cairo. It is also called Giza Necropolis. In ancient times they were included among the Seven Wonders of the World. The pyramids were designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979.
History of the Great Pyramids of Giza:
All three great pyramids, as well as the secondary pyramids next to them were built during the 4th dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt; a frenetic period of construction, from roughly 2550 to 2490 B.C. and continued until roughly 2325 B.C. Archaeologists believe that the 4th dynasty was the ‘golden age’ of the Old Kingdom because of the size and quality of the pyramids that were built during this time at Giza.
All three of Giza’s famed pyramids Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure correspond to the kings for whom they were built. The northernmost and oldest pyramid of the group was built for Pharaoh Khufu (the second king of the 4th dynasty); the first pyramid project began in 2550 B.C. This pyramid is the largest of the three, called the Great Pyramid. The length of each side at the base averaging 755.75 feet (230 meters) and its original height is 481.4 feet (147 meters). Its estimated 2.3 million stone blocks each weigh an average of 2.5 to 15 tons. The Great Pyramid’s core is made of yellowish limestone blocks. The outer casing and the inner passages are of finer light-colored limestone, and the interior burial chamber is built of huge blocks of granite. It is a masterpiece of technical skill and engineering ability.
You can read other related blogs also:
- Jeita Grotto: The Middle East’s Greatest Natural Wonder
- The Dead Sea: Lowest Elevation On The Earth
- Socotra Island: The Most Alien Looking Place On Earth
- The Chocolate Hills In Bohol, Philippines
- The Wave: The Greatest Geological Formations In Arizona
The middle pyramid was built for Pharaoh Khafre (Khufu’s son), the fourth of the eight kings of the 4th dynasty. It was built on 2520 B.C. The Pyramid of Khafre is the second tallest pyramid at Giza The structure measures 707.75 feet (216 meters) on each side and was originally 471 feet (143 meters) high.
The southernmost and the third Pyramid was built for Pharaoh Menkaure, the fifth king of the 4th dynasty on 2490 B.C. This pyramid is considerably smaller than the first two. Each side measures 356.5 feet (109 meters), and the structure’s completed height was 218 feet (66 meters).
To the south of the Great Pyramid near Khafre’s necropolis, the Great Sphinx also lies; a mysterious limestone monument with the body of a lion and a pharaoh’s head. The Sphinx may stand sentinel for the pharaoh’s entire tomb complex. It is approximately 240 feet (73 meters) long and 66 feet (20 meters) high.
Ancient Egyptians believed that when the king died, part of his spirit remained with his body. To properly care for his spirit, the corpse was mummified, and everything the king would need in the afterlife was buried with him, including gold vessels, food, furniture and other offerings.
The Egyptian pyramids still retain much of their majesty, providing a glimpse into the country’s rich and glorious past. The Giza Pyramids have become nearly synonymous with Egypt herself. Their incredible size continues to impress millions of visitors each year. Subsequent pyramids did not come close to rivaling the size or quality of construction of these huge structures. The huge blocks of limestone used in construction have stood the test of time much better than any of the other pyramids (and there are over 100) built before or after them.
The ancient engineering feats at Giza was so impressive that even today scientists can’t be sure how the pyramids were built. According to the ancient Greek historian Herodotus, the Great Pyramid took 20 years to construct and demanded the labor of 100,000 men. The pyramids of Giza are one of the best tourist places around the middle-east. It will be a great experience to visit Giza.