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Great Pyramids of Egypt

Great Pyramids of Egypt

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Great Pyramids of Egypt
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Giza's great pyramids are the most famous pyramids in the world, and its site attracts millions of tourists every year. These Egyptian pyramids offer a mix of ancient history and grandeur that is unparalleled on earth. Some of these constructions date back as far as around 3,000 B.C. The Giza pyramids plateau, which is also home to the prestigious Sphinx, is a protected World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

History

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Why they were built

The Egypt great pyramids complex was meant to be a fabulous cemetery for ancient Egyptian royalty and pharaohs. The pyramids of Giza were funeral monuments that pharaohs commissioned to honor their memory. Many other tombs made for royal family members surround the pyramids in different areas.

Architecture

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How they were built

The largest pyramids are made of millions of human-carved stone blocks, which is fascinating considering the tools and means of that era. The pyramids were all precisely positioned and aligned so that every side exactly faces the earth’s basic coordinates (North, East, South, and West) at a 90-degree angle. The solar-based spirituality of ancient Egypt appears to be behind the architectural choices made to build the pyramids.

The largest pyramids had an outside limestone layer and a golden top that has been eroded and pieces stolen over the centuries. This originally made the pyramids sun reflective and appear even more glorious. Most pyramids also had intricate passages and chambers stretching deep within their constructions.

Site features

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The Great Pyramid of Khufu

The interior tunnels and chambers of the Khufu Pyramid.
The interior tunnels and chambers of the Khufu Pyramid.

Giza's great pyramids plateau includes the majestic pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops), which is the last standing monument of the famous Ancient Seven (7) Wonders. More than two million human carved stone blocks were used to construct this pyramid. It possesses an interior passageway that leads to a royal pharaoh chamber.

The Sphinx

The Sphinx in front of the great Khafre Pyramid.
The Sphinx in front of the great Khafre Pyramid.

The Sphinx is about the size of a five-stories building (73x21 meters or 241x69 feet) and is aligned with the middle pyramid of Khafre within the archeological complex.

The famous monument represents the humanization of a lion with the face of either the pharaoh Khafre or Khufu. Usually, Egyptian gods were usually represented by an animal head over a human body. However, for the Sphinx, it is the contrary so, besides its grand size,  it is symbolically special as well. 

A site map of the Great Pyramids complex in Giza, Egypt.
A site map of the Great Pyramids complex in Giza, Egypt.
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Quick facts

  • Construction period

    Around 2500 B.C.
  • Built for

    As tombs for pharaohs of the era
  • Height

    146.7m (481ft) tall

  • The Great Pyramids of Egypt is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

External resources