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The Giza Plateau


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The Giza Plateau is a necropolis located in the immediate vicinity of the southwestern suburbs of modern Cairo where a group of pyramid complexes of the 4th-Dynasty (2613 - 2494 BCE), comprising those of Khufu (Cheops, ruled 2589 - 2566 BCE), Khafre (Chephren, ruled 2558- 2532 BCE) and Menkaure (Mycerinus, ruled 2532 - 2503 BCE) are located. Khufu, whose father Snefru (2613 - 2589 BCE) built the first true pyramid, built the largest surviving pyramid, now usually described as the Great Pyramid. The pyramid complexes are surrounded by groups of mastaba tombs, in which members of the royal family and high officials were buried.


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Man fears Time, yet Time fears the Pyramids
Arab proverb

 

Grisel at GizaIncredible shot in front of all nine Pyramids without all the tourists. The Great Pyramid, right-most pyramid, built by Khufu, covers an area of 13 acres. Its original height of 146 meters has now become 137 meters after the erosion of its summit. It consists of nearly 2.5 million blocks of limestone ranging in weight from 2.5 tons to 15 tons. The Second Pyramid, center, was built by Khafre. Although smaller than the Great Pyramid, it seems equally tall and imposing due to its fortunate site higher on the plateau. Part of this pyramid still bears traces of the outer limestone casing that once covered all of the Pyramids. The Third Pyramid of Menkaure is smaller in size than its predecessors and never finished. Its height is 62 meters. It is distinguished by the fact that the lower parts of its sides still retain their granite slab coverings. The six smaller pyramids in the picture are the so-called Queens' pyramids.
Aerial view of GizaAerial view of the Giza Plateau purchased from terraserver. The topmost pyramid is Khufu's Great Pyramid. Just to the right of his pyramid are his smaller Queens' pyramids and up against the southern edge of the pyramid is the Solar Boat Museum. The middle pyramid is Khafre's pyramid. Directly east of Khafre's pyramid is the Great Sphinx facing East. In front of the Sphinx stands its temple with Khafre's valley temple just to the right. The causeway leading from Khafre's pyramid to his valley temple is clearly visible in this picture. In the lower left of this picture stands the third pyramid of Menkaure with its three Queens' pyramids. The rectangular structures to the left of the Great Pyramid are mastabas of the 4th and 5th Dynasties. Compare this picture to the "land version" one above.
The Pyramids via camelsScott and Grisel touring the Giza Plateau on camels. The pyramids, from left to right, belong to Menkaure, Khafre, and Khufu. The smaller queens pyramids can been seen to the left of Menkaure's pyramid and to the right of the Great Pyramid. This picture was taken from the South-East.
Pyramids of Khufu and KhafraKhufu's (left) and Khafre's (right) pyramids as seen from the west. The Great Pyramid is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the only one that survived to modern times.
The SphinxOne of the most famous monuments in the whole world, the Great Sphinx at Giza, probably represents the 4th-Dynasty ruler, Khafre, although it has been argued that it may represent his predecessor, Djedefra. Measuring 20 meters in height and 73 meters long, it was carved from a knoll of rock left behind after quarrying.

The Sphinx and Khafra's PyramidThe Great Sphinx and Khafre's Pyramid as seen from the East. The Sphinx has been much battered by wind and sand erosion. It did not, contrary to popular belief, lose its nose because of target practice at the time of the French invasion in 1798 -- the nose and its royal ritual beard had vanished long before then. The face had been damaged by religious fanatics in 1380. Part of the beard was found between the paws of the Sphinx in 1818 and is now in the British Museum.

The Sphinx and GriselThe Sphinx and a very tired Grisel (two hours of sleep in a 48 hour interval is just NOT enough...)
The Solar BoatThe Solar Bark, discovered in the pyramid complex of Khufu at Giza, was reconstructed in situ from 1224 pieces. The cedar ship is 141 feet long. It was likely intended to serve as a means of conveying the pharaoh through the netherworld.
The Sound and Light ShowThe Sound and Light Show at Giza.
          
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All pictures are Copyright 1998 - 2001 Grisel Gonzalez

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