Egypt’s pharaohs expected to become gods in the afterlife. To prepare for the next world they erected temples to the gods and massive pyramid tombs for themselves. The most notable examples are the pyramids of Giza. The Giza pyramid complex is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt.
It includes the three Great Pyramids (Khufu/Cheops, Khafre and Menkaure), the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries and a workers’ village. It is located approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile River at the old town of Giza, and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre.
The three Pyramids of Giza:
- The Great Pyramind of Giza: The first and largest of the three pyramids was built by Pharaoh Khufu. It’s about 481 feet (147 meters) tall and is estimated that 3 million stone blocks were used, each one weighing several tones. It was completed around 2560 BC (some 4,500 years ago). It was the tallest man-made structure in the world for more than 3,800 years! It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.
- Khufu’s son, Pharaoh Khafre, built the second pyramid at Giza, around 2520 B.C. His necropolis also included the Sphinx, a mysterious limestone monument with the body of a lion and a pharaoh’s head.
- The third of the Giza Pyramids is considerably smaller than the first two. It was built by Pharaoh Menkaure around 2490 B.C.
Although there are many theories, scientists cannot be sure how the pyramids were built!
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