Great Pyramid and Sphinx of Giza

Great PyramidThe pyramids of Giza in Egypt stands on the Giza Plateau, on the outside of Cairo. The Great pyramid is the only Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that are still around. Some lists of Seven Wonders include all the pyramids, while others say it is just the Great Pyramid. Egypt's largest, the Great Pyramid, is an awesome accomplishment that was finished over 4,500 years ago.


All three pyramids in the area are from the fourth Dynasty, and constructed as burial tombs to preserve the king's body and keep the provisions safe from grave robbers. The points of the pyramids was also considered to be where the soul of the king ascended to be with the sun god, Ra.

Maps of Famous Landmarks

This Old Egyptian necropolis (city of the dead) holds the Pyramid of Khufu (also the Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Cheops) the smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) and the even smaller Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinus), and some satellite pyramids named as the "queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids. Along with these royal monuments are the tombs of high officials and much later burials and monuments, indicating the respect to those buried in the area.

Great Pyramid & Sphinx

Sphnix in EgyptThe Great Sphinx of Giza is a half-human, half-lion Sphinx statue on the Giza Plateau at the west bank of the Nile River, near modern-day city of Cairo. At 241 feet long (73.5 metres), 20 feet wide (6 meters) and 65 feett high (20 meters), the Sphinx is considered the biggest monolithic statues on earth. It is thought to have been constructed in the 3rd millennium BCE, and is considered the oldest monument.

When the Giza Plateau was no longer inhabited, the sand buried the Sphnix up to its shoulders. Thutmose IV in 1400 BCE started to excavate the buried statue, but only managed to get out the front paws. He placed a Dream Stela between the paws that reads, in part:

...the royal son, Thothmos, having been arrived, while walking at midday and seating himself under the shadow of this mighty god, was overcome by slumber and slept at the very moment when Ra is at the summit (of heaven). He found that the Majesty of this august god spoke to him with his own mouth, as a father speaks to his son, saying: Look upon me, contemplate me, O my son Thothmos; I am thy father, Harmakhis-Khopri-Ra-Tum; I bestow upon thee the sovereignty over my domain, the supremacy over the living ... Behold my actual condition that thou mayest protect all my perfect limbs. The sand of the desert whereon I am laid has covered me. Save me, causing all that is in my heart to be executed.

Ramesses II may have also tried to restore the Great Sphinx.

It was in 1817 that the first modern day excavation occured, supervised by Captain Caviglia, and managed to uncover the entire Sphinx chest. The rest of the Sphinx was dug out in 1925.

Over the centuries stonework of the Sphnix has been considerably damaged by groundwater, wind, and pollution. It also suffered from 16th-century Turks who used the Sphinx for target practice and shot off the nose.

The pyramids of Giza are usually considered to be in a distant desert site, however the pyramids are now in the most populas city in Africa. So, the city comes right up to the base of the pyramids. The ancient sites in the Memphis area, including those at Giza, together with those at Saqqara, Dahshur, Abu Ruwaysh, and Abusir, were all together designated as a World Heritage Site in 1979.


The climate of Egypt has a hot season from May to October and a cool season from October to May. Extreme temperatures are kept at a minimum by the prevailing northern winds.

Summers in Egypt are hot and dry in almost all of the country, and humid in the Delta area and by the Mediterranean Sea. Recently Cairo has experienced humidity, and the city is very uncomfortable in August. Winter is moderate with some rain, but generally has sunny days with cold nights. In the summer, the most important information to have for a trip to Egypt is to have sun protection, Bring a sunhat, light clothing and good walking shoes.

Winter is between October and May and the weather is cold due to cold winds that blow through the desert at sunrise and sunset. Even when it is warmer weather, it can be cold inside the stone Temples. Showers can fall anywhere in winter, so it is good to bring light but warm clothing to deal with the cold early mornings and an occasional cold front.


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