Giza Necropolis of Egypt

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The Giza Necropolis ("pyramids of Giza") is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, Egypt. This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an industrial complex.

Giza Necropolis of Egypt
Giza Necropolis of Egypt

It is located some 9 km (5 mi) inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km (15 mi) southwest of Cairo city centre. The pyramids, which have historically loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt in the Western imagination, were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. It is by far the oldest of the ancient Wonders and the only one still in existence.

Giza Necropolis of Egypt
Giza Necropolis of Egypt

The Pyramids of Giza consist of the Great Pyramid of Giza (known as the Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Cheops and Khufu), the somewhat smaller Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren) a few hundred meters to the south-west, and the relatively modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure (or Mykerinos) a few hundred meters further south-west.

Giza Necropolis of Egypt
Giza Necropolis of Egypt

The Great Sphinx lies on the east side of the complex. Current consensus among Egyptologists is that the head of the Great Sphinx is that of Khafre. Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids.

Giza Necropolis of Egypt
Giza Necropolis of Egypt

Khufu's pyramid complex consists of a Valley Temple, now buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman; basalt paving and nummulitic limestone walls have been found but the site has not been excavated. The Valley Temple was connected to a causeway which was largely destroyed when the village was constructed. The Causeway led to the Mortuary Temple of Khufu.

Giza Necropolis of Egypt
Giza Necropolis of Egypt

The Sphinx dates to the reign of king Khafre. A chapel was located between its forepaws that had unfortunate history of being repeatedly destroyed by unusual circumstances. During the New Kingdom, Amenhotep II dedicated a new temple to Hauron-Haremakhet and this structure was added onto by later rulers.

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