The Pyramids of Giza, namely Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure were taken their names after the pharaohs. This monumental complex, estimated to be built during the reign of the old kingdom in the 3000s BC, is considered to be the first wonder of the world.
Dazzling with its size and magnificence, Khufu is located in Cairo, the capital of today’s Egypt. It covers an area of 5 hectares with a base of 230 meters on each side. Initially, it was 146 meters high. Stone blocks of 1 cubic meter are arranged in 201 rows and the first row at the base is 1.5 meters high; the height of the following rows gradually decreases and goes down to 0.55 meters on the top. It is estimated that there are 2.6 million stone blocks in the pyramid, which represents a mass of 7 million tons. This weight was mined from the nearby quarries, brought to the bottom of the pyramid construction by carriages and pulled up and put into place as the structure raised. This means 7000 trains carrying 1000 tons each or 700,000 trucks carrying 10 tons each in today’s conditions!
Great Sphinx of Giza
Another important monument in the same area as the Pyramids of Giza is the Great Sphinx of Giza. 73.5 meters long, 6 meters wide and 20 meters high sphinx is the world’s largest single-stone statue. Since they were considered sacred in ancient Egyptian mythology, it was thought that it was built to protect the tombs and pyramids of Pharaoh by using the powers of divinity and magic. In the old depictions, only the monumental head of the sphinx rising from the sand is visible. Sand cleaning began with Caviglia in 1816, then stopped and readdressed by Mariette in 1853. In 1886, Maspero and Brugsch would remove the statue completely from the sand and reveal the body of an outstretched lion guarding the tomb of Pharaoh Khafre.