The Giza Pyramid Complex is the most popular tourist attraction in Egypt. Also, we call it the Giza Necropolis. This Complex is an Ancient Egyptian site located on the Giza Plateau. Widely known, it includes the Great Pyramid of Giza with its associated networks and Sphinx of Giza. The ancient Egyptians built these massive constructions during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. Additionally, the Giza Complex includes several cemeteries and the remains of a workers settlement on its territory.
Location of Giza Pyramid Complex
The Giza Necropolis exists on the outskirts of the Egyptian Western Desert, Giza Governorate. It typically stands about 9 km west of the Nile River in the city of Giza. Meanwhile, it locates not far from Downtown Cairo, about 13 km southwest.
Features of Giza Pyramid Complex
The Giza Pyramid Complex has many features. Of course, the most notable features of this complex are the three well-known pyramids. When we look at this vast site, we will unearth that it has more than complex. Moreover, it has a Workers’ village and cemeteries. To make it clear, we will list these features as follows:
- Khufu’s complex.
- Khafre’s complex.
- Menkaure’s complex.
- Tomb of Queen Khentkaus I.
- Workers’ village.
- Besides, the Cemeteries.
Khufu’s Pyramid Complex
The Khufu’s pyramid complex is the most prominent monument in Giza Pyramid Complex. It consists of the following features:
- The Valley Temple: this temple is now buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman.
- Causeway: the Ancient builders connected the valley temple to a causeway. Unfortunately, when modern Egyptians constructed Nazlet el-Samman village, they largely destroyed it.
- Mortuary Temple of Khufu: the causeway led to Mortuary Temple of Khufu. The basalt pavement is the only thing that remains of this temple.
- Khufu Pyramid: Pharaoh Khufu connected this pyramid to his mortuary temple.
- Three Queen’s Pyramids: The king’s pyramid has three smaller queen’s pyramids associated with it.
- Also, Three Boat Pits: The king’s pyramid also has three smaller queen pyramids. The boat pits contained three royal ships. One of these ships, the Khufu ship, has been restored and is on display at the Giza Solar boat museum. While the rest two pits on the south side of the pyramid still have intact ships.
Khafre’s Complex is the second significant aspect of the Giza Necropolis. It consists of the following features:
- The Valley temple, we call it also the Sphinx temple. This temple has the great Sphinx inside it. Mariette, in 1860 found several statues of Khafre in the Valley temple. He found them in a well on the floor of the temple. However, during successive excavations, Wilhelm Sieglin (1909–10), Junker, Reisner, and Hassan found the other statues.
- A causeway.
- A mortuary temple.
- The king’s pyramid: The ancient Egyptians built the Khafre’s pyramid in 2570 BCE.
- Khafre’s complex contains five boat pits.
- Also, a subsidiary pyramid with a serdab.
Menkaure is the third Pyramid in the Giza Pyramid complex, situated in Greater Cairo, Egypt. Smallest of the three, this beautiful structure rises to 66 metres (218 feet). Despite being short, Menkaure Pyramid houses some of the most stunning sculptures from Ancient Egyptian history. Menkaure’s pyramid complex consists of the following features:
- The Valley temple: This valley temple once contained several statues of Menkaure. The Ancient Egyptians added, during the 5th Dynasty, a smaller ante temple to it.
- A causeway.
- A mortuary temple: The Mortuary temple also yielded several statues of Menkaure.
- And, Menkaure’s pyramid: The Ancient Egyptians completed the king’s pyramid ca. 2510 B.C.E.
- In addition, Three subsidiary or Queen’s Pyramids.
The Great Sphinx is one of the most significant sculptures in the world. Showcasing a reclined lion’s body and a human head, it stands at nearly 66 feet. The length of this magnificent statue is around 240 feet. A royal headdress adorns the Sphinx’s human head.
Moreover, the face resembles Pharaoh Khafre. Hence, historians date the Great Sphinx to the 4th dynasty. Therefore, the ownership of the Sphinx inclines towards Khafre.
However, some scholars believe that Khafre’s older sibling, Redjedef, built the monument. Perhaps Redjedef built the Sphinx to honour their father, Khufu. Moreover, people debate that the Great Sphinx resembles King Khufu more than Khafre.