No trip to Egypt is even worth taking if you do not plan to visit perhaps the most magnificent structures of the ancient world, the Pyramids. There are at least ninety-seven pyramids scattered across the deserts of the region.
The pyramids are the embodiment of Ancient Egypt. Built thousands of years before Christ the word ancient does not even begin describe adequately their age. In light of how old they are, it is surprising to stand in their presence and realize all this architectural accuracy was managed before the dawn of modern mathematics, engineering and the Machine Age.
The Pyramids of Giza
The Pyramids of Giza are considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A place of honor they rightly deserve. There are plenty of tours and taxis available to take visitors to see the Pyramids of Giza. And most people are content to see just these; they never even venture further to see the many other pyramids.
The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu)
This pyramid is the largest and the oldest of the Giza Pyramids, a massive stone sculpture with three chambers. When it was excavated, only the sarcophagus of Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) was found. All other tomb objects had been looted. To this day, archaeologists debate the existence of a fourth chamber somewhere in the Pyramid of Cheops.
The Pyramid of Chephren (Khafre)
This pyramid was built by Khufu’s son Khafre. An opening was discovered in 1818, following centuries of belief that no entrance existed. As was the case with many of the pyramids, tomb robbers had looted the chambers years earlier.
Thought to resemble Chephren, this massive sculpture is carved out of limestone, owing to its severe erosion over the thousands of years it has stood in the harsh desert. The Sphinx lost much of its beard when it was used for target practice by Napoleon’s troops. Although there are tunnels inside the Sphinx, no one as yet has discovered their purpose.
The region of North Saqqara is rich in archaeological research. Much of Egypt’s royalty and nobility are entombed in the various ancient pyramids and mastabas in the region. The famous Step Pyramid first began in the form of a mastaba, but ushered in the age of the pyramids.