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Ancient Egypt Pyramids Top 10 Facts

The Great Pyramids at Giza

Pyramids continue to fascinate us and spark many debates over how such enormous structures were built, from visiting aliens, slave labour to a paid dedicated workforce. What does remain is that these amazing structures were built to protect the Pharaohs body and wealth, and guarantee his soul’s safe passage into the afterlife.

 

 

 

 

Here are my top Ancient Egypt Pyramids top 10 facts:

1. In Egypt’s 1st Dynasty the first brick tombs appeared called Mastabas built for high officials.

2. Over 4500 years ago in the reign of King Djoser, the architect Imhotep is credited with building Egypt’s first Pyramid – the Step Pyramid at Saqqara. Begun in about 2630BC the Step Pyramid is the oldest stone structure of its size in the world.

3. Snofru, the first king of the 4th Dynasty built at least two true straight sided pyramids for himself. The Bent pyramid is one of these, so called because half-way up its height changes angle sharply.

4. There are four little known pyramids at Abusir and were not constructed very well. The smooth limestone casing blocks that once covered the rough masonry have been stripped off many years ago to be reused in other buildings. The few remaining decorated reliefs show a very early scene of sea-going ships in Egypt and another detailing the animal booty captured from the Libyans including 243,668 sheep and 123,440 cattle.

5. The one pyramid that is known to all is of course the Great Pyramid of Khufu at Giza. Its ancient name was “The Pyramid which is the place of Sunrise and Sunset.” The original height was 146m and remained the tallest building in the world until the construction of the Eiffel Tower in 1889 and covers an area of 2300 sq m and is the only remaining original wonder of the world.

6. It took 6.25 million tonnes of stone to build the Great Pyramid with the individual blocks weighing between 2 and 15 tonnes and if every stone was laid side by side there would be enough to surround France! To stand in front of this structure strikes you in wonder at how this amazing feat was carried out especially when you think that the blocks must have been produced at a rate of one every two minutes each day for 23 years.

7. The tomb of Khufu’s mother, Queen Hetepheres, lies beside the causeway of the Great Pyramid and a Canopic chest with her vital organs was discovered but the sarcophagus was empty. However it seems ones mother was just as important in ancient Egypt as now!

8. The pyramid of Khafre appears larger than Khufu’s but was built on slightly higher ground and so gives that impression. It is the most complete of the Giza pyramids and with its original limestone gives us an idea of how impressive these tombs would have been with the polished stones completely encasing the pyramid.

9. The Sphinx is Egypt’s earliest royal statue and formed part of Khafre’s pyramid complex and most Egyptologist’s think that the statue was built from an outcrop of limestone rock that remained after the quarrying for the Great pyramid. This act has given us one of the most iconic statues in the world. Its lion body symbolizes power and its head seems to be of Khafre himself.

10. In the New Kingdom the building of pyramids was abandoned in favour of tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Yet the desire for this elaborate tomb was then revived by the Kushite Kings of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty. They were more modest in size and along with the kings there are 14 queens also buried at el-Kurru.

The Great Sphinx of Giza with Explore Travel and Cruises
The magic of the Ancient Egypt pyramids continues to enthral us and you will certainly never forget the moment you stand before the Great Pyramid at Giza and is certainly a “bucket list” experience.

To see a full detailed Itinerary for the Pyramids Click here 

Written by Mohamed Fahmy
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What our clients have to say

What a unique experience this was for my husband and I and a group of friends ( 5 other couples). I felt like we were going back in time and living the life that a well to do 19th century family would have while they were sojourning down the Nile River. The decor of the living spaces on the second level upstairs on the upper deck looked like pieces you would see in a palace of royalty. The bedrooms on the first level that had windows that opened up just above the water level were spacious and comfortable. The bed was comfy as can be!!
The staff on the boat, and there were many, were so very attentive and tried their hardest to meet our every need and also surprised us with daily unexpected niceties and full on entertainment. The food was all homemade and delicious. Our chef was quite talented and the meals were never repeated( except for breakfast which was made to order eggs and an assortment of breads/muffins/croissants and fruit etc. Coffee and tea always available.
The tours that were scheduled for us were so well run and our Egyptologist, Ahmed , was obtaining his Ph.D in Egyptology and was so very interesting and knowledgeable. We had the opportunity to go on a hot air balloon ride and also a trip to Abu Simbel which were both amazing and unforgettable. After every tour we arrived back on the boat and were greeted by Tito and Adam with specialty cold lovely drinks and cold lemon scented wet towels to refresh ourselves with.
Tito took us shopping in the Luxor Market for a couple of hours the day before we left. He helped us negotiate the goods we purchased which was a huge help.
Lastly I have to mention our Dahabiya Cruise Captain, Mahmoud . This guy was amazing! He made sure we had everything we needed and kept us entertained with his humour and incredible dancing skills. Our group learned so much about the Egyptian culture from him during our dinner conversations.
Our group all agreed that we would miss these wonderful, thoughtful people that we spent a week with and hope they all knew how much we appreciated each one of them.

Joan Mancini
Travel date Sept 2021

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