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The GIZA PYRAMID COMPLEX (Arabic : أهرامات الجيزة‎‎, IPA: , "pyramids of Giza") is an archaeological site on the Giza Plateau , on the outskirts of Cairo
Cairo
, Egypt
Egypt
.

This complex of ancient monuments includes the three pyramid complexes known as the Great Pyramids, the massive sculpture known as the Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
, several cemeteries, a workers' village and an industrial complex. It is located in the Libyan Desert
Libyan Desert
, approximately 9 km (5 mi) west of the Nile
Nile
river at the old town of Giza
Giza
, and about 13 km (8 mi) southwest of Cairo
Cairo
city centre.

The pyramids, which have historically loomed large as emblems of ancient Egypt
Egypt
in the Western imagination , were popularised in Hellenistic times, when the Great Pyramid
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.

CONTENTS

* 1 Pyramids and Sphinx

* 1.1 Khufu\'s pyramid complex * 1.2 Khafre\'s pyramid complex * 1.3 Menkaure\'s pyramid complex * 1.4 Sphinx * 1.5 Tomb of Queen Khentkaus I

* 2 Construction

* 2.1 Purpose

* 3 Workers\' village

* 4 Cemeteries

* 4.1 West Field * 4.2 East Field * 4.3 Cemetery GIS * 4.4 Central Field * 4.5 South Field * 4.6 Tombs of the pyramid builders

* 5 New Kingdom
New Kingdom
* 6 Late Period * 7 Astronomy
Astronomy
* 8 See also * 9 References * 10 External links

PYRAMIDS AND SPHINX

Views, Objects: Egypt. Gizeh . View 05: Sphinx and Pyramids., n.d., New York. Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Archives Pyramids of Ghizeh. 1893. Egypt
Egypt
; heliogravures after original views. Wilbour Library of Egyptology. Brooklyn Museum
Brooklyn Museum
Aerial view from north of cultivated Nile
Nile
valley with the pyramids in the background The Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
partially excavated, photo taken between 1867 and 1899 Auguste Mariette
Auguste Mariette
(seated, far left) and Pedro II of Brazil (seated, far right) with others during the Emperor's visit to the Giza pyramid complex at the end of 1871

The Pyramids of Giza
Giza
consist of the Great Pyramid
Pyramid
of Giza
Giza
(also known as the Pyramid
Pyramid
of Cheops or Khufu
Khufu
and constructed c. 2560–2540 BC), the somewhat smaller Pyramid
Pyramid
of Khafre
Khafre
(or Chephren) a few hundred meters to the south-west, and the relatively modest-sized Pyramid
Pyramid
of Menkaure
Menkaure
(or Mykerinos) a few hundred meters farther south-west. The Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
lies on the east side of the complex. Current consensus among Egyptologists is that the head of the Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
is that of Khafre
Khafre
. Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids.

KHUFU\'S PYRAMID COMPLEX

Main article: Great Pyramid
Pyramid
of Giza
Giza

Khufu
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. From this temple the basalt pavement is the only thing that remains. The mortuary temple was connected to the king’s pyramid. The king’s pyramid has three smaller queen’s pyramids associated with it and five boat pits. :11–19 The boat pits contained a ship, and the 2 pits on the south side of the pyramid still contained intact ships. One of these ships has been restored and is on display. Khufu's pyramid still has a limited collection of casing stones at its base. These casing stones were made of fine white limestone quarried from the nearby range.

KHAFRE\'S PYRAMID COMPLEX

Main articles: Pyramid
Pyramid
of Khafre
Khafre
and Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
of Giza
Giza

Khafre’s pyramid complex consists of a valley temple, the Sphinx temple, a causeway, a mortuary temple and the king’s pyramid. The valley temple yielded several statues of Khafre. Several were found in a well in the floor of the temple by Mariette in 1860. Others were found during successive excavations by Sieglin (1909–10), Junker, Reisner, and Hassan. Khafre’s complex contained five boat-pits and a subsidiary pyramid with a serdab . :19–26 Khafre's pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu
Khufu
Pyramid
Pyramid
by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction—it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume. Khafre's pyramid retains a prominent display of casing stones at its apex.

MENKAURE\'S PYRAMID COMPLEX

Main article: Pyramid
Pyramid
of Menkaure
Menkaure

Menkaure’s pyramid complex consists of a valley temple, a causeway, a mortuary temple, and the king’s pyramid. The valley temple once contained several statues of Menkaure
Menkaure
. During the 5th dynasty , a smaller ante-temple was added on to the valley temple. The mortuary temple also yielded several statues of Menkaure
Menkaure
. The king’s pyramid has three subsidiary or queen’s pyramids. :26–35 Of the four major monuments, only Menkaure's pyramid is seen today without any of its original polished limestone casing.

SPHINX

Main article: Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
of Giza
Giza

The Sphinx dates from the reign of king Khafre
Khafre
. During the New Kingdom, Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
dedicated a new temple to Hauron-Haremakhet and this structure was added onto by later rulers. :39–40

TOMB OF QUEEN KHENTKAUS I

Main article: Khentkaus I

Khentkaus I was buried in Giza. Her tomb is known as LG 100 and G 8400 and is located in the Central Field, near the valley temple of Menkaure
Menkaure
. The pyramid complex of Queen Khentkaus includes: her pyramid, a boat pit, a valley temple and a pyramid town. :288–289

CONSTRUCTION

Main article: Egyptian pyramid construction techniques

Most construction theories are based on the idea that the pyramids were built by moving huge stones from a quarry and dragging and lifting them into place. The disagreements center on the method by which the stones were conveyed and placed and how possible the method was.

In building the pyramids, the architects might have developed their techniques over time. They would select a site on a relatively flat area of bedrock—not sand—which provided a stable foundation. After carefully surveying the site and laying down the first level of stones, they constructed the pyramids in horizontal levels, one on top of the other.

For the Great Pyramid
Pyramid
of Giza
Giza
, most of the stone for the interior seems to have been quarried immediately to the south of the construction site. The smooth exterior of the pyramid was made of a fine grade of white limestone that was quarried across the Nile
Nile
. These exterior blocks had to be carefully cut, transported by river barge to Giza, and dragged up ramps to the construction site. Only a few exterior blocks remain in place at the bottom of the Great Pyramid. During the Middle Ages (5th century to 15th century), people may have taken the rest away for building projects in the city of Cairo.

To ensure that the pyramid remained symmetrical, the exterior casing stones all had to be equal in height and width. Workers might have marked all the blocks to indicate the angle of the pyramid wall and trimmed the surfaces carefully so that the blocks fit together. During construction, the outer surface of the stone was smooth limestone; excess stone has eroded as time has passed.

PURPOSE

The pyramids of Giza
Giza
and others are thought to have been constructed to house the remains of the deceased Pharaohs who ruled over Ancient Egypt
Egypt
. A portion of the Pharaoh's spirit called his ka was believed to remain with his corpse. Proper care of the remains was necessary in order for the "former Pharaoh
Pharaoh
to perform his new duties as king of the dead." It's theorized the pyramid not only served as a tomb for the Pharaoh, but also as a storage pit for various items he would need in the afterlife. "The people of Ancient Egypt
Egypt
believed that death on Earth was the start of a journey to the next world. The embalmed body of the King was entombed underneath or within the pyramid to protect it and allow his transformation and ascension to the afterlife."

WORKERS\' VILLAGE

One face of the Pyramid
Pyramid
of Khafre
Khafre
in Giza, showing a nearby archaeological site

The work of quarrying, moving, setting, and sculpting the huge amount of stone used to build the pyramids might have been accomplished by several thousand skilled workers, unskilled laborers and supporting workers. Bakers, carpenters, water carriers, and others were also needed for the project. Along with the methods utilized to construct the pyramids, there is also wide speculation regarding the exact number of workers needed for a building project of this magnitude. When Greek historian Herodotus
Herodotus
visited Giza
Giza
in 450 BC, he was told by Egyptian priests that "the Great Pyramid
Pyramid
had taken 400,000 men 20 years to build, working in three-month shifts 100,000 men at a time." Evidence from the tombs indicates that a workforce of 10,000 laborers working in three-month shifts took around 30 years to build a pyramid.

The Giza
Giza
pyramid complex is surrounded by a large stone wall, outside which Mark Lehner and his team discovered a town where the pyramid workers were housed. The village is located to the southeast of the Khafre
Khafre
and Menkaure
Menkaure
complexes. Among the discoveries at the workers' village are communal sleeping quarters, bakeries, breweries, and kitchens (with evidence showing that bread, beef, and fish were staples of the diet), a hospital and a cemetery (where some of the skeletons were found with signs of trauma associated with accidents on a building site). The workers' town appears to date from the middle 4th dynasty (2520–2472 BC), after the accepted time of Khufu
Khufu
and completion of the Great Pyramid. According to Lehner and the AERA team; "The development of this urban complex must have been quite rapid. All of the construction probably happened in the 35 to 50 years that spanned the reigns of Khafre
Khafre
and Menkaure, builders of the Second and Third Giza
Giza
Pyramids".

Without carbon dating, using only pottery shards, seal impressions, and stratigraphy to date the site, the team further concludes; "The picture that emerges is that of a planned settlement, some of the world's earliest urban planning, securely dated to the reigns of two Giza
Giza
pyramid builders: Khafre
Khafre
(2520–2494 BC) and Menkaure (2490–2472 BC)".

CEMETERIES

Giza
Giza
pyramid complex (map) Giza
Giza
pyramid complex seen from above

As the pyramids were constructed, the mastabas for lesser royals were constructed around them. Near the pyramid of Khufu, the main cemetery is G 7000 which lies in the East Field located to the east of the main pyramid and next to the Queen’s pyramids. These cemeteries around the pyramids were arranged along streets and avenues. Cemetery G 7000 was one of the earliest and contained tombs of wives, sons and daughters of these 4th dynasty rulers. On the other side of the pyramid in the West Field, the royals sons Wepemnofret and Hemiunu were buried in Cemetery G 1200 and Cemetery G 4000 respectively. These cemeteries were further expanded during the 5th and 6th dynasty .

WEST FIELD

Main article: Giza
Giza
West Field

The West Field is located to the west of Khufu
Khufu
’s pyramid. It is divided into smaller areas such as the cemeteries referred to as the Abu Bakr Excavations (1949–50, 1950–1,1952 and 1953), and several cemeteries named based on the mastaba numbers such as Cemetery G 1000, Cemetery G 1100, etc. The West Field contains Cemetery G1000 – Cemetery G1600, and Cemetery G 1900. Further cemeteries in this field are: Cemeteries G 2000, G 2200, G 2500, G 3000, G 4000, and G 6000. Three other cemeteries are named after their excavators: Junker Cemetery West, Junker Cemetery East and Steindorff Cemetery. :100–122

Cemeteries in the West Field at Giza
Giza
:47–179 CEMETERY TIME PERIOD EXCAVATION COMMENTS

Abu Bakr Excavations the 5th and 6th dynasty (1949–53)

Cemetery G 1000 the 5th and 6th dynasty Reisner (1903–05) Stone built mastabas

Cemetery G 1100 the 5th and 6th dynasty Reisner (1903–05) Brick built mastabas

Cemetery G 1200 Mainly 4th dynasty Reisner (1903–05) Some members of Khufu
Khufu
’s family are buried here; Wepemnefert (King’s Son), Kaem-ah (King’s Son), Nefertiabet
Nefertiabet
(King’s Daughter)

Cemetery G 1300 the 5th and 6th dynasty Reisner (1903–05) Brick built mastabas

Cemetery G 1400 the 5th dynasty or later Reisner (1903–05) Two men who were prophets of Khufu

Cemetery G 1500

Reisner (1931?) Only one mastaba (G 1601)

Cemetery G 1600 the 5th dynasty or later Reisner (1931) Two men who were prophets of Khufu

Cemetery G 1900

Reisner (1931) Only one mastabas (G 1903)

Cemetery G 2000

the 5th and 6th dynasty Reisner (1905–06)

Cemetery G 2100 the 4th and 5th dynasty and later Reisner (1931) G 2100 belongs to Merib, a King’s (grand-)Son and G2101 belongs to a 5th dynasty king’s daughter.

Cemetery G 2200 Late 4th or early 5th dynasty Reisner ? Mastaba
Mastaba
G 2220

Cemetery G 2300 5th dynasty and 6th dynasty Reisner (1911–13) Includes mastabas of Vizier Senedjemib-Inti and his family.

Cemetery G 2400 5th dynasty and 6th dynasty Reisner (1911–13)

Cemetery G 2500

Reisner

Cemetery G 3000 6th dynasty Fisher and Eckley Case Jr (1915)

Cemetery G 4000 4th dynasty and later Junker and Reisner (1931) Includes tomb of the Vizier Hemiunu

Cemetery G 6000 5th dynasty Reisner (1925–26)

Junker Cemetery (West) Late Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
Junker (1926–27) Includes mastaba of the dwarf Seneb

Steindorff Cemetery 5th dynasty and 6th dynasty Steindorff (1903–07)

Junker Cemetery (East) Late Old Kingdom Junker

EAST FIELD

Main article: Giza
Giza
East Field

The East Field is located to the east of Khufu’s pyramid and contains cemetery G 7000. This cemetery was a burial place for some of the family members of Khufu. The cemetery also includes mastabas from tenants and priests of the pyramids dated to the 5th dynasty and 6th dynasty. :179–216

Cemeteries G 7000 – Royalty :179–208 TOMB NUMBER OWNER COMMENTS

G 7000 X Queen Hetepheres I
Hetepheres I
Mother of Khufu
Khufu

G 7010 Nefertkau I Daughter of Sneferu , half-sister of Khufu

G 7060 Nefermaat I Son of Nefertkau I and Vizier of Khafra
Khafra

G 7070 Sneferukhaf Son of Nefermaat II

G 7110–7120 Kawab and Hetepheres II
Hetepheres II
Kawab was the eldest son of Khufu

G 7130–7140 Khufukhaf I and Nefertkau II King’s Son and Vizier and his wife

G 7210–7220 Djedefhor King’s Son of Khufu
Khufu
and Meritites

G 7350 Hetepheres II
Hetepheres II
Wife of Kawab and later wife of Djedefre
Djedefre

G 7410–7420 Meresankh II
Meresankh II
and Horbaef Meresankh was a king’s daughter and king’s wife

G 7430–7440 Minkhaf I Son of Khufu
Khufu
and Vizier of Khafra
Khafra

G 7510 Ankhhaf
Ankhhaf
Son of Sneferu and Vizier of Khafra
Khafra

G 7530–7540 Meresankh III
Meresankh III
Daughter of Kawab and Hetepheres II
Hetepheres II
, wife of Khafra
Khafra

G 7550 Duaenhor Probably son of Kawab and thus a grandson of Khufu

G 7560 Akhethotep and Meritites II Meritites is a daughter of Khufu

G 7660 Kaemsekhem Son of Kawab, a grandson of Khufu, served as Director of the Palace

G 7760 Mindjedef
Mindjedef
Son of Kawab, a grandson of Khufu, served as Treasurer

G 7810 Djaty Son of Queen Meresankh II
Meresankh II

CEMETERY GIS

Main article: Cemetery GIS

This cemetery dates from the time of Menkaure
Menkaure
(Junker) or earlier (Reisner), and contains several stone-built mastabas dating from as late as the 6th dynasty . Tombs from the time of Menkaure
Menkaure
include the mastabas of the royal chamberlain Khaemnefert, the King’s son Khufudjedef was master of the royal largesse, and an official named Niankhre. :216–228

CENTRAL FIELD

Main article: Central Field, Giza
Giza

The Central Field contains several burials of royal family members. The tombs range in date from the end of the 4th dynasty to the 5th dynasty or even later. :230–293

Central Field – Royalty :230–293 TOMB NUMBER OWNER COMMENTS

G 8172 (LG 86) Nebemakhet
Nebemakhet
Son of Khafre
Khafre
, served as Vizier

G 8158 (LG 87) Nikaure Son of Khafre
Khafre
and Persenet, served as Vizier

G 8156 (LG 88) Persenet Wife of Khafre
Khafre

G 8154 (LG 89) Sekhemkare Son of Khafre
Khafre
and Hekenuhedjet

G 8140 Niuserre Son of Khafre
Khafre
, Vizier in the 5th dynasty

G 8130 Niankhre King’s Son, probably 5th dynasty

G 8080 (LG 92) Iunmin King’s Son, end of 4th dynasty

G 8260 Babaef Son of Khafre
Khafre
, end of 4th dynasty

G 8466 Iunre Son of Khafre
Khafre
, end of 4th dynasty

G 8464 Hemetre Probably daughter of Khafre
Khafre
, end of 4th dynasty or 5th dynasty

G 8460 Ankhmare King’s son and Vizier, end of 4th dynasty

G 8530 Rekhetre King’s daughter (of Khafre
Khafre
) and Queen, end of 4th dynasty or 5th dynasty

G 8408 Bunefer King’s daughter and Queen, end of 4th dynasty or 5th dynasty

G 8978 Khamerernebty I King’s daughter and Queen, middle to end of 4th dynasty. Also known as the Galarza Tomb

Tombs dating from the Saite and later period were found near the causeway of Khafre
Khafre
and the Great Sphinx
Great Sphinx
. These tombs include the tomb of a commander of the army named Ahmose and his mother Queen Nakhtubasterau, who was the wife of Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Amasis II
Amasis II
. :289–290

SOUTH FIELD

The South Field includes some mastabas dating from the 2nd dynasty and 3rd dynasty . One of these early dynastic tombs is referred to as the Covington tomb. Other tombs date from the late Old Kingdom
Old Kingdom
(5th and 6th dynasty). The south section of the field contains several tombs dating from the Saite period and later. :294–297

TOMBS OF THE PYRAMID BUILDERS

In 1990, tombs belonging to the pyramid workers were discovered alongside the pyramids with an additional burial site found nearby in 2009. Although not mummified, they had been buried in mud-brick tombs with beer and bread to support them in the afterlife. The tombs' proximity to the pyramids and the manner of burial supports the theory that they were paid laborers who took great pride in their work and were not slaves, as was previously thought. The commonly held belief of slaves building the pyramids was likely to have been popularized by Hollywood films based on the original archaeological and anthropological opinion that they could not have been built without forced labor. Evidence from the tombs indicates that a workforce of 10,000 laborers working in three-month shifts took around 30 years to build a pyramid. Most of the workers appear to have come from poor families. Farms supplied the laborers with 21 cattle and 23 sheep daily. Specialists such as architects, masons, metalworkers and carpenters, were permanently employed by the king to fill positions that required the most skill.

NEW KINGDOM

During the New Kingdom
New Kingdom
, Giza
Giza
was still an active site. A brick-built chapel was constructed near the Sphinx during the early 18th dynasty , probably by King Thutmose I . Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
built a temple dedicated to Hauron-Haremakhet near the Sphinx. Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Thutmose IV visited the pyramids and the Sphinx as a prince and in a dream was told that clearing the sand from the Sphinx would be rewarded with kingship. This event is recorded in the Dream stela. During the early years of his reign, Thutmose IV together with his wife Queen Nefertari had stelae erected at Giza. Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun
had a structure built, which is now referred to as the king's resthouse. During the 19th dynasty , Seti I
Seti I
added to the temple of Hauron-Haremakhet, and his son Ramesses II
Ramesses II
erected a stela in the chapel before the Sphinx and usurped the resthouse of Tutankhamun. :39–47

LATE PERIOD

During the 21st dynasty , the Temple of Isis Mistress-of-the-Pyramids was reconstructed. During the 26th dynasty , a stela made in this time mentions Khufu
Khufu
and his Queen Henutsen . :18

ASTRONOMY

The Giza
Giza
pyramid complex at night

The sides of all three of the Giza
Giza
pyramids were astronomically oriented to the north-south and east-west within a small fraction of a degree. Among recent attempts to explain such a clearly deliberate pattern are those of S. Haack, O. Neugebauer , K. Spence, D. Rawlins , K. Pickering, and J. Belmonte. The arrangement of the pyramids is a representation of the Orion constellation according to the disputed Orion Correlation Theory .

SEE ALSO

* Egyptian pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
* List of archaeoastronomical sites by country * List of Egyptian pyramids
Egyptian pyramids
* List of largest monoliths in the world includes section on calculating weight of megaliths * Outline of Egypt
Egypt

REFERENCES

* ^ Pedro Tafur, Andanças e viajes. * ^ Medieval visitors, like the Spanish traveller Pedro Tafur in 1436, viewed them however as "the Granaries of Joseph" (Pedro Tafur, Andanças e viajes). * ^ A B C D E F G H Verner, Miroslav. The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt's Great Monuments. Grove Press. 2001 (1997). ISBN 0-8021-3935-3 * ^ Shafer, Byron E.; Dieter Arnold (2005). Temples of Ancient Egypt. I.B. Tauris. pp. 51–52. ISBN 978-1-85043-945-5 . * ^ Arnold, Dieter; Nigel Strudwick; Helen Strudwick (2002). The encyclopaedia of ancient Egyptian architecture. I.B. Tauris. p. 126. ISBN 978-1-86064-465-8 . * ^ A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q Porter, Bertha and Moss, Rosalind L. B. . Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings. Volume III. Memphis. Part I.