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An Ancient Egypt Necropolis , Giza

Large cemeteries or burial places connecting to ancient times are a popular tourist attraction in many countries around the world. In Egypt, large concentrations of the dead have been discovered throughout Cairo, the Great Pyramid of Egypt, Memphis, Saqqara, Siwa Oasis, and the Theban Necropolis. In this article, we will explore a few of the features of the Giza Necropolis , home to the Great Pyramids.  

The Great Pyramid of Egpyt

Who can mention the burial of the dead without making a reference to the Great Pyramid of Egypt? Constructed in 2560 BC, the Great Pyramid serves as the oldest and largest of three such structures in the Giza Necropolis. The Giza Necropolis is situated on the Giza Plataua, found on the outskirts of Cairo. Filled with ancient monuments, this complex is home to the only remaining Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. For nearly 4,000 years, the Great Pyramid was also considered the tallest of man-made structures at one time.

The Great Pyramid consists of three known chambers inside with the lowest one cut into the bedrock where the pyramid was constructed and then left unfinished. Located at higher points, you will find what is believed to be the Queen’s Chamber and King’s Chamber. In honor of Khufu, the Great Pyramid of Giza was built as the primary features of a building complex that also included two mortuary temples. One was situated close to the pyramid, while the other was positioned by the Nile.

Other structures built in honor of the dead included:

·    three smaller pyramids set aside for the wives of Khufu

·    one smaller pyramid, often referred to as the ‘satellite’ pyramid

·    a causeway that raised up to connect the two temples

·    small tombs fashioned out of mud-brick and stone , built for nobles that surrounded the pyramid

Other Features of the Giza Necropolis

The Giza Necropolis is not only decorated with the Great Pyramid, but also supported the Pyramid of Khafre (or Chephren). Khafre’s pyramid is the second largest of the ancient Egyptian Pyramids of Giza. The Pyramid of Menjaure (or Mykerinos) is also part of the Giza Necropolis, which was built in honor of the 4th Dynasty ruler.

In 1835, Richard William Howard Vyse (a British soldier, anthropologist, and Egyptologist) found the remains of a wooden anthropoid coffin in the upper antechamber of the Pyramid of Menkaure. An inscription read Menkaure’s name and contained the bones of a human.

On the eastern side of the complex, the Great Sphinx is found , looking towards the east. It is believed that the head depicts Khafre. Other royal monuments associated with the ancient necropolis include the tombs of high officials. In later years, other burials would take place and monuments erected from the New Kingdom era.