Sunday, November 22, 2015

Cairo Adventure: The Great Pyramids of Giza

We booked a tour with a certified Egyptologist named Sherif. He was great and talked a mile a minute so you had to pay attention to keep up. Our first stop was the great pyramid of Khufu, the largest and oldest of the pyramids and the only remaining of the 7 ancient wonders of the world. And it’s pretty impressive. Most of us have seen pictures, seen them in movies, but to be there in the flesh is pretty amazing. A few facts:

The pyramid, the temple of purification and the temple of mummification were all built for one king and never used again for anything else.

In addition, there are 5 ships built around the pyramid to symbolize the journey to the sun god, Ra. So far, 4 of those ships have been excavated, the 5th is out there somewhere.

This first pyramid took 30 years to build and King Khufu died before it was finished so never got to see the fruits of his labor. The next one, belonging to his son, took 9 years, probably because he didn’t want to make the same mistake his father did!

The pyramid stones are sandstone cut to fit together and stay together. Then the entire pyramid was covered with limestone and polished smooth. This covering was torn off most of the pyramids by more recent kings who thought it prestigious to build their home and temples with the stone from the ancient pyramids. You’ll see the son’s pyramid still has some of the limestone covering the top third.

There are also queen’s pyramids for the king’s additional wives (his first would be buried with him in the main pyramid).

Enough trivia, let’s see these bad boys.

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