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The Pyramids of Giza

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All three of Giza's famed pyramids and their elaborate burial complexes were built during a frenetic period of construction, from roughly 2550 to 2490 B.C. The pyramids were built by Pharaohs Khufu (tallest), Khafre (background), and Menkaure (front).

The Great Pyramid Egypt, located on the outskirts of Cairo, this pyramid is the largest of the three and is estimated to have been completed in 2570 BC to house the body of Khufu, the pharaoh of the fourth dynasty of the ancient old kingdom of Egypt and also known as Cheops who had ordered the construction of a tomb to preserve his body.

The architect who carried out the work was Hemiunu, a relative of the pharaoh, who revolutionized the laws of physics by building what was then, and well into the 19th century, the tallest building in the world and one of the seven ancient wonders around the world.

Geographically, the pyramid of Khafra is located southwest of the pyramid of Cheops, a few hundred meters away. It is located on the Giza Plateau, a limestone plateau southeast of Cairo that is today almost surrounded by the Cairo agglomeration.

The base of the Pyramid of Khafre (also called Khephren), is just 15 m (50 ft) shorter than the Great Pyramid, while in height there is a difference of only 3 m (10 ft).

Seeming to dominate the famous Giza plateau, where there are two other pyramids, Khafre is actually a little smaller than his father’s Cheops, but this impression comes from the fact that it is built on a rocky nipple, so the summit is higher, but the pyramid of Khafra is smaller than 3 m from his father’s Cheops.

The last pyramid built on the Giza Plateau, the pyramid of Menkaure (also known as Mycerinus) has a base area less than a quarter of that of its two neighbors. Some attribute this to a reduction in the power of the king.

This can perhaps be viewed as the start of a process that eventually saw pyramids abandoned, in favor of secret, rock-cut tombs with separate large funerary temples.