Pyramid Fields of Giza
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Introduction to Pyramid Fields of Giza
Memphis, located in Egypt, was the capital of the Old Kingdom and today contains numerous ancient monuments. Some of its highlights include rock tombs, temples, pyramids, and ornate mastabas. This area, in ancient times, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Some of the well known monuments in the area include the limestone step pyramid constructed by the first pharaoh of the Memphis period and one of the oldest boats preserved today at Giza.
The pyramid of the first pharaoh during the Memphis period is constructed from limestone; it’s the oldest architectural structure of this form in the world. Other pyramids include the pyramid built as a mausoleum by Djoser, the Red Pyramid, Rhomboid Pyramid, the Pyramids of Giza, each different in their architectural characteristics.
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Guide to Pyramid Fields of Giza
When visiting Egypt, many tourists take pyramid tours. Many of these tours last a number of days, anywhere from 5 to 14, taking tourists on a journey down the Nile River. These tours typically include visiting the pyramids, tombs, temples and museums.
On these type of tours, one destination almost always included is the Giza Plateau, as this is where the most famous pyramids are located. Often, these pyramids are open for visitors to walk through so that they can see the insides. However, sometimes pyramids may be closed for preservation purposes; if you are interested in going inside one pyramid in particular, it is wise to do some research ahead of time to ensure it is open at that time. Also, some pyramids limit the number of visitors who are allowed inside at one day, so you may want to arrive at the site early in the day to purchase your tickets.
The second place of interest that is typically high on a tourists list is the Great Step Pyramid of Djoser. Many visitors find this to be a particularly intriguing site, as this was the first pyramid to be built in Egypt. This pyramid is part of the Saqqara necropolis of Memphis. Several recent discoveries have also been made here, including a queen’s pyramid, the tomb of a prime minister, and a pyramid of a king. The Old Kingdom tombs here are famous for the beautiful artwork they contain.
A few other famous pyramids that you may wish to visit are the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. The Bent Pyramid was one of the earliest attempts to create a pyramid with smooth sides. It is also one of the most well-preserved pyramids. The Red Pyramid is also in good condition and it is typically open to tourists and visits are free of charge.
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History of Pyramid Fields of Giza
The first ruler of Egypt as a unified kingdom, Menes, ordered a capital city to be constructed around the Nile Delta. The city was known to the Egyptians as the City of Menes or Mennufer; however, the Greeks called it Memphis. Few artifacts remain today of what once was the grandeur of Memphis.
The first stone pyramid was constructed in the necropolis of Saqqara. Here, a mausoleum was constructed by Djoser, the king and founder of the Egyptian Third Dynasty. This was different than previous tombs called mastabas, which had been shaped like rectangles and constructed of bricks. For Djoser mausoleum, stone was used instead of bricks.
During the Fourth Dynasty, the ruler Snefu again caused the form of the tomb to be altered. He chose the form that we now picture when we think of pyramids: a triangular shape with a square base. During this period, the Red Pyramid and the Rhomboid Pyramid were constructed. Snefu and his successors were also responsible for constructing the pyramids at Giza.
Getting to Pyramid Fields of Giza
By taxi or bus:
The easiest way to reach the pyramids at Giza is by taking a taxi from the center of Cairo. However, busses often make the trips out of Cairo.
There are several international airports in Egypt including Cairo, Alexandria, Luxor, Aswan, and Hurghada. However, most international travelers travel through Cairo or Alexandria. Major airlines that fly to and from Egypt include Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Malaysia Airlines, Middle East Airlines, and Singapore Airlines to name a few.
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