The Pyramids of Giza

Another perspective on the size of the pyramids.

The layout of the pyramids relative to the sun, the compass, the Nile River, and the nearby mastaba graves (smaller rock mounds) of lessor people (e.g., servants, religious leaders and government officials) can still be ascertained by inspection at the site. The location of the entire area, on a rock outcropping southwest of Cairo, provided ample building materials while being high enough to avoid the annual flooding of the Nile. The nearby Sphinx was chiseled out at the end of the pyramid projects in order to improve the beauty of the area.

What's not evident after all these years is the layout of each individual pyramid complex - click here for an idea of how it looked back then. The idea comes from (1) the obvious roadway leading to a pyramid (Chepheren - see below) from a barge landing off a Nile River canal, (2) the large, elaborate, south entrance to a pyramid (Mycerinus - see below right), and (3) the nearby auxiliary pyramids of a queen and her princesses (below left).

Lots of books have been written about the pyramids and it's still a very active area of research in the field and in the libraries of the world. For more, go to the Egypt Ministry of Tourism, National Geographic, PBS, good picture stories (1, 2), and a map of ancient pyramid sites.

Flag of Egypt

The Sphinx and the Pyramid of Chephren
The Queen and the three Princess Pyramids Pyramid of Mycerinus