The Egyptian pyramids are ancient masonry structures located in Egypt. Sources cite at least 118 identified Egyptian pyramids. Most were built as tombs for the country’s pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods.
No cameras were around thousands of years ago when the ancient Egyptians built the three pyramids of Giza, for each of three pharaohs Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure.
Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
The southernmost and last pyramid to be built was that of Menkaure (Greek: Mykerinus), the fifth king of the 4th dynasty; each side measures 356.5 feet (109 metres), and the structure’s completed height was 218 feet (66 metres).
There are about eighty pyramids known today from ancient Egypt. The three largest and best-preserved of these were built at Giza at the beginning of the Old Kingdom. The most well-known of these pyramids was built for the pharaoh Khufu. It is known as the ‘Great Pyramid’.
It was the Egyptians who built the pyramids. The Great Pyramid is dated with all the evidence, I’m telling you now to 4,600 years, the reign of Khufu. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is one of 104 pyramids in Egypt with superstructure. And there are 54 pyramids with substructure.
The Giza Pyramids, built to endure an eternity, have done just that. The monumental tombs are relics of Egypt’s Old Kingdom era and were constructed some 4,500 years ago.
Today only one of the original wonders still exists, and there is doubt that all seven ever existed, but the concept of the wonders of the world has continued to excite and fascinate people everywhere for centuries.
Entering the Pyramids Tourists are allowed to enter all three of the great pyramids, for a fee, of course. That is, you can go into the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure as long as you pay for a ticket. That’s the good news.
The biggest reason was security, though. Many of the later pyramids were being build on the cheap, but with a number of security features meant to foil would be tomb robbers, such as false tunnels and quartzite walls.
Tutankhamun, also spelled Tutankhamen and Tutankhamon, original name Tutankhaten, byname King Tut, (flourished 14th century bce), king of ancient Egypt (reigned 1333–23 bce), known chiefly for his intact tomb, KV 62 (tomb 62), discovered in the Valley of the Kings in 1922.
Created as tombs for the kings of Egypt, these monuments were the first great stone structures in the world. Their designs attest to the architectural expertise of the ancient Egyptian people, and today’s traveler can view the eight pyramids still standing in the desert sands near the modern city of Cairo.
Pyramids were the most characteristic tomb for kings of the Old Kingdom. The mummies of such pharaohs as Djoser, Khafre, and Menkaure were placed in a subterranean burial chamber underneath the pyramid. The pharaohs of the New Kingdom were laid to rest in rock-cut tombs in the Valley of the Kings.
Around 2780 BCE, King Djoser’s architect, Imhotep, built the first pyramid by placing six mastabas, each smaller than the one beneath, in a stack to form a pyramid rising in steps.
The Pyramids of Giza, like the Egyptian pyramids that came before and after them, were royal tombs, a final resting place for their pharaohs, or kings. The pharaoh’s final resting place was usually within a subterranean burial chamber underneath the pyramid.
The Giza pyramid complex has been a popular tourist destination since antiquity and was popularized in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today it is the only one of those wonders still in existence.