Friday, March 7, 2014

Pyramids of Giza

From the day I knew they existed, I dreamed of visiting the Pyramids in Giza, Egypt.  That dream came true in 1996 and again in 2010.  To describe my thoughts when viewing them is almost impossible.  Here are magnificent structures that are over 5000 years old!

The fact that they were there about a thousand years before Moses lived, was exciting.  He would have been there and seen them!
The Pyramids reveal a rich history.
The Great Pyramid, sometimes known as the Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops) is the largest and the oldest of the three pyramids in Giza.  This pyramid is the oldest and only one remaining of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
It is believed to have been built as a tomb for Khufu in the Fourth Dynasty. 
Khufu was a cruel taskmaster who compelled his subjects to work for him as slaves.  They were forced to drag blocks of stone long distances from the quarries in the Arabian hills to the Nile.  The huge stones wer ferried across and other slaves continued to haul them to Giza.  The track on which the blocks were hauled took ten years to build.
Egyptologists believe the pyramid itself was built over a ten to twenty year period of time.
It was originally covered by beautiful white casing stones made of polished white limestone.  Many of the outer stones were loosened by a massive earthquake in AD 1300 and were carried off a Sultan to build mosques and fortresses in nearby Cairo. 
The Great Pyramid contains three known chambers.  The lowest chamber was never finished.  The two other chambers are the Queen’s Chamber and the King’s Chamber.
This pyramid is the only pyramid in Egypt to contain both ascending and descending passages. 
The Pyramid of Chephren is the only one that still has at the top a section of the smooth external facing.  It is set lower than Cheop’s Pyramid, but was originally the same height.  It originally had a red granite facing at the base.
The smallest of the three, the Pyramid of Micerinus has three small satellite pyramids, at least one of which was probably intended for a later pharaoh’s wife.  This is the pyramid that our group entered in 1996.  At the end of a difficult (however less so than the others) is a burial chamber. 
The department of antiquities attempts to curb the deterioration of the pyramids by limiting visitors, however in 2010, buses parked rather close to them. 
Magnificent!  Awesome!   Beautiful!  Amazing!  Fantastic!  Wondrous!  What words can you use to describe the majesty of the Pyramids of Giza?

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