The greatest testaments to the power of Pharaohs in the old Egyptian kingdom are the pyramids and other tombs built to shelter them in their afterlife. The Giza Valley Plateau consists of 11 Pyramids, 4 Valley Temples, 3 Mortuary Temples, 3 Procession ways, a Sphinx, as well as several boat pits all of which follow the blueprint of Sacred Geometry and architectural prowess.
The three largest pyramids located in the valley consist of the Great Pyramid of Khufu, the Pyramid of Kafhre and the Pyramid of Menkaura. Each Pyramid is a tomb dedicated to a different king of Egypt.
The larger grouping consists of the three “Great” pyramids, the Sphinx, the pyramids of the queens, attendant temples and outbuildings, and the private mastabas of the nobility. The second grouping, located on the ridge to the southeast, contains a number of private tombs of citizens of various classes.
The monuments of Giza and the entire Giza Valley stand as a marvelous reminder of the skill executed in the creation of the pyramids, and are truly fabulous to see. Ancient Egyptians believed that when the pharaoh died, he became Osiris, king of the dead. The new pharaoh became Horus, god of the heavens and protector of the sun god. This cycle was symbolized by the rising and setting of the sun.
Some part of a dead pharaoh’s spirit, called his ka, was believed to remain with his body. And it was thought that if the corpse did not have proper care, the former pharaoh would not be able to carry out his new duties as king of the dead. If this happened, the cycle would be broken and disaster would befall Egypt.
To prevent such a catastrophe, each dead pharaoh was mummified, which preserved his body. Everything the king would need in his afterlife was provided in his grave—vessels made of clay, stone, and gold, furniture, food, even doll-like representations of servants, known as ushabti. His body would continue to receive food offerings long after his death. An estimated 20,000 to 30,000 workers built the Pyramids at Giza over 80 years. Much of the work probably happened while the River Nile was flooded.
The pyramids were just one part of a complex of buildings that were used to bury and memorialize the dead pharaoh. There was a mortuary temple, a funerary temple and a causeway the connected them.
It is believed that the mortuary temple was used for the ritual mummification of the Pharaoh. His body was then placed in a full sized boat (perhaps used originally to bring his body to the mortuary temple). The boat was then pulled up to the mortuary temple through the closed causeway symbolizing the passage through the underworld. Last rites before entombment and yearly memorials were then held in the funerary temple.
The mummy was taken from the mortuary temple into the pyramid for entombment.
The local villagers work at the Pyramids. They sell postcards, trinkets and camel rides. They run shops in the village which sell souvenirs and they work as guides to the sites. They dress up in their colourful Arab finery and decorate their camels so that you can photograph them.
The Giza Necropolis is located on the outskirts of Cairo some 9 km inland into the desert from the old town of Giza on the Nile, some 25 km southwest of Cairo city centre