Pyramid Of Khufu

The Pinnacle of Ancient Engineering: Khufu's Great Pyramid

Khufu’s Pyramid, an enduring marvel of the ancient world, has always held its reputation as a remarkable structure. Today, it stands as the sole survivor among the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a testament to the ingenuity of the builders of antiquity, for none of the other six wonders exists in their original glory.

Originally known as the “Horizon of Khufu” or “Akhet Khufu,” the pyramid has been affectionately dubbed the “Great Pyramid” by generations of admirers. Khufu, the son of Snefru, who reigned over Egypt for approximately 23 years, etched his name in history as the pharaoh who commissioned the construction of this monumental pyramid on the Giza Plateau. His father, Snefru, had previously overseen the construction of three burial monuments to the south, at Dashur and Meidum. By the zenith of the Fourth Dynasty, the Memphite necropolis extended its boundaries to embrace the Giza Plateau.

Each side of the Great Pyramid’s base stretches to approximately 230.37 meters in length, while its original height reached 146.6 meters. Comprising this imposing structure are vast limestone blocks, an estimated 2.3 million in number, sourced from a quarry to the southeast of the Great Pyramid. These colossal blocks had to be laboriously transported to the construction site atop an intricate ramp system. The outer casing blocks of the pyramid were crafted from fine white limestone, quarried across the river at Tura.

The northern entrance, originally situated on the 19th layer of core blocks, has been modified over time to facilitate visitor access. A tunnel-like passage leads through the core blocks into the heart of the pyramid. It is divided into two parts. The first segment features a lower corridor, delving into the depths of the Giza Plateau’s bedrock, and culminating in an abandoned underground chamber, sealed due to the absence of air.

The second segment presents a challenging journey, beginning with a low corridor that necessitates crawling on hands and knees, eventually leading to the awe-inspiring Grand Gallery. This gallery marks the gateway to the central chamber of the Great Pyramid.

The inner sanctum of the Great Pyramid harbors the King’s Chamber, characterized by its stark, black walls—a space that exudes an eerie, almost otherworldly aura when visited alone. Inside, a profound sense of insignificance envelops you, overshadowed by an overwhelming feeling of infinity. Ascending further through the passageway towards the Grand Gallery, you’ll encounter a narrow corridor spanning 47 meters. In the event of meeting someone traveling in the opposite direction, an awkward and cramped encounter is all but inevitable.

The upper reaches of the Grand Gallery conceal an additional, low passageway leading to the King’s Chamber. This chamber, constructed entirely of red granite, houses the unadorned sarcophagus of Khufu. Remarkably, the room bears no inscriptions or decorations.

Above the chamber’s ceiling, a complex network of heavy masonry was ingeniously devised to counter the immense weight and protect the chamber below. The highest chamber features a cantilevered roof adorned with graffiti believed to have been etched by the ancient laborers responsible for the pyramid’s construction. These inscriptions bear the cartouche of Khufu.

The Great Pyramid remains shrouded in countless unsolved mysteries, inviting intrigue and speculation. As you stand before this monumental structure, take a moment to revel in its grandeur, allowing the mysteries to whisper their secrets in their own time.

Emerging from the pyramid’s depths, the welcome sight of sunlight and the embrace of fresh air will be a relief. The vibrant tapestry of vendors and guides on the plateau awaits, offering a warm greeting as you rejoin the world beyond the pyramid’s ancient embrace.

Created On April 07, 2020

Updated On January 27, 2024

Giza Travel Guide
Close-up of the top of the Great Pyramid of Giza against a clear sky
This image captures the upper portion of the Great Pyramid, showcasing the meticulous stacking of limestone blocks
Three ancient pyramids standing against a clear blue sky in the Giza Necropolis.
The Great Pyramids of Giza, remnants of ancient civilization, enduring through the ages

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