The Pyramid of Cheops: The Pyramid of Khufu in Egypt

Posted On : 21/02/2023 Kate Clark 50
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The largest pyramid in Egypt

The Pyramid of Cheops , is one of the three largest pyramids in the world, also known as (Khufu) built in the Giza plateau and is considered one of the seven Wonders of the Ancient World and still existing to this day and always visited by Italian travelers, it is the first that comes into view if, like most visitors, you come from Sharia El-Ahram.

This marvel was completed around 2560 BC, the height originally exceeded 145 meters (now reduced to 138 due to the removal of external architectural elements). Taller than any construction built before the industrial age, it is a marvel of mathematics and engineering, it was built on the basis of highly developed geometric and technical knowledge.

Apart from the pyramid of Cheops, there are also 2 other pyramids to visit in Egypt such as the Pyramid of Chephren and Mycerinus and there is also the  Pyramid of Djoser in Saqqara which has four steps, the Rhomboid Pyramid and the Red Pyramid of Sneferu in Dahshur.


Who is Khufu and what is the secret of his name?

Pharaoh Khufu, also known by his Greek name Cheops, was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt during the Old Kingdom era. His sons Chephren and Mycerinus are credited with building the other two pyramids of Giza, but neither of these has the same impressive dimensions as the great Pyramid of Cheops. 

We can confirm that you can also take a trip to Egypt visiting the Egyptian Pyramids with the Sphinx and take a tour to Giza in Egypt and discover the Egyptian museum of antiquities and you can also book a Nile Cruise at special prices enjoying a different itinerary every day.


The construction of the pyramid of Cheops

It seems that Cheops reigned from 2589 to 2560 BC, the pyramid dedicated to him as we have seen is the oldest and largest pyramid in the world. It has been estimated that it is formed by 2.5 million blocks of limestone, each of which weighs 2.3 tons, but it would seem that some stones placed at its base even weigh around 15 tons.

According to the estimates and statistics of Egyptologists who confirmed that the volume of the pyramid of Cheops is up to 2.5 million cubic meters. The fourth dynasty is considered a golden age for the Old Kingdom, mainly due to the impressive, almost gigantic size and the particular workmanship of the pyramids built in this period.

Starting from the construction of the pyramids of the father of Cheops, Snefru, built in Dahshur , the pyramids of the fourth dynasty are in fact larger in size and have a more refined appearance than the others built in an earlier or later period.

The word pyramid comes from the Greek language, "pyramis", for the Egyptians the pyramid was the way to ensure the immortality of the pharaoh and consequently of their kingdom. To be effective in this, the pyramid necessarily had to be completed before the pharaoh's death.

At one third of the height of the Great Pyramid, about 45 m from the base, is the Chamber of the Kings, it was discovered by the Caliph Ma'mun, around 820 AD 

When it was opened, it was thought that a treasure proportionate to the greatness of the monarch would be found, instead with extreme surprise, the pharaoh's chamber (funerary according to orthodox Egyptology) was found completely empty and bare, not even the decorations or inscriptions remained which originally must have been placed on the walls, the only thing that was found is the granite sarcophagus, also empty. 


Is the king room advisable or not?

The King's chamber can be visited, it is accessible thanks to a few meters of staircase located on the external facade of the Great Pyramid of Giza, it is not an experience recommended for everyone, although surely anyone would like to be able to say they have entered a pyramid. 

Before arriving inside you have to navigate the steep slopes and limited spaces, it is certainly not recommended for those suffering from claustrophobia or heart problems, but everything is clean and well lit and you can help yourself in the descent and ascent with handrails and ramps wood. Until the last century it was common practice to climb the pyramid externally but since the 1980s it has been strictly forbidden to climb the pyramid.

The authorities took this decision to safeguard the monuments, the pyramids were in fact subject to vandalism (countless graffiti and engravings have been found) and to protect the safety of the most unconscious or physically limited visitors who could be injured or worse still fall fatally.

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By Kate Clark

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