Souvenirs from Egypt, Giza
The Great Pyramids of Giza are among the seven wonders of the Ancient world with the central Pyramid being the oldest one to keep its structures intact. Located on the Nile River in Egypt, they are mysterious constructions of breathtaking beauty: their building is still highly debated and their central piece is the biggest pyramid ever created with splendid decorations revealing an Egyptian art of magnificent detail. For almost 4,000 years, the Pyramid of Giza was the highest construction ever made and a typical image for the famous Egyptian pyramids. The structures are astonishing representations of ancient Egypt’s political and economic power and a cultural heritage of technological innovation and brilliant design which dominated Antiquity. Visitors can now marvel at these elegant structures; a resin fridge magnet souvenir available now online celebrates these iconic landmarks.
The Mysteries of Egyptian Pyramids
Around 2,500 BC, the Pharaoh Khufu commissioned the building of a funeral complex on the Giza plateau outside Cairo to hold his body and earthly fortunes. The architectural style used was a complicated system of symbols perfectly designed to ensure the best journey to afterlife. The Monument was the outcome of a 30-year long building process which used 2 million blocks of limestone rock each with a weight of up to 15 tones. With its base pointing to the four cardinal points, the Great Pyramid is almost 500 ft tall and three other smaller pyramids are believed to house the Pharaoh’s queens’ bodies and possessions. The mystery around the Pyramids is also linked to the technique used by the old Egyptians when moving the huge blocks of rock. Speculations mentioned sleds made of wood and pyramid ramps built up from layers of stone, wood or mud. The materials were transported on the Nile River in an unprecedented logistical effort. Over 100,000 Egyptians contributed to the construction with lots of local builders and artists involved.
Giza, the House of the Pharaohs
The Pyramids of Giza are built in the same style as the Old Kingdom pyramids: three rooms and a passage was normally the rule. However, one of the most unique structures inside the central Pyramid is the Queens chamber sealed to protect the Pharaoh’s spirit (ka) as depicted in a lost carving. Another passage leads to the Grand Gallery and ultimately to the Pharaoh’s Chamber housing Khufu’s sarcophagus with granite walls and four airshafts around which the whole structure was erected. The polar stars and the Orion constellations are pointed by the ‘soul routes’ represented by the airshafts. During the Middle Ages, parts of the Great Pyramids’ stones were used for other constructions and throughout the years, due to strong erosion or grave thieves, the structures have deteriorated. Currently huge efforts are constantly made to protect them.
Egypt’s Masterpiece of Ancient World
Numerous theories explain the techniques used when erecting the Pyramids. In Ancient Greece slaves were believed to have contributed but modern research suggests that skilled work force was used in a well established hierarchy which divided it into two groups of zaa or phyle as per their expertise. In King’s Chamber from the Great Pyramid the granite sarcophagus, a rectangular structure with one damaged corner and rough details, replaced the original object lost on the river. The Giza pyramid complex, with the impressive pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, is delimited by a large stone wall called ‘the Wall of the Crow’ beyond which lies ‘The Lost City’, a town built for workers during the reigns of Khafre and Menkaure and discovered in the 1970s. Furthermore, a cemetery dating back to the Fifth Dynasty was discovered nearby the walls in 1990.