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What is the Giza pyramid complex?

A group of pyramids and associated structures in Egypt

What is the purpose of the pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex?

To house the remains of the deceased pharaohs who ruled over Ancient Egypt

What is the significance of the Great Pyramid in the Giza pyramid complex?

It was listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the World

What is the orientation of the sides of the Giza pyramids?

North-south and east-west within a small fraction of a degree

What was the role of the workers in building the Giza pyramids?

Quarrying, moving, setting, and sculpting the huge amount of stone used to build the pyramids

What was discovered outside the stone wall surrounding the Giza pyramid complex?

A town where the pyramid workers were housed

Who were the concessionaires granted rights to excavate the Pyramids at the Giza Necropolis?

Ernesto Schiaparelli, Georg Steindorff, and George Reisner

What was discovered alongside the Giza pyramids in 1990?

Tombs belonging to the pyramid workers

What is the purpose of the €17,000,000 revamp of the Giza pyramid complex?

To renovate the 4,500-year-old site and provide new facilities for visitors

Study Notes

Archaeological Site Near Cairo, Egypt:

  • The Giza pyramid complex in Egypt is home to the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx.

  • The site also includes several temples and cemeteries and the remains of a workers' village.

  • The site is at the edges of the Western Desert, approximately 9 kilometres (5.6 mi) west of the Nile River in the city of Giza, and about 13 kilometres (8 mi) southwest of the city centre of Cairo.

  • The Great Pyramid and the Pyramid of Khafre are the largest pyramids built in ancient Egypt and were popularised in Hellenistic times when the Great Pyramid was listed by Antipater of Sidon as one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

  • Khufu's pyramid complex has a valley temple, a mortuary temple, and three smaller queen's pyramids associated with it.

  • Khafre's pyramid complex has a valley temple, the Sphinx temple, a mortuary temple, and a subsidiary pyramid with a serdab.

  • Menkaure's pyramid complex has a valley temple, a mortuary temple, and three subsidiary or queen's pyramids.

  • The pyramids were built to house the remains of the deceased pharaohs who ruled over Ancient Egypt, as a portion of the pharaoh's spirit called his ka was believed to remain with his corpse.

  • The sides of all three of the Giza pyramids were astronomically oriented to the north–south and east–west within a small fraction of a degree.

  • The work of quarrying, moving, setting, and sculpting the huge amount of stone used to build the pyramids was accomplished by several thousand skilled workers, unskilled laborers, and supporting workers.

  • The Giza pyramid complex is surrounded by a large stone wall, outside which Mark Lehner and his team discovered a town where the pyramid workers were housed.

  • Tombs belonging to the pyramid workers were discovered alongside the pyramids in 1990, with an additional burial site found nearby in 2009.Excavations, structures, and modern usage of Giza Necropolis

  • Most workers for the construction of pyramids came from poor families, while specialists were permanently employed by the king for their skills.

  • The Giza complex has several burial-shafts and tunnels; the Osiris Shaft was excavated by a team led by Hawass in 1999 and opened to tourists in 2017.

  • During the New Kingdom and Late Period, Giza was still an active site, and several structures were built or added, including a temple dedicated to Hauron-Haremakhet and a king's resthouse.

  • In 1903, the West Field and Pyramids of the Giza Necropolis were divided into three concessions by institutions from Italy, Germany, and the United States of America.

  • Prior to the division, amateur and private excavations at the Giza Necropolis had been permitted, but they failed to meet high scientific standards.

  • The Italian Ernesto Schiaparelli, the German Georg Steindorff, and the American George Reisner were granted concessions on the Giza Necropolis in 1902.

  • The site was divided between the concessionaires following a meeting at the Mena House Hotel involving Schiaparelli, Ludwig Borchardt, and Reisner.

  • The Western Cemetery was thought to represent the richest yet unexcavated part of the plateau, and three long east-west plots of the necropolis were assigned by drawing lots.

  • Rights to excavate the Pyramids were also negotiated between Schiaparelli, Borchardt, and Reisner, with any future disputes to be resolved by Inspector James Quibell.

  • In 1978, the Grateful Dead played a series of concerts at the Giza complex, and in 2007, Shakira performed there to a crowd of approximately 100,000 people.

  • Plans for a €17,000,000 revamp of the complex were unveiled in 2021, which includes a new visitors' center, an electric bus, a restaurant, public toilets, site-wide signage, food trucks, photo booths, and free Wi-Fi.

  • The new facility is part of a wider plan to renovate the 4,500-year-old site.

  • The complex was used for the final draw of the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2021 World Men's Handball Championship.

Think you know everything about the Giza pyramid complex in Egypt? Test your knowledge with our quiz and discover fascinating facts about the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure, along with their associated pyramid complexes and the Great Sphinx. From the construction process to the discovery of tombs belonging to the pyramid workers, this quiz covers everything you need to know about this ancient archaeological site near Cairo, Egypt.

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