The Giza Pyramids looking east towards Cairo. Photo by Berthold Werner.
From left is the Great Pyramid of Pharoah Khufu (Cheops in Greek), then Khafre, Menkaure and little Pyramid of Queens, backed by Cairo city. Khafre’s pyramid (with the cap) seems taller/larger than Khufu’s but that’s an illusion due to the steeper angle of the sides and the more elevated land it was built on. Khufu’s, built 2560–2540 BC, is taller and uses more volume of stones.
Pity about the litter, garbage and junk lying around the Giza Plateau and indeed around Egypt generally. Egyptians are not alone in their inability to see a rubbish issue, it’s a problem we’ve come across throughout the poorer parts of the Middle-East and North Africa. Something to do with nomadic desert evolution. Drop some crap in the desert and move on. . Poof! Gone!
This enviromental neglect only stops when a government steps in and clearly Egyptians have other concerns at the moment. Tourists: consider the rubbish to be a part of the rich plastic tapestry of life in this part of the world.
Other Pyramids far from the Maddening Crowds
The Bent Pyramid of Snofru at Dashur
The Dashur pyramid an hour’s drive south of Cairo (37 kms). Photo by Olaf Tausch.
Dashur is where Snofru tried again for the perfect pyramid, almost right that time, with nicely smoothed sides and it didn’t collapse, but it did start to crack so designers, after receiving a good thumping from the Pharaoh’s heavy mob, altered the upper angle, giving the structure strength, a hunch and a name: The Bent Pyramid.
Pharoah Snofru succeeded in Dashur on his third attempt, building a the world’s first smooth pyramid, the Red Pyramid, though it has lost its smooth casing now as well as its name; known officially as Shining Pyramid North or by locals as Bat Pyramid, it’s worth the crack.
email from Henry:
As one would expect we did all the usual things in Cairo and went to see the pyramids at Giza and the museum which were of course magnificent. We also took in the older pyramids at Dashur and Saqqara which were less spectacular, but much more interesting and atmospheric because there were fewer tourists around and we could go down into them and see the tombs inside.