Famous Landmarks in Ancient Egypt

Famous Landmarks in Ancient Egypt
Egypt has a plethora of history. With over 4,000 years of written records, and some of the most sophisticated art, language and architecture ever thought up, ancient Egypt can teach us a lot about where we come from. To begin exploring this deep history, you'll need a place to start. So here's a little bit about some of ancient Egypt's best known landmarks.
 

The Pyramids at Giza

Of all the Seven Wonders of the World, there is only one that remains intact, the Great Pyramid of Khufu. Although there are three pyramids at Giza: Khafre, Menkaure and, of course, Khufu, only the largest of the three is considered a Wonder. For over 4,000 years it was the tallest man-made structure in the world, only to be outdone by modern building techniques in the industrial age of the 1800s.

 
 

The Sphinx

Near Cairo, there lies a gargantuan statue with the body of a lion and a human head. It was carved from a single, massive block of limestone, and is speculated by some to be older than the pyramids. The Sphinx may have more mystery revolving around it than any other ancient Egyptian structure. Some say that there is water damage on the sides, indicating great flooding, while others say it was just used for target practice. Some scholars think that it was built by Khafre (who built the second largest of the three pyramids), others believe that it was there before Khafre was even born. But perhaps with all we know about this great, wide world, some things are better left to mystery.

The Valley of the Kings

You can't mention ancient Egypt without mentioning its many Pharaohs. And most of them are buried in The Valley of the Kings. There are over 80 tombs spread throughout the valley, including the infamous cursed tomb of King Tut. The Valley of the Kings displays an array of underground complexes, from the most plain and uninteresting, to the most intricate and decorative.

The Pyramids at Dashur

If you're looking for a more in-depth, exploratory role in your trip to Egypt, you have to check out the Pyramids at Dashur. Not far from Cairo lie two pyramids thought to have been built in the mid 2000s B.C. There's the the bent pyramid, named after its strange angle change in the construction, resulting in its bent appearance, and the Red Pyramid. The Red Pyramid is named after the red-colored limestone used to build it, and it's also the only one that tourists can go inside to look around. These pyramids are interesting to say the least, but they're also far less crowded than the ones at Giza.

 

Article Written By Thomas McNish

Thomas McNish has been writing since 2005, contributing to Salon.com and other online publications. He is working toward his Associate of Science in computer information technology from Hillsborough Community College in Tampa, Fla.