During the Old Kingdom, from 3100 B.C. to 2200 B.C., Memphis was the capital of Egypt. Memphis contains a large necropolis full of great pyramids, tombs, and monuments scattered throughout its Pyramid Fields.
The Pyramid Fields from Giza to Dahshur is filled with ancient wonders of the world, giving insight to civilizations long ago. Giza, close to Cairo, has the amazing Great Pyramids, the huge Great Sphinx sculpture, numerous cemeteries, small villages, and other interesting areas.
Dahshur, also not far from Cairo, is known for the royal necropolis and contains the Bent Pyramid and the Red Pyramid. The great Step Pyramid of Zoser is also a sight to behold.
The Great Pyramids
The Great Pyramids in Giza are made up of 3 spectacular pyramids. The Great Pyramid of Khufu is not only the biggest one in Egypt, but is also the oldest in Giza, built around 2570 B.C. Visitors can climb through this great pyramid and then move on to see the Pyramid of Khafre, in which Khafre’s sarcophagus can still be seen today. The Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three, having never been completely finished before the pharaoh died.
The Bent Pyramid
The Bent Pyramid in Dahshur was built in an attempt to have a pyramid with smooth sides. The architects of this pyramid thousands of years ago realized, after getting about halfway up, that they had to decrease the angle that they were using. This gave the Bent Pyramid an odd shape different from the rest of the pyramids in Egypt. It’s an interesting pyramid unlike any other to see, though the inside is closed off to visitors.
The Red Pyramid
The Red Pyramid, the oldest pyramid in the world, is named after the red hue that it’s stones have. This pyramid was built at an angle of 43 degrees, the same as the Bent Pyramid, but is inclined more gently.
There are 125 very steep stairs that visitors have to climb to get up to the entrance, followed by a long hallway to where an elaborate burial chamber is located.
The Step Pyramid of Zoser
The Step Pyramid of Zoser is the first stone monument that was ever built in the world. Before this, monuments were made of materials that did not last and the royals were buried in mastabas made out of mudbrick that housed rooms underneath the earth.
Imhotep changed this when he built the first real pyramid by transforming a mastaba into a stone building. Visitors can see the elaborate architecture and the numerous buildings surrounding this pyramid, which all had different uses.
2 sites in this World Heritage
- Site of Memphis
- Pyramid fields from Giza to Dahshur