Egypt — Cairo (Giza)

The Great Pyramid is the Pyramid of Khufu (or Cheops in Greek). While this is the largest of the pyramids here, I spend most of my time exploring the Pyramid of Khafre. This pyramid is distinct as its top still has some of the limestone casing that once covered the entire pyramid. Just beyond the third pyramid, the Pyramid of Menkaure, features nice views of all three pyramids.

In all of his talk of Egypt and its pyramids, there is no mention of the Great Sphinx in Herodotus’ account. There is most likely because it was buried in sand. When not buried, it is the largest monolith statue in the world, standing 73.5 meters (241 ft) long, 6 meters (20 ft) wide, and 20.22 meters (66.34 ft) high. Unlike Greek sphinx’s that feature the haunches of a lion, the wings of a great bird, and the face and breast of a woman, the Egyptian sphinx is wingless and male. And, while the Greek sphinx was seen as treacherous and merciless, the Egyptian shy was malevolent and thought of as a guardian often flanking the entrances to temples.

Photos taken December 2010 (Fuji FinePix S9000).

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