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Tourism

Giza’s pyramids witnessed 16،250 visitors on Sham El-Nessim، 183،523 in March: official

Tuesday 10/April/2018 - 03:32 PM
Sada El Balad
Sada ElBalad-Yara Sameh

The pyramids area، in Giza، has witnessed Monday a heavy turnouts from Egyptians and foreigners on the occasion of Sham El-Nessim.

In a statement issued today، Tuesday، by the Ministry of Antiquities، Director-general of the Giza Plateau Ashraf Mohy El-Den said that the total turnout has amounted 16،250 visitors، which includes 2،750 foreign visitors and 13،500 Egyptians

The area witnessed past month the turnout of 183،523 visitors، including 38،191 foreign visitors and 145،332 Egyptian visitors، he added.

Sham El-Nessim in Egypt، is a national holiday in Egypt. It is celebrated by Egyptians of all religions as it is based on a spring festival that predates both Christianity and Islam، office holidays reported.

Sham El-Nessim can be dated back to ancient Egypt to at least 2700 BCE and is a festival that celebrates the arrival of Spring.

Ancient Egyptians celebrated the holiday at the spring equinox، the date of which، in Cairo، could be calculated by observing the direction of the sunlight at sunrise over the Giza pyramids.

-Great Pyramids of Giza: a brief-
Built during a time when Egypt was one of the richest and most powerful civilizations in the world، the pyramids—especially the Great Pyramids of Giza—are some of the most magnificent man-made structures in history، according to History Cable network website.

Their massive scale reflects the unique role that the pharaoh، or king، played in ancient Egyptian society. Though pyramids were built from the beginning of the Old Kingdom to the close of the Ptolemaic period in the fourth century A.D.، the peak of pyramid building began with the late third dynasty and continued until roughly the sixth (c. 2325 B.C.). More than 4،000 years later، the Egyptian pyramids still retain much of their majesty، providing a glimpse into the country’s rich and glorious past.

No pyramids are more celebrated than the Great Pyramids of Giza، located on a plateau on the west bank of the Nile River، on the outskirts of modern-day Cairo. The oldest and largest of the three pyramids at Giza، known as the Great Pyramid، is the only surviving structure out of the famed seven wonders of the ancient world. It was built for Khufu (Cheops، in Greek)، Sneferu’s successor and the second of the eight kings of the fourth dynasty. Though Khufu reigned for 23 years (2589-2566 B.C.)، relatively little is known of his reign beyond the grandeur of his pyramid. The sides of the pyramid’s base average 755.75 feet (230 meters)، and its original height was 481.4 feet (147 meters)، making it the largest pyramid in the world. Three small pyramids built for Khufu’s queens are lined up next to the Great Pyramid، and a tomb was found nearby containing the empty sarcophagus of his mother، Queen Hetepheres. Like other pyramids، Khufu’s is surrounded by rows of mastabas، where relatives or officials of the king were buried to accompany and support him in the afterlife.

The middle pyramid at Giza was built for Khufu’s son Khafre (2558-2532 B.C). A unique feature built inside Khafre’s pyramid complex was the Great Sphinx، a guardian statue carved in limestone with the head of a man and the body of a lion. It was the largest statue in the ancient world، measuring 240 feet long and 66 feet high. In the 18th dynasty (c. 1500 B.C.) the Great Sphinx would come to be worshiped itself، as the image of a local form of the god Horus. The southernmost pyramid at Giza was built for Khafre’s son Menkaure (2532-2503 B.C.). It is the shortest of the three pyramids (218 feet) and is a precursor of the smaller pyramids that would be constructed during the fifth and sixth dynasties.

Approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone (averaging about 2.5 tons each) had to be cut، transported and assembled to build Khufu’s Great Pyramid. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that it took 20 years to build and required the labor of 100،000 men، but later archaeological evidence suggests that the workforce might actually have been around 20،000. Though some popular versions of history held that the pyramids were built by slaves or foreigners forced into labor، skeletons excavated from the area show that the workers were probably native Egyptian agricultural laborers who worked on the pyramids during the time of year when the Nile River flooded much of the land nearby.

Approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone (averaging about 2.5 tons each) had to be cut, transported and assembled to build Khufu’s Great Pyramid. The ancient Greek historian Herodotus wrote that it took 20 years to build and required the labor of 100,000 men, but later archaeological evidence suggests that the workforce might actually have been around 20,000. Though some popular versions of history held that the pyramids were built by slaves or foreigners forced into labor, skeletons excavated from the area show that the workers were probably native Egyptian agricultural laborers who worked on the pyramids during the time of year when the Nile River flooded much of the land nearby.

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