Constructed between 2589 and 2504 B.C., the Egyptian pyramids of Khufu, Khafre and Menkaure, built in that order, are a testament to ancient planning and engineering.
How these pyramids were built is a source of speculation and debate. Many researchers believe that a ramp system of some form was used to move the blocks into place during construction. When the pyramids were completed they were encased in white limestone, most of which is lost today.
Recent research suggests that when the blocks were being moved across the desert, a small amount of water was put on the sand in front of them, making them easier to move. Additionally, archaeologists have found new evidence that Giza had a bustling port, allowing goods to be shipped to the site from across Egypt and the eastern Mediterranean.
All three of Giza’s pyramids had mortuary temples connecting to valley temples through a causeway. However, in the case of Khafre’s pyramid, his valley temple also has an enigmatic monument nearby known as the Sphinx, with an uncompleted temple dedicated to it.
The Sphinx is a 241-foot (74 m) long monument carved out of the limestone bedrock of the Giza Plateau. It has the face of a man and the body of a lion. The mythical creature is seen in art throughout the ancient Middle East, as well as in India and Greece. The word “sphinx” is, in fact, a Greek word meaning “strangler,” according to Tour Egypt. The face of the giant statue at Giza may have been based on that of Khafre. Efforts at conserving and restoring the Sphinx go back at least as far as 3,400 years