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Giza Plateau

Giza Plateau

One of the world’s most significant historical sites. The contemporary Giza Plateau is accessible by two major roads: one from the north, which goes to the Pyramid of Cheops, and the other from the east,

which leads to the front of the Sphinx. They cross the Nile River from the east bank and continue west on the route.

If it is so widely known, it is because it is the site of the Giza Necropolis, a massive burial complex mostly utilized during the Fourth Dynasty and whose three major tombs are the biggest pyramids in Egypt.

This plateau also has many other structures, including temples, a workers’ town, the Sphinx, etc.

Location of the Giza Plateau:

Giza is an Egyptian city situated south of Cairo, in the country’s capital’s suburbs, on the left bank of the Nile. A rocky plateau with a somewhat rectangular form, approximately 1.6 x 1.9 kilometers on each side, is located eight kilometers west of the center. It functioned as a necropolis for the Fourth Dynasty’s pharaohs.

Giza Plateau
The Giza Plateau of Egypt, located about 15 miles southwest of modern Cairo

It is a limestone plateau from a geological standpoint. Its rock is generally homogeneous, as shown by the existence of several natural holes created by wind erosion. It has been flattened, but this was done by the ancient Egyptians.

In addition, a mound has been retained to serve as a basis for the Khafre pyramid, avoiding the size of numerous pieces. If the plateau is now dry (no flora grows there), it was formerly lush with vegetation, as did the rest of the region.

Giza Plateau
Khafre Pyramid

This area was not a desert less than 4500 years ago, but rather a savannah environment, which we find strange now. Furthermore, to continue with the local geology, it is vital to know that the Nile had an arm that snaked farther to the west of its bed, passing at the foot of the Giza plateau, bringing the required silt to the crops on the plains. underneath the tray However, time has passed and this arm has relocated; it no longer exists.

On the city’s south-eastern outskirts, a nearly 40-meter-high plateau overlooks the city. It is not fully flat, since it slopes slightly to the northwest with a slope of little more than five degrees. The southern half of the plateau is limited by two faults that come together to create a point.

The pyramidal road (sharia El-Ahram) that passes through Nazlet el-Samman, in Giza’s suburbs, leads to the Giza site. It is worth noting that the plateau is limited to the east by modern Cairo’s frantic development, whose last buildings stop at the foot of the plateau but are increasingly extending to the “gardens of the pyramids,” a new neighbourhood located on the plateau’s western side that is likely to expand further.

Evidence of plateau habitation prior to the 4th dynasty. It’s fascinating to learn that the Giza Plateau was in use well before the 4th dynasty. This is supported by a large body of research. The earliest Giza structure is “Mastaba V,” which dates from the era of the First Dynasty and is the tomb of Pharaoh Djet. There’s also Pharaoh Ninetjer’s from the Second Dynasty.

Another piece of evidence is the finding of four ceramic pots at the foot of the Great Pyramid around the end of the nineteenth century. However, since archaeological extraction procedures were not as accurate as they are now, the specific position was not noted.

Furthermore, when these pots were discovered, the pre-dynastic era was little known, and since it was agreed that the Fourth Dynasty was the only one to have inhabited this site, these pots were naturally regarded from that point on.

Giza Plateau
The Giza Plateau is the northern extension of the necropolis of Memphis.

Mortensen, on the other hand, has re-examined them and believes they are indicative of the late pre-dynastic Ma’adi era. Furthermore, since they were discovered undamaged, Mortensen said they were from a burial place rather than a settlement site.

These vials, along with other isolated findings in Giza, were regarded as proof of a Ma’adi era settlement at Giza that was destroyed during the Fourth Dynasty pyramid building.

The destruction of early pre-dynastic and dynastic artifacts in the Giza Necropolis is a significant aspect in the evolution of the Fourth Dynasty.

Karl Kromer explored a similar area of rubble around one kilometer south of the Great Pyramid in the mid-1970s. He returned findings from the latest pre-dynastic dynasties to the embankment (1st, 2nd, and 3rd dynasties)

All of information indicates that the Giza plateau was inhabited prior to the Fourth Dynasty.

The Fourth Dynasty made arrangements

We are discussing arrangements established during the reign of the Fourth Dynasty pharaohs, not those made in recent times. Indeed, given that the Giza Plateau is nothing more than a large desert and a rocky terrain, how could the ancient Egyptians build the structures that still stand today?

Giza Plateau, Giza Plateau
Pyramid of Cheops

They just set up the place so that they could operate securely and comfortably. The paving of the plateau was the most significant development. The Giza Plateau was entirely paved before the pyramids and temples were erected on it, which is commonly overlooked nowadays. Of fact, not the whole plateau was paved, but the area around the pyramids was.

The Cheops Pyramid
The Khafre Pyramid
The Menkaure Pyramid
The Sphinx’s Symbol

Then there’s the necropolis.
If the Giza Plateau is well-known, it is because it is home to the Giza Pyramid Complex, a world-famous necropolis. It is famous for the existence of the three tallest pyramids left to us by ancient Egypt, although it is primarily a massive funerary complex, utilised for a very short period of time considering the region’s history, and above all well delineated. The necropolis’s ruins may still be found.

Several components are crucial to the necropolis:

Cheops’s burial complex
Kefren Funeral Home Complex
Menkaure Funeral Home and Cemetery
Sphinx of Giza
Other cemeteries in the workers’ village

The three funeral complexes are made up of a pyramid, a wall, a high temple, an access road, and a low temple, as well as attached pyramids, tombs carrying the funerary crust, annexed cemeteries, and other structures. And that’s only for one of the three pharaoh complexes.

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About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.