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Monuments and Historic Sites
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The pyramid of Khufu at Giza in Egypt:

For many years, the Sound and Light Show at Giza opened with, "You have come tonight to the most fabulous and celebrated place in the world. Here on the Plateau of Giza stands forever the mightiest of human achievements. No traveler, emperor, merchant or poet has trodden on these sands and not gasped in awe".

Though there are many outstanding ancient monuments in Egypt that survive to this day, one in particular is best known and the most closely associated by the general public with ancient Egypt. It is, of course, the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops), the largest in Egypt, located on the Giza Plateau just outside Cairo. Its name was "Khufu's Horizon" In fact, even if people have very little knowledge of Egypt, they will frequently not only know of this monument, but will also have any number of opinions about how and when it was built, as well as its function. Arguably, it is the best known manmade structure in the world, and for good reason.

Kitchner's Island: Plant Island, Gizirat al-Nabatat, Plantation Island, Gizirat al-Bustan, Botanical Island)

Kitchner's Island is a botanical garden, filled with exotic plants and trees imported from all over the world. It is a perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon in the shade. The island must be reached by boat, and is located on the other side of Elephantine Island from Aswan. The Island was given to Lord Kitchner for his campaigns in the Sudan, and he moved their and created his garden, importing plants and trees from all over the world. Today, the Egyptian government operates this popular tourist destination.


The Sun-Temples of Abu Ghurab :

These temples were built during the 5th Dynasty when the solar cult was the State religion. They are located about 1 km northeast of Sahure's Pyramid. The purpose of these temples are purely devotional and no pharaohs were buried in them. The Sun-Temple of Userkaf is little more than a pile of rubble. Fortunately, it was identical to the Sun-Temple of Nyuserre so little is lost. On the western end of the complex, once stood an obelisk which was 70m high. The obelisk was the symbol of the sun's resting place at the end of the day. At the center of the courtyard stands an alabaster altar, which would have been at the base of the obelisk. In the northeast corner of the courtyard are nine alabaster basins. Originally there were ten basins. These basins were used to hold sacrificed animals' blood, which ran through channels cut in the paving.


Valley of the Kings :

Tombs of the Pharaohs

The Egyptian belief that "To speak the name of the dead is to make him live again" is certainly carried out in the building of the tombs. The king's formal names and titles are inscribed in his tomb along with his images and statues. Beginning with the 18th Dynasty and ending with the 20th, the kings abandoned the Memphis area and built their tombs in Thebes. Also abandoned were the pyramid style tombs. Most of the tombs were cut into the limestone following a similar pattern: three corridors, an antechamber and a sunken sarcophagus chamber. These catacombs were harder to rob and were more easily concealed. Construction usually lasted six years, beginning with the new reign.

Some of the tombs found there:

Ramesses IV
Three white corridors descend to the sarcophagus chamber in this tomb. The chambers ceilings depict the goddess Nut. The lid of the pink granite sarcophagus is decorated with Isis and Nephthys, which were meant to serve as guardians over the body. Their duties fell short, however, as the tomb was robbed in ancient times. Originally the priests placed the sarcophagus in Amenhotep II's tomb in order to hide the body, which was a common practice.

Ramesses IX
Two sets of steps lead down to the tomb door that is decorated with the Pharaoh worshipping the solar disc. Isis and Nephthys stand behind him on either side. Three corridors lead into an antechamber that opens into a pillared hall. The passage beyond that leads to the sarcophagus chamber.

The steep descent into the tomb is typical of the designs of the XIX Dynasty. The entrance is decorated with Isis and Nephthys worshipping the solar disc. Text from the Book of the Gates line the corridors. The outer granite lid of the sarcophagus is located in the antechamber, while the lid of the inner sarcophagus is located down more steps in the pillared hall. Carved on the pink granite lid is the figure of Merneptah as Osiris