Upon arrival, the choreographed chaos here hits you like a ton of bricks. It doesn’t take long, however, to acclimatise to Cairo’s wall of noise, snarl of traffic, cry of hawkers and blanket of smog, and get drawn into the hypnotising charm of this pulsating metropolis. Known to its nearly 20 million residents as Um ad-Dunya (Mother of the World), modern Cairo is a hotchpotch of recent growth barely superimposed on a dense bed of history. Wander down to Islamic Cairo and you’ll be sucked in through the looking glass to a bygone medieval era. Head out west to Giza’s famed pyramids and the time warp sets you back a full 4000 years. Meanwhile, the city’s main museum bursts at the seams with the priceless wealth of ancient Egypt’s antiquities. But the real allure of Cairo lies somewhere in the quiet moments in between: sipping a sugary shai or puffing leisurely on a sheesha while watching the life of the city whirl past as it has for eons.
The pyramids are the stone tombs of Egypt's kings - the Pharaohs and one of the world's greatest historical mysteries. They have stood for thousands of years, filled with many hidden secrets: clues about what life (and death) was like in Ancient Egypt.
Why did the Ancient Egyptians build pyramids?
The Egyptians believed that if the pharaoh's body could be mummified after death the pharaoh would live forever. The tombs were designed to protect the buried Pharaoh's body and his belongings.
Where were they built?
Most of the pyramids can be found on the western side of the Nile River, just into the dry desert.
How does the dry desert help?
The dry desert heat worked to keep the Pharaohs's body and his belongings from decomposing and rotting away.
Why did they build pyramids next to the Nile?
The reason they built the pyramids next to the Nile River was so it would be easier to get the blocks to the pyramid. The stones could be bought nearer to the pyramid building site by boat.
What was is the name of the most famous pyramid?
The Great Pyramid is the largest and most famous of the pyramids. It was built for the Pharaoh Khuf. It is over 140 metres high and took 20 years to build.
What guards the pyramids?
The Sphinx stands in front of all the pyramids in Giza. It has the body of a lion and the head of a pharaoh.
How do pyramids help us know so much about life in Ancient Egypt?
Ancient Egyptians were buried with their belongings and the tomb walls were painted with scenes from the dead person’s life. By examining the objects (artifacts) and paintings in the tombs, we have been able to understand a lot more about life in Ancient Egypt.
We can learn about how the Egyptians lived by looking at the objects stored in pyramids ready to be used in the afterlife.
We can learn about how the Egyptians lived by looking at the walls of pyramids
What is the afterlife?
The Egyptians believed that when they died, they would make a journey to another world where they would lead a new life. They would need all the things they had used when they were alive, so their families would put those things in their graves. Egyptians paid vast amounts of money to have their bodies properly preserved. Egyptians who were poor were buried in the sand whilst the rich ones were buried in a tomb.