The Giza Pyramids and the Sphinx are quite the sight to see. Pictures do not capture their colossalness…if that is a word. With my back to Cairo, looking at the pyramids brings a weight of how ancient this place is. Some of these structures date back to 1000+ years before Abraham first visited Eypt. There is SO MUCH history here. What was particularly special about this visit was that we could actually climb onto the stones. Two years ago this would not have been possible. The pyramids were roped off…and only with an extra “tip” to the police guard would you be given permission to touch it. But with no government of late, there has been very little enforcement.
Back to these ancient architectural/sculptural feats….
I believe the pyramid shown is Cheops…the most colossal one at 496 ft high. For a period in time, these were tombs of the Pharohs who built them. It’s to showcase the power and wealth of the Pharoh, as well as to serve as a “stairway to heaven” in order to reach eternal life. One of every Egyptian’s life purposes is to prepare for death and the life (hopefully) after. They invest enormously into their tombs. While we’re still speculating how they managed to build such an immense structure with mere human power…what we do know is that contrary to previous belief, they did not use slaves to build it.
Archeologists discovered tombs near the pyramids that were for the workers of the pyramids. The ancient people believed that since Pharoh was their king and god, if he achieves salvation, then he would be the one to bring salvation to his faithful subjects. Working on Pharoh’s tomb then, would be a way for the people to show their dedication and loyalty…as well as “help” Pharoh attain eternal life. It is because of this dedication and loyalty that tombs were built near the pyramids for these workers. This way, when Pharoh resurrects, he could swing by and gather them up to heaven with him. They wouldn’t bother to build such tombs for slaves.
Now, about the Sphinx…it was actually never part of the original plan. The location of the Sphinx was the rock quarry used to cut the stones out for the pyramids. When the pyramid was complete, the Pharoh put out an order to remove the remaining hill of rock away because it was an eyesore to his magnificent pyramid. The head architect, not wanting to expend even more manpower just to cut and move rock, had an idea to carve it into a lion with the head of the Pharoh on it…to show his mighty power over the land, blah blah blah. Well, Pharoh was very pleased with the end result. And the head architect didn’t lose his head over disobeying his king. Phew.