The Giza Plateau (Arabic: جيزة بلاتي) is a plateau that is located in Giza, Egypt. The famous Giza Necropolis is located in this geographical area, which is characterized by a sandy, desert climate and terrain with little vegetation.
The plateau has many tombs. It is somewhat virgin desert and it is a place attractive to tourists, researchers and adherents of New Age. Stout shoes or jogging shoes are recommended for visitors to the plateau.
It was Eugène Grébaut, the French Director of the Antiquities Service who worked on the important work of clearing away the sand from around the Great Sphinx at the Giza Plateau, more than 100 years ago. "In the beginning of the year 1887, the chest, the paws, the altar, and plateau were all made visible. Flights of steps were unearthed, and finally accurate measurements were taken of the great figures. The height from the lowest of the steps was found to be one hundred feet, and the space between the paws was found to be thirty-five feet long and ten feet wide. Here there was formerly an altar; and a stele of Thûtmosis IV was discovered, recording a dream in which he was ordered to clear away the sand that even then was gathering round the site of the Sphinx."
Modern Giza's layout is accessed by two main roads. The first from the north leads to Khufu's pyramids and the other road leads near the Sphinx's forecourt from the east. They cross the Nile River from the east bank and follow the causeway westward. Dominating the plateau and running in a southwest diagonal through the site are the three pyramids of the pharaohs Khufu, Khafra, and Menkaura. The northernmost, and the largest, one belongs to Khufu. Khafra's pyramid is built precisely on a southwest diagonal to his father's pyramid, as well as having been built on higher ground to create the illusion of being bigger. The pyramid of Menkaura is much smaller and is not aligned along the same diagonal line as the other two pyramids. On a clear day the Pyramids of Abusir can be seen from the Giza Plateau.
Some looting took place during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011 at the site. Plans to build the Grand Egyptian Museum (GEM), on the Giza Plateau were stalled and began again. Initially hopes were to have the GEM completed by 2012. In October, 2015, the Minister of Antiquities, Mamdouh al-Damaty, stated that GEM will be inaugurated in 2018.
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