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Giza Plateau

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From north to south: parts of the city of Giza, the Giza Necropolis, and part of the Giza plateau

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.[1] "The general elevation is just over 3,000 ft above sea level but the highest points on it rise to 5,077 and 4,293."[2]

Ancient findings

The plateau has many tombs. One of the people working on clearing the sands from around the Great Sphinx was Eugène Grébaut, a French Director of the Antiquities Service[3] "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 Thutmose 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."[4]

Modern history

Modern Giza's layout is accessed by two main roads.[5] The first from the north leads to Khufu's pyramids and the other road leads near the Sphinx's front court, 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.[6] On a clear day the Pyramids of Abusir can be seen from the Giza Plateau.[7] It is a place attractive to tourists, researchers and adherents of New Age.[8][9] Stout shoes or jogging shoes are recommended for visitors to the plateau.[7]

The plateau has been a favorite venue for squash tournaments for many years, with a break between 2007 and 2016.[10][11]

Some looting took place there during the Egyptian Revolution of 2011.[12]

Grand Egyptian Museum

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.[13] In October, 2015, the Minister of Antiquities, Mamdouh Eldamaty, stated that GEM will be inaugurated in 2018.[14]


  1. ^ Hopkins, Daniel J. (1997). Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary (3rd ed.). Merriam Webster. ISBN 978-0877795469.
  2. ^ The Ibis. 2. British Ornithologists' Union (United Kingdom). 1906. pp. 206–.
  3. ^ "A Brief History of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA): 1858 to present". SCA – Egypt. Archived from the original on 2016-10-17.
  4. ^ Rappoport, S. The Project Gutenberg EBook of History Of Egypt From 330 B.C. To The Present Time, Volume 12 (of 12), by S. Rappoport. The Grolier Society Publishers, London. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2016.
  5. ^ Firestone, Matthew (2010). Egypt. The Lonely Planet. ISBN 9781742203324. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  6. ^ Egypt, Land and lives of the pharaohs revealed. Global Book Publishing. p. 126. ISBN 1 74048 056 2.
  7. ^ a b West, John Anthony (1995). The Traveler's Key to Ancient Egypt: A Guide to the Sacred Places of Ancient Egypt (pg 150). Quest Books. ISBN 9780835607247. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  8. ^ Prakasha, Anaiya Aon; Prakasha, Padma Aon (2011). Womb Wisdom: Awakening the Creative and Forgotten Powers of the Feminine. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co,. ISBN 9781594778247. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ Malkowski, Edward F. (2013). Return of the Golden Age: Ancient History and the Key to Our Collective Future. Inner Traditions / Bear & Co,. ISBN 9781620551981. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Squash Returns To Great Pyramid of Giza". 29 June 2016. Archived from the original on 6 March 2017. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  11. ^ "World Open squash returns to Giza". BBC. 19 April 2006. Archived from the original on 8 June 2012. Retrieved 26 May 2018.
  12. ^ Hartley, Aiden (9 November 2013). "The new tomb raiders". The Spectator. UK. Archived from the original on 10 November 2013. Retrieved 10 November 2013.
  13. ^ Bradley, M. (August 20, 2009). "Grand Egyptian Museum project moves forward". The National. Archived from the original on 25 September 2009. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  14. ^ Al-Youm, Al-Masry (October 5, 2015). "Great Museum to be inaugurated in May 2018". Egypt Independent. Archived from the original on 27 December 2016. Retrieved 1 November 2016.

Coordinates: 29°58′34″N 31°07′58″E / 29.97611°N 31.13278°E / 29.97611; 31.13278