The Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC)
The most famous and iconic sites in Egypt come from the Old Kingdom - the three Pyramids of Giza:
1. The Great Pyramid (AKA the Pyramid of Cheops or Khufu), 2. the smaller Pyramid of Chephren and 3. the modest-sized Pyramid of Menkaure Son of Chephren and Grandson of Khufu
We were all amazed to find that Giza is practically within the city limits of Cairo! Obviously the city has grown out to meet them since they must have been fairly remote from the ancient city. In certain parts of Cairo you can see them clearly floating above the skyline buildings, in a dreamlike vision like Mt. Rainier hanging above Seattle's cityscape.
However, these three pyramids are not the oldest. Pharaoh Djoser's Step pyramid holds that record. It is also the largest stone monument built in the world. Originally about 62 meters high, it consisted of six ever decreasing layers built one on top of the previous one. The brilliant architect for this ruler was Imhotep, about whom quite a bit is known to modern Egyptologists because he had an important tomb of his own due to his position
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