August, 2008. Work in progress.

Location at the Nile

The 4 links below do not work
Location 10 first pyramids
Location Giza Group
Location demands
Location all groups

Location 10 first pyramids

Below a map based on a Google satellite photo. Location
of the first 10 pyramids are shown. Size of the pyramids are
much exaggeratated. The Nile is shown as it runs today. It
was probably running several km to the west in times of the
Old Kingdom [Lehner,1997].
Map from Abu Roas to Meidum

Giza Group

Northern Egypt, Google Earth, May 2008
Northern Egypt seen from a NASA-satellite and delivered by Google.

You should go to Google Earth and take a trip to the westbank of the Nile and look for
the pyramids. Almost all (36?) royal pyramids are visible from Illahun in the south (Sen-
woret II's) to Abu Roash (Djedefre's) in the north.

All Egyptian pyramids for burials were erected west of the Nile where the Realm of Death
was believed to be located.

Khufu's Pyramid is the biggest af all pyramids in the world. It is one of three big pyramids
pyramids in the Giza Group, the most northern of the pyramid groups.

According to the Giza Plateau Mapping Project, 2007, the coordinates for the Pyramid
of Khufu on the Globe are:
northern latitude 29 58' 44.3830"
eastern longitude 31 07' 57.0194"

Giza Group

A higly detailed map of the Giza Plateau can be found at Wikipedia, "Great Pyramid of Giza".

The Giza Group has in total 11 pyramids, formed by 3 pyramid complexes. Khufu's pyra-
mid has 3 satellite pyramids for burials of queens and 1 satellite pyramid without a burial
chamber, so his complex consists of 5 pyramids. Another way of description is to name
the kings pyramid as a primary pyramid and belonging and sourrounding pyramids as se-
condary pyramids.

About 175 meters south-west is the later and slightly smaller Pyramid of Chefren (Khafra)
with the Sfinx. Further south-west is the considerably smaller and last built Pyramid of My-
cerinos (Menkaura).

The volume of the three pyramids is 2.59, 2.21 and 0.235 million cubic meters for Khufu,
Khafra and Menkaura respectively.

There is further 8 small satellite pyramids at the plateau. West and east of the pyramids are
several mastaba-s, graves for members of the royal family and for other high ranking persons.
The mastaba - from the arabic word for bench - was a royal grave before the period of pyramid-
building which began with the Pyramid of Djoser and perhaps only 80 years before the plan-
ning of Khufu's Pyramid.

The Giza Plateau has an area of about 1.5 km x 1.5 km, i.e. about 2 The vast area
can, by and large, be considered as very well excarvated. The Giza Plateau Mapping Project,
started in 1984, has contributed immensely, and has identified areas with kitchens and quar-
ters for the pyramid workers and revieled the quarry from where the vast part of the blocks to
the Plateau was brooken. And much more.

Location demands

Before the project began, there were a number of demands in choice of location:

  • A religious demand that the pyramid had to lay on the westbank of the Nile, as it was
    believed that the Realm of Death was located to the west, where the Sun goes down.
  • The distance to the Nile should be as short as possible, and no pyramid is erected
    more than 2 km (the Red Pyramid) from the river. Closeness to the Nile offered a conve-
    nient transport with boats for manpower, food, materials, and more, from areas far to the
    north and south.
  • It was of course also important that the underground was stabile and formed by rocks
    which were "easy" to break and shape to blocks of which the mainpart of the pyramid
    would consists. The choice of location was not always blessed by the fortune, as seen
  • The terrain should be elevated, so even the deepest chambers and corridors could
    rest without risk of overflow of water. The floor in the Subterranean Chamber in Khufu's
    Pyramid is situated (20-25 meters?) heigher than (the peak?) of the weaterlevel of the Nile.
  • The Giza Plateau meets the listed demands. It lays on the westbank of the Nile and where
    the delta separate the river into arms and then run towards the north and the Mediterranean

    At the foot of the Pateau and towards east is today the small town of Nazlet es-Samman,
    a suburb to Giza (al-Gizah), which - once more - is a suburb to Cairo (al-Qahirah). In airline,
    there is 15 km from the Giza Plateau to downtown Cairo on the opposite eastbank of the Nile.

    Examinations of soil between the Giza Plateau and the Nile suggest that the river was run-
    ning several km closer to the Plateau, when Khufu's Pyramid was erected. It is a possibity-
    that a harbour was constructed quit close to the Plateau and used when the waterlevel was
    at its highest in the months of July and August after the seasonally rainfall in Sudan, Etopia,
    and - 3.000 km to the south - in Uganda. It was incomprehensible for foreigners, such as Hero-
    dotus, that the Nile was at it highest level in the summer time, when other known floods was
    at its lowest.

    Memphis, the capital of Lower Egypt to he north, is often mentioned in antique literature,
    but is very poorly archaeologically identified. Memphis might have extended from the Giza
    Plateau and along the Nile to Saqqara, 15 km or 9 miles to the south. Khufu's residens has
    not been found.

    Location all groups

    The Abusir Group
    The Saqqara Group
    The Dashur Group
    The Meidum Group
    Elsewere in Egypt are (5-7?) isolated pyramids. For marking of the royal territory?