| || |
Pyramid of Cheops [Khufu]
[Photographic views taken in Egypt and Greece by C. G. Fontaine]
29.7 x 39.1 cm (image)
The Royal Collection
View from the south east of the pyramid of Khufu with the Great Sphinx in middle distance, with a man standing to the left of the head. The pyramid of Khufu (2589-2566 BC), also known as the Great Pyramid, is the largest surviving pyramid. It consists of over three million blocks of limestone and represents the only structure included in the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World still in existence today. It was originally covered by a layer of smooth white limestone and the apex was probably decorated with gold sheet. The Great Sphinx is usually associated with Khafra (2558-2532 BC), the builder of the second pyramid of Giza, and the monument probably depicts him, even though some scholars argue that it may represent his predecessor, Djedefra (2566-2558 BC). The sphinx of Giza, which is 73 metres long and 20 metres high, is seen in the photograph still mostly buried in sand but the monument had been buried in sand and cleared many times before, including in antiquity, such as in the occasion described on the 'Dream Stela', erected in front of the sphinx by Thutmose IV (1400-1390 BC). The stela recalls the dream that the young prince, who was not the crown prince, had while sleeping in the shadow cast by the head of the monument, the only part not buried in sand. In the dream, the Sphinx appears to the prince promising that he would become king if he cleared the sand burying the monument.
Acquired by King Edward VII when Prince of Wales