Pyramid of Cheops, Giza
The Pyramid of Cheops, the largest of the group and indeed the most massive of all the Egyptian pyramids, was built by Cheops or Khufu, and was known to the ancient Egyptians as Ekhet Khufu ("Horizon of Khufu"). According to Herodotus (ii, 124-125) 100,000 men worked on its construction for three months every year. The cubic content of this huge structure, excluding the rock foundation and the chambers in the interior, is 3million cu. yd/2-3million cu. m (originally 3-3million cu. yd/2-5million cu. m). The base measurement is 746ft/227.5m (originally 756ft/230.38m), the vertical height 450ft/137.20m (originally, including the apex, 481ft/ 146.5m), the angle of inclination 51° 51'.
Ascent of the Pyramid of Cheops
The ascent of the pyramid (permitted only exceptionally and with the help of a guide) is hazardous and extremely strenuous, since it is necessary to climb steps more than 40inches/1m high. From the platform on the top the view extends west, south and northwest over the yellowish brown expanse of the desert, with the Sphinx, the smaller pyramids of Giza and the more distant groups of pyramids as far as Dahshur, while to the east are the cheerful green fields of the Nile Valley and, beyond the river, the Citadel of Cairo and the Moqattam Hills.
Pyramid of Cheops - Interior
The interiorof the pyramid can also be seen, but the visit is fatiguing (lack of fresh air) and not particularly rewarding. The entrance is by a passage on the north side which was cut by tomb-robbers some 50ft/15m below the original entrance. This narrow tunnel leads into the Grand Gallery, a long passage (28ft/8.5m high, 37.5ft/12.25m wide, 154ft/47m long), a marvel of skillful masonry, beyond which is the tomb chamber (19ft/5.75m high, 34ft/10.50m long, 17ft/5.25m wide), containing the open, empty granite sarcophagus. The mummy has not been found.