Pyramids of Giza (Al-Jīzah, Egypt)
Pyramids of Giza are the three 4th dynasty (c. 2575 – c. 2465 BCE) pyramids erected on the rocky plateau of the west bank of the Nile River near Al-Jīzah (Giza) in Egypt (formerly known as Kemet or Kmt). The designations of the pyramids — Khufu, Khafre, and Menkaure —correspond to the kings for whom they were built.
The northernmost and oldest pyramid of the group was built for Khufu, the second king of the 4th dynasty. Called the Great Pyramid, it is the largest of the three, with the length of each side at the base averaging 755.75 feet (230 meters) and its original height towering 481.4 feet (147 meters). Perhaps the most colossal single building ever erected on the planet, its sides rise at an angle of 51°52′ and are accurately oriented to the four cardinal points of the compass. Approximately 2.3 million blocks of stone were cut, transported and assembled to create the 5.75-million-ton structure, which is widely seen as a masterpiece of technical skill and engineering ability.
Nubian pyramids (Northern Sudan)
The Nubian pyramids were built from the fourth century B.C. to third century A.D. Nubia, which was known as Kush and is modern-day Sudan, rivaled its neighbor Egypt in wealth and power, and both empires mutually influenced each other. Nubia has 223 pyramids, doubling the number in Egypt. Prior to the Kushites building their pyramids, there had been no pyramid construction in Egypt and the Nile Valley for more than 500 years.
Built to house the bodies of kings and queens, the underground graves of the Nubian pyramids were richly decorated. They were all eventually plundered, most infamously by Italian explorer Giuseppe Ferlini (1800-1870) who smashed the tops from 40 pyramids in a quest for treasure in the 1820s.