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great pyramid and pyramid of khafre - giza, cairo, egypt Egypt is probably one of the most well known countries in the world.  It was home to ancient civilizations which were determined to build monuments that would stand the test of time.  Now those monuments, in the form of pyramids and the Great Sphinx, draw visitors to the country.

Nile River

Egypt is home to the Nile River, which stretches for 4,160 miles.  The Nile River is vital to Egypt's existence.  From its dual origins in Ethiopia's Lake Tana and central Africa's Lake Victoria, the Nile flows northward from Sudan through desert terrain, entering Egypt at its southern border.  Since biblical times, Egyptian civilization has depended on the Nile River for drinking water and crop irrigation.  Much of Egypt's population lives along the Nile River valley, and most of Ancient Egypt's archeological sites lie along the Nile as well.  After flowing through the city of Cairo, the Nile fans out into a large, fertile delta, with streams that empty into the Mediterranean Sea.

nile river at aswan, egypt Aswan, site of the Aswan High Dam, is located along the Nile River in southern Egypt.  This dam generates about fifty percent of Egypt's electric power needs, keeps downstream water flows fairly consistent, and provides irrigation water for agricultural purposes.

Most of the pyramids were built on the west bank of the Nile.  They can be found in several cities and date from various dynasties.

Giza

Giza sits on the outskirts of Cairo and is home to the Great Sphinx and the best known pyramids in Egypt.  Along the Nile River bank sits the Giza Necropolis and the Sphinx.  Behind him are the Pyramid of Khufu or the Great Pyramid, the Pyramid of Khafre, and the Pyramid of Menkaure.  The Great Pyramid of Giza was the tallest Wonder of the Ancient World, once standing at 485 feet.  There are also several smaller pyramids in Giza, known as the Queens Pyramids.

Abu Sir

This city is home to seven pyramids.  It served as the main royal necropolis during the Fifth Dynasty and all its major pyramids were built as step pyramids.

Saqqara

step pyramid of djozer - saqqara, egypt Saqqara is home to the oldest pyramid, the Step Pyramid of Djoser.  There are also the remains of several other pyramids in the area.

Dahshur

The Pyramid of Sneferu is in Dashur.  This pyramid is commonly known as the Bent Pyramid and is believed to be the first pyramid designed with smooth sides.  However, it was never completed.  The Red Pyramid which was also built by Sneferu is in Dahshur as well.  It was the first smooth pyramid to be completed.  The area also features the Black Pyramid of Amenemhet III.

There are several other lesser-known pyramids through out Egypt.  However, there is more to see in Egypt than just the pyramids!

Luxor

Luxor is home to several large artifacts such as the Karnak Temple and the Valley of the Kings.  The city offers visitors a glimpse into the past when they stop at one of the city's many museums.  Learn how the ancient Egyptians embalmed their dead at the Museum of Mummification or visit the Deir al-Medina to learn what the royal tomb builders endured.

Alexandria

kayetbay castle - alexandria, egypt Alexandria is Egypt's second largest city.  It was named for its founder, Alexander the Great, in 334 BC.  In ancient times, Alexandria was known for the Lighthouse of Alexandria and the Library of Alexandria.  However, little of ancient Alexandria survives today.  Time and natural disasters have taken their toll.  In fact, parts of the city sank into the harbor due to earthquakes!

Today Alexandria is an important industrial center and features the New Library of Alexandria.  One ancient monument that still stands in the city is Pompey's Pillar.  This red granite pillar is 99 feet tall and was originally part of a temple colonnade, but it now stands alone.

Cairo

Cairo is centrally located near several pyramids and is now known as the Hollywood of the East because of its booming media industry.  Despite Cairo's modern city hustle and bustle, it features a decidedly old world skyline full of ancient mosques and monuments.

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