Great Pyramid of Giza

Credits: This scan was created by Doctor Wael Fathy and Inspector Ezzat Salama from the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities in Egypt, Luke Hollis from the Giza Project, and Mused

The Great Pyramid of Giza, also known as the Pyramid of Khufu, is the oldest and largest of the three pyramids in the Giza pyramid complex. It is the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the only one to remain largely intact.

The Great Pyramid was built around 2560 BC for the Pharaoh Khufu and was originally 146.5 meters (481 feet) tall. It is thought to have taken 20 years to build and was the tallest man-made structure in the world for almost 4,000 years.

The Great Pyramid is made of over 2.3 million limestone blocks, weighing an average of 2.5 tonnes each. It is believed that the pyramid was built by Egyptians using simple tools and technologies, although there is no definitive evidence.

The Great Pyramid has three main chambers: the King’s Chamber, the Queen’s Chamber, and the Grand Gallery. The Chambers were probably used for burial and ritual purposes.

The exterior of the pyramid is covered in a layer of limestone, which has been weathered and eroded over time. The top of the pyramid is now only 138.8 meters (455 feet) tall.

Despite its age and the fact that it is no longer the tallest man-made structure in the world, the Great Pyramid of Giza is still an amazing feat of engineering and a popular tourist attraction.

Tomb of Khufukhaf I

Captured by: Harvard University

The mastaba tomb of Khufukhaf I is located in the Eastern Cemetery of the complex of the Great Pyramid of king Khufu (c. 2589–2566 BC) at Giza. This cemetery was reserved for the closest relatives of the king, and contains some of the largest mastabas on the Giza Plateau. (Ministry of Antiquities)

Tomb of Menna

Captured by: American Research Center in Egypt

Cut into the cliffs of the Theban necropolis in Luxor’s West Bank, the tomb of Menna is known for the colorful and remarkably well-preserved paintings that adorn the chapel walls. The tomb has been one of the chief attractions on the West Bank for the last several centuries. In the fall of 2007 and 2008, ARCE president emeritus Melinda Hartwig directed a project to conserve the wall paintings in the tomb of Menna. Georgia State University, in partnership with the American Research Center in Egypt, several European centers of archaeometry and the Supreme Council of Antiquities (the predecessor to the Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities) with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development carried out the project.
Although little is known about Menna, his tomb provides some insight into his life as a member of ancient Egypt’s elite class. Titles that appear in his tomb indicate he was a scribe and an overseer of fields belonging to the pharaoh and the temple of Amun-Re. In the book published on the project, The Tomb Chapel of Menna (TT69): The Art, Culture, and Science of Painting in an Egyptian Tomb – the fifth installment of the ARCE Conservation series – Hartwig explained, “Menna would have supervised a number of field scribes and reported to the central field administration in the office of the granaries of the pharaoh.” She further added, “From the scenes depicted in his tomb, we can see that Menna supervised delegations who measured the fields, brought defaulters to justice, inspected field work and recorded the yield of the crop.”
Scene from the broad hall in the Tomb of Menna
Photo: Katy Kobzeff
As the owner of the tomb, Menna is the central character in the chapel’s decorative program. In almost all of his depictions, Menna wears the sbyw-collar, known as the Gold of Honor. This indicates he was recognized formally by the king. Menna’s wife, Henuttawy, appears in nearly every scene in the tomb chapel (a sculpture bust of her is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo). Her primary title was the Chantress of Amun, a position occupied by noble women in the 18th dynasty. Henuttawy may have been the daughter of the Second Prophet of Amun, Amenhotep-si-se. Her other title, Mistress of the House, indicates that she owned property when she married Menna.
The detailing and overall style of the tomb paintings are specific to the reign of Amenhotep III. On this point, Hartwig elaborated, “Similar ochre-toned skin color between men and women, faces with small noses and mouths, elongated eyes with pupils that disappear under the upper eyelid, and straying wig tendrils are common in figures that date to the reign of Amenhotep III.” Additional support for this date is provided by the tomb architecture and the prominent appearance of the sbyw-collar, which Hartwig suggests was received by Menna during one of Amenhotep III’s Sed Festivals. An especially notable image in the tomb is a scene depicting the Weighing of the Heart, which is one of the first times such a scene appears in an elite Theban tomb. As described in the ancient Egyptian Book of the Dead, the scene depicts Osiris, the god of the dead, weighing the heart of the deceased against the Feather of Truth to judge the morality of a life.
Scene from the broad hall in the Tomb of Menna
Photo: Katy Kobzeff
Considering the historic and artistic significance of the wall paintings, the joint project of Georgia State University and ARCE was well-timed and essential. Much of the first season in 2007 was dedicated to producing a condition survey, where any damage and previous interventions were noted and photographed. Existing damage to the wall reliefs primarily consisted of wear from water and salt, peeling and flaking paint, detached plaster, cracks in the walls and an invasion of wasp nests, according to chief conservator Bianca Madden.
Conservators working in tomb
Photo: Project Members
Additionally, the team conducted a careful, non-invasive analysis of the original decoration covering the wall through a combination of spectroscopic technologies, including Raman spectroscopy, ultraviolet imaging and UV fluorescence. One of the first uses of these archaeometric methods in an Egyptian tomb conservation project, they avoided risk of damage to the wall paintings and provided the project’s conservation team with critical information to plan their intervention strategies.
The 2008 season focused on further conservation treatments. Conservators removed older repairs that used outdated methods on the wall surfaces and replaced them with a smooth layer of lime mortar mixed with sand in a color that was closer to the original wall color. Overall conservation and cleaning of the wall paintings revealed the striking colors of the images. A zig-zag pattern that runs along the ceiling of the tomb chapel is particularly eye-catching, given its vibrant design and deep yellow pigment. On the success of the project, Hartwig noted, “The tomb of Menna is in many ways an ideal Theban tomb structure, and the joint GSU-ARCE project not only succeeded in conserving its decoration but in producing the first scientific publication on the tomb and its contents.”

Mastaba of Idu

Mastaba in Egypt

Idu[1] was an official during the Sixth Dynasty, buried in Giza East Field[2], tomb G7102. He probably lived and served during the reign of Pepi I Meryre.[3][1] He is the father of Qar whose tomb is nearby and Bendjet, buried in G7215.[4]

G7102 lies in cemetery G7000 east of the related tomb of Qar. The mastaba exterior superstructure has disappeared.

The tomb depicts several members of his family:[4]

  • Wife: Meretyotes. Note than this woman is not the mother of Qar (G7101).
  • Daughters: Bendjet (identified as the owner of G7215), Iry
  • Sons: Qar, Idu and Hemi


Pyramid of Djoser

Created by: Virtual Mid East
The Pyramid of Djoser, or Step Pyramid, is an archaeological remain in the Saqqara necropolis, Egypt, northwest of the city of Memphis. The 6-tier, 4-sided structure is the earliest colossal stone building in Egypt. It was built in the 27th century BC during the Third Dynasty for the burial of Pharaoh Djoser. The pyramid is the central feature of a vast mortuary complex in an enormous courtyard surrounded by ceremonial structures and decoration. The pyramid went through several revisions and redevelopments of the original plan. The pyramid originally stood 62.5 metres tall, with a base of 109 m × 121 m and was clad in polished white limestone. The step pyramid is considered to be the earliest large-scale cut stone construction, although the nearby enclosure wall “Gisr el-Mudir” is suggested by some Egyptologists to predate the complex, and the South American pyramids at Caral are contemporary. In March 2020, the pyramid was reopened for visitors after a 14-year restoration.Wikipedia
Constructed:c. 2670–2650 BC (3rd dynasty)
Type:Step pyramid
Height:62.5 m
Base:121 m by, 109 m
Volume:330,400 m³

Theban Necropolis: Tomb of Menna

Captured by: American Research Center in Egypt

The ancient Egyptian official named Menna carried a number of titles associated with the agricultural estates of the temple of Karnak and the king. Information about Menna comes primarily from his richly decorated tomb in the necropolis of Sheikh Abd al-Qurna at Thebes. Though his tomb has traditionally been dated to the reign of Thutmose IV, stylistic analysis of the decoration places the majority of construction and decoration of the tomb to the reign of Amenhotep III.(Wikipedia)

African Cultural Heritage Art Gallery

The Cultural Heritage Art Gallery is part of a unique cultural center on the outskirts of Arusha, Tanzania. It is arguably one of the largest collections of African art anywhere. The building’s complex design is the work of Studio Infinity Architects, based in Nairobi, Kenya. The attraction has been visited by influential leaders and celebrities including Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Brad Pitt, and David & Victoria Beckham. (Matterport) Captured by: Views4D