POINTS OF INTEREST
Three 4th-Dynasty pyramids dominate the skyline of the desert plateau to the southwest of Cairo. The largest is that of Pharaoh Khufu (Greek name: Cheops) also known as "The Great Pyramid." The second was built by his son Khafre (Greek name: Chephren). The smallest of pyramids was built by Menkaure (Greek name: Mycerinus), the grandson of Khufu who reigned from 2490 to 2472 BC; as of this writing, this one is closed. These are surrounded by smaller pyramids belonging to their respective female dependents, as well as numerous mastabas (large trapezoidal tombs) of their lesser relatives and courtiers. The site is "guarded" by the monumental carved-limestone Sphinx. A small museum in the shadow of Khufu's Pyramid contains the Pharaoh's Royal Solar Boat, by tradition the boat used to transport the Pharaoh on his final journey to the afterlife after his mummy was entombed. The pyramid interiors are open on a rotating basis, and ticket numbers are limited to 150 per morning and another 150 per afternoon. A range of mastabas will be open to view on any given day. The ticket office will give you current information when you buy your ticket. Many people will come up to you at the pyramids and try and sell you services. These are not necessarily scams, but they are overpriced. You can simply and firmly say no and then walk away.