Ancient Egyptian art must be viewed from the standpoint of the ancient Egyptians to understand it. The somewhat static, usually formal, strangely abstract, and often blocky nature of much Egyptian imagery has, at times, led to unfavorable comparisons with later, and much more ‘naturalistic,’ Greek or Renaissance art. However, the art of the Egyptians served a vastly different purpose than that of these later cultures.
Some artifacts are of such vital importance to our understanding of ancient cultures that they are truly unique and utterly irreplaceable. The gold mask of Tutankhamun was allowed to leave Egypt for display overseas; the Narmer Palette, on the other hand, is so valuable that it has never been permitted to leave the country.
The second great pyramid of Giza, that was built by Khufu’s second son Khafre, has a section of outer casing that still survives at the very top (and which would have entirely covered all three of the great pyramids at Giza). Although this monument appears larger than that of his father, it is actually slightly smaller but was constructed 10 m (33 feet) higher on the plateau.
Richard Engel journeys into the hidden chambers and passageways of Egypt’s famous pyramids. In part two of this Hidden Planet episode, Inside the Pharoah’s Secret Tunnels, Engel journeys through the Pyramid of Giza, one of Egypt’s most ancient pyramids.
Buried for most of its life in the desert sand, an air of mystery has always surrounded the Great Sphinx, causing speculation about its age and purpose, method of construction, concealed chambers, role in prophecy, and relationship to the equally mysterious pyramids. Much of this theorizing is to the despair of Egyptologists and archaeologists, who, reasonably it seems to me; only give credence to theories that are backed up by tangible evidence.