The pyramids of Giza are the only remaining members of the Seven Wonders of the World that are still intact, while at the same time being the largest monument ever created. They are over 4500 years old, which makes them the best known and oldest man-made structures. The area shown is on the west bank of the Nile on the fringe of the Egyptian desert, about 20 kilometres from Cairo city centre. The metropolis has been sprawling out far into the desert, so that the pyramids are gradually becoming encircled by new residential developments. In the picture the three large pyramids can clearly be seen on the outskirts of the small town of Giza, with the Great Pyramid standing out as the most prominent one. The smaller pyramids come out equally well on the radar image. Structures in the desert sand can be seen to the south of the pyramids. The radar beam makes it possible under certain conditions to recognise structures below ground level, especially in arid areas with a loose type of soil. This opens up new archaeological options and constitutes yet another application for TerraSAR-X data.
Credit: DLR; date: July 2, 2007, 03:47 UTC; original resolution: 1 metre (reduced image); mode: High Resolution Spotlight Mode; polarisation: HH