The capital of the Old Kingdom of Egypt has some extraordinary funerary monuments, including rock tombs, ornate mastabas, temples and pyramids. In ancient times, the site was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The satellite image shows the pyramid of Pharaoh Cheops on the right, at the Cairo city limits. With its imposing height of 139 metres and sides 230 metres long, the modern buildings of the neighbouring city of Giza look quite modest by comparison. To the west of this pyramid, which is precisely oriented to the cardinal points of the compass, are to be seen the two large pyramids of the pharaohs Khafra and Menkaure. Originally constructed some 15 kilometres southwest of Cairo at the edge of the Nile valley, for millennia these three pyramids were surrounded only by desert.
The image was taken on 15 July 2006 by the Ikonos satellite and has a resolution of one metre. It covers an area of two by four kilometres.
Credit: European Space Imaging / DLR.