Around 2900 BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt became one Great Empire, the Pharaohs declared Memphis, which lies in the southern Nile Delta, as their capital city.
During its golden years, in the second millennium B.C., Memphis extended 15 km, from Gizeh to Sakkara. Up until the time of the Roman Empire, this ancient city’s former buildings had been constructed from air-dried bricks and therefore, due to this process, sadly did not survive the years. Granite and limestone were used solely for its Temples, Palaces and Statues. The frightening and dismissive gesture of the Sphinx was meant to frighten away grave robbers and guard the Necropolis, the place of the dead. Its lion’s body and human head symbolize courage and mental prowess.
Apart from Gizeh, Sakkara, in Lower Egypt, was an important city dedicated to the dead. The mother of all pyramids lies here, Pharaoh Djoser's Step Pyramid, which dates back to the year 2600 BC.
For almost 5000 years, these stones have survived the forces of nature and who knows what future excavations may reveal from the sands of the Egyptian desert, sands that are not only of time but which held the hopes of the pharaohs and created among the richest treasures known to mankind.
Global Treasures - History's Most Protected Monuments - Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live today, and what we pass on to future generations. Our cultural and natural heritage are both irreplaceable sources of life and inspiration. Places as unique and diverse as the wilds of East Africa's Serengeti, the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and the Baroque cathedrals of Latin America make up our world's heritage. Join us as we explore one of these protected monuments.