Location of the Egyptian Pyramids


Location of the Egyptian Pyramids

The pyramids of Egypt are far too numerous to be all located here, but if we look more closely, and if we are content with the main pyramids, the list of 54 royal pyramids or supposed, we find that they are grouped in some large necropolises that can be located easily.

And when we do, we are surprised to find that these necropolises are all located near Cairo, the furthest to 60Kms of the city, and rather to the South. They are all on the left bank of the Nile, towards the West. It is not by chance, it is just that in the conception of spirituality during ancient Egypt, the West is associated with the world of the dead and the East with that of the living. So the necropolises were in the west, the cities in the east. This is of course due to the race of the Sun, which appeared every morning on the side of the living and set in the realm of the dead.

The necropolis

There are a handful of royal necropolises with pyramids, since this tradition (if one can speak of tradition) was followed only during the 2nd, 4th, 5th and 6th dynasties, for the most part. There were still some pyramids later (twelfth and thirteenth, then seventeenth and eighteenth dynasties for later), but most of the Egyptian pyramids were built during those few hundred years of the old empire.

Necropolis map (click to enlarge)

Necropolis map (click to enlarge)

The main necropolis was that of Saqqara, dominated by the Step Pyramid of Djoser. The plateau of Saqqara is about twenty kilometers south of Cairo, on the left bank. It's just west of Helwan.

The best known is probably Giza, where the three giant pyramids are located. The plateau of Giza is similar to that of Saqqara, but is further north in the territory of the city of ... Giza. It is in the suburbs of Cairo, in the Southwest. The agglomeration's urban planning is just at the edge of the plateau.

The other necropolises are Dahshur, just south of Saqqara, and Abusir, just north. Abousir has received almost all the tombs of the pharaohs of the 5th dynasty. About sixty kilometers south of Cairo is Meïdoum, another necropolis known mainly for its truncated pyramid. It's actually a pyramid that has been transformed, giving it that special air of a spilled pot. Zaouiet el-Aryan is three kilometers south of Giza, it is a small necropolis where we find the unfinished Pyramid of Khaba. Abu Rawash hosts the tomb of Pharaoh Djedefrê, son of Khufu and brother of Khafra. Abu Rawash is northwest of Cairo, between the airport and the city center. It's a rather urbanized area.

During the Middle Kingdom the pharaohs had moved the capital, Memphis had fallen into disuse. They were instead buried in the necropolis of Litch and Hawara, close to the new capital. Hawara is a little further south than Meidoum, and especially more to the west. It is the only necropolis hosting pyramids that is so far from the Nile. Litch is a necropolis on the contrary close to the Nile, like the others. It is approximately 20Kms north of Meidoum, about forty south of Cairo.

Almost all the pyramids of Egypt are thus in Cairo or South of Cairo, in necropolises that are, from North to South:

  • Abou Rawash
  • Giza
  • Zaouiet el-Aryan
  • Abousir
  • Saqqara
  • Dahshur
  • Litch
  • Meïdoum
  • Hawara

Location of the Pyramids of Giza

The pyramids of Giza are on the plateau of the same name, a rocky plateau that dominates the Nile valley from a few dozen meters to the highest.

Pyramid of Giza

Pyramid of Giza

It is located 25Kms south of Cairo, in the city of Giza, which is in the suburbs of Cairo, the capital of Egypt, and 8Kms from the Nile. It should be known that formerly an arm of the Nile passed at the feet of the plateau, but this one was diverted meanwhile.

This location is not trivial: The ancient city of Memphis was on the other side of the Nile, it was an important city at the exit of the Nile Delta, a bit like Cairo days. It was a city richly watered by the waters of the river, with a large population. At that time (we are around 2,500 BC), we were at the fourth of the 30 dynasties that make up the history of ancient Egypt, that is, at the very beginning of the reunification of northern Egypt. and South, which marks the beginning of the old Empire. The kings of the first two dynasties had settled their tombs at Umm al-Qa'ab, at Abydos, those of the Third Dynasty were rather at Saqqara, a little further south of Giza. But the Giza site had been used since the early days of the old empire, not as a royal necropolis, but many tombs were already there.

When the kings of the Fourth Dynasty chose a site, they bent over this plateau on which there were already tombs, but no royal tombs and had their tombs built there.

GPS coordinatesGPS

The GPS coordinates of the Giza Pyramids are exactly 29 ° 58'44 "North and 31 ° 08'02" East. If you have the Google Earth software, then click on this link or open it by double-clicking it, once downloaded: It will indicate the exact location of the site: Google Earth links.

Location of Giza

Location of Giza

On this map it can be seen that the Giza plateau is not only at the limit between the desert and the Nile valley, but also on the edge of the Cairo conurbation.


If the necropolis of Giza is only a few kilometers from the center of Cairo, it is strongly advised not to go by its own means, There is plenty of transportation here to get around without having to worry about driving in a city with difficult traffic.

Otherwise, for the curiosity, know that the pyramids of Giza are 2 131Kms and 100m from the Colosseum, 3,215Kms and 190m Eiffel Tower, 3,510Kms and 520m from the Tower of London, 4,568Kms from Taj Mahal, 7,570Kms and 440m from the forbidden city of Beijing, 9,042Kms and 710m from the statue of Liberty and finally they are at 9 869Kms and 140m from the Christ the Redeemer of Rio. All these distances are expressed as the crow flies, of course!

Provincial pyramids

Provincial pyramids are small pyramids erected during the Third or Fourth Dynasty. They bear this name because they were not close to the capital Memphis but in the provinces led by Pharaoh.

They are all in different places: Athribis, Elephantine, Edfu, Hierakonpolis, Nagada, Abydos, Al-Minya, and Seilah.

Learn more about the provincial pyramids.

See also:

Discover the pyramids

Visit the pyramids

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