A Walking Tour Around the Pyramids of Giza: 2 Hours in Hi Def

One of the first things tourists learn about the great Pyra­mids of Giza is how they are not far away in some remote loca­tion. Turns out they’re just pho­tographed that way with the West­ern Desert as back­drop. Turn around and you’ll see not just the bustling city of Cairo, but a freakin’ golf course. The next thing tourists learn is that there’s a lot of walk­ing if you want to take in both pyra­mids and the Sphinx. Hope you packed some good shoes!

Or you could sit back and watch this one-hour-and-50-minute walk­ing tour, shot in 4K, on a chilly Jan­u­ary morn­ing in 2019. There’s not many tourists around for most of it, bet­ter to instill a sense of won­der and oth­er­ness as you encounter these 4,500 year old struc­tures.

With its relax­ing bob­bing-head cam­era and its immer­sive field record­ing soundtrack—headphones are recommended—the video tours the entire ancient area, start­ing with the Mor­tu­ary Tem­ple of Khafre, then mov­ing to the two main pyra­mids, the ceme­tery, the small­er pyra­mid of Menkau­re, and end­ing on the Sphinx. There’s even room for a horse ride, although as it’s sped up, it turns out to be rather com­i­cal. It’s also a delight to hear the occa­sion­al camel make them­selves known.

Open Cul­ture has writ­ten about the Pyra­mids of Giza sev­er­al times. We’ve linked to the mas­sive Dig­i­tal Giza Project; shown a 3‑D recon­struc­tion of what the pyra­mids looked like when they were orig­i­nal­ly built (they were gleam­ing white, for one thing); fol­lowed a 3‑D tour *inside* the pyra­mid that is quite spine-tin­gling; and high­light­ed an intro­duc­to­ry course of Giza and Egyp­tol­ogy. The only remain­ing of the Sev­en Won­ders of the Ancient World con­tin­ues to inspire a new gen­er­a­tion of archae­ol­o­gists, and this walk­ing tour is as close as your brows­er can get to being there. ProWalk Tours’ YouTube site also offers many oth­er pleas­ant walks, from the ancient to the mod­ern. They’re worth check­ing out.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

A 4,000-Year-Old Stu­dent ‘Writ­ing Board’ from Ancient Egypt (with Teacher’s Cor­rec­tions in Red)

Won­ders of Ancient Egypt: A Free Online Course from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Penn­syl­va­nia

A 3,000-Year-Old Painter’s Palette from Ancient Egypt, with Traces of the Orig­i­nal Col­ors Still In It

Ted Mills is a free­lance writer on the arts who cur­rent­ly hosts the Notes from the Shed pod­cast and is the pro­duc­er of KCR­W’s Curi­ous Coast. You can also fol­low him on Twit­ter at @tedmills, and/or watch his films here.

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.