Visit the Pyramids of Giza Without Even Leaving Your Couch

The Great Sphinx with the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.
The Great Sphinx with the Pyramids of Giza in the distance. / fmajor/iStock via Getty Images

If going to the Giza Plateau in person is the ultimate way to experience the ancient Pyramids of Giza, Harvard University’s Digital Giza is at least the next best thing.

As Nerdist reports, Digital Giza is an offshoot of Harvard’s Giza Project, an international endeavor to catalog and consolidate archives and information about the Giza Plateau from all over the world. Researchers have used this data to create a digital platform with 3D models, virtual walking tours, and other free interactive resources to help people explore the region from afar.

You can, for example, amble around the largest of the three pyramids, commissioned by King Khufu around 2550 BCE and also known as the Great Pyramid. Not only is it the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, it’s also the only one that still exists (That said, historians aren’t sure that some of them ever existed at all—hard evidence of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Colossus of Rhodes, for example, has proven difficult to find.) The other two pyramids that tower over the rest of the plateau are the Pyramid of Khafre and the Pyramid of Menkaure, built by (and named for) Khufu’s son and grandson, respectively.

Digital Giza offers plenty of sites to explore beyond those three edifices. The Great Sphinx, thought to have been built during Khafre’s reign, is also a must-see. While it’s currently the same sandy color as the rest of the plateau, pigment residue suggests that it might’ve once been painted red, blue, yellow, and perhaps other vibrant hues. The platform also has virtual tours of several extravagant tombs, complete with details about the art and sculptures you see inside.

If you’re interested in an immersive (and educational) virtual vacation, you can explore Digital Giza here.

[h/t Nerdist]