The Magnificent Plateau consists of The Three Pyramids of Giza "Cheops, Khefren and Mykerinos" as well as the "Great Sphinx" which lies on the east side of the complex. Current consensus among Egyptologists is that the head of the Great Sphinx is that of Khafren. Along with these major monuments are a number of smaller satellite edifices, known as "Queens" pyramids, causeways and valley pyramids.
Hence, when Khufu planned his own ambitious pyramid, he was looking for a solid rock base, nearby quarries and a dominating position overlooking the Nile Valley, which he of course found at Giza.
Giza can be subdivided into two groupings of monuments, clearly defined and separated by a wadi. The larger grouping consists of the three "Great" pyramids of Khufu,Khephren (Khafre), and Menkaure, the Sphinx, attendant temples and outbuildings, and the private mastabas of the nobility.
Khufu’s pyramid complex
Khufu’s Pyramid complex consists of a valley temple, now buried beneath the village of Nazlet el-Samman; basalt paving and nummulitic limestone walls have been found but the site has not been excavated. The valley temple was connected to a causeway which was largely destroyed when the village was constructed. The causeway led to the Mortuary Temple of Khufu. From this temple only the basalt pavement remains. The mortuary temple was connected to the king’s pyramid. The king’s pyramid has three smaller queen’s pyramids associated with it and five boat pits. The boat pits contained a ship, and the two pits on the south side of the pyramid still contained intact ships. One of these ships has been restored and is on display. Khufu's pyramid maintains a limited collection of casing stones at its base. These casing stones were made of fine white limestone quarried from the nearby range.
Khafre’s pyramid complex
Khafre’s Pyramid complex consists of a valley temple (sometimes referred to as the Sphinx Temple), a causeway, a mortuary temple and the king’s pyramid. The valley temple yielded several statues of Khafre. Several were found in a well in the floor of the temple by Mariette in 1860. Others were found during successive excavations by Sieglin (1909–10), Junker, Reisner, and Hassan. Khafre’s complex contained five boat-pits and a subsidiary pyramid with aserdab. Khafre's pyramid appears larger than the adjacent Khufu Pyramid by virtue of its more elevated location, and the steeper angle of inclination of its construction—it is, in fact, smaller in both height and volume. Khafre's pyramid retains a prominent display of casing stones at its apex.
Menkaure’s pyramid complex
Menkaure’s Pyramid complex consists of a valley temple, a causeway, a mortuary temple, and the king’s pyramid. The valley temple contained several statues of Menkaure. During the 5th dynasty, a smaller ante-temple was added on to the valley temple.
The mortuary temple also yielded several statues of Menkaure. The king’s pyramid has three subsidiary or queen’s pyramids. Of the four major monuments, only Menkaure's pyramid is seen today without any of its original polished limestone casing.
The Sphinx dates to the reign of king Khafre. A chapel was located between its forepaws that had unfortunate history of being repeatedly destroyed by unusual circumstances. During the New Kingdom, Amenhotep II dedicated a new temple to Hauron-Haremakhet and this structure was added onto by later rulers.
The Pyramids of Giza and others are thought to have been constructed to house the remains of the deceased Pharaohswho ruled over Ancient Egypt. A portion of the Pharaoh's spirit called his "ka" was believed to remain with his corpse. Proper care of the remains was necessary in order for the "former Pharaoh to perform his new duties as king of the dead." It's theorized the pyramid not only served as a tomb for the Pharaoh, but also as storage for the various items he would need in the afterlife. "The people of Ancient Egypt believed that death on Earth was the start of a journey to the next world. The embalmed body of the King was entombed underneath or within the pyramid to protect it and allow his transformation and ascension to the afterlife.