The Egyptian pharaoh Khufu built the Great Pyramid in about 2560 B.C. to serve as his tomb. The pyramid is the oldest structure on the original list of the seven wonders of the ancient world, which was compiled by Greek scholars about 2,200 years ago. It is also the only remaining survivor from the original list.
The Great Pyramid is the largest of three Pyramids at Giza, bordering modern-day Cairo. Although weathering has caused the structure to stand a few feet shorter today, the pyramid was about 480 feet (145 meters) high when it was first built. It is thought to have been the planet's tallest human-made structure for more than four millennia.
Initially the Giza Pyramids were top contenders in the Internet and phone ballot to make a new list of world wonders. But leading Egyptian officials were outraged by the contest, saying the pyramids shouldn't be put to a vote.
"This contest will not detract from the value of the Pyramids, which is the only real wonder of the world," Egypt's antiquities chief Zahi Hawass told the AFP news agency.
Instead competition organizers withdrew the Pyramids from the competition in April and granted them "honorary wonder" status.