This pyramid shows the beginning of the decline in workmanship in the Egyptian pyramid building. The attention to detail is not as it is on the earlier pyramid. Menkaure' was the successor to Chephren. The pyramid was not complete when Menkaure died. Shepseskaf, who was Menkaure's son, finished the pyramid. The granite encasement was never finished. The pyramid stands 66.5m high, which is much smaller than the other two pyramids at Giza.
Another difference between Menkaure's and Chephren's and Khufu's pyramid is that Menkaure's burial chamber was the lower chamber. The walls were lined with granite and below the pyramid's foundation.
The sarcophagus was found, but was lost at sea while it was being shipped to England. A wooden coffin was found, supposedly that of Menkaure's. It was actually put in the pyramid about 1800 years later. It is thought to have been an act of restoration. In 1968 an inscription was found near the entrance in the casing which referred to this action.
To the east of the pyramid is the Mortuary Temple. This temple is fairly well preserved, even though the walls were not encased with granite or marble. It was actually made of red mud bricks and then lined with a thin layer of limestone. A 660m mud-brick causeway connected the Valley Temple to the temple. The causeway is now beneath the sand.
The Pyramid of Menkaure is the 3rd Pyramid of Giza.To set it apart from the others, its builder tried to encase the lower portion in granite. The effort was possibly stopped by the early death of the king.
North face with steps leading to the entrance
Original name: Divine is the Pyramid of Mykerinos
Present day height: 65 m / 217 ft
Mean base length: 103.4 m / 345 ft
Angle of inclination: 51° 20'
Date of construction: 4th dynasty, c. 2540 BC
I Several hundred years before Vyse and Perring entered the pyramid someone must have tried to cut a tunnel through the massive stones which still exists today and is used as an entry to the sacred chambers.
Unlike the pyramid of Chephren, the arrangement of its chambers and passages is much more complex. A long descending passage of 31.75 m / 105.8 ft leads to a horizontal gallery which is 12.6 m / 42 ft long ending in a large hall which once contained a wooden sarcophagus from a later period that bore Menkaure's name, though.
The following room contains several niches that once held the burial jewelry. A few steps ahead lies the burial chamber itself where Vyse and Perring once found the sarcophagus of stone that contained the king's mummy.
The Queens' pyramids were situated on the east side of the monument. The biggest one is ascribed to the pharaoh's spouse, Chamerernebti II.
East of the pyramid remnants of the mortuary temple of Mykerinos can be found. It consisted of an entrance hall (a vestibule), a square-shaped courtyard, a porticus (a hall with columns) that leads to the sacrificial hall which was equipped with several chambers. These contained religious items and provisions which were sacrificed to the deceased king.
Four of the most popular Egyptian carvings could be excavated in the valley temple whose remains are now covered with sand. Four triad statues showing the king are flanked by the goddess Hathor and a goddess of a nome, a province of Egypt.
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