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Pyramid of Menkaure

Pyramid of Menkaure

Pyramid of Menkaure

The Pyramid of Menkaure is the third of the Giza plateau’s pyramids. It heralds the end of the great pyramids’ age, although it is much smaller than Cheops and Khafre. If it seems less intriguing than the other two, it also presents a variety of unique architectural aspects that your children will adopt.

During Pharaoh Menkaure, this pyramid was constructed between 2532 and 2515. He was a Fourth Dynasty pharaoh. We’ve arrived at the heart of the former empire.

Who built the Pyramid of Menkaura?

The Pyramid of Menkaura was built during the reign of Pharaoh Micerinos (Hellenized name) or Menkaura (his Egyptian name), belonging to the fourth dynasty.

Although the dates of his reign are not precisely known, it is estimated that he rose to power after the death of his father Khafre in the year 2514 a. C. and ended around 2486 a. C.

Son of Kefren and grandson of Cheops, the builder of the Great Pyramid.

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Who was Pharaoh Menkaure?

Pharaoh Menkaure (also known as Mycerinus) was an ancient Egyptian king who ruled during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom period, approximately from 2490 to 2472 BC.

He was the son of Pharaoh Khafre, who is best known for building the Great Sphinx and the second pyramid at Giza. Menkaure is most famous for constructing the third and smallest pyramid at Giza,

which bears his name and the colossal statue of himself and his queen, now housed in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

Menkaure’s reign was marked by a focus on temple building and the construction of public works, including repairing and expanding the temple of the goddess Hathor at Dendera.

He also continued the tradition of building large mortuary complexes for himself and his family, including the pyramid mentioned above at Giza.

Menkaure’s rule was relatively short, and he was succeeded by his son Shepseskaf, who is believed to have brought an end to the Fourth Dynasty.

Despite his relatively brief reign, Menkaure’s legacy has endured through his pyramid and famous statue, which fascinate and inspire people today.

Pyramid of Menkaure
The pyramids in Giza

Where is the Pyramid of Menkaura located?

The pyramid of Menkaura is located on the Giza plateau, on the outskirts of Cairo, where the desert begins, 25 km south of Cairo, in the city of Giza, which is located in the suburbs of Cairo, the capital of Egypt,

and 8 km from the Nile. Previously the original course of the river reached the edge of the plateau. However, it was later modified

When was the pyramid of menkaure built?

The Pyramid of Menkaure was built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom period, around 2510 BC.

How long did it take to build the pyramid of menkaure?

The exact duration of the construction of the Pyramid of Menkaure is unknown, but it is estimated that it took around 15-20 years to complete.

The pyramid construction involved a vast workforce, including skilled artisans, quarry workers, and laborers, who worked under the supervision of the pharaoh’s officials and architects.

The work was likely carried out in shifts, with workers being rotated regularly to prevent exhaustion and ensure a constant labor supply.

Pyramid of Menkaure
Menkaure’s pyramid complex was the last of the major pyramids built on the Giza Plateau.

What is the pyramid of menkaure made of?

The Pyramid of Menkaure was built primarily with limestone blocks, which were quarried from nearby sources. The pyramid’s core was made of smaller blocks of rough limestone,

while the outer casing was made of more significant, finely cut blocks of white Tura limestone. The Tura limestone was highly prized for its quality. It was used to case many ancient Egyptian structures,

including the Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) and the Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren). The pyramid’s construction also involved using granite for some interior chambers, including the burial chamber and the sarcophagus.

What was inside the pyramid of Menkaure?

The entrance to the pyramid is on the north side of the structure and is almost four meters high. Subsequently, this entrance opens into a descending corridor partially covered in pink granite.

Beyond the gallery is a paneled chamber with niches carved into the walls. The original purpose of this decorative chamber remains unknown.

Furthermore, this chamber leads to a small, unadorned antechamber under the pyramid’s axis. From this antechamber, a lower corridor connects to the burial chamber.

This room runs from north to south. The space in pink granite supports a gabled ceiling with a barrel vault. Furthermore, Vyse discovered the colossal basalt sarcophagus in this very chamber.

We find that at the end of that inclined corridor in the pyramid, there is a vestibule lined with stone, and it also leads to a horizontal corridor in which there are 3 barricades and then unite

a room that is the burial chamber of the king.
The vestibule also found a wooden sarcophagus with the name of King Menkaure written on it, and his mummy was found there.
The mummy of King Menkaure has been preserved so far in the British Museum. In the past, King Menkaure called his pyramid the name of the (sacred) pyramid.

The Mankaure pyramid Superstructure

The pyramid of Menkaure is 63 meters tall now, although it was 65 meters tall when it was built. It has a 105 square meter base and an inclination of 51.20 degrees, making it extremely near a perfect pyramid.

It, like the Kefren pyramid, lies on undeveloped land. Unlike Cheops, who flattened the land before erecting the pyramid, the pyramids of its two predecessors were constructed on existing protrusions to reduce the number of blocks to cut. However, this means you must cut the ground to fit the initial layers, ensuring they are altogether level, which is a complex but vital task.

The massif was erected using limestone stones excavated from the Giza plateau to minimize transportation. They were brought in, cut to size, and laid in horizontal layers with near-perfect flatness. The most significant pieces were at the foot of the pyramid, and as we climbed higher, they became thinner.

The Egyptians of the period did not question the interior blocks’ accuracy. The equipment was shabby, with a lot of gaps. The blocks at the margins were polished more carefully, and the interstices were thinner.

Pyramid of Menkaure, Pyramid of Menkaure
The pyramid of Menkaure is the third pyramid of the plateau of Giza.

What is special about the Menkaure pyramid?

  • Before you reach the burial room, which is the granite room, that door in the northern wall will lead to a hall at the pyramid entrance, and you will eventually reach a series of six stores. These stores are Arranged in an orderly manner as teeth. Comb.
  • It is carved from rock material, but its primary purpose is often interpreted as the real rooms where the canopic jars and the ancient crowns of Upper and Lower Egypt kings are kept.
  • On the other hand, the essential thing that distinguishes the pyramid of Menkaure is that the unique or distinctive decoration of the first antechamber and the decoration of the sarcophagus of King Menkaure is still unique.
  • We will not be able to find such elaborate decorations until now in the pyramids of kings by the Sixth Egyptian Dynasty, of course, after more than a century and a half have passed.
  • Therefore, the pyramid of Menkaure is an exception, of course, and indeed represents the prototype of the Tibbek pyramids, which are described as classical in later eras.

Fact about the Pyramid of Menkaure

Dimensions: Menkaure’s Pyramid is about 65 meters (213 feet) tall, with a base length of about 105 meters (344 feet). It is the smallest of the three main pyramids at Giza,

The Great Pyramid of Khufu (Cheops) is the largest and the Pyramid of Khafre (Chephren) is the second largest.

Construction: The pyramid was constructed using limestone blocks quarried locally. The pyramid’s core was made of smaller blocks, while the outer casing was made of more significant,

finely cut stones. The pyramid initially had a smooth, polished surface, but much of the casing has been removed.

Interior: The pyramid contains three chambers: a subterranean chamber, a burial chamber, and an upper chamber. The burial chamber is located at the center

of the pyramid and contains the sarcophagus of Menkaure, which was made of basalt. The upper chamber was likely used to store funerary equipment and offerings.

Associated structures: Menkaure’s Pyramid is surrounded by a complex of smaller pyramids and temples used for various religious and funerary purposes.

To the east of the pyramid is a temple complex, which includes a mortuary temple and a valley temple. The valley temple was connected to the Nile River by a causeway paved with large stone slabs.

Discoveries: In the 19th century, the pyramid was excavated by archaeologists, who discovered the remains of Menkaure’s mummy, along with other artifacts and inscriptions.

In the 20th century, further excavations revealed the remains of a queen’s pyramid nearby, which is believed to have been built for Menkaure’s consort.

Tourism: Menkaure’s Pyramid is open to visitors, who can climb up to the entrance and explore the interior chambers. However, access to the burial chamber is restricted.

The pyramid is a popular tourist attraction and is often visited as part of a tour of the Giza plateau.

About the author

Magdy Fattouh (Migo) is a creative content marketer and expert in search engines for over 5 years. He manifests his passion in his role as a Creative Content Writer especially in travel where he strives to evoke a strong sense of place in his write-ups.