The pyramid of Menkaure is markedly smaller than the other two main pyramids of Giza. To set it apart from the others, it's builder tried to encase the lower portion in granite. The effort was possibly stopped by the early death of the king. Here is the north face with its opening into the pyramid:
At the end of the steps leading to the opening, there are a few steps downward into the descending passageway:
As the descending passageway ends we enter into the first antechamber. This room is relatively small and there is another opening at the far end. Both openings are flanked by a carved "palace facade" design, the first such carved relief seen in any major pyramid since that of Zoser:
Two views looking back at the north wall of the antechamber toward the entrance:
This antechamber is smaller than it appears in this photo since a wide angle lens was used to see the palace facade design carved into its walls. The opening at the end of the first antechamber leads to another passageway. Off of this passageway is the opening into the next set of chambers.
This next chamber is unique because it offers a view of the top of the vaulted ceiling of the main burial chamber through a space that you can look through at the far end. In the first photo you can see the grating which now covers this vantage point at the far end of the room. The 2nd view shows the roughly hewn top of the ceiling in the main chamber below.. You will see the finished bottom of this ceiling when we enter the main chamber through the short descending passageway shown in the 3rd picture:
Looking back at the east wall toward the entrance to this chamber:
This descending passageway levels off and to the right, just before the main burial chamber lies another passageway into a mysterious chamber, sometimes known as the "cellar". This chamber has six obvious niches within it:
The first picture was taken looking into the chamber from its entrance, facing northward. This room may have been used to store treasure or for offerings. Or perhaps the king's family was buried here, although this would be unusual compared to the layout preceding pyramids.
This view was taken from the north end of the chamber looking south back toward the entrance to the chamber. Walking back out of this chamber and taking a right into the passageway leads to the final burial chamber.
Down the passageway from the previous chamber leads to the main burial chamber. Notice the finely finished interior of the vaulted ceiling that we saw from above in an earlier chamber. The niche in the floor housed the original sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was removed from the pyramid and shipped on a boat to England. The boat sank on the way, and the sarcophagus of Menkaure has not been seen since:
The last picture was taken looking back east toward the entrance on the far left.
Learn more about pyramids at Guardian's Pyramids
CyberJourney To Egypt