The Pyramid of Menkaure
Menkaure is Divine
Original Height: 65 66 m (213.25 216.53 ft)
Current Height: 65.5 m (214.89 ft)
Length of Side: 103.4 m (339.23 ft)
Angle: 51
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The last major pyramid of Giza is the Pyramid of Menkaure, son of Khafre. Although much smaller than the other two pyramids on the plateau, the lower courses were originally encased in granite. It has three subsidiary pyramids and some of its Mortuary temple remains intact. The interior of this pyramid  includes a room possibly for the burial of some of the king's family as well as the king himself. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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.

There is a finely finished interior of the vaulted ceiling. The niche in the floor housed the original sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was removed from the pyramid and shipped on a boat to England on Oct. 1838. The boat sank on the way, and the sarcophagus of Menkaure has not been seen since.

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Menkaure Pyramid Complex
The mortuary temple of the Menkaure complex is the most intact mortuary temple on the Giza plateau. It is made of core limestone and was originally lined with granite in its interior. The entrance corridor was made of mudbrick and leads to a large courtyard. The courtyard was also cased with mudbrick, though with an outer layer of limestone. An interesting feature is that there is a basin and drainage system at the center of the courtyard. A recessed portico is located on the western wall of the court, this has 6 red granite columns. At the west end of this is a long narrow sanctuary. At the south end of the portico is a passage that leads to annex structures that do not appear to have been finished. From the north end of the portico a passage leads to 5 small rooms. At the westernmost end of the temple is an offering shrine which is built right against the face of the pyramid. This may have had a false door, and was paved with red granite. Just east of this is a corridor containing 6 limestone pillars, this was most likely built later during the 6th dynasty.
The Valley Temple of Menkaure was built of mudbrick although there are signs of limestone structures seen in the pavement and column bases. It has an entrance on the east side that opens into a small vestibule with 4 columns supporting its roof. This vestibule is flanked by two sets of four storerooms. The southern set opens up into a long corridor that runs along the length of the temple, then takes a turn to the north and meets with the distal end of the causeway.  At the west end of the vestibule a doorway leads to the courtyard. Through the center of the courtyard is a raised pavement made of limestone slabs. South of this is lies a limestone basis with a drainage system that that drains to under the pavement.  The west end of the raised pavement ends at a pillared hall containing 6 columns which supported it roof. Beyond this hall was the sanctuary. To the south of the sanctuary are smaller chambers, it is within these that the famous triads statues of Menkaure were found. To the north of the sanctuary are another series of small chambers or magazines.

 

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