The Pyramid of Menkaure
Pyramid of Menkaure is the smallest of the three pyramids of Giza.
Commissioned by king Menkaure (Mycerinus), sixth ruler of the
4th dynasty, his pyramid was only 1/10th the size of the Great Pyramid,
originally standing around 65-66 meters in height. But, following
the trend begun at his father Khafre's
complex, Menkaure's mortuary temple was much more elaborate
than the one at Khufu's pyramid
The pyramid's date of construction is unknown, because Menkaure's
reign has never been accurately defined, but it was probably completed
sometime during the 26th century BC.
The pyramid was not complete when Menkaure' died. Shepseskaf,
who was Menkaure's son, finished the pyramid.
To set it apart from it's neighbours, Menkaure tried to encase
the lower portion of the pyrmamid in granite. This was never completed,
possibly due to the death of Menkaure.
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.
A sarcophagus was discovered in Menkaure's burial chamber in the
1800s and sent it to England. Unfortunately, the ship carrying it
sank in the Mediterranean, taking the sarcophagus with it.
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.