pyramid, called 'Khafre is Great', rose from a 705-foot wide
base to a height of 471 feet at an angle of 53º 7'. It has
two entrances, each opening onto a descending passage that
leads to a chamber.
This pyramid was conceived as a port from which the voyage
to the Netherworld began. The broad terrace to the east of
Khafre's pyramid is made of massive limestone blocks weighing
up to hundreds of tons. Huge limestone piers project beyond
the northeast and southwest corners of the terrace, looking
like slipways or giant docks. Five narrow boat shaped trenches
carved into the natural rock extend into the recesses between
the two piers and the mortuary temple.
Khafre's mortuary temple marks a significant architectural
advance - being both larger than previous examples, and for
the first time including all the five elements the were to
become standard in all later Old Kingdom mortuary temples.
The standard parts were:
An entrance hall
A broad columned court
Five niches for statues of the king
Five storage chambers
An inner sanctuary
fact, Khafre's mortuary temple consists of a fore part, forming
an entrance to the main court, and a back part. It was built
of local limestone and incorporates a pillared hall, two long
narrow chambers, an open courtyard that may have contained
a seated sculpture of the king, five statue niches and five
The mortuary temple and the valley temple are linked by a
causeway about 1,600 feet (495m) long and 16 feet (5m) wide.
valley temple is the best preserved building of the Fourth
Dynasty. It is a square building with two entrances that bear
the only inscriptions in the entire temple… all that can be
deciphered today are the words 'Khafre Beloved of the (goddess)
Bastet' and 'Khafre Beloved of the (goddess) Hathor'. It was
built of megalithic core blocks sheathed in red granite. The
temple entrances were closed with huge single-leaf doors,
probably of cedarwood. Between the two entrances runs the
vestibule, where the walls were of simple red granite and
the floor paved with alabaster. The temple's major chambers
are very similar to the fore part of Khafre's mortuary temple.
The satellite pyramid of Khafre has been almost completely
eradicated by stone robbers - only the outlines of the foundations
and a few core blocks now remain. It is thought that this
small pyramid was used for the burial of statues dedicated
to the king's ka - his spiritual double and vital force. In
fact, a wooden box containing a broken up cedarwood statue
carrying shrine was found in a small chamber beneath the pyramid.