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Giza Pyramid of Menkaure


The smallest of the Giza Pyramids is that of Menkaure. The pharoah, who ruled for at least 26 years, died before his furerary complex was completed, and parts of it were finished by his son Shepseskaf. Many additions were made to the complex during the Fifth and Sixth dynasties, indicating that, despite his untimely death, the king's cult flourished for more than three centuries. Originally about 240 feet high, the pyramid now measures 204 feet on a base of 357 feet wide.

The causeway, which is 1,995 feet (608m) long, was never finished properly, although Menkaure's son, Shepseskaf, finished it off with mudbrick after his father's death. Had the work been completed properly, it would have been walled and roofed all the way down to the valley temple.

Menkaure's queen's pyramids present some fascinating evidence. The eastern one was finished in limestone and granite casing, and has the structure of a ka satellite pyramid - however a granite sarcophagus was found in it, and it had a mortuary temple, which suggests that it was re-used for a queen's burial. The other two pyramids were either built intentionally as step pyramids or left unfinished, which suggests that, at least here, core and casing did not rise together.


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