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WHAT IS? ARCHITECTURAL

What is Menkaure Pyramid?

What is Menkaure Pyramid?

The Pyramid

Its base length is 102 x 104 m, the inclination is 51 degrees, and it has a height of 65 m. The Pharaoh died after about 26 years of government, and so the building was not properly completed. His successor, Schepsekaf, completed the buildings with less resistant clay bricks.

There are only guesses as to why the pyramid was planned so small. Was there no room left for a large building on the plain? Or were the pharaoh, a follower of the Sun cult around Ré, more important to the temples and their furnishings than an imposing tomb? Much indicates the last answer. The pyramids after the 4th dynasty were built much smaller, whose mortuary temples were made larger and more magnificent. According to the religious ideas of this epoch, the Pharaoh, the son of Ré, went to the sun god after death. A large grave was therefore no longer necessary. The pyramid was badly damaged in the 19th century when a Mamluk ruler had the structure broken up to recover the treasures of the pyramids.

In the Pyramid

The entrance is on the north side at 4 m height. A passage (31 m long) leads down into a chamber. From here, a horizontal passage goes to the antechamber. From this chamber a passage branches off to the top, but remained unfinished. Another corridor begins in the ground, leading down to the burial chamber. At this passage is still in front of the grave a chamber with four niches. The burial chamber is rectangular and its walls are granite. The archaeologists found here an empty sarcophagus. This sarcophagus was lost during transport by sea to Britain in a shipwreck.

The Queens Pyramids

In the south of the pyramid are three small pyramids, which have also served as graves. In one was found the corpse of a woman. The outer sides of a pyramid are covered with limestone, the others are stepped pyramids. It is not known if these were ever completed.

The Mortuary Temple

At the construction of the mortuary temple, limestone cuboids were used. The heaviest cuboid found weighs 200 tons! After the Pharaoh died during the work, they continued the construction work only with mud bricks. Remains of statues were found here. A statue of the Mencaure probably stood on the wall of the courtyard opposite the entrance hall and the entrance. This is how Pharaoh "saw" his country.

The Valley Temple

From the mortuary temple leads a 608 m long Aufweg to the Taltempel. He was also completed after the death of Pharaoh with mud bricks. Here too, some important statues of Menkaure were found, accompanied by goddesses and his wife.

The statue that shows Menkaure with his wife Chamerernebti is an impressive document about the respected position of women in Ancient Egypt. The wife is just behind the ruler and includes the pharaoh confidentially.

End of an Epoch

Schepsekaf, the last representative of the 4th dynasty, did not build a pyramid. His tomb near Saqqara is modeled after a sarcophagus. The building has a height of 19 m, is 100 m long and 73 m wide. The time of the great pyramids was over.