Ancient Egypt - The Third Pyramid of Giza


Khafre was succeeded by his son, Menkaure, who continued to build on the Giza Plateau. He constructed the smallest of the Great Pyramids, the Third Pyramid of Giza. With an original height of 228 feet, the small scale of this pyramid may have resulted from internal political problems during this time, most likely caused by the manpower and resources strained from the huge building projects of his father and grandfather. This pyramid was, however, built using more expensive material. The lower courses of the outer casing of the pyramid were built using red granite from Aswan, and much of this survives today. On the northern face of Menkaure's Pyramid is the sad scar from an attempted demolition of the pyramids by Cairo's rulers in the 12th century.


The upper casing blocks were made of white Tura limestone which made for an impressive-looking monument. The original plan of the pyramid was for a structure of only 100 feet. This plan included a north entrance at ground level, but a new entrance had to be constructed once the expansion began. What was originally intended as a burial chamber now simply became an antechamber.