Even with all of the pictures that you will see of the pyramid of Khaefre
nothing can really prepare you for the time that you finally see the pyramid with your eyes.
His name means “appearing like Re”
He is also known in history by the Greek name Chephren.
He was the successor of his brother king Djedefre and son of King Khufu (Cheops) and probably his mother was queen Henutsen?.
He married several times; his chief wives were queen Khamaerernebty I (the mother of Menkawre, his successor) and queen Meresankh III.
He ruled during the4th dynasty for 24 years.
He built the 2nd largest pyramid at Giza Plateau to the south-west of the Great Pyramid.
Original Name: wr ḫꜥ.f rꜥ (Great is Khaefre)
Original Height: 143.5 m Current Height: 136.4 m
Angle: 53° 10’
The Contents of the Pyramid:
1. The Pyramid itself.
2. The Mortuary Temple.
3. The Causeway.
4. The Valley Temple.
It was built of local Limestone and cased with fine Tura limestone, except for the lowest course which was cased with red granite; also the Cab-stone was made of red granite, but is now missing.
The pyramid was built on a higher ground; it gives the impression of being higher than the Great Pyramid.
The pyramid has two entrances in the North.
The Upper entrance leads to a descending corridor and runs through the core of the pyramid and ends with the burial chamber.
The sloping and horizontal corridors were lined with red granite.
The burial chamber was cut completely in the rock except for its roof which consists of slabs of limestone.
There are rectangular cavities cut on the North and South walls of the burial chamber, each cavity leads to a shaft.
On the Western side of the burial chamber, there is a granite sarcophagus. Its led was found broken into two halves but no trace of a mummy was found in it.
The Lower Entrance leads to an underground descending corridor which slops and become horizontal then it rise steeply to join to the floor of the upper horizontal corridor.
In the western wall of the lower horizontal corridor there is an entrance to another small burial chamber and no sarcophagus was found in it.
In the Eastern wall of the lower horizontal corridor, there is a recess used for maneuvering the sarcophagus in order to be placed in the burial chamber.
The Mortuary Temple:
The function of this temple was to ensure the survival of the dead king’s ka (soul).
The temple was demolished and its stone blocks were reused and the temple now reduced to ruins only a few traces of basalt paving, granite pillars, decorated limestone walls and a saite burial shaft still remain.
Its walls were built of local limestone.
None of the mortuary temples prior to the reign of Khaefre has proved to be a replica of any other known example. They all different both in arrangement and in architectural detail, but during the time of Khaefre until the end of the Old Kingdom, every mortuary temple embodied the following Five main features:
1. Enclosure wall
2. Open court.
3. Five niches for statues.
This temple consisted of an Entrance leading to a narrow passage, running from North toSouth.
The Southern side of this passage leads to two chambers.
The Northern side leads to Vestibule with two columns followed by four storerooms and a staircase leading to the roof.
On the Western wall of the vestibule is a passage that leads to a hall which contained 14 pillars.
The Northern and Southern ends of this hall gives access to two rooms intended for statues.
Beyond this hall, there is another hall which had 10 columns and leads to the courtyard.
Within this courtyard, there was a colonnade supported by pillars.
On the Western wall, there are five niches and 2 passages flank the niches:
• The Northern Passage leads to the Pyramid courtyard.
• The Southern Passage leads to the five small storerooms.
Going southward, there are two more small rooms and a door leading outside the temple.
At the Western section of the temple, there is a Sanctuary which has remains of a large stela.
Five pits for boats were hewn in the rock close to the North and West wall of the Mortuary temple but no trace of the wooden boats has been found.
The Valley Temple:
It’s the most preserved temple from the Old Kingdom.
It was built out of local limestone and its floor made of alabaster.
The temple has two entrances in its Eastern wall, one situated to the North-East and the other to the South-East.
Each entrance guarded with two small sphinxes made of limestone, some scholars suggest that there were kiosks containing a statue of the king.
Around each entrance, there was an inscription giving the names and titles of the king such as:
On the North-Eastern entrance: “mri Bꜣstt ꜥnḫ ḏt” which means (beloved of Bastet, live forever)
On the South-Eastern entrance: “mri ḥwt ḥr ꜥnḫ ḏt” which means (beloved of Hathor, live forever)
Behind each entrance, there is a short passage leading to a small vestibule and both are leading to one antechamber.
We found in this antechamber a deep pit in which a number of statues of the king, made of diorite, schist, alabaster, …. Etc.
These statues were placed in T-shaped hall to the North of the antechamber and later they were buried in this pit to be preserved from destruction.
The antechamber leads to the T-shaped hall which its roof supported by 16 granite pillars.
There are 23 cavities in the floor of the T-shaped hall.
To the South-Western corner of the T-shaped hall, there are 6 rooms arranged in two levels, used for housing the canopic jars and his two crowns.
To the North-West, there is a long passage leading to outside of the temple and it’s joined with the Causeway.
Near the upper end of this passage, there is a room built of alabaster, it’s known as the guard room, as some scholars believed that it was used by the guards of the temple who were responsible for preventing unauthorized people and the impure public from entering.
The temple was used for performing the following funerary rituals such as:
• The Purification.
• The Mummification.
• The Opening of the Mouth Ceremony.
It connects the Valley temple with the Mortuary temple.
It was built of local limestone and cased with fine Tura limestone.
There are 91 galleries situated to the west of the pyramid, there were used as places to house the workmen of the complex.