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The Middle Pyramid of Khafre


The Middle Pyramid of Khafre

The Middle Pyramid of Khafre

The Middle Pyramid of Khafre is an ancient Egyptian pyramid located at the Giza plateau, just outside of Cairo. It was built during the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom period, around 2520 BC. The pyramid was constructed for the pharaoh Khafre, who was the son of Khufu, the pharaoh who built the Great Pyramid of Giza.

The Middle Pyramid of Khafre is the second largest of the three pyramids at Giza, after the Great Pyramid of Khufu. It stands at a height of 136 meters (446 feet) and has a base length of 215 meters (705 feet). The pyramid was originally clad in white limestone, which has mostly eroded away over time.

The pyramid complex of Khafre also includes a mortuary temple, a causeway, and a valley temple. The mortuary temple is located on the east side of the pyramid and was used for the pharaoh's funerary rites. The causeway connects the mortuary temple to the valley temple, which was used for the pharaoh's purification rituals before his body was transported to the mortuary temple.

The Middle Pyramid of Khafre is notable for several features, including its intact burial chamber, which was discovered by archaeologists in 1837. The burial chamber is made of red granite and contains a large sarcophagus, but it was found to be empty, likely due to looting in ancient times. The pyramid also has several internal chambers and passages, including an ascending corridor and a grand gallery.

Overall, the Middle Pyramid of Khafre is an impressive feat of ancient engineering and a testament to the power and wealth of the pharaohs of Egypt's Old Kingdom period. It continues to draw visitors and scholars from around the world, serving as a reminder of the enduring legacy of one of the world's oldest civilizations.

Here are some additional facts:

- The Middle Pyramid of Khafre is sometimes known as the "Pyramid of Chephren", which is a Greek rendering of Khafre's name.

- Like the other pyramids at Giza, the Middle Pyramid of Khafre was built using large limestone blocks, some of which weigh up to 80 tons. The blocks were quarried from nearby sites and transported to the pyramid site using a system of ramps and sledges.

- The pyramid originally had a smooth outer casing made of white Tura limestone, which would have given it a polished, gleaming appearance. However, much of the casing was stripped away over the centuries and used for other building projects.

- The internal design of the pyramid is complex and includes several chambers and passages, such as a descending corridor, a subterranean chamber, and a burial chamber. The burial chamber is located at the heart of the pyramid and is made of solid granite blocks.

- The Middle Pyramid of Khafre was not the only structure in the pharaoh's pyramid complex. There were also several smaller pyramids, known as subsidiary pyramids, which were likely built for members of Khafre's family. Additionally, there was a large statue of Khafre, known as the Great Sphinx, which was carved from the natural rock outcropping near the pyramid complex.

- The Middle Pyramid of Khafre has been the subject of extensive study and exploration by archaeologists and historians over the years. In addition to the discovery of the burial chamber in 1837, there have been numerous other excavations and investigations of the pyramid and its surrounding complex. These studies have yielded important insights into the construction techniques and religious beliefs of ancient Egypt.