Egyptian Pyramids - who built the pyramids? Why were the pyramids built? Where are the pyramids? How many pyramids are there in Egypt? What were the pyramids used for? The Bent pyramid. The Step Pyramid. The Red Pyramid. The Great Pyramid. The Pyramids at Giza. This site aims to answer those questions and many more, giving an insight into the truely magnificent structures know as the pyramids of Egypt!

The Pyramid of Khafre

The Pyramid of KhafreLocated in Giza, The Pyramid of Khafre (Chepren), often called the "Second Pyramid", is built next to the Great Pyramid of Khufu.

Khafre, the son and successor of Khufu, and had a hard act to follow after his father built the Great Pyramid.

Because its apex is in better condition and it is located on an elevation (of about 10 meters), Khafre's pyramid appears to be the largest of the three great Pyramids of the Giza Plateau. However, originally it was some three meters lower than the Great Pyramid of Khufu. In fact, the walls of Khafre's pyramid are steeper than the Great Pyramid of Khufu (53º 10' as opposed to Khufu's 51º 40'), so it contains considerably less mass. It's name is "Khafre is Great".

Khafre's pyramid is believed to have been completed around 2532 BCE, at the end of Khafre's reign.

The Pyramid of Khafre was constructed from limestone and granite blocks weighing an average of 2.5 tons each. Unlike the Great Pyramid of Giza and Menkaure's Pyramid, Khafre's Pyramid retains some of its smooth limestone casing at its apex. Some of these outer blocks weigh about 7 tons.

It has one minor flaw in its design in that there is a slight twist at the top that is due to the fact that the four corner angles were not aligned correctly to meet at the top. While it is very minor, it shows that there was a little less attention to detail than at the Great Pyramid.

The most remarkable thing associated with Khafre's pyramid is not a part of the pyramid at all, but part of the temple complex, the Sphinx. The Sphinx was cut directly from the bedrock at the base of the pyramid and the stones that were removed were probably used to build the pyramid itself.

Temple Complex

Though Khafre's pyramid is shorter than his father Khufu's nearby Great Pyramid, Khafre made up for it by building at a higher elevation and surrounding his pyramid with a more elaborate complex.

Within the burial chamber, explorers discovered a small pit cut in the floor—perhaps designed to hold the first canopic chest in a pyramid. Canopic chests held jars carved in the shapes of protective spirits. These jars, in turn, held the preserved liver, lungs, stomach, and intestines of the deceased. The brain would have been discarded, and the heart left in the body.

Outside the pyramid all the typical elements of a pharaonic mortuary temple are seen in one place for the first time: entrance hall, colonnaded courtyard, niches for royal statuary, storage chambers, and interior sanctuary. Later pyramids would be significantly smaller, with greater emphasis on these mortuary temples.

Khafre's necropolis also boasted an unprecedented profusion of statues, among them the Sphinx. Carved from bedrock in front of Khafre's pyramid, the Sphinx depicts the pharaoh as a human-headed lion, wearing the headdress of the pharaohs. The great statue is the embodiment of Khafre, the third ruler of the 4th dynasty (time line), as the god Horus