The Pyramid of Khafre
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
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
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.
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 floorperhaps 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