Egyptian civilization is something that attracts everyone, from kids to adults. The thing that fascinates everyone is the stories related to it. Egyptian civilization and its pyramids have many unsolved mysteries. You won’t miss checking out Pyramids of Giza in Egypt, would you?
It is the name of a collective three pyramids. Of which one is the Pyramid of Khafre. The second-largest and tallest of all pyramids in Giza. What is the history behind it? What’s its size? Whose tomb is it? What are the places that you should visit? Is it worth visiting? So many questions.
And this blog is an answer to all. Here in this blog, you will find every detail about Khafre’s pyramid. From its history to things to see in Khafre pyramid.
Starting with its history. The question to be answered is who’s tomb it is? It is the tomb of pharaoh Khafre, who ruled from 2558 BC to 2532 BC. And now, who is Khafre?
Khafre was the son of King Khufu, who ruled during the second pharaoh of the fourth dynasty. He was the throne successor of Djedefre (Ratoises). And he is the one who built the second-largest pyramid. There isn’t much information about him available. (unsolved mysteries!)
But there is one historical report from Herodotus (an ancient Greek historian), who wrote about the Khafre after 2000 years of his life. He described him as the cruel and heretical ruler who kept the temples closed after Khufu sealed them.
There is still a mystery about whose son he was, Queen Meritites I or Queen Henutsen. Some said he was the son of Queen Meritites I and some said his mother was Queen Henutsen. (mystery still remains unsolved!) He is believed to have several wives as he had 12 sons and around 3 to 4 daughters.
Now let’s talk about the pyramid.
If you look at the pyramid, it may look bigger than his father, but it’s slightly smaller than that. Originally the size of Khafre’s pyramid was 471 ft. Now it is 448 ft. (maybe due to the erosion). It appears to be bigger as it was constructed on a 33-feet higher plateau. Its base length is recorded of 706 ft.
It is said, the pyramid was opened and robbed during the First Intermediate Period (usually considered as ‘dark age’ of Egyptian history). Then it was opened in 1372 AD according to the Arab historian, and in modern times it was opened on 2nd March 1818 by Giovanni Belzoni.
This tomb has two floors; no one knows why. The sarcophagus (a stone coffin) is still there, and you will also see a large graffiti there, which was left by Belzoni.
What to Look at?
The complex of the pyramid is simpler than that of Khufu’s. It has a single burial chamber, one subsidiary chamber, and two walkways. But the mortuary temple is more complex than his father’s. There are 52 life-size statues of the king or may be larger than that.
Of two passages, one opens up high at the 38 ft. and another at the base of the pyramid. The lower one passage is carved out from the bedrock completely.
One is the burial chamber where the sarcophagus was found. It was constructed from a solid block of granite and was sunk half in the ground. The entire burial chamber was chiseled out of a pit in the bedrock and gabled limestone beams are used to construct the roof. The chamber is rectangular.
In the Burial chamber, Belzoni found the bones of bull (why it was there, is still a mystery!). There is another pit too; it would have contained canopic chest.
Whereas the purpose of the second or subsidiary chamber is still unknown. It may be built to store the offerings, or burial equipment.
This was all about what you could see inside the Pyramid of Khafre, but what else can you see there (outside)?
Below are the answers, keep reading,
Valley Temple of Khafre is located on the east side of the causeway leading from the burial chamber. The structure of this temple is preserved very well and perfectly. The temple is made up of megalithic blocks protected with granite and floors are of polished white calcite.
The main hall of the temple is of ‘T’ shape. There are symmetrical rooms on either side of the hall, which had 24 statues of the Pharaoh Khafre. Only one has been found, which is now in the Cairo Museum. And these statues of king Khafre were made of diorite.
The one statue found is Khafre enthroned, you can have a look at it in the Cairo Museum.
There are still rumors about what purpose this temple had! Some theory says the temple was used for the mummification of the king before the burial as the temple was near the burial chamber. And others say, the temple was used for the “opening of the mouth” ceremony, where the “ka” entered the dead body.
What does the word ‘ka’ mean? “Ka” is a spiritual part of the soul in Egyptian mythology, which survived even after death.
The Great Sphinx
The first massive sculpture of Egyptian history: The Great Sphinx. If you see the statue of a great sphinx from its front side, it will look like it is protecting the Pyramid of Khafre. The statue of great sphinx depicts the body of a lion and the face of king Khafre.
The entire statue is made from the bedrock of the Giza plateau. If noticed closely and attentively, the rocks used in constructing the valley temple would appear to be excavated from this bedrock only.
The statue is 240 ft long and 33 ft high from the base. It is said that this image was carved during the Old Kingdom and was revered as a solar deity (the sun god) in the New Kingdom. Who built this, why it was constructed and its purpose, everything is just a mystery!
Pyramid of Khafre: A Must See Tomb
We tried to pen down everything about the Pyramid of Khafre. Maybe we accomplished the aim and maybe not.
But did you ever thought what life was like during the rule of pharaohs or during the old kingdom? Egyptian history does make you think about life centuries ago? Doesn’t reading all these make you go – “Only if I could experience the way of living during those times!” or “Only if I could time-travel and solve the mysteries related to it.”
You can’t experience that, but you can explore the place and get all the knowledge about it. You will be fascinated with just a single glance. The stones on the outer side of the Pyramids have vanished, but the ones on top are still there.
For more information on which historical places to visit and why stay tuned to Travelila.