The Menkaure Pyramid, also known as the Mycerinus Pyramid or the Pyramid of Menkaure, is one of the three major pyramids located on the Giza Plateau, near Cairo, Egypt. It was built during the Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt for the pharaoh Menkaure (or Mycerinus), who ruled from around 2532 to 2504 BCE.
The Menkaure Pyramid is the smallest of the three pyramids in Giza, standing at approximately 66 meters (216 feet) tall. It was originally covered in polished limestone, though very little of that outer casing remains today. The pyramid was constructed using limestone blocks, which were quarried locally. Inside the pyramid, there are three main chambers, including the burial chamber, which once housed the pharaoh’s sarcophagus.
Adjacent to the Menkaure Pyramid are three smaller pyramids, which are believed to have belonged to Menkaure’s wives or family members. Throughout history, the pyramid complex also contained various structures such as temples and causeways, but many of them have been destroyed or damaged over time.
The Menkaure Pyramid was initially surrounded by a mortuary temple complex, which has significant evidence of fine craftsmanship and artistic decoration. Several statues, including the famous “Triad of Menkaure,” were discovered in this complex and are now housed in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Today, the Menkaure Pyramid stands as a prominent historical and archaeological site, attracting numerous visitors and researchers each year. It is known for its unique pyramidion at the top, which is believed to have been built using a different design compared to the other two pyramids in Giza. Despite its smaller size, the pyramid is revered for its architectural beauty and the insights it provides into ancient Egyptian burial practices.