Pyramid of Khafra is located southwest of the pyramid of Cheops, a few hundred meters away. It is located on the Giza Plateau, a limestone plateau southeast of Cairo that is today almost surrounded by the Cairo agglomeration.
The base of the Pyramid of Khafre (also called Khephren), is just 15 m (50 ft) shorter than the Great Pyramid, while in height there is a difference of only 3 m (10 ft).
Seeming to dominate the famous Giza plateau, where there are two other pyramids, Khafre is actually a little smaller than his father’s Cheops, but this impression comes from the fact that it is built on a rocky nipple, so the summit is higher, but the pyramid of Khafra is beautiful and much smaller than 3 m from his father’s Cheops.
Initially, it measured 143 m high for a square base of 215 m, and it is the central piece of a funeral complex quite comparable to his father’s (Khufu). The Sphinx is associated with Khafra, to whom he would have lent his features. But the Sphinx is a unique monument, close to Khafra complex but different from it.
This summit is the only area that retains the limestone casing that originally covered all three pyramids.
Who was Khafra?
Khafra was the 3rd Pharaoh of the 4th Dynasty, the one who built the 3 great pyramids of Giza. Son of Khufu, he ruled between -2518 and -2492. These dates are approximate, of course, specialists do not necessarily agree among themselves.
Khafra burial complex is similar to Khufu and Menkaure. It consists of a pyramid (in red), the main element, an enclosure (in grey), a high temple that is near the pyramid (in blue), a low temple, several hundred meters from there (in purple), and a roadway that connects the two temples (in yellow). The complex also has an annexed pyramid (in green) and there is an important link between this funerary complex and that of the Sphinx, which also has a temple almost connected to the lower temple of Khafra and also of the same size. In addition, the upper part of the complex was protected by two concentric enclosures, one near the pyramid, the other covering the annexed pyramid.
The high temple is not attached to the pyramid, there is a gap between the two. The lower temple is in a very good state of conservation for such an ancient building. It should be noted that this complex has only one pyramid whose usefulness has not yet been found. It seems that she only had a cult role, but it is also possible that the tomb of one of the queens of Khafra.
Finally, the pyramid of Khafra has 5 wells with solar boats, arranged like those of Cheops. Unfortunately, and unlike his father’s (Khufu), no boat was found inside.
The interior is simpler than that of the Great Pyramid. It has two descending passageways converging and leading to a single tomb chamber. k Whereas Khufu’s tomb chamber sits high up inside the structure, Khafre’s is dug deep into the bedrock beneath his pyramid.
Differences with the pyramid of Khufu
As expected Khafra funeral complex is different from that of his father Cheops (Khufu). First of all, the exterior cladding was not exactly the same, since, like Menkaure, Khafra had a granite cladding in the first rows near the floor and not in the Turah limestone. This limestone existed The rest was taken by the medieval rulers of Cairo who used it for their own monuments.
Another difference, the pyramid of Khufu was built on flat and perfectly level ground. The one of Khafra started from a small hill that was buried under the massif, allowing to gain a great amount of blocks. The problem that arose was the floor of the pyramid, which was not flat, all of a sudden. The Egyptians of the time had to cut the hill into the terrace, then cut stone blocks corresponding to the widths of the terraces. So they were able to reach, after a certain number of levels, a perfectly flat surface.
Then, we can evoke the presence of a unique annexed pyramid, a worship pyramid, while the one of Cheops has a worship pyramid, but especially it has 3 annexed pyramids for two wives and the mother of Khufu, although these The attributions are not definitive.
There is little to see except the king’s granite sarcophagus. Khafre’s mortuary temple still has parts of a small sanctuary and a courtyard, and sections of the 500-m (550-yard) granite-lined causeway are still visible.