After lecture today covering the Pyramids of Giza I instantly knew what the topic of my blog post was going to consist of. The Pyramid of Menkaure caught my attention and guided me towards wanting to learn more about it. Located in the Giza Plateau in the southwestern area of Cairo, Egypt. The reason for which it was built being to house the mummified remains of the fourth dynasty Egyptian Pharaoh Menkaure.
The smallest of the three pyramids, Menkaure, stands at 215 feet tall. Slow deterioration has lead it to shrink 11 feet. Constructed of granite, the upper portion cased in Tura limestone with the bottom granite portion being left exposed to the environment. The pyramids date of construction is unknown due to Menkaure’s reign never being able to accurately be depicted. The relative date it was believed to be completed was the 26th century BC.
Looking deeper into the history of Menkaure’s pyramid, I found this the most intriguing aspect. At the end of the 12th century al-Malek al-Aziz Othman ben Yusuf attempted to demolish the Pyramids of Giza beginning with Menkaure’s pyramid. Their attempt was found to be extremely difficulty, the workers they recruited were unable to remove more than one or two stones each day of work. They used wedges and levers while others used ropes to pull them down. The wedges were used to split the stones into pieces making them easier to remove. The efforts to take it down merely left it with a large vertical crease spoiling the face of the pyramid. I found this as insulting to the reign of Menkaure and a defiling of one of the greatest architectural constructions of the world.