The Mortuary Temple Of Khafre
The Pyramid of Khafre is also known as the Pyramid of Chephren, as this name is also called Khafre. It is the second-highest pyramid built in ancient Egypt and is located next to the famous Pyramid of his father, Khufu. The pyramid appears to be higher than the Pyramid of Khufu because of the higher bedrock it's built on. It is also the second largest pyramid in the Giza necropolis and was built in the same way as the other Pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty. It was brought into the limelight of the modern world in the early 19th century by the famous Italian explorer Giovanni Belzoni. Still, unfortunately, the pyramid was found to be empty of the mummy of Khafre. Many of the stone casings also seem to have been robbed away much earlier, probably during the reign of the Pharaohs of later dynasties.
Khafre was the fourth Pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of the Old Kingdom in Egypt, who succeeded his brother Djedefre in 2570 B.C.
He was the third son of Pharaoh Khufu, but there are arguments about his mother’s name, as some scholars believe him to be the son of Queen Meritites I, while some claim that his mother was Queen Henutsen, as both were half-sisters and wives of Khufu.
Khafre married several women, but among them, only the names of four are known now from several inscriptions of various tombs.
He fathered 12 sons and 3 daughters; among them, the most famous had been his successor Menkaure.
He ruled Egypt for 26 years, although there are several opinions about the dates and duration of his reign
Magnificent Architecture Khafre's Pyramid
Khafre's huge pyramid was made of Tura limestone blocks and built over a vast base that is 215 meters length. Its slopes were much steeper than that of the Pyramid of Khufu. The lower part of the casing stones was made of pink granite and arranged in a unique continuation of one after another instead of a straight line. The whole pyramid complex consists of a mortuary temple, a valley temple, a satellite pyramid, and a sphinx, along with the main pyramidal structure.
The Temple Design
The mortuary temple of Khafre was made in an organized way, and it was comprised of an entrance hall, an open courtyard with some large pillars, five niches off the second chamber of the temple where probably the statues of the Pharaoh were placed, five storerooms behind these five niches and finally an innermost sanctuary that contained a pair of stelae or upright rocks with written inscriptions on them and a false door through which the dead Pharaoh was believed to enter from the burial chamber to collect the offerings given to him. The front side of this temple was made of large limestone blocks, which were covered by a layer of finer limestone.
The roofs of the entrance hall and the second rectangular hall were supported by thick and sturdy pillars. There were supposedly 12 statues of Khafre in the courtyard, some of whom might have been seized by the kings of the later dynasties. Five boat pits are found before this mortuary temple, dug out of the rock base, which contained the boats that brought the mortal remains of the Pharaoh to preserve as a mummy in the pyramid.