Episode 8: That Which I Own


Menkaure and the Third Giza Pyramid

The furious work at Giza continues, as Khafre’s son Menkaure takes the throne. Opting for a smaller – but more exquisitely constructed – monument, the new king’s reign heralds the more moderate phase of pyramid construction.

The small size of this monument may reflect the strain being placed on the Egyptian economy, a system not particularly similar to our own. We investigate.

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An alabaster head of Menkaure, discovered in his Valley Temple at Giza (Source: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts).


A restored statue of Menkaure, discovered in pieces at Giza and restored between 1907 and 1935 (Source: the Boston Museum of Fine Arts). Read about the restoration and modern conservation of this project at the Museum of Fine Arts.


The monument of Khafre, viewed from the mortuary temple adjoining its eastern face (Source: the author, 2013).

JsFG86hThe pyramid of Menkaure viewed from the north-east; the large gash in its size resulted from an attempt at deconstruction by a medieval ruler – it failed badly (Source: the author, 2013).


Barry J. Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, 2006 (2nd Edition).

Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, 2008.

Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.